April 18, 2022 By Christian Murray
The list of breweries choosing to operate out of LIC continues to grow—with a New York-based company announcing Monday that it is opening a taproom and microbrewery on the ground floor of a new development in the Queens Plaza section of Long Island City.
Finback Brewery—which opened in 2013 with a 25-barrel brewery in Glendale, Queens—has leased a 3,800 square foot space at the bottom of The Durst Organization’s 67-story apartment complex, which is called “Sven” and is located next to the iconic clock tower in Queens Plaza.
The company will join a multitude of other breweries that have opened in Long Island City, including Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, Rockaway Brewing Company, ICONYC, LIC Beer Project, Big aLICe Brewing—and Alewife Brewing, which is located on the border of Sunnyside and Long Island City.
Finback plans to open its Long Island City microbrewery in late 2022 and it will be its third location. The company opened a second brewhouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn, last year.
The company says that it plans to use the Long Island City taproom to “explore fruit forward fermentations” that are conditioned in wooden foeders and ceramic fermentation crocks.
Basil Lee, co-owner of Finback Brewery, said the company is “thrilled to become part of the Long Island City community” and to take space in a prominent building.
“The opportunity to create a destination at the iconic Sven deepens our Queens roots and we are particularly excited to showcase our mixed-fermentation sour ales that highlight New York fruits and ingredients,” Lee said.
The company is owned by Kevin Stafford and Lee, who have built a business known for its small batch artisanal brewing where they produce everything from IPAs to barrel-aged stouts and sours.
The impending arrival of Finback is being celebrated by Durst as a boon to its 958-unit rental development. The development, which includes 288 income-restricted units, is located near the Queens Plaza and Queensboro Plaza stations and comes with 50,000 square feet of amenities including an outdoor swimming pool.
The market-rate apartments became available at the end of 2021 with rents ranging from $2,950 for a studio up to $6,000 for a three-bedroom apartment.
“Long Island City has transformed into one of New York’s premier dining destinations and is home to some of the City’s best and most exciting microbreweries,” said Jonathan Durst, president of The Durst Organization in a statement. “Finback will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood and an amenity for Sven residents and the greater LIC area.”