Northern Eagle Beverages Inc., a beer distributor in the city of Oneonta, plans to expand as a brewer and retailer in a project that will create 10 full-time jobs.

The company's $9.5 million project includes construction of an 82,000 square-foot facility at 41 Browne St., according a summary. The firm would relocate from its current 43,000 square-foot facility at 7 Railroad Ave., which would be sold, officials said.

Northern Eagle Beverages, which has 36 employees, is applying to the Otsego County Industrial Development Agency for a tax abatement agreement, and the agency will have a public hearing on the project and financing request in Town Hall, West Oneonta, at 10 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to the business and employment factors of the project, Northern Eagle Beverages has presented an agricultural component that promotes New York's producers, farmers and resources, according to Elizabeth Horvath, chief operating officer of the IDA.

"Agriculture is important to our economic growth," Horvath said Tuesday. Specific payments-in-lieu-of-taxes details for the project have yet to be determined, she said.

According to the proposal, Northern Eagle Beverages at the Browne Street site not only will be a distribution center for beer and wine but also brew beer as a state Farm Brewery, process hops, present tastings and sell some craft beer and other New York products at a retail facility. 

George Allen, Northern Eagle Beverages president, said a ground-breaking is set for Sept. 18, with plans to open the distribution portion of the business on July Fourth and the brewery at Halloween next year. The company has been working on the expansion for about two years and bought the Browne Street parcel, which is about 11 acres, a year ago, he said.

Northern Eagle Beverages Inc. was founded in 1986 by Lou Hager Jr.

"Northern Eagle's vision is large and inclusive," according to the application on file with the IDA. "They offer to process, dry and pelletize local farmers' hops, and to buy their finished product. Northern Eagle's success is the small farmer's success, not only in hops, but as the company expands through the retail branch of its new facility."

As a state-licensed Farm Brewery, Northern Eagle will support agriculture through its required purchases of New York ingredients and the sale of state farm-based products, such as wines, cheeses and syrups, the summary said.

This spring, Northern Eagle Beverages bought Cooperstown Brewing Co., which had closed last fall, a purchase that marked the distributor's first venture into brewing beer. The Milford location has been reopened for tours and tastings.

Horvath said the Otsego IDA board will consider approving Northern Eagle Beverages' application during its meeting at 8 a.m. Sept. 4, Horvath said. The meeting will be in the IDA offices at 189 Main St. in Oneonta.

The Northern Eagle Beverages project has been under review by the Oneonta Town Planning Board, Horvath said. 

Recommended for you