Riseform Brewing opens in Marcellus
Marcellus, N.Y. — This small village in western Onondaga County welcomes its first craft brewery Sept. 18. It will be the 21st operating in the county.
Riseform Brewing opens at 4 E. Main St. in the heart of the Marcellus business district. Its hours are noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.
It’s a pretty simple concept: Five beers on tap, a cozy seating area complete with games and play areas for kids, limited hours and a generally small-town vibe.
“We’re really leaning into the idea of community,” said Andy Tidd, who runs Riseform along with his wife, Meg. “It’s meant to be family friendly. It’s intentionally small. We’re also here to fill a gap in Marcellus with something the village doesn’t have.”
For now, the Riseform tasting room will only be open on Saturdays. It may add Friday hours in the near future.
Andy Tidd is the brewer and the main bartender, though other family members, including Meg, will help out. He is also a part-time English teacher at Skaneateles High School.
Like many craft brewers, he started as a homebrewer. His tastes run the gamut of beer styles, from European classics, to first-wave American craft beers and up to the still-hot hazy, New England-style IPAs.
The initial lineup incudes a pale ale (a throwback to early craft), two New England IPAs (using different mixes of hops like Mosaic, Simcoe, Citra and others), an easy-drinking blonde ale and a seasonal Oktoberfest.
“Oktoberfest is one of my favorite styles to brew,” Tidd said, adding that his is a true lager with a long aging time.
The beer lineup will change, but not as frequently as some modern craft breweries.
“It’s not going be a completely new tap list every week or so,” Tidd said. “I know I get frustrated myself sometimes when I go to a place and find that my favorite beer is gone.”
He’s also not afraid to brew some beers that some may consider old school.
“I have an English pub ale in the tank,” he said. “That probably won’t be a big seller. But I’m still going to do it.”
Riseform’s brewing system is quite small. Each batch will be 1 barrels (31 gallons). That likely makes it the smallest brewery in the county.
“We’re a super small brewery with super small volumes,” Tidd said. “But we’re here for the community, and that works for us.”
It also means Riseform has no packaged beer (bottles or cans) and no current plans to offer beers for sale at other bars or in stores. All beers will be available only on tap at the tasting room.
The tasting room does not have its own food (aside from bags of pretzels etc.) but it does have a good relationship with the restaurants on and around Main Street. Customers are welcome to bring in food from any of those places.
In particular, the Papa’s Express pizza place across the street will take orders from the tasting room and deliver. You can get the menu by scanning a QR code at the bar.
“That’s part of the idea we have for community,” Tidd said. “Marcellus is a small town. We all cooperate and help each other out.”
There are plenty of games in the seating area, along with space for kids to play. There’s a changing table in the restroom. The Tidds added all that because they have small children of their own.
And that name?
“Very few people seem to know what Riseform means,” Tidd said. “So I get asked that all the time.”
The name comes from another of Tidd’s passions: Fly-fishing. Riseform is a term that describes the ripples on the water when a trout rises to the surface for the bait.
“I couldn’t make a living at fly-fishing,” he said. “Luckily, I can try to make money with brewing.”
Onondaga County breweries
Not counting the giant Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery near Baldwinsville, the opening of Riseform brings the number of craft brewers in the county to 21.
That number has been hovering around 20 for the past few years, with an occasional closing or opening keeping it steady.
Here’s the current craft brewery lineup:
In Syracuse (8): Middle Ages, Talking Cursive, Anything But Beer, Stout Beard, Buried Acorn, Eastwood Brewing, Willow Rock. (Syracuse Suds Factory in Armory Square is looking to reopen this fall).
In the suburbs (13): Riseform (Marcellus), WT Brews (Baldwinsville) Freight Yard (Clay), Hot House at Barone Gardens (Cicero), Full Boar (North Syracuse), Local 315 (Warners), Skaneateles Brewery (Skaneateles), Red Hawk (Onondaga), Griffin Hill (in Onondaga but only available at the CNY Regional Market), Seneca Street (Manlius), Underground Beer Labs (DeWitt), Heritage Hill (Pompey), ONCO (Tully).
More on beer and brewing in CNY:
Beer and history: Madison County Hop Fest on tap this weekend
CNY’s long-awaited ‘Brewseum’ of beer history finds a home in Pompey
Newest Central New York brewery is small, out-of-the-way and experimental
Don Cazentre writes about craft beer, wine, spirits and beverages for NYup.com, syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. Reach him at [email protected], or follow him at NYup.com, on Twitter or Facebook.
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Riseform Brewing opens in Marcellus