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Empire Brewing Co.

New York

A sustainably-minded craft brewery in Syracuse, New York, Empire Brewing Co. operates its own farm and exclusively sources local ingredients for its award-winning brews.

David Katleski has built a beer empire in New York state. Originally established in 1994 in downtown Syracuse, Empire Brewing Co. started as a brewpub/restaurant that also made its own beer in-house. It was one of New York state’s earliest brewpubs and a pioneer in the resurgence of Armory Square as a dining/entertainment destination. Today, Empire Brewing Co. has grown to become one of the largest craft breweries in the state with a new second location in Cazenovia, New York that functions as a Farm Brewery - complete with 22 acres of hops, lavender, vegetables, herbs and fruit specifically for use in the brewing process and to support the thriving downtown brewpub. The establishment is cutting-edge, sustainability-driven and totally impressive to say the least.

Founder/President David Katleski was born and raised in the Endicott-Johnson City, New York area, near Binghamton, and he has always been business savvy with a career history including a stint on Wall Street and a position with a Syracuse-based mall developer. He was also a fan of the culinary arts, which ultimately led him to open Empire Brewing Co. brewpub - and he didn’t stop there. David also went to work for an insurance firm and built a division that specialized in insuring startup craft breweries, and he started the New York State Brewers Association to help support New York brewers.

In 2007, Empire Brewing Co. modified its business model to focus on sustainability. David brought in farm-to-table practices in food and farm-to-glass practices in the brewery using locally sourced ingredients. He also began plans for the Empire Farm Brewery, which would grow hops, barley and other ingredients for the brewpub. When it officially opened its doors in 2016, the Empire Farm Brewery became one of the largest craft breweries in the state (the fourth largest) and the state’s largest farm brewery.

Empire currently crafts several award-winning ales and lagers, while aspiring to provide customers with the best all natural ingredients. The brewery sources fresh, locally grown products from over sixty Central New York farmers and strives to define their business philosophy with the phrases “Eat Where You Live” and “We Grow Beer.”

Empire Brewing Co. has seen incredible growth since first opening its doors in 1994 - in just over 20 years, Empire has matured from a seven barrel brewpub to one of the largest craft breweries in New York State. Plus, with plans for international export, Empire is shaping into a global brand as well. We are proud to share these Empire craft beers with our Craft Beer Club members - enjoy!

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