Alternative medicine

Alternative Medicine Brewing Co. pours pints at Mount Vernon

Photos by Andrew Dominick

Two friends start a brewery and bar in Mount Vernon, where they serve everything from crisp IPAs to dark and sour beers.

It may have taken Jordan Hahn and Tom Ryan a while, but they finally brought a brewery to Mount Vernon. Located in an early 1900s space across from the Metro-North station, Alternative Medicine Brewing Co. quietly opened its tasting room a week before Christmas — two years after the sheer volume of blood, sweat and tears that the duo poured in to get the place ready to brew beer and serve pints.

AMBC NY State Cream Beer

“[The brewery] was built in 1903,” says Hahn. “It was a manufacturing company, a car dealership and, more recently, a Portuguese restaurant. It was their event space. There was a lot of rust, yellow paint and four inch thick Spanish tiles on the floor. We pulled out 10 dumpsters full of trash.

A vestige of the former occupant is a kind of stone “cave”, which could have been a wine cellar but will become a “small VIP room”, according to Hahn. The rest is reminiscent of a classic watering hole, with high trays and seated tables, and plenty of bar seating in a room decorated with brick and wood.

Hahn continued to make beer and his friends continued to enjoy it. Even with full-time jobs, Hahn and Ryan decided to team up to open their own brewery in Mount Vernon.

Oh, and if you’re expecting a big story about how two buddies from New Jersey opened a brewery, there isn’t one. They just wanted it.

“We have known each other for about 15 years; we met through Tom’s younger brother,” says Hahn. “We both moved to town and then Tom bought a house in Yonkers. I had a lot of home brewing equipment in my apartment and asked him if I could move all my beer making stuff to his house. He said it was cool as long as I was making beer.

Hahn continued to make beer and his friends continued to enjoy it. And even with full-time jobs (Hahn is a software network engineer, while Ryan is a sound engineer for TV shows and movies), they decided to team up to open their own brewery.

Hahn’s recipes have been scaled for the public to enjoy: AMBC NY State, a light, smoky cream beer; and Juice Cleanse, a hoppy, tropical, misty New England-style IPA. Plus, there’s refreshing homemade soursop hard seltzer water, wine, and six carefully crafted cocktails.

In the pipeline, Hahn mentioned that he will have a red beer, a West Coast IPA, a dark rye beer, and simple kettle sours in the spring. Eventually, stouts will appear because that’s Hahn’s favorite style.

Tom Ryan and Jordan Hahn in their happy place.

“The last time I brewed my imperial stout at about 14% alcohol, everyone loved it,” he says. “I’m working on a barrel-aged version for our first anniversary. I will contact my friend who works at Black Dirt Distillery in Warwick for casks of bourbon. The beer will have notes of dark chocolate, a hint of coffee and some bitterness.

Alternative Medicine Brewing Co.
Mount Vernon

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