Photos by Andrew Dominick
Two friends start a brewery and bar in Mount Vernon, where they serve everything from crisp IPAs to dark and sour beers.
It may have taken Jordan Hahn and Tom Ryan a while, but they finally brought a brewery to Mount Vernon. Located in an early 1900s space across from the Metro-North station, Alternative Medicine Brewing Co. quietly opened its tasting room a week before Christmas — two years after the sheer volume of blood, sweat and tears that the duo poured in to get the place ready to brew beer and serve pints.
“[The brewery] was built in 1903,” says Hahn. “It was a manufacturing company, a car dealership and, more recently, a Portuguese restaurant. It was their event space. There was a lot of rust, yellow paint and four inch thick Spanish tiles on the floor. We pulled out 10 dumpsters full of trash.
A vestige of the former occupant is a kind of stone “cave”, which could have been a wine cellar but will become a “small VIP room”, according to Hahn. The rest is reminiscent of a classic watering hole, with high trays and seated tables, and plenty of bar seating in a room decorated with brick and wood.
Hahn continued to make beer and his friends continued to enjoy it. Even with full-time jobs, Hahn and Ryan decided to team up to open their own brewery in Mount Vernon.
Oh, and if you’re expecting a big story about how two buddies from New Jersey opened a brewery, there isn’t one. They just wanted it.
“We have known each other for about 15 years; we met through Tom’s younger brother,” says Hahn. “We both moved to town and then Tom bought a house in Yonkers. I had a lot of home brewing equipment in my apartment and asked him if I could move all my beer making stuff to his house. He said it was cool as long as I was making beer.
Hahn continued to make beer and his friends continued to enjoy it. And even with full-time jobs (Hahn is a software network engineer, while Ryan is a sound engineer for TV shows and movies), they decided to team up to open their own brewery.
Hahn’s recipes have been scaled for the public to enjoy: AMBC NY State, a light, smoky cream beer; and Juice Cleanse, a hoppy, tropical, misty New England-style IPA. Plus, there’s refreshing homemade soursop hard seltzer water, wine, and six carefully crafted cocktails.
In the pipeline, Hahn mentioned that he will have a red ale, a West Coast IPA, a dark rye ale, and simple kettle sours in the spring. Eventually, stouts will appear because that’s Hahn’s favorite style.
“The last time I brewed my imperial stout at about 14% alcohol, everyone loved it,” he says. “I’m working on a barrel-aged version for our first anniversary. I will contact my friend who works at Black Dirt Distillery in Warwick for casks of bourbon. The beer will have notes of dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and some bitterness.
Alternative Medicine Brewing Co.
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