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Fifth Hammer Brewing Company will open its taproom in Long Island City in October

FIFTH HARMONY
Photo courtesy of Fifth Harmony Brewing Company

Though it’s been a long journey for the founders of Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, the duo will finally open their brewery to the public in early October.

Chris Cuzme and David Scharfstein started searching for the perfect spot to operate their 15-barrel brewery in 2015 and two years later are finally ready to welcome beer lovers into their brewery and taproom at 10-28 46th Ave. in Long Island City.

“As long a road and as frustrating as these hurdles have been, they were probably good and important for us to do this right,” Cuzme said. 

Cuzme began home brewing in 2001, served as the president of the New York City Home Brewers Guild and worked at breweries in Massachusetts and New York before deciding to partner up with Scharfstein to create their own concoctions.

They decided to open Fifth Hammer in Long Island City not only because of the tight-knit community of young people but also the growing number of breweries in the area. Although they may compete with each other, Cuzme said, all the brewers are friends and share ingredients like hops and yeast.

“We love the community here and it’s just a great place with lots of young professionals,” Scharfstein said. 

Patrons will be able to order a variety of beers including an IPA, Farmhouse Ale, Stout, rye IPA aged in bourbon barrels, a pilsner, kettle sour blended with fruits and a New England IPA.

“I’m an adventurous drinker and therefore an adventurous brewer,” Cuzme said. 

The duo will “slowly roll into” serving food but will not cook anything on site. Instead, they will highlight local vendors and invite food trucks to serve their goods in front of the brewery. Patrons will be able to snack on nuts, cheese, crackers and pickles and will also be encouraged to order out.

Cuzme and Scharfstein said they are also proud of the brewery’s interior and the 2,000-square-foot taproom.

“The taproom is very important to us,” Cuzme said. “We want a place to celebrate life and community and individuality of people in here.”

Cuzme’s piano makes an appearance at the brewery along with a bar made of New York blue stone and a variety of vintage hammers, some of which act as tap handles.

The name for the brewery comes from a folk tale that explains how Pythagoras discovered the mathematical relationships between music notes. After walking into a blacksmith shop, Pythagoras heard five hammers, four of which were making harmonious sounds. The fifth one was discordant.

The owners said the story represented their “unconventional story.”

“We didn’t grow up wanting to be brewers,” Cuzme said. “It just ended up this way.”

For more information on Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, visit the website.

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