As bartenders at Tørst in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Anthony Sorice and Ryan Mauban served beers from some of the world’s premier breweries. Now they plan to open their own brewery, called Root + Branch, on the South Shore of Long Island, where Sorice is originally from.
Until then, Root + Branch will be, well, rootless. Sorice, who lives in Williamsburg, and Mauban, a California native now in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, recently started their company as contract, or “gypsy,” brewers, who rent time and space at established breweries to produce and package their beer. Popularized by thriving international brands like Mikkeller and Evil Twin Brewing of Copenhagen and Stillwater Artisanal of Baltimore, all of which have leveraged the business model into existing or soon-to-be-built physical locations, gypsy brewing requires no expensive infrastructure. Rather than immediately invest in a facility, which “can easily cost like a million dollars before you blink,” Sorice said, the budding entrepreneurs will first realize their recipes by utilizing excess capacity at other breweries. “It grants us the opportunity to be completely hands on, which is very important to us, without financial or any other kinds of stress,” Mauban said. “We want to make sure everything is right about the beer before anything else.”