At Mixed Breed Brewing, Guy Bucey is building a 21st Century smart brewery.
“We literally got, basically got the top of the line from an automation standpoint and a mechanical standpoint,” says Bucey, who owns the Guilderland Brewery with four other business partners.
Just about everywhere they could, they aimed to automate equipment; some of it can even be controlled with a smartphone. Bucey says that allows the team to balance their new business with their family lives and full-time careers.
“This is a passion for us, this isn’t our primary occupation,” Bucey said. “Not having the luxury of working here all day, every day, we have to make sure some of our processes are very streamlined.”
Along with his wife, Bucey also owns a local furniture manufacturing company. Before that he served in the U.S. Marines, which he says inspired the name of the brewery.
“When I was in the military they called us and ‘mixed bag’ or a ‘mixed breed’ or a ‘band of brothers,’ that type of thing,” Bucey recalled. “That has kind of always really stuck with me and I’ve always held that as a badge of honor.”
His military travels also sparked his love of craft beer.
“We would go to bars or different establishments and start to order beers outside of just the normal stuff that was in our country,” he said.
Like most brewers, Bucey started making his own beer as a hobby. Some of his old basement equipment has found a new home at the brewery.
“We love that we get to bring this over to the brewery and show where we started from,” Bucey said.
Once the business is up and running, they plan to use the smaller setup to make experimental beers and educate beginners on the brewing process.
“The trends show that home brewing is a very popular hobby and there is only going to be more and more people who want to be engulfed in that experience as well,” Bucey said. “We are trying to hit a small niche of the area that maybe nobody else has.”
With the brewing equipment right next to the taproom, customers will see the action up close. They hired an artist to design a mural that will help guests learn more about the process.
“This is one of the coolest areas of the taproom,” Bucey said. “All of the shots that we have here are all of the equipment that we have in our building.”
After months of construction Bucey and his partners expect to be open and making beer by April; finally achieving their goal of creating a space where beer lovers of all types can enjoy their passion together.
“Just like all industries, when we don’t share our portions of the process or, if you want to call them secrets or whatever, we are kind of holding ourselves back and we are not allowing ourselves to grow,” Bucey said.