GLOVERSVILLE — Community leaders and their taste buds took a tour of Stump City Brewing during the Fulton County Center for Regional Growth’s monthly business tour.
Nestled in the woods at 521 W. Fulton St., Stump City Brewing was opened by Nicholas, Matthew and Jerry Sherman and Casey Oare in January 2017, expanding a home brewing hobby into a business.
While leading the tour on Friday, Nicholas Sherman said that his brother, Matthew, was the one who first got interested in brewing about 18 years earlier, sharing the craft as he learned. Initially, the founders were brewing beer for their own consumption, but as they started making larger quantities, they thought about trying to sell their brews and realized that they already owned property where they could build a business.
They started clearing trees on the West Fulton Street property in 2013 and began the application process to obtain a variance to operate an agricultural process center.
Sherman noted that aside from electrical and refrigeration work, the business and buildings were built by the owners by hand from the ground up.
“If you see any crooked windows that may be from my brother,” he joked from behind the bar in the taproom.
Stump City Brewing takes pride and its name from its homegrown roots. The name hearkens back to an early nickname for Gloversville, “stump city,” for the large number of trees that were cut down.
The taproom is open on Fridays from 3 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. where glasses, flights and “growlers” of the brewery’s own batches are served along with farm beer, cider and spirits made in the state.
Stump City operates under the state Farm Brewery Law, which allows microbreweries to produce, retail and distribute their own wine, provided they source at least 20 percent of their hops and other ingredients from growers within the state.
Sherman described Stump City’s brews as dark and caramely, but said they’re trying to branch out to develop new flavors.
“That’s what we like to drink,” Sherman said.
“There’s been an awesome community response. We’re getting bigger and better,”Sherman added as he lead the tour group into the brewing room where Stump City recently installed some bigger and better equipment.
The business secured a loan through the CRG to purchase new equipment and build a second building for storing supplies, with a large walk in cooler for kegs.
The business started with a 31 gallon brewing system made by Stout Tanks and Kettles that they recently replaced with a 155 gallon system made by the same company and Brewmation.
“We were happy with our little system,” Sherman said. “And I think we will be happy with this.”
Sherman said the new system will allow them to both increase their capacity and improve their efficiency, but noted that there is a learning curve to brewing.
“It’s a process to figure out, there are no instructions,” Sherman said.
Back in the taproom, the tour group expressed their pleasure with Stump City’s results while sampling a few of the brews.
“It has good flavor, I like it,” Caroga Supervisor James Selmser said after sampling a glass.
Selmser said he hadn’t visited the brewery before, but he could see himself bringing friends and relatives to the tucked away brewery when they visit the area.
After sampling his beer flight, Perth Supervisor Gregory Fagan said Stump City’s products are “very good.”
“Compared to a lot of the stuff that you see in the store this is definitely different and a lot better,” he said.
Local shoppers might start finding Stump City’s products in area stores, as the business is looking to branch out into the retail market within the next year. Sherman said the goal for the local distribution would be to bring more customers to the taproom to expand the business further.
Fagan said his son introduced him to the world of craft beers and he’s happy to see the industry growing locally.
“I have a son that drives an hour one way to visit the brewery he likes. I think you’re going to start seeing that here,” he said.