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Craft, Community & Collaboration


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LOVE LOCAL. When Empire Brewing Co opened in ’94 in Armory Square, Pastabailities was one of the only other pioneers in a relatively untapped part of the city, a far cry from the dynamic downtown scene we know today. Owner and Founder David Katleski believed “if you build it, they will come” and when he moved into the basement of the Bentley Building he was making a conscious investment into the livelihood and prosperity of Downtown Syracuse. Fast forward 21 years and Armory Square is now home to many successful new startup offices, local business and full time residences. Supporting local isn’t always convenient and sometimes it means changing old habits, but the positive effects are undeniable and a practice that Empire has strived to maintain throughout all facets of business.

ONE BEER, TWO LABELS. DWS is a custom label printer in Deer Park, NY who manufactured Empire’s very first can labels in the summer of ’17 with their deubt of Slo Mo’ 16 oz cans. Naturally, Empire reached out to DWS to bring their Particle City can design to life but DWS was interested in much more. DWS wanted to push the envelope and try their hand at a marketing showpiece demonstrating their own creative capabilities and they wanted to use Empire’s beer to do it. Local supermarket chain Wegmans threw their hat into the Particle Project and pre ordered  most of the canned inventory as a feature in their “Freshest Beer Program” at locations throughout New York State. Wegmans even sent 50 representatives to “Empire Beer School” at the Farm Brewery. The Wegmans reps got to try their hands on the canning line featuring yet another community player, Ninth Planet Mobile Line. By the end of the day, Particle City was the culmination of four local businesses joined together by a shared love for craft, community and collaboration.

The teamwork demonstrated by the Particle City project has been a common theme in Empire’s many ventures and it won’t be their last! Empire has recently opened its doors to fellow breweries seeking contract brew opportunities, and is looking forward to future partnerships. Interested breweries can learn more about Empire’s Contract Brew Program online at:

Check out some of Empire’s other collaborations below:

Honey Brown Ale brewed exclusively for the Modern at the MOMA in NYC, NY
Waldorf Buzz, brewed exclusively for the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, NY
Lax Lager, a collaboration brew with Air Gait Brewing Co. in Syracuse, NY
Sweet Fire, a collaboration series brewed by women in the NYS beer scene since 2014
Beet Beer, brewed exclusively for Empire Brews and Blues Festival in Syracuse, NY
Grindstone Blueberry Ale, a collaboration with Grindstone Farm in Pulaski, NY
Empire Green, brewed exclusively for Tavern on the Green in NYC, NY
Shift Drink, brewed exclusively for Collichio & Sons in NYC, NY
Beer Brats made with East Coast Amber Ale by Hoffmans Sausage Co. in Syracuse, NY
Craft Beer Hot Sauce made with Skinny Atlas Light, and Craft Beer Mustard made with East Coast Amber Ale by Syrachacuse in Syracuse, NY
Local Grind, made in collaboration with Café Kubal in Syracuse, NY
Brewing Studies Program at SUNY Morrisville in Morrisville, NY
Smoke N’ Shadows, brewed in collaboration with Community Beer Works Brewery out of Buffalo, NY