Jay Sykes

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I am an owner/VP at The Flagship Brewing Company [in Staten Island, N.Y.] I was an avid homebrewer and also a beer sales representative in New York City for seven years prior to opening the brewery.

What’s new at The Flagship Brewing Co.?

We are launching The Stag Series, a limited release line of beers produced in collaboration with our community to further expand our creativity and the awareness of quality craft beer here in New York. The small batch production will yield enough beer to fill two 1/6 kegs. One keg will be served here at Flagship and the other at the collaborator’s location. We are also launching our bottle production in mid-February. We have a full bottling line onsite and will be rolling out with four styles in six-packs.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

As a native Staten Islander, being able to display our love for craft beer in our community while being the only production craft brewery in this borough of NYC is very special. The best part of being able to do what you love is sharing that with your community!

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

I am a father to three beautiful children, with the oldest only three years old; my spare time is spent with my family.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

My wife’s Spanish chicken and rice paired with Flagship American Wit.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Being a father to my children. I feel that the more I learn and become better at that, it helps me become better at my job.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

Anchor Liberty Ale was my first love when it comes to craft beer. After my first time drinking it, I called my friend John (currently my business partner at Flagship) and we bought a homebrew kit.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

Upstate New York. There are a lot of small breweries up near the Finger Lakes that are making some great beer and using local ingredients.

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