Onward with Upward as brewery’s on tap
A visit with the Manor’s newest beer makers
By Demi Budd | Manor Ink
Livingston Manor, NY – Upward Brewery has been a project on upper Main Street in the hamlet that’s been in the works for years now, and as it is soon to open, Manor Ink met with David Walton and Dana Ball, the facility’s co-founders, and Miriam Rayevsky, who will manage the on-site restaurant, to discuss their progress and plans for the Brewery.
After having been there myself, I easily saw – and felt – the excitement and devotion that have been put into this project. David explained how he designed the building with character and originality. Three prefabricated steel buildings were combined into one structure. With its charcoal exterior surrounded by a beautiful lake and mountains as far as the eye can see, it’s truly a sight to behold.
“I’ve always been a big fan of single-sloped roofs, but when I first designed this, it had peaked roofs on it, as I was just looking more for the square footage we needed to put the brewery inside it,” David explained. “But as our thinking evolved, I got inspired to return to the single sloped design.” He went into little details too, like the 18-inch overhangs and the clerestory that provides early-morning light. It all may seem minuscule and unnecessary at first, but they make the building unique and give it the character and definition the site deserves.
This process took, and is still taking, quite some time. Ground was broken almost two years ago in September, but even before construction began, work had to be done to bring electricity up to the site. Also, work was done to tap into the spring water on the property. David explained that the spring had once served as the water source for a number of homes in the Manor.
Argentinian grilled cuisine
Miriam, along with her father Rob, who will be the principal chef at the restaurant, explained that the idea to collaborate with the Brewery came into being after ten years of operating the former Rolling River restaurant in Parksville. On top of wanting a change of pace, Miriam and Rob realized that the food they experimented with and enjoyed making fit in well with the theme of a brewery. She said they had known David for over ten years. Everything was timed perfectly for their team to embark upon something new, while David and Dana had the desire to add a cafe to the Brewery.
The restaurant itself will be grill-heavy. A special Argentinian grill is being installed. There will be familiar grilled meats, but there will also be more exotic and experimental dishes and different methods of cooking and preparation. There will be a wide variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, too. For example, “asparagus in a bag” will make a debut on the menu. The diner gets the vegetable as it is cooked – in a bag. This method of serving contributes, Miriam explained, to their desire to avoid leaving a carbon footprint.
The restaurant also plans to use biodegradable, compostable dishes to further this ambition. Miriam said they will strive to have food options for everyone. “People get excited about food that is more of a comfort food style,” she said, “but I don’t think comfort food needs to be garbage.”
The space in which customers can enjoy their food and beer will be just as comfortable. There will be a variety of places to sit, both inside and outside. We even saw a large-screen TV that may be placed in the bar area, although David said the TV will not interfere with the casual setting designed to allow patrons to mingle and relax. The kitchen will also be visible to everyone, so you can see the Argentinian grill in action.
Upward Brewery’s operation is state of the art. David showed us how the brewing process is computer-controlled. It is a 20-barrel system – capable of producing 40 kegs (or about 600 gallons) in a single batch. They will soon be starting to brew their first batches.
Created with pride
In addition to food and beverages, the Brewery looks forward to hosting music and other community events – even “sporting contests” such as frisbee golf, croquet, badminton, horseshoes, etc.
Over the course of the past two years, this business has been built from the ground up. When asked what the most rewarding part of this project was, David said, “I get a real charge out of finishing things ... I mean, when you get finished with a project, you can stand back and look at it with some pride. Two years ago, there was nothing here, but now [you can see] this is going to be a viable business. It’s really going to make a huge impact on the town. And so, while I’m really proud of what we’ve done, I’m looking forward to what we will do.”
“[There have been] no rewards yet,” Dana added, with a slight smile. “There’s only been pain, but we look forward to welcoming in the community in the coming weeks and thanking everyone who has helped us reach this point.”
Patrons can look forward to this establishment opening later this summer. Initially, the restaurant will be open only for dinner, but it may expand its hours to lunchtime down the road. Of course, plans for Oktoberfest are also in the works. It’s a brewery, after all.