Dec, 2011. Westchester Magazine. The Beer Necessities Opens in New Rochelle

The trickle down of the phenomenon that Joshua M. Bernstein terms the “Brewed Awakening” (in his book of that title) is that the craft beer revolution is coming to a town near you. In that vein, The Grape Exchange (31 Quaker Ridge Rd, 914-576-3936) —a neighborhood wine and liquor store in New Rochelle—has branched out with a beer-focused venue located in the same shopping center. The Beer Necessities (11 Quaker Ridge Rd, 914-278-9050), offers 1,440 square feet devoted to boutique beers. You’ll also find Louisiana-style prepared foods by Chef Johnson (see HotLink below) and barbecue dishes from The Great American BBQ Company. But, though foods and gifts are on offer, the main story at The Beer Necessities is beer—and, folks, there’s a lot of it.

Aiming to challenge DeCicco’s Family Market for the title of Westchester’s largest in-store selection, The Beer Necessities opened on November 28th to offer 415 types of beer in bottles and cans.  The bottles stretch in an almost dizzying array along one entire wall of the narrow, deep store. Yet, according to Adam Deutsch - who, along with Michael Grossberg and John Paulercio owns the enterprise - the shop is soon expected to offer still more, aiming for 600 labels. The hot news for beer geeks—who, concerned with freshness, may question the bottle turnover in such a vast bottle variety— is that The Beer Necessities also offers 15 taps with two Pegas canisters for 64-oz growler service.

The Pegas system is an upgrade from the surgical-style tubing that you’ll see attached to the taps at Whole Foods (and other grocery stores). Like some wine storage systems, the Pegas replaces the air in the top of the filled growler with gases, prolonging the life of the unopened growler of beer for up to 45 days instead of the usual two weeks or so. The system’s producers also claim that it reduces the traditional keg waste of 25-30 percent, liquid that’s lost whenever servers overfill growlers to eliminate foam in the jug. The Pegas developers say that only 10 percent of the beer poured with this system is wasted in flushing the tap lines.

When we checked a few days ago, The Beer Necessities taps were stocked with picks from Clown Shoes, Victory, Goose Island, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., and Ithaca (among others), with growler fills priced at between $9.99 and $19.99.  Empty growlers may be purchased for $6.99, or feel free to bring in one you already own. For a full and regularly updated beer list, “like” The Beer Necessities on Facebook.com.

Deutsch says the idea for The Beer Necessities came from partner Michael Grossberg, who owns The Grape Exchange. In order to capitalize on the growing craft beer trend, Grossberg wanted to split his existing wine store to vend both beer and wine under the same roof.  According to the New York State Liquor Authority, beer may not be sold in liquor stores, and currently, wine and liquor may not be sold by grocery stores in New York State.

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