Kieran Farrell and Dave Lopez, co-owners of Gun Hill Brewing, didn’t think twice about building a brewery in the Bronx, where they both had childhood roots and hopes for a successful business. Their facility in the north Bronx was the first to brew beer in the borough since the 1960s, a reminder that craft beer isn’t so much a newfangled business model as a return to the fundamentals of beer—which beer drinkers across the United States are embracing at an exponential rate.

What Farrell and Lopez did not expect was the enormous hit their taproom has been with the locals in Gun Hill. As soon as their bar was installed, tables were set, and beer began flowing, every kind of person in the neighborhood began to poke their head in and see what was going on. Rather than the stereotypical beer snobs one might expect, many of the patrons coming through the door often had never tasted a microbrew or learned about the various kinds of beers that can be made once you have control of the process.

Farrell and Lopez, along with head brewer Chris Prout and their team of bartenders and assistant brewers, embraced the chance to spread their enthusiasm for beer to newcomers accustomed to drinking Corona and Guinness. In addition to adjusting their own menu to meet local tastes, they’ve worked to make their taproom an inclusive space for the community, hosting fundraisers, a hip-hop event featuring Bronx musicians, and a happy hour that proves that craft beer can belong to everybody.

Words and photos by James Boo

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