Kicking Off Summer at Baggs Square Brewing Company
Earlier this month, Baggs Square Brewing Company celebrated their first anniversary with a “grand opening” block party. See, when the brewery first opened last year, we were in the middle of the pandemic. It was in the middle of June, people were getting accustomed to staying at home, and social distancing was the new norm for a while. That meant no crowds and no big celebrations. Utica’s Baggs Square historic district was way overdue for a party! So on June 12th, the brewery celebrated big with a block party the whole community could enjoy.
Thank you to Baggs Square Brewing Company for inviting me to the grand opening!
The History of Baggs Square Brewing Company
Jennifer Earl and her husband were inspired while on a trip to Düsseldorf, Germany. They visited several breweries – as you do in Germany – but one really stuck out. Uerige. They loved the community atmosphere and the history that was deeply rooted in the brewery. Jenn and her husband were so inspired that they dared to dream big once they got home. That dream? Opening their own brewery.
After 5 years in the making, Baggs Square Brewing Company officially opened in Utica, New York in June 2020. The brewery is located in historic Baggs Square in Utica, in the building that was originally home to Doyle Hardware. Jenn and her husband pay homage to German culture. Their menu is full of delicious German food! And while some of the beers are German-style, they also brew stouts, sours, IPAs, porters, and seasonal favorites.
Baggs Square Grand Opening Block Party
On June 11th and 12th, after the brewery had been open for a year, the staff, customers, and community got the celebration they all deserved.
To start, the community honored the work of Jenn and her staff with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the brewery on Friday, June 11th. The mayor of Utica, Robert Palmieri, had some incredible things to say to Jenn before she cut the ribbon. “I have to say one thing. Your passion is why the city is what we are. And I can’t thank you enough. It’s genuine. It’s real.”
The block party kicked off at noon with Kiss FM setting the mood. The taps started flowing immediately, and kids were off getting their faces painted before jumping around in the bounce house. The standard beer garden was expanded to the entire parking lot for the event. Tents and tables were set up for guests to relax while enjoying the beer and music.
Visitors during the first two hours of the event were treated to free ice cream, complements of Empower Federal Credit Union.
Raffle tickets for some big-ticket items were available to purchase throughout the day. Four lucky winners went home with some incredible prizes: an electric hybrid bike, a paddle board, camping gear, and a certificate to Skana Spa.
What’s a brewery grand opening without great beer? Luckily, there was plenty to be had. Head brewer David Marcolongo was in charge of the taps all day long, serving roughly 4,000 pints! There were a variety of beers on tap, including a few IPAs, sours, a saison, and my personal favorite – Baggs Square’s hefeweizen.
A summer barbecue at a German brewery – what do you think would be on the menu? Burgers, hot dogs, brats, and German potato salad, of course! All of which was prepared fresh while you waited and sipped on your beer. Simple but delicious.
While you’re in Utica, check out these other breweries!
When Kiss FM wrapped up for the day at 2pm, Tom Nitti took the stage. Tom is a local country musician and veteran. While serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, he earned a purple heart after suffering a brain injury. But that hasn’t stopped him from creating some incredible music. Tom entertained the crowd with a mix of original songs, country classics, and pop favorites.
The evening kicked off with a set from Last Left. The band is made up of local musicians Spencer Morgan, Steve Shepardson, Dave Maliani and Jeff Dingman. They had the crowd dancing and singing along for hours!
Next time you’re in Utica, be sure to visit Baggs Square Brewing Company
If you missed the event, don’t worry! Jenn and her crew are ready to welcome you anytime. Except on Mondays. They are closed on Mondays. But any other day of the week is a great time to visit Baggs Square Brewing Company. Located right across the street from Union Station in Utica, it’s the perfect place to grab a beer and a bite to eat before a trip on the scenic railroad.