Gossips has been following the fortunes of Hudson Upper Depot since 2013, when an application for a certificate of appropriateness to demolish the 1871 train station came before the Historic Preservation Commission. Needless to say, it was denied.
In January 2014, just a few months after the HPC prevented its willful demise, the building was acquired by the Galvan Foundation. Sad to say, that was no guarantee for its future, but nearly six years later, in October 2019, plans for the building were once again before the HPC. This time, though, what was being proposed was not demolition but rather a meticulous restoration of the building to prepare it for a new tenant: Upper Depot Brewing Co.
In June 2021, when the HPC approved the sign for the building, it appeared the restoration was complete. At that point, Gossips asked the question, "Can beer be far behind?" The answer to the question was yes.
There have been a couple of stumbling blocks preventing Upper Depot Brewing from opening. First, even though the restoration was complete, a certificate of occupancy for the depot could not be issued because the depot had been bundled in with the other elements proposed for 708 State Street, namely one of the two apartment buildings proposed for the "Depot District." A certificate of occupancy could not be issued until the entire project was complete. In order to overcome this problem, the Planning Board had to approve a phasing plan, which separated the depot from the rest of the proposal. The phasing plan was approved in May, clearing the way for the certificate of occupancy to be issued, and once again Gossips asked, "Can beer to far behind?" But the summer has passed, and still no beer.
A post a couple of weeks ago speculating about the progress of the two craft breweries--Upper Depot Brewing Co. and Return Brewing across the street--prompted Montgomery Bopp, founder and COO of Upper Hudson Brewing Co., to invite me to visit the depot for an update on their progress. I happily accepted the invitation, and a visit happened earlier this week.
The transformation of the interior, previously used by Van Kleeck to store tires, is impressive. When the brewery finally opens, those enjoying the beer can do so on two levels, overlooking the giant gleaming kettles where the beer is made.
What is holding up production now is an equipment glitch. There is a problem with maintaining the correct temperature for the beer throughout the brewing process. When Gossips spoke with Bopp and his partner, Aaron Maas, they had not yet pinpointed the cause of the problem, but they had experts coming in at the end of the week and were hoping they would soon be able to identify the problem and work out a solution. When that happens, they can start brewing beer, and four to six weeks later, they will be ready to open for business. When the brewery is finally up and running, they will be brewing and serving eight different types of beer.
|Partners Montgomery Bopp and Aaron Maas|
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