Craft beer lovers in Essex County have a new reason to celebrate, as we are set to open our doors later this summer!
For the first time in forty years, the proud tradition of brewing quality beer returns to Orange. Following the trail first blazed by the Winter Brothers’ Orange Brewery in 1901, and last walked by Rheingold beer during the mid- to late 20th century, we are humbled and excited to pick up where they left off.
Today, the dream is a reality. The three of us (Roger Apollon Jr., Jeff Gattens and Anthony Minervino) have built a 4,700 square foot brewery and taproom located at 55 South Essex Avenue, just steps from the New Jersey Transit Orange train station.
The plan for the brewery began more than 10 years ago, when Roger, a physical education teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y., went to his first craft beer tasting in Montclair, N.J. After meeting a couple of passionate home brewers, he had an idea to invite his neighbors over to his house and sample some local, home brew and try beer from other breweries from across the country. That was the birth of what was to become The Brew Council.
The meetings happened informally, once a month, and attendance grew as he and Anthony, a fire captain in Bloomfield, N.J., began to host themed-beer pairings and tastings. Along the way, they visited more than 100 breweries across the country and abroad. The Brew Council acted as the research and development for what was to become Four City Brewing Company.
Two years of business plans, potential investor meetings and licensing applications followed. Potential locations came and went, each not quite suitable until a chance posting on Facebook brought us to our current location. The brewery name honors the four “Oranges” (West Orange, East Orange, South Orange & Orange) and the diversity that they all embody. The beer names, music and art that will be in the taproom will be a reflection of the vibrant local art and music communities.
Fellow neighbor and friend Jeff, a mobile technology engineer in Woodbridge, N.J, had been homebrewing for more than a decade and decided to start his own brewery locally. When we met for a beer, it was decided that we would pool our resources and work together to form Four City Brewing Company. Jeff had a dream to open a small boutique brewery while Roger and Anthony were planning to open a larger production brewhouse. We decided to join forces and compromise on a mid-size brewery and combine many of the same ideas they’d been planning simultaneously for years.
It goes without saying that the most important feature will be the beer. To that end, we have spent the last ten years perfecting recipes that are exciting, innovative, and most importantly, delicious. From citrus-forward IPAs to rich, toasty stouts, from crisp cream ales to spicy saisons, Four City Brewing Company is dedicated to providing the quality craft beer that discerning beer drinkers have come to expect.
We can’t wait to have you visit our taproom this summer!
Roger Apollon Jr.