Singlecut brews light, medium and dark beers. (Credit: Anthony Lanzilote) http://www.amny.com/secrets-of-new-york/singlecut-beersmiths-secrets-of-the-astoria-brewery-and-bar-1.11646464 A few sips in, and all the secrets come out. https://cdn.newsday.com/polopoly_fs/1.11646557.1459794924!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.jpg food & drink SingleCut Beersmiths: Secrets of the Astoria brewery and bar 19-33 37th St, New York, NY 11105 Website By Melissa Kravitz firstname.lastname@example.org Updated April 4, 2016 2:47 PM A few sips in, and all the secrets come out. Astoria's SingleCut Beersmiths launched in 2012, after homebrewer and former marketing executive Rich Buceta (yes, he's been called the Don Draper of craft beer many times over) turned his hobby into a business. Raised in Queens, the current Upper East Side resident launched the business in a 5,000-square-foot space in Astoria -- just across from a strip mall and down the street from a power plant -- and every drop of SingleCut beer has been brewed in that facility. On a Friday night, the tap room was hopping, as it often is whenever SingleCut is pouring out its local craft beers. "We're known for our IPAs," said Dan Bronson, general manager of the brewery and bar. He gave us a behind-the-scenes tour and, afterward, let us in on a few unknown facts about the nearly 4-year-old craft brewery. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote It all starts with New York City tap water ... Just like many only-in-New-York tastes (bagels and pizza, for example) SingleCut beer tastes the way it does thanks to one key ingredient -- New York City tap water -- Bronson explained. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote SingleCut uses a proprietary yeast in all its beers Cultivated back in 2012, SingleCut's yeast is unique to its beers, with strains evolved from various brews through the years. While some craft breweries will sell their yeast to homebrewers who want to replicate the taste, SingleCut keeps its yeast top secret. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote SingleCut sources ingredients from all over the world While the liquid starts locally, SingleCut looks as far as Australia for ingredients to use in its craft beers. For special ingredients, like unique hops, the brewer may have to purchase crops years in advance in order to ensure they'll make it to SingleCut. The grain market is tough! Credit: Anthony Lanzilote Unique hops and blends are key to making SingleCut's beer different While many breweries use three to four types of hops in a single beer, SingleCut uses around 10. Buceta can roll a blend of hops in his hand and smell it to envision what the beer will taste like. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote SingleCut introduces at least 12 new beers a year A new beer hits SingleCut's menu at least every four weeks. According to Bronson, the 19-33 Pilsner is one of the most difficult beers to make, as pilsner is a light beer and flaws can't be hidden with added flavor, though that doesn't make the beer -- rarely seen in craft breweries-- the highest in demand. Flavored stouts like the Heavy Boots of Lead (cocoa, vanilla) tend to be very popular. Due to the craft nature of SingleCut's beers, every batch is destined to be slightly -- maybe not even noticeably -- different. The best way to taste a large variety is with the $2 five-ounce pours for sale in the tap room. Yes, you can buy a beer for $2 (plus tip). Credit: Anthony Lanzilote These horizontal vats are unusual and pricey SingleCut swears by them for lagers. While many beers ferment in vertical containers, SingleCut uses horizontal tanks -- more expensive than vertical but worth the investment, according to Bronson -- to ferment some beers, including lagers. During the fermentation process, the yeast sinks to the bottom, giving the beer a smooth, pure flavor. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote SingleCut is named after the cutaway style of guitar The brewery is named after a body style of guitar that makes it easier for musicians to reach the upper frets. To honor the brewery's name, all of the taps look like guitars, and beers are named for songs. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote All the music SingleCut plays is on vinyl This is thanks to an expensive soundsystem, the quality of which is heard best when vinyls are playing, not digital music, according to Bronson. When the record player is turned off, live music is performed on a mezzanine above the tap room. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote All of SingleCut's bottles are bottled by hand During the week, Singlecut employs special-needs adults to run its bottle machine. Every bottle ($8 in the tap room) has been processed by hand. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote SingleCut offers free tours weekly Free tours of the brewery take place Saturdays and Sundays at 4 p.m. Learn about the brewing process and, yes, you can tour with beer in hand. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote The cask ale is always evolving SingleCut's cask ale sits at the far left corner of the bar, appreciated by some and misunderstood by many. This unfiltered beer ferments in the cask from which it is served, unlike traditional American beers which are kegged. Popular in Europe, the flavor of this beer evolves every day it ferments, though Bronson said SingleCut's patrons aren't too fond of it beyond the fifth day. Credit: Anthony Lanzilote The tap room isn't just for drinking While drinking is a big reason to visit the tap room, a slew of board and card games brings locals to the bar. Groups of 10 or more can also reserve an area for parties. Wi-Fi is also available, for those who want to finish up their work day with a cold pint. (Pictured, Astoria roommates Marco Favela and Danielle Gonzalez, both 28, play Battleship on April 1, 2016.) Credit: Anthony Lanzilote You probably want to visit SingleCut Beersmiths now SingleCut is located at 19-33 37th St. in Astoria, a 15 minute walk from the N/Q at Astoria Boulevard. They're open Wednesday 7 p.m. - 12 a.m., Thursday 4 p.m.- 12 a.m., Friday 4 p.m. - 12 a.m., Saturday 12 p.m. - 12 a.m. and Sunday 12 p.m. - 9 a.m. Check their calendar for special events, including air guitar contests, vinyl pop-up stores, beer release celebrations and more. You can bring home bottles and growlers of their beer or even purchase a keg in advance. And of course, you can find SingleCut on tap at several NYC bars -- even the pizza place across the street! In Manhattan, check out Tanner Smiths or Three Monkeys; in Brooklyn drink SingleCut at Ba'sik, 61 Local, Side Car, Union Hall and Fawkner or head to Bronx Ale House for yet another borough with the Queens brew. Previous Secret Next Secret Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.