Brewer Rich Castagna of Bridge and Tunnel Brewery - Biography
Queens native Rich Castagna loves dark ales just as much as he loves New York. He even named his Maspeth brewery, Bridge and Tunnel, for the generation of outer borough youth who flocked to Manhattan for greater opportunities in the gritty 80’s and 90’s. And it’s thanks to the love and labors of proud New Yorkers as Castagna himself that the area has become fertile ground for such artisan endeavors.
After completing his CUNY education, Castagna embarked upon 8 years of domestic and international exploration. A line cook job in Montana impressed Castagna with the burgeoning micro-brewery scene. A position handling baggage for a European airline provided perfect circumstances in which for him to explore the rich beer culture of Europe, from cask ales in England to dunkleweizen in Bavaria. Subsequent jobs as a teacher and running his own clothing line didn’t distract his attention from this love of brewing, and he consistently brewed small batches at home for about 10 years, gradually building his brewery over the course of 3 years.
Officially licensed by both federal authorities and the NY State Liquor Authority as of September 2012, Bridge and Tunnel Brewery is the smallest micro-brewery in NY. In high demand since first being featured at Brooklyn’s d.b.a., Castagna ferments 1 ½ barrel batches of predominantly the dark and complex brews he loves best.