It is a booming industry pouring jobs and money into communities across New York. With more than 400 licensed breweries around the state making an annual economic impact of $3.4 billion, we are learning how craft beer is brewing up something big for the city of Auburn.
In the heart of downtown Auburn sits a spot that is brewing up something new in this community. "We had a lot of confidence in what we were doing, but we thought we'd have enough beer forever. We learned very quickly that we don't. It took off in a way that we did not anticipate," said Mark Schultz, co-owner of Prison City Brewery. Schultz is part of the renaissance, helping to launch an industry that is quite literally bubbling up and breathing new life into the Auburn community. "The area was a lot more thirsty for craft beer than we gave it credit for. There's a great craft beer community here in Auburn that we didn't recognize," he said.
Schultz and his wife opened Prison City Brewery in 2014. They started with a small 5 barrel operation and quickly realized they had something big. "People are really pushing their chips in and betting on Auburn which is what we did 5 years ago," Schultz said.
Just blocks away sits Next Chapter Brewpub which was opened last August by Scott and Michelle DeLap. "Home is here in Auburn and we're glad to be part of what's going on here," said Scott DeLap. They also saw the surge of craft beer catching on and pride themselves on serving up something for everyone including gluten-free beers. They have quickly seen the Auburn landscape changing and are thrilled to be part of it. "Auburn is really surging. We've got plenty of examples to look at," Scott DeLap said. "Certainly the two breweries in town are creating a lot of traction for people and now the third one, we hope we contribute to that. The Auburn Public Theater is kind of the business or the organization that helped sponsor the resurgence of Auburn and given people something to do."