By Julia Burke, Beer Editor
Award-winning brewer Jeff "Chief" O'Neil (pictured right) has announced that he is ending his nine-year tenure at Ithaca Beer Company to join The Peekskill Brewery as brewmaster, effective November 1.
As Ithaca's brewmaster, O'Neil brought the Finger Lakes brewery national recognition with awards at the Great American Beer Festival and other major events; thanks to his fierce skills and flair for innovation, honed at the Siebel Institute of Technology, such Ithaca offerings as Flower Power IPA and the Excelsior! Line (most notably Brute, a 2010 NYCR Beers of the Year finalist) have become sought-after gems throughout the northeast and beyond.
His Flower Power IPA is widely held to be one of the finest of the style east of the Mississipi and is beloved by hopheads everywhere.
As Ithaca Beer Company expands, O'Neil welcomes the exciting challenge of a tiny brewpub setting. “I’m moving away from a bigger production model for this awesome opportunity to get really creative and have an intimate connection with those drinking the beer," said O'Neil in a statement in a Peekskill Brewery press release. "This is a smaller project but it’s still accessible because of the close proximity to New York City. I’m thrilled for the chance to work with the Berardis and Chef Sean Corcoran, and everyone should expect amazing things to come from Peekskill from here on out. As my idol Steve Martin once said, ‘Let’s get small.’”
O'Neil encourages his supporters and fans to come visit the Hudson Valley brewpub, which focuses on small-batch brews paired with seasonal, locally sourced American pub cuisine. Stay tuned for a more detailed report on O'Neil and the future of Peekskill in the coming weeks, but for now, the NYCR wishes O'Neil all the best on his new adventure.