Nanuet's Mike and Doreen Fitzgerald bringing something new to Rockland County and the Hudson Valley: The Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe
They teamed up with co-owner Walt Mihatov to open up the unique business, which is located on Route 59 in Nanuet. It replaces Varriale Furs. After many months of hard work, they are finally having their soft opening on Friday and the grand opening is TBA.
Growler & Gill is open:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday—12 - 10 p.m.
- Friday, Saturday—12 - 11 p.m.
- Sunday—12 - 9 p.m.
"It's like a Starbucks for beer. It's a place where people feel they’re getting top of the line product and a comfortable place to sit and enjoy that product and each other’s company," said Mike Fitzgerald. “Our mission is educating and teaching people. There are so many beers around the world but it’s hard to take it all in. Our Beer Geeks and Beer Specialists have the knowledge to really help people understand the beer selection.”
Mike Naclerio and Mark Salerno are the two Beer Geeks at Growler & Gill.
“It’s a library of different beers from around the world and these beer geeks are like librarians to help you find something that meets your taste.”
There will be Growler & Gill will have 16 rotating taps with everything from stouts and wheat beers to Belgiums, IPAs and everything else in between. Two bookshelves line the length of the shop housing craft beers from everywhere in the world.
"This is a small fraction of what’s out there. There are 2,000 breweries in America and we’ll have upwards of 500 beers to start and hoping to expand that over time,” said Fitzgerald. "We’re focusing on New York and local breweries with selections from other parts of the country and the world as well. Belgium has the best beers in the world, Germany is a close second. We have beers from United Kingdom and a smattering of beers from Asia, South America, Jamaica … we touched a lot of corners of the globe."
The Fitzgeralds keep it local. They live and work in the area so it's only natural to them to stock their shelves with local products from local breweries, such as Defiant Brewery in Pearl River and a brewery in Ithaca. However, their passion in craft beers is evident. They have traveled the North East searching for great microbrews, written about their adventures on The Tristate Beer Blog.
"It's a great feeling when the community comes in on Friday and see them enjoy what my wife and I have been enjoying for years now," said Mike Fitzgerald. “I’ve had very fulfilling journeys and met some great people in the craft beer industry. The community of people who are involved in this – brewers, local distribution reps—are knowledgeable and caring about the products."
He added that he and his wife wanted to do this to expose people to different breweries that they've visted.
"Its two stories. The story of beers that have been made in Europe for centuries and the upstart breweries we’re finding in the U.S."
"We serve food here too. The menu is slanted toward German food because it pairs so well with beer," said Fitzgerald.
There will also be select wines, artisanal soda, ("Some breweries will make their own line of sodas"), non-alcoholic beers
"There's something for everyone. It's more of the experience. The daily food menu will feature cheeses and breads that pair well with certain beers, a meat plate, cheese plate from Laraia's Cheese Shop, breads from Rockland Bakery, personal pizzas, Pierogis."
There are two 50-inch tvs for all the sporting events.
About Growler & Gill
The first half of their business's name, Growler & Gill, derives from the half gallon brown jugs that are becoming popular in craft beer circles. A gill is a British unit of measure that is equal to four ounces of beer.
"We plan to bring in local breweries to serve sample gills and describe each of their beers at weekly tastings. This will allow our friends and neighbors to experience the joy of hand crafted beer," they said. "We also will hold food pairings with local restaurants and artisanal cheese makers. Education will be an important part of our mission with regular “Beer Geek” classes, taught by yours truly, that will enlighten folks to the wonders of beer."
Fitzgerald is currently attaining the second level in the Certified Cicerone Program. A cicerone is equivalent to a wine Sommelier or expert.