The COVID-19 pandemic derailed lots of small companies in nyc. However, with intelligent thinking, Gotham-style a dedicated customer base, The Flagship Brewing Company on Staten Island has managed to maintain the suds flowing.
The Isle’s first community brewery in years, Flagship was set in 2014 by pals Jay Sykes and Matthew McGinley, who climbed up sharing adjoining backyards from the North Shore area of West Brighton. Father and child beer lovers Gary and Sam Angiuli united in as managing partners.
The spouses’ love of their home borough is celebrated in brews such as their Pizza Rat pilsner — a cooperation with the Staten Island Yankees minor league baseball club, that has played matches since the Pizza Rats. There has been a chocolate stout created with crumb cake in the island’s venerable Holtermann’s Bakery in addition to a fresh hard seltzer lineup flavored with Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices, yet another SI staple.
Before COVID-19, the group was focusing their efforts on draft beer. “Seventy percent of our company has been selling kegs to pubs and serving draft within our taproom,” Sykes, 38, told The Post. “Back in March, immediately, that business dried up. We had to shut our taproom, and no one was drinking in pubs.”
But only weeks before they had obtained the substances to can their beer in house to the very first time.
“We found the chance to generate more cans and send them in to markets and delis. We immediately went to work on this,” Sykes said, adding they also got a fortunate break by means of a pandemic-driven shift in New York booze regulations. “The State Liquor Authority reported that we can send beer to people’s houses. Our company was changed negatively, but by working in a new manner, we can remain afloat and stem the wave.”
The Flagship site was updated to process requests. Faithful clients stepped up to place requests for home delivery and contactless pickup, and the brewery was able to keep moving without putting off some of their four fulltime brewery employees. They brought on a four-person part-time team. The Paycheck Protection Program assisted Flagship cover eight months of pay for employees, Sykes estimates, from those 14 weeks which have elapsed since the coronavirus disaster hit New York.
Plus, clients must enjoy Flagship under optimum conditions:”We sent beer which has been only five hours old. That’s the way any brewer needs his beer to become seasoned,” said Sykes, who obtained a Staten Island ferry tattoo inked on his forearm since the beer biz was launch.
In actuality, the Flagship team discovered a silver lining at the coronavirus storm clouds.
“We brought in some new clients,” Sykes said. “People did not need to visit supermarkets early [during lockdown] and they enjoyed the notion that we sent — we sold a few tiny kegs to people. Additionally, folks were spending more time speaking to friends and they spoke our merchandise. Some men and women who drank mass-market beers, such as Budweiser and Michelob, desired to encourage a local company and gave us a chance. They originally did it from the goodness of the hearts, enjoyed our beer and eventually became clients.”
Last week, both new and old fans had the chance to quaff the drafts that created Flagship famous — and a recently released Belgian mango IPA, just in time for the summer. The al fresco taproom provides five picnic tables along with a few standing barrels for people, who may also purchase fish and chips out of O’Henry’s Publick House or ribs through DaddyO’s BBQ & Sports Bar (two locality meals spots).
Within the huge brewery is manufacturing equipment in addition to the taproom, which seems just like a sheltered beer garden with 16 picnic tables. When New York enters Stage two, the taproom is permitted to reopen at 50 percentage capacity.
Looking back to the virus along with his business’s capacity to weather , Sykes said:”We feel thankful to get up in the morning and do what we love. It is a testament to those men and women who stand by usknow who we are and love the quality of what we do.”