Craft brewers set to open shop in Rome

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Copper City Brewing Co. is bringing craft beer to Rome this year. The startup company is planning to open its doors at 1111 Oneida St. in the fall.

Husband-and-wife team Danny and Lori Frieden and friend Eric Daniels have begun the process of applying for a New York State farm brewing license for the location. The trio purchased the commercial building adjacent to the former OJ Gulla Pools building.

Danny Frieden is decorated 23-year combat veteran of the Army. His wife Lori is a local realtor and co-founder of Positively Rome. Daniels, a software engineer, is a Central New York local and is married to Rome native Erica (Scheible) Daniels.

Danny Frieden and Daniels both have nearly a decade of brewing experience and will be
responsible for Copper City’s brewing operation, while Lori will head up the brewery’s marketing and business development duties.

“We are thrilled to be opening our brewery in Rome,” said Lori Frieden. “Danny and Eric brew unbelievable beer, and we can’t wait to share that with craft beer lovers in Rome and rest of Central New York.” They chose the Oneida Street location because of its zoning and proximity to the Mohawk River Trail. The group has been working closely with the Mayor’s Office, Codes and Community and Economic Development Departments.

The friends have been planning the brewery for three years, including market research and saving funds. “With Woodland opening, we decided now was the time to do it,” said Lori. The three friends who opened Woodland Hop Farm and Fermentation in Marcy at the start of this year were helpful and encouraging, she noted. Woodland has interest in a local wine and beer trail, and there are plenty of possible partners including Villa Verona Vineyard, Prospect Winery and multiple locations in Utica.

For Lori, it’s an opportunity to contribute even more to her efforts in grassroots economic development. She will add local business owner to her resume stocked with non-profits with which she participates. Could Copper City one day have a booth at the farmer’s market Positively Rome runs at Franklyn’s Field? “I hope so,” she said.

Copper City Brewing Co. is slated to open their doors this fall. They will begin the process of applying for a New York State brewing license, renovating the building and purchasing equipment. The owners are planning a crowd-funding campaign to help with some of the upstart costs later this spring. They also brought in Donna Badolato, a local graphic artist, to design company logos.

They will be brewing weekly and there will always be a new beer on tap. The goal is to have 10 active taps at all times including IPAs, stouts, porters, Belgians and blondes, eventually adding specialty beers such as barley wine and imperial styles, cider and non-alcoholic root beer. The brewery equipment will all be visible from the tasting room and outdoor seating will be available. Copper City will also sell wine from local wineries and light fare, such as cheese plates.

Word is spreading fast on social media. The Copper City Facebook page, launched Saturday, already has nearly 1,100 likes.

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