Fifth Hammer Brewing Co.

Fifth Hammer Brewing Co logo

10-28 46th Ave, Long Island City,
New York  11101


(718) 663-2084

First Visited

November 10, 2018

Fifth Hammer Brewing Co. is founded by Chris Cuzme and David Scharfstein.  Cuzme is a well known figure in New York City’s brewing scene. He began home brewing in 2001 and became the president of the New York Home Brewers Guild in 2013, and the Malted Barley Appreciation Society, and as a founding member of NYC Beer Week, and the co-host of a podcast called Fuhmentaboutit!!

He worked at breweries in Massachusetts and New York  with Greenpoint Beer Works, Wandering Star Craft Brewery, and was head brewery at 508 Gastrobrewery, where he had free rein over their taps for two years, experimenting with flavors, and making 508 a go-to destination for beer connoisseurs.

After the 508 decided not to renew their lease, Cuzmee and his wife started their own gypsy brewery, Cuzett Libations. David Scharfstein, a lawyer, was already looking to open a craft beer bar when he caught wind of 508’s shuttering, so he emailed Cuzme about possibly working together. Within six months, they started to develop the brand.

Cuzme and Scharfstein started searching for the perfect spot to operate their 15-barrel brewery in 2015. It took them months of searching, with at least three failed bids, before they found the perfect space, a former metalworking factory, at 10-28 46th Ave, and signed a 10-year lease on the 5,000-square foot space.

The former industrial space was converted into a 2,000-square-foot taproom and a 15-barrel brewing system, which is around $250,000. With installation and plumbing the entire operation cost Scharfstein and Cuzme around $1.2 million. They broke ground that year, but with permit delays and inspection it took them two years to be ready  to open. 

Fifth Hammer finally opened their doors in October 2017 Given the building’s history, it should come as no surprise that the tasting room at Fifth Hammer Brewing has a very industrial feel, with a big glass garage door up front that opens up, lots of communal tables, and a long bluestone bar. However, it also feels very warm and inviting thanks to the amount of open space and the large window-covered garage door in the front of the building.

There’s 15 beers on tap, with an assortment of core range beers and experimental ones covering a variety of styles.

The name Fifth Hammer comes from the story of Pythagoras coming to understand the nature of harmony. At a forge where five men were busy hammering, he found the first four hammers to be beautifully aligned. The fifth, not so much. The fifth hammer is the discordant + indescribable portion of the universe to which we all intentionally turn a blind eye.

A welcome addition to LIC’s brewing scene, Fifth Hammer brought its 15-barrel brewing rig to the neighborhood in late 2017.  Stop by the taproom to sample a variety of adventurous drafts on tap (complete with hammers as tap handles).

Beers Tried

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