Fort Orange Brewing opens in Albany

Ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Orange Brewing on Oct. 25, 2017 (photo credit: Fort Orange Brewing)

Brewery marks fifth craft beverage producer operating in New York’s Capital City
ALBANY, N.Y. (Oct. 26, 2017) — Fort Orange Brewing (“Fort Orange”), Albany’s newest brewery in the city’s burgeoning Warehouse District, opened its doors to the public at 450 North Pearl Street.

Fort Orange will be the fifth craft beverage producer currently operating in the City of Albany and the third brewery.

Co-founders John Westcott, Jim Eaton and Craig Johnson began home brewing as a hobby. They enjoyed how it brought friends and family together. The push to get Fort Orange Brewing up and running did not begin until they brewed and shared an IPA at a summer pool party, which is now their signature Fort Orange IPA. After that they knew they had made something that needed to be shared.

“Brewing our own beer started out as a fun way to spend our weekends and evenings, but quickly turned into an obsession. We have spent countless hours perfecting our craft and have been looking forward to sharing all of our hard work with Albany,” said Jim Eaton, chief marketing officer, Fort Orange Brewing.

Westcott, Eaton and Johnson each bring something different to Fort Orange with their diverse backgrounds and experiences. Westcott was in a band, Eaton runs marathons and Johnson drove a tank. Two things they all certainly have in common are their passion and drive to make flavorful and delicious beer.

“Getting Fort Orange Brewing up and running has been the most exciting, albeit exhausting ventures and we have loved every minute of it. Here we are, three friends doing what we love, and sharing it with the world. What could be better?” said Westcott, chief executive officer, Fort Orange Brewing.

The co-founders and fathers all recognize that they would not be able to pursue this dream without the support of their families. As a result they made sure their taproom is a family friendly environment.

“We are so grateful for the encouragement we received from our families and friends. None of this would be possible without their help and we can’t wait to share a beer with everyone over at the brewery,” said Craig Johnson, chief operating officer, Fort Orange Brewing.

Fort Orange Brewing has found inspiration in Albany that is evident in the shape of their logo and the names of their beers. The logo mimics the design of the original Fort Orange, which was the first permanent Dutch settlement in Albany. They will debut their Fort Orange IPA, Nipper IPA and Whistle Stopper Red.

Fort Orange Brewing kegs (photo credit: Fort Orange Brewing)

“My administration works each day to ensure we are strengthening our existing small businesses and attracting new establishments,” said Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “Fort Orange Brewing is a prime example of a new business choosing to open in our Capital City. I am excited Fort Orange Brewing is joining our growing Warehouse neighborhood, and wish co-founders John Westcott, Jim Eaton, and Craig Johnson the best of luck.”

Sheehan also declared Oct. 25 to be “Fort Orange Brewing Day.”

“Fort Orange Brewing is a testament to the State’s commitment to creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their local economies by creating world-class homegrown products,” said State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley. “Today Fort Orange joins the ranks of over forty craft brewers in the Capital Region, including thirty-six who have opened their doors since Governor Cuomo’s hosted the State’s first Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit in 2012.”

“Albany has a rich tradition of breweries and distilleries. I am sure Fort Orange Brewing will build upon this history and I applaud the proprietors for their success and welcome them to Albany,” said State Senator Neil D. Breslin.

“It is great to see another exciting new business in the warehouse district of Albany. Fort Orange Brewing’s connection of history with the current growth of small breweries is a win for both our district and the state,” said Assemblymember John T. McDonald III.

“The growth of the craft beverage industry in the Capital Region is something for everyone to be excited about, combining Albany’s brewing heritage with a booming new industry. The opening of Fort Orange Brewing marks yet another good chapter in what has become a multibillion-dollar craft beverage industry helping to revitalize upstate New York. Congratulations to the team at Fort Orange and best wishes for a bright future in this truly home-grown endeavor!,” said Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy.

“Congratulations to Fort Orange Brewing, now a part of Albany’s dynamic cluster of craft brewers,” said Capitalize Albany Corporation president Sarah Reginelli. “With the Governor’s attention behind the craft beer industry the number of breweries in New York has more than tripled over the past five years — and as momentum persists, Albany’s warehouse district will continue to play a major role in the State’s emergent industry.”

“Fort Orange Brewing is part of an exciting growth of craft breweries and distilleries in Albany,” said Albany County Legislator Sam Fein. “This continued growth is great for Albany and the entire region.”

For more information about Fort Orange Brewing, visit



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