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Brewing Is Family Affair For Irvington Mayor

Irvington Mayor Brian Smith brews his own beer at home.
Irvington Mayor Brian Smith brews his own beer at home. Video Credit: Meredith Shamburger

IRVINGTON, N.Y. – The secret to Irvington Mayor Brian Smith's home-brewed beers may in fact be the Irvington water he uses in the process.

Those who've tried his brews haven't voiced any complaints.

“So far the reviews have been pretty good,” Smith said. “Everyone that's tried it has liked it. So I'll take them at their word.”

Beer is a family affair at Smith's house. He's made four different types of beers with the help of his wife and two young kids. Smith and his family began making beers about nine months ago, taking inspiration from a cousin who did the same.

They also found the brewing process was a great family science project. Smith's kids help with the different stages and they also design bottle labels.

“I think the kids really enjoy it, especially the bottling,” Smith said. “They really enjoy the science of fermenting. There's an old saying, 'makers make wart, yeast makes beer.'”

Smith's family has a history of brewing as well. His great-grandfather worked as a brewmaster at a Dobbs Ferry brewery after immigrating from Germany in the late 1880s. That brewery closed during Prohibition.

Smith and his family started out with simple beers, such as a lager and a stout, but say they plan to move on to more complicated recipes as time goes on. Smith said he'd love to eventually go into business and have a small, local brewery.

“It's a very hard business to do, but it's something I'd be interested in as a quasi-retiree,” he said.

For now, several bottles of the Smith family brews are up for grabs in Saturday's Irvington Education Foundation Casino Night auction—a result of a joke offer that the foundation board loved.

“It's snowballed and now it's kind of a thing,” Smith said. “I hope somebody bids on it. We might have to pay someone to bid on it.”

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