Drink up: Finback Brewery opens new Gowanus outpost

Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford of Finback Brewery.
QNS file photo

A new brewery in Gowanus is serving up craft brews with patio seating after their opening was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic — and the alehouse founder says much more is in store.

Finback Brewery, which has operated a 20-barrel brewhouse in Glendale, Queens since 2013, has contributed to Gowanus’s ever-growing brewing scene with the opening of its President Street outpost.

“Gowanus for sure was and is becoming even more of a beer hub,” said Basil Lee, a founder of Finback. “There’s already a lot of people who seek out good beer and make that neighborhood a place to go for good beer.”

The brewery has been able to offer outdoor seating during Phase Two and Three of reopening.Basil Lee

Located at 545 President St., Finback sits directly across the street from Strong Rope Brewery, and just blocks from nearby Threes Brewing and Wild East Brewing — all of which have taken advantage of the neighborhood’s industrial infrastructure to accommodate their brewing equipment.

While currently limited to outdoor seating, Finback’s repurposed President Street warehouse is outfitted with multiple sections, including an open area with lounge chairs, a beer-hall-type space with high stools and shared tables, and a screened off cocktail lounge that will act as the main bar area. 

Once they get up and running, founders say they will offer much more than just ales and stouts. Lee says the brewers plan on distilling gin and other botanical spirits, roasting coffee, and enlisting her mother to help craft a dumpling menu.

The idea to roast coffee came from the large amount of java Finback uses in its stouts, according to Lee.

When brewing starts in the Gowanus space, Lee says they will take advantage of the smaller scale brewing space to work on more experimental brews.

“The idea is really to do more experimental and in some ways pilot test batching,” said Lee. “As well as doing some things that we really want to brew that are more difficult from a volume standpoint to brew 60 barrels at a time.” 

While this is the brand’s first Brooklyn outpost, Lee said founders looked for space in the borough when first setting up shop years ago, and that finally planting roots in Kings County brings everything full circle — all while giving them a more centrally located space outside of the northern hinterlands of Queens.

It’s kind of going full circle in a way,” he said. “It’s just worked out really well in that it’s just more convenient.”

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