Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) — Amidst this pandemic, two young entrepreneurs are looking forward to opening the first brewery in the Village of Orchard Park in Mid-August.
Right off the Armor Duells exit on the 219, attached to the Beerz Food Shop, grains were getting dumped into a mash tun at First Line Brewing Thursday morning. In the next few days, the head brewer and co-owner, Shane Stewart, will add some more interesting ingredients to the IPA.
“I would say one of our unique beers is a New England IPA that we actually brew with Fruity Pebbles cereal,” Stewart said.
The co-owners, Michael Maiorana and Shane Stewart, met on Orchard Park’s baseball team. They act like brothers… and might even become brothers one day.
“I’m dating his sister,” Stewart said.
Their close-knit families helped bring their nano brewery to life. Because they brew small batch beers, they can play around with different flavor combinations. If something doesn’t work out, they won’t lose out on much. They also like working with unique, local food.
“What we’re going to be doing with that coffee stout is using Spot Coffee’s coffee grinds for that,” Stewart said about the latest stout beer they’re brewing.
But your taste isn’t the only sense stimulated there. Patrons will immediately be hit with a sense of pride when they walk in, because of all the patriotic decor inside.
“We started off saying we wanted to create a brewery with a special meaning, that has a special purpose behind what we do,” Maiorana said. “We’re both very patriotic and love this country. And we always want to put America first.”
A portion of proceeds from the beer sold there will go to veterans and first responders. Stewart is a first responder himself, working as a volunteer firefighter in Orchard Park.
“It’s just something we’re so passionate about,” he said.
The two will also choose local vets and first responders to honor in their ‘Hero Line.’ Those people will help them make a specialty beer and then choose an organization they want a cut of the proceeds to go toward.
First Line Brewing is a place to go to help others, and try something unique. Once it’s open, there will be a beer garden outside, and a family-feel inside.
“We want this to be like a family setting, where people come in and we know each other by a first-name basis, and we can just hangout and enjoy the time together,” Stewart said.
The brewery plans to open in Mid-August.