The premise of a public house is to offer a place for like-minded individuals to gather, socialize, and enjoy good beer, and the Kingston Standard Brewing Co. aims to bring this old-school simplicity to Midtown Kingston. The city’s latest small-batch brewpub strays from the new norm of IPA-driven brewing and commercial-sized systems to create a community-centric pub focused on light, drinkable beers and fresh, succulent oysters.
Although the taproom officially opened Memorial Day weekend, with a couple of successful soft-launch weekends before then, the crew is still refining their offerings, according to head brewer Tait Simpson, and will continue to do so for some time. “We consider this our test-kitchen phase and being able to solicit the input of our customers is important to us,” says Simpson, one of three partners including oyster expert Kyle Needham and creative designer Matt Owens. “It provides the opportunity to let us really dial in our process, to find out what Kingston Standard is and can become, based on the people we’re here to serve. We three have our ideas, but the community’s needs might be different.”
Simpson, formerly of Arrowood Farm Brewery, brews traditional ales and lagers, as well as mixed fermentation styles like lambics and Flemish reds. At its opening, the taproom offered a crisp pilsner, a dry-hopped saison, and a pale ale, but as the draft list evolves, you might find a crisp, clean Schwarzbier or German altbier.
“We’re making classic styles of very easy-going beers,” Simpson says. “It’s what I like drinking, and there’s an underserved group of people who enjoy the same classics that we gravitate toward. As exciting as newer brews are, I still find myself coming back to a classic Schwarzbier. And there’s always a place in my stomach for a Flemish Red.”
Kingston Standard also offers a few New York State wine and cider options, including a rosé from Fjord Vineyards in Marlboro, NY, a dry riesling from Bloomer Creek in Hector, NY, and a cider from Westwind Orchard in Accord, NY, each of which would pair well with the brewpub’s other main attraction: juicy oysters.
“For the summer, we’ll have oysters, lobster rolls, and soft pretzels; the lobster rolls are likely seasonal, but oysters will be available year round—they’re thought of as a summer food, but they actually flourish in cold weather, when nutrients are higher in the water,” explains Needham, who also runs boutique oyster catering company Brooklyn Oyster Party.
The taproom is a renovated 1,500-square-foot space tucked away down Jansen Avenue, a small side street off Broadway. The building was once used as a garage, and so after purchasing, the team invested in a few structural renovations, which included reinforcing rafters, installing new concrete floors, and removing a wall to create one open room.
“We wanted to make an investment in Kingston, where Tait and I live,” Needham says. “Running a brewery is something we have all wanted to do. We first started working on the idea two and a half years ago, and now we’re excited to see the fruit come from many long nights and early mornings.”
The Kingston Standard Brewing Co. is open Saturdays from 12-8pm and Sundays 12-6pm, and may expand hours through the summer.