By 1010 WINS’ Larry Mullins

Walked into the Adorama Studios at 1010 WINS today and noticed a young woman putting together a nice “floral” arrangement on the set. They were little flowers, but boy did they pack a big punch! Turns out, they were hops (as in beer hops and herbs) used for making (brewing) your own beer. Did the FCC allow us the freedom to start our own in-studio brewery? No.

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It was Celeste Beatty, the founder of the Harlem Brewing Company. Oh what a treat! And she goes on to explain how she takes these huge pots (at her apartment in Harlem) to brew up some of the best beer products on the planet. You’ve seen her work: Sugar Hill Golden Ale, Harlem Renaissance Wit and Strawberry Hard Cider. Lately it’s been popping up in places like The Red Rooster in Harlem and big box stores like Walmart. Beatty says this all goes back to her “roots,” growing up in the south, where her folks incorporated pots in everything they did: they were a family of cooks.

She’s been trying for years to expand her product base and to put her main production site in Harlem, where she established roots many years ago. And sometime early this year, she’s expecting an announcement that will allow her to do just that (she found some property and a developer who thinks they might have a shot.) Beatty caught me off guard with all the beer talk from a woman who used to sell ice cream (for Ben and Jerry’s). So she went from Rocky Road to Hard Cider — and still makes small batches of it from the kitchen of her apartment in Harlem! And she’s such a funny and fun person: “I don’t broadcast it to the neighbors (even though it’s perfectly legal) because I don’t want anybody thinking I’m making moonshine up in here,” she joked. Of course she brought samples of the finished product to the studio. And of course we gave it a try (after the work was done, and after I finished my last newscast). Otherwise, you give us 22 minutes, and we’d have given you a “swirl…” Love you Sister, Celeste and good luck on your brewery (I want a tour once you move into the new digs in Harlem!!)