Empire Brewing Company Plans to Open New Farmstead Brewery in May


Cazenovia, New York — Empire Brewing Company surpassed a major milestone at the Empire Farmstead Brewery construction site in Cazenovia, New York with last week’s delivery and installation of a brand new 60BBL automated brewhouse.

The objective of the Empire Farmstead Brewery is to expand the existing brewing facility and agricultural component of Empire Brewing Company, to a stand-alone manufacturing and agritourism destination. Beer manufactured at the Cazenovia location will be packaged in kegs, bottles and cans for regional, national and international distribution. Virgin farm land will be utilized to cultivate hops, lavender, vegetables, herbs, fruits and even honey from their very own apiary. These crops will be used in their award winning ales and lagers, and also to support food preparation at both the Cazenovia and Syracuse locations. The Empire Farmstead Brewery tasting room, gift shop and restaurant will strive to maintain a carbon footprint of 30 miles.

Tim Butler, Director of Brewing Operations, was thrilled on the day of delivery, “I feel great. This is the biggest day of my career.”  Upon completion, the 40,000 square foot Empire Farmstead Brewery will have a total capacity of 70,000 BBL annually. Empire’s brewpub in downtown Syracuse has a 7 bbl system with the ability to produce 1200 BBL of craft beer a year.

Monday, January 18th, 2016 marked the first day of brewing-equipment being delivered out to Cazenovia, just eight months after Empire’s groundbreaking on May 8th, 2015. The brewhouse was manufactured by Feldmeier Equipment Inc., and it is the first complete brewery system that the company has ever produced. Feldmeier Equipment has established itself as a respected supplier of processing equipment for a myriad of different markets worldwide, including brewing tanks for some of the nation’s largest brewers. Founded in 1952 by Robert Feldmeier Sr. and his wife Margaret, Feldmeier Equipment started as a manufacturer of tubular heat exchangers in a modest 5,000 sq. foot plant in Syracuse, NY. Now with six plants across the US, and over 400 employees, they are still making heat exchangers but have grown to be the largest sanitary vessel manufacturer in North America.

Upholding his commitment to buy local, David Katleski challenged the Syracuse-based company to build Empire a state-of-the-art, automated brewery. Feldmeier accepted enthusiastically, and created what can be regarded as a showpiece for both companies. The brewhouse, still covered with bright blue protective wrapping, was in fact polished down for a one-of-a-kind mirror finish, soon to be revealed. This project includes:

  • 60 BBL Automated Brewhouse
  • 10 – Fermenters
  • 3 – Brite Beer Tanks
  • CIP System
  • Hop Cannon

The morning of January 18th, eighteen different 18-wheeler trucks fought their way through an aggressive snow storm to the Empire Farmstead Brewery. A great team from JPW Riggers, also based in Syracuse, worked all week, despite the blistering lake effect snow to get the job done. David Katleski, founder and owner, also remained on site for the entirety of delivery.

“Not rain, not sleet, not snow or any amount of bad weather could stop us today. Nothing could,” Katleski said.

It took an incredible amount of skill to unload the massive tanks, positioning each one with impeccable precision. Among the equipment handled by JPW Riggers was a 16,000 lb. CO2 tank and a 10,400 lb. 240 BBL fermenter. Feldmeier’s delivery was followed by a state of the art bottling line from Prospero Equipment, and a cutting-edge water treatment system. Shooting for grand opening in May, Empire Brewing Company plans to bottle their liquid for the first time ever this spring.