Allen Wallace – the owner and brewer of the soon-to-open (target date September 2019) craft brewery/taproom Soul Brewing Co. in Pleasantville, New York – says that he aims to create “a place for the community to gather, first and foremost.” Allen takes his inspiration from travels in Europe: “In a village, you have the baker, the storefront, the small retailers, and the brewer. All there for their communities.”
Soul Brewing is on its way to opening right in the heart of the village of about 7,100 people, which Westchester Magazine called recently “ … an unpretentious, funky little town,” with a “downtown, urban feel, minus the attitude.”
The brewer says that his location in the retail center, close to the commuter train station and nearby other shops and restaurants (taproom patrons will be able to bring in food from nearby establishments to enjoy with their Soul-Brewed beer), is a little unusual but will be great for the brewery:
“We’re already doing well, with news spreading by word of mouth. When we’re in here working on the space, if I leave the door open people pop their heads in to say hi or ask when we’re opening. We’ve already had a lot of contact with the community, with guest-brewing parties, and have met a lot of the town’s movers and shakers, just by way of getting permissions and permits. It’s a very supportive community.
“We’ve also hooked into the network of New York small craft breweries – everybody talks to each other – everyone maintains a relationship with each other – it’s encouraging.”
Allen says that his 20+ years of homebrewing – done as he ran a commercial-photography business for 25 years – has enabled him to accumulate a variety of beer recipes, styles, and ideas for innovation. Among the styles he’ll be brewing according to his “grain-to-glass” philosophy for Soul Brewing are an IPA, a light and refreshing pilsener or witbier, and various Belgian-blond beers.
Why the name “Soul Brewing”? Allen says that he’s a big fan of obscure older soul music (he cites Archie Bell and the Drells as an example), plus he has a more brewing-centric reason for the name: “I’m a yeast-driven brewer. Yeast is the magical or invisible ‘soul’ of beer. So ‘Soul’ was right for this.”
The brewery will also use New York state-sourced ingredients when possible, Allen says. “There’s some good New York state malt these days, and more ingredients are always coming around.”
Seekers of soulful brews, good conversation, and local color: Visit Soul Brewing Co. to keep tabs on opening dates, events to come, and taproom offerings at www.soulbrewingco.com.
And let us know: What’s your local?