Captain Lawrence Brewing Company

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Captain Lawrence
Location 444 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford, New York 10523 USA
Opened 2005[1]
Annual production volume 25,000 US beer barrels (29,000 hL)
Owned by Scott Vaccaro

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company is an award-winning craft brewery located in Elmsford, New York.[2] The brewery is owned and run by head brewer Scott Vaccaro.[2] Vaccaro, a homebrewer since 1995, trained in brewing science at UC Davis.[2]

Many of Captain Lawrence's beers are strongly influenced by traditional Belgian ale styles, although often with an American twist. Barrel-aging and ales with sourness or flavors contributed by bacteria and wild yeasts such as Brettanomyces, are also part of their repertoire.

Like many small breweries, Captain Lawrence seeks to be environmentally sensitive, including donating its spent grain to a local farmer for use as cattle feed.[3]

Their beers are fermented in stainless steel cylindro-conical vessels.

The brewery takes its name from Captain Lawrence Drive in South Salem, New York, the road on which Vaccaro's childhood home is located. The street is named after Samuel Lawrence (1733-1796), a captain in the Westchester County Militia, 3rd Regiment, during the American Revolution.[4]

The facility in Elmsford is open for tastings, visits, and retail sales Wednesday through Friday, 4-8pm, Saturdays, noon - 6pm and Sundays noon - 5pm.[2] Growlers are available for take-out. Half kegs and mini kegs (5 gal.) can be purchased by arrangement via the brewery's website.[5]


Vaccaro brewed his first beer before he was legally allowed to drink. As a teenager in high school he saw a friend's father brewing beer at home, asked if he could participate, and was told it would be allowed with parental permission.

After enrolling at Villanova University to study accounting, Vaccaro realized his real desire was to become a professional brewer. He transferred to UC Davis and studied fermentation science. He interned at Adnams Brewery in the U.K. Following graduation he worked at Sierra Nevada and the short-lived Colorado Brewery in Danbury, Connecticut.

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company was founded in 2006. Its first brewery was located on Castleton Street in Pleasantville, New York[2] and had a 20-barrel system. After five years, needing more space to operate a bottling line and a larger system to increase capacity, the brewery was relocated to Elmsford, New York,[2] approximately five miles from the original brewery. The new facility has a 40-barrel brewing system and more fermentation capacity. There is also a small seven-barrel system for experimental and specialty batches. The new brewery began operation in 2011.[2]

Awards and recognitions[edit]



  • Xtra Gold - Gold Medal, American-Belgo Style Ale, Great American Beer Festival
  • Golden Delicious - Bronze Medal, Wood and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, Great American Beer Festival


  • Beeradvocate magazine ranked Captain Lawrence #5 among its "Top 50 American Breweries"
  • Cuvée De Castleton - Gold Medal in the American Sour Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival
  • Captain's Reserve Double IPA - Silver Medal, TAP New York


  • Captain Lawrence - won the Matthew Vassar Brewer's Cup, which recognizes the best Craft Beer Brewery in the Hudson Valley
  • Captain’s Reserve Double IPA - Gold Medal for Best Craft Beer in New York State, and a Gold Medal for Best Beer in the Hudson Valley
  • Liquid Gold - Bronze Medal for Best Beer in the Hudson Valley


Year 'round brews[edit]

  • Freshchester Pale Ale (5.6% ABV)
  • Liquid Gold (6.5% ABV) - Belgian style Blonde Ale, made with Belgian ale yeast and coriander
  • Brown Bird Ale (4.8% ABV) - American Brown Ale
  • Smoked Porter (8.0% ABV) - American porter made with German smoked malt
  • Captain’s Reserve Double IPA (9.0% ABV) - version of the contemporary American "double" or extra strong India Pale Ale style
  • Captain's Kölsch (5.5% ABV) - Kölsch, first brewed in Spring 2010

Seasonal and specialty offerings[edit]

  • Frost Monster (11.0% ABV) - malty, intense ale, available aged in rum barrels
  • Xtra Gold (10.0% ABV) - strong golden ale in the Belgian Abbey Tripel style, but flavored with American hop varieties including Amarillo
  • Golden Delicious (10.0%+ ABV) - American Tripel, aged in oak apple brandy barrels
  • Imperial Smoked Porter (12.0% ABV) - strong porter made with German smoked malt
  • Smoke from the Oak (ABV not listed) - strong smoked porter that has been released in several different barrel-aged versions
  • Nor'easter Winter Warmer (11.0% ABV) - strong dark ale in the Belgian tradition, flavored with elderberries
  • St. Vincent's Dubbel (8.0% ABV) - richly-flavored[6] malty brown ale in the Belgian Abbey Dubbel style
  • Cuvée De Castleton (8.0% ABV) - American "wild ale", fermented with Muscat grapes and Brettanomyces
  • Rosso e Marrone (ABV not listed) - American sour ale, fermented with grapes and aged in oak barrels; "Rosso e Marrone" is Italian for "Red and Brown"; BeerAdvocate lists this beer as a Flanders Oud Bruin
  • Birra DeCicco (6.0% ABV) - described on the label as a "malt beverage brewed with chestnut honey and jam"; this limited release was a collaboration with DeCicco Food Market, a grocery in Ardsley, New York that has an extensive selection of craft and microbrew beers
  • Pumpkin Ale (5.5% ABV) - amber ale, brewed with pumpkin and pumpkin spices
  • Espresso Stout - stout, brewed with espresso coffee
  • Five Years Later (10.0% ABV) - brewed to celebrate the brewery's fifth anniversary, a strong almost-black ale brewed with five varieties of malt and five different hops
  • Winter Rye (5.0% ABV) - a one-time beer brewed using organic rye and crystal malt from Valley Malting Co in Massachusetts;[7] brewed with a German yeast strain and lightly dry hopped with US Goldings
  • Katchkie Harvest Ale - collaboration between Captain Lawrence Brewery, Executive Chef Robb Garceau of Great Performances and Katchkie Farm; Captain Lawrence Brewery's first farm-to-table beer offering[8]


  1. ^ Beer Me! — Captain Lawrence Brewing — Pleasantville, New York, United States
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Pezzullo, Rick. "Brewery Celebrates New Location in Elmsford". The Rivertowns Daily Voice. Retrieved 25 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Scott Vaccaro Opens Captain Lawrence Brewery". The Journal News. January 19, 2006. 
  4. ^ Westchester County Militia, 3rd Regiment
  5. ^
  6. ^ Wharton, Rachel (September 4, 2007). "Gourmet beers for Labor Day feasts". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2010-01-09. 
  7. ^ Valley Malting Co in Massachusetts Archived February 1, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°07′41″N 73°47′21″W / 41.12806°N 73.78917°W / 41.12806; -73.78917