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Great Eats: Brick House Brewery

The idea of putting a scare into global beer makers splits Dave Fice's face into a grin. He and partner Mark Harrison are joining the microbrew movement by converting a bar/restaurant into the Brick House Brewery on Bridge Street in Corning.

"Competition is good, and it is time the Budweisers of the world had some."

The former at Other Place is no more, the pool table is gone, and two shiny brewing tanks now occupy the lower level. The explosion of microbrewing across the country convinced the guys that it was time to change course. But, unlike the American version of brewing that uses several tanks, they are trying a simplified version from down under.

"We are using the Australian method of brewing," Dave explains. "One tank for most of the process. That process stays pretty much the same in all beer making. But this works better with our layout. Our first brew will be a rye IPA."

A stout made with locally sourced Cascade hops will also be in play. The tanks fit nicely into a cool, low-ceilinged space. The mixture is aged at a constant sixty-eight degrees. The plan is to add more tanks to meet the majority of needs for the business.

Dave sees the micro revolution as a return to our American roots. "Before Prohibition, this is how beer was made. Small batches, a variety of special flavors."

The ten-day process from tank to glass is already underway for the new business, set to open before Memorial Day weekend. The bar is refurbished, complete with a trough of ice to keep your beverage chilled, and a new menu is planned. Lunch and dinner will be served seven days a week and cocktails, of course, for those who don't fancy the amber stuff.

Encouraged by the planned construction work on Bridge Street, the Brick House Brewery will serve as an anchor in that corner of Corning's Gaffer District.

"There are a lot of good things happening here," says Dave, who owns The Gaffer Grill on Market Street.

He is pleased to see development that branches out from Market Street and rewards visitors and residents for their decision to cross the bridge. It seems to be a spring revival of the area, as businesses are moving, expanding, and changing focus. The Brick House Brewery joins the Market Street Brewing Company in the Gaffer District as local options for local beer.

Dave sees no end in sight to the growth of small batch beer brewing. And what better marriage is there than a Corning beer in a Corning glass?

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