“I’ve always been focused on doing my own thing,” he said.
With a wife and three children, Castagna keeps his day job working at a shipyard in New Jersey where he maintains healthcare to cover his family. He drives from his job to his 150-square-foot brewery in Queens that has been churning out beer since September of 2012.
“It’s a small space,” he said. “The brewery is pretty much a single-man operation.”
The only other employee at the brewery is his wife, who helps him with the paperwork.
Bridge and Tunnel beer is available at area bars and even a few restaurants. With just over 20 clients, Castagna said he wants to grow, but has to maintain a balance between his day job and the brewery.
“I want it to play a larger role in my life but I have to balance it with my full-time job,” he said. “But I’m definitely not letting go of this.”
Growing up a Queens resident, Castagna said he was tired of hearing the term “bridge and tunnel” associated negatively with people who live in the outer boroughs.
“I wanted to spin it in a positive way,” he said. “I’m subtly suggesting that bridges and tunnels unite the city and do not divide it.”
With ten different styles, including milk and oatmeal stout, hazelnut brown ale and even a chipotle beer, being brewed in his 48-gallon kit, Castagna is excited to see what the future has in store.
“This was a dream for me,” he said. “This is what I’m doing now and it feels good.”