Staten Island Brewing Company and Flagship Brewing Company promise to take Staten Island back to the days of Atlantic vs. Bachman and Bechtel

By Corky Siemaszko / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Friday, May 17, 2013, 3:02 PM

jonathan“I have that dream that all home brewers dream—of having all their beer consumed by everybody in the entire world,” says Jonathan Schulman, owner of Staten Island Brewing Co.

Two beer loving Staten Islanders are trying to turn their home borough into Milwaukee on the Kill Van Kull. Jonathan Schulman and Jay Sykes are each laying plans to open commercial breweries in January on an island that hasn’t had a large scale suds making operation since the 1960’s.

Two brewers on Staten Island think suds brewed on New York City’s lesser known island borough could soon be big business. “There’s been a void here since 1962, when Piels left,” said Schulman. “Business-wise, I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to produce a Staten Island beer.” Schulman, who has been home-brewing ale, stout and wheat beers for nearly two decades, is calling his fledgling operation the Staten Island Brewing Company. He is currently in talks for a commercial space near Mariners Harbor. Each brewer is planning to open a commercial operation in January.

Early in the 1900s, two rival breweries on Staten Island did a brisk business. Sykes, co-owner of the Flagship Brewing Company, has already leased a space in the St. George section where they intend to brew, bottle and market three different kinds of beer. And Sykes vowed his beers will be flavored with hops he planted himself on—Where else?—Staten Island. “We want to grow this on Staten Island,” Sykes told DNAinfo, referring to both the hops and his hopes. “We think it’s the right way to grow it.”

Beer brewing used to be big business on Staten Island. Two rival breweries on the island, Atlantic and Bachmann and Bechtel, once employed hundreds of people and sold millions of dollars worth of beer. But Bachman and Bechtel died out shortly after they merged in 1911. Atlantic continued making beer and was bought by Piels Brothers in 1953. A decade later, Piels pulled out and most of the brewery buildings of the island were demolished.

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