A year after the Village of Bayville celebrated its centennial, the village’s first craft brewery, Old Tappan Brewing Company, cheers its first year in business.
Film business veterans and homebrew hobbyists-turned- Old Tappan co-owners Matthew Cryan and Brent Kunkle opened the brewery after spending eight months renovating a 1,200-square-foot former dance studio, where they installed a one-barrel brewing system. They repurposed oak from the studio’s dance floor to make the taproom bar.
“We aim to make drinkable beers so people can enjoy having more than a couple,” said Cryan.
The name “Old Tappan” is a shout-out to Cryan’s hometown of Glen Cove, where he enjoyed bicycling on tree-lined Old Tappan Road, as depicted in the brewery’s logo. Now a resident of Bayville, he and Kunkle, who lives in nearby Sea Cliff, decided to locate their brewery in Bayville, which has a bustling downtown area, especially in the summer beach season.
Old Tappan quickly earned a loyal following for its quality beers and laid-back taproom decorated with movie posters and for serving popcorn as a nod to the co-owners’ film background. The taproom also regularly featured live music from local musicians.
The brewery expanded its brewing capacity in early 2020 to two barrels, with Cryan brewing twice a week to keep up with strong demand. Cryan said he typically aims to have six beers on tap in the taproom, with a focus on seasonal ales and session beers that are lower in alcohol.
Currently available at the brewery are Bayville Blonde Ale, a light-bodied ale; Bog Monster hazy New England-style IPA, dry hopped with Citra hops; Bionic Osprey IPA, a West Coast-style hoppy IPA; and Cascadian Ale, a dark hoppy ale.
Other beers planned to be in rotation this summer will be Blueberry Ale, a fruity American Pale Ale; Accidents Will Hefe’n, a refreshing hefeweizen made with Belgian yeast; and German Hex beer, a German-style wheat beer made with white wheat.
Cryan and Kunkle are both on hiatus from the film business while they work on growing Old Tappan’s business and expanding brewing operations in Bayville.
“When we opened our taproom a year ago, one of our main goals was to become a community business,” said Kunkle. “The pandemic hit and we quickly found out what you can do for the community, and what the community can do for you. The people of Bayville and surrounding communities have been tremendous and we are proud to be doing our part to give back.”
Old Tappan Brewing Company is located at 37 Ludlam Ave. in Bayville. For more information visit oldtappanbrewing.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.
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