Charlie Becker recently launched 1940’s Brewing Company out of a Taste of Long Island in Farmingdale, but brewing has always been part of his family heritage. His great-grandfather worked for a New York brewery and helped Becker’s father, Walter Becker, get into the U.S. Brewing Academy. The year 1940 was a big one in the Becker family: Walter graduated from the academy and got married. He went on to become the assistant brewmaster at Rheingold Beer and worked there for 41 years.
Charlie Becker proudly recalls his fathers career and brought photo albums of him on the job when we met him at AToLI. 1940’s Brewing Co. is aiming to continue the family brewing lineage, as Charlie honed his craft while homebrewing with daughter Anne Marie. His son Joseph created the logo, artwork and branding for 1940’s, further keeping it in the family. The Beckers have relatives in Germany, Ireland and Austria, so 1940’s plans to brew a mix of American and European styles. Becker does not want his beers to be too extreme, “we just want to brew a good product that people are going to enjoy.”
Hefie Injustice, a 4.7 percent ABV hefeweizen, is the first offering from 1940’s to be commercially distributed. Becker is pleased with his first commercial batch and plans to make the hefeweizen the flagship of 1940’s, but scaling up to a professional system did not come without challenges. “You have to understand it’s a commercial kitchen we are brewing in,” he says. “It’s more compact and there is a learning curve.” The curve was evident when a fermenter overflowed. After fixing it with a little handy work and he will re-brew while tweaking his recipe as he becomes more familiar with the equipment and new environment.
1940’s Brewing Company’s beer is on tap at a few bars and restaurants on Long Island, but look for them to ramp up production and distribution soon. Becker hopes to branch out to taprooms in Nassau and Suffolk counties and plans to sell at beer festivals and farmers markets. His beer will be on draught only and is currently on tap at a Taste of Long Island. Once Poboy Brewery and The Brewers Collective, the other pioneer brewers at AToLI, have beers ready they will also be on tap. Look for their profiles as their beers debut in our continuing series on nano breweries.