Harlem Brewing Company

The Harlem Brewing Company was founded in 2000 when Celeste Beatty took her Sugar Hill Golden Ale recipe to Paul McErlean, head brewer at Olde Saratoga Brewing in Upstate New York. While she continues to contract brew in Saratoga, her dream of opening her own full-scale brewery, tasting room and education centre in Harlem still looms large and top of mind. Starting in her small Harlem apartment in the early 1990s with a home beer brewing kit she had received as a gift, Celeste continually experimented with different formulas and recipes, even growing hops and stewing wort, taking inspiration from the rich aromas of the farm-to-table dishes served by her mother, back when that was simply how cooking was done. Always persistent, Ms. Beatty eventually tracked down Jon Bloostein, founder of Heartland Brewery in Manhattan, who offered her an opportunity to shadow his head brewer, Kelly Taylor, founder of Kelso Brewery, at Beerworks Brewery in Brooklyn. There, she learned every aspect of brewing operations, including recipe formulation, wort production, and cleaning kegs. At the 2006 INC 500 Conference in Georgia, Celeste, along with other Harlem businesses, was chosen as an Emerging Entrepreneur by the Clinton Foundation. The winners were awarded fellowships and matched with business mentors. President Clinton even acknowledged Harlem Brewing Company’s presence during his address to the audience. Celeste was matched with mentor Pete Slosberg, founder of Pete’s Wicked Ale. The mentor relationship with Mr. Slosberg continues today. He generously analyses her recipes and has given advice about brewery projects, business plans, sales, markets, locations, size, equipment and ingredients. Since then, Celeste has worked with many industry leaders, including Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, to develop her flavorful style and business sense. She has served as a beer judge for home-brewing competitions and developed a curriculum to teach brewing at City College of New York (CUNY). “I love the craft beer community because they are so open and welcoming,” she says. Her flagship brew, Sugar Hill Golden Ale, was introduced to the public in 2001. Harlem Renaissance Wit was added in 2014. And Sugar Hill Strawberry Hard Cider was released in 2015.

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