May 4, 2015 By Michael Florio
The newest brewery to open in Long Island City is set to debut this week.
LIC Beer Project, located at 39-28 23rd Street, will be pouring its brew on the first night of Queens Beer Week, which runs from May 8 through May 17.
The new brewery is part of the Queens Beer Week celebration where nine breweries throughout the borough will be heavily promoted–which includes free brewery tours of some of the participating breweries (click for information).
The 10-day event includes breweries such as LIC Beer Project, Big Alice Brewing, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery, SingleCut Beersmiths, Rockaway Brewing Co. and Transmitter Brewing.
LIC Beer Project, like some of the other participants, will be offering free tours of its 5,500 square feet facility on May 16, allowing those who attend the opportunity to sample its beer from 1 pm to 7 pm.
LIC Beer Project, which offers Belgium-style beer, will officially open its facility during the second week in June.
Once open, customers will be able to fill up their growlers or drink a pint on site from Fridays through Sundays.
The brewery can seat about 30 people and has room to cater to up to 70 customers, Daniel Acosta who is one of three individuals behind the venture. He said the prices and hours are still being figured out.
There will be 10 tap lines, with four up-and-running when it opens.
“The lines will always be rotating beers so customers can always experiment new ones,” Acosta said. “Once everything is settled we will begin adding more on tap.”
This is the first brewery Acosta has opened, but this has been his vision for the past 10 years.
Acosta developed a taste for Belgium beer while backpacking in Europe 11 years ago. He said he was already interested in craft beer, but when he stumbled upon Belgium beer it sparked his interest.
When he came back from his backpacking trip, he visited breweries in California and decided that he wanted to open a brewery of his own.
He then enrolled at the Siebel Institute of Technology, an accredited brewing school, where he studied brewing science and shortly after began working on his business plan.
He left his job as a consultant in the construction field three years ago to begin working on the brewery. He spent two years researching and perfecting recipes, and then spent another year constructing the new brewery.
“I am pumped to open,” he said.
Acosta, a Westchester resident, said he picked LIC as a place to open because it is a growing community that has a need for his type of brewery.
“The neighborhood is underserviced beer wise [in terms of the beer he provides],” he said.
While there has been an influx of new breweries, Acosta said that his style of the beer will help him stand out. He said that a lot of his beers are yeast driven, which differ from some of the other breweries.
The brewery also has a cool ship, which is an open fermentation vessel that brings in outside air to help protect the beer against wild yeast and bacteria.
“That will help separate us as well,” he said.
He is planning on taking over the 5,000 square feet space behind the brewery to create a barrelhouse.
“We hope to have one of the largest barrel collections in the city,” he said.
Acosta said the brewery has been flying under the radar, as they elected to keep everything under wraps. However, he said now that the word has got out, there is a buzz among the community.
He teamed up with Damon Oscarson, who will serve as LIC Beer Project’s operations manager, and Gianni Cavicchi, who will serve as the Beer Project’s ambassador.
Two Belgium-styled beers, Ardent Core and Evening’s Empire, will be available during Queens Beer Week, with two more to be on tap once the taproom officially opens in June.
Their brew will soon be available in a number of local bars and restaurants.