The River Towns are home to a smorgasbord of outstanding artisanal food and drink makers. Here are three more local, passionate crafters of high-quality tastiness.
Dave Mundis and Mike Vincent, frat brothers at Colgate University, were always keen on BBQing, but no one was more surprised than Mike when the pair won 2014’s Memphis in May World BBQ competition – “the Superbowl of BBQ,” as he describes it – in the Vinegar BBQ Sauce category. Both men had full-time jobs, “but I knew I would kick myself in the future if I didn’t develop the sauce,” Vincent said. Originally brewed in his Briarcliff home kitchen, the gluten-, preservative-, MSG- and high fructose syrup-free sauce was converted into a saleable, packaged product and gained its name after Vincent heard AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” on the radio. Now there are three sauces – Classic, Mustard (Snout Gold), and Bourbon Molasses – as well as dry rubs. You can find them at Hudson Milk Company (home delivery), AS Fine Foods in Thornwood, Janniello’s Seafood Market in Briarcliff or order online.
Long-time Ossining resident Scott Ryan, a brewer for thirty years, ran Six Degrees Brewery and Restaurant on the town’s waterfront – “a comfy, homey place offering a welcome to anyone who walked in,” as he described it – until he had to close two years ago. Now he’s relaunched his brewery, under the name Six Degrees or Less Brewing, out of a new location in Shrub Oak. “People are waiting for the brown ale,” he said. Other established beers he will be making again will be a stout, an IPA, and the saison/farmhouse brew called Faire Scarborough, flavored with parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, a beer that Westchester Magazine named in their “5 Beers You Have to Taste” column. Ryan calls his brown ale “Aqueduct Ale” and has a mission to educate his customers about the local area.
To the list of exceptional local bakeries, let’s not forget to add Journeyman, in Peekskill. A year after switching careers in 2016, ex-marketing executive Michael Sellers was named Westchester Magazine’s “Best New Bread Maker” for his artisan sourdough loaves. He opened his bakery in March 2020, the same week the state shut down due to Covid. “It wasn’t ideal,” Sellers said, “but we bounced back by responding to the needs of the community and offering free bread to anyone who lost their job as a result of the pandemic … We have much to look forward to, thanks to our incredibly loyal and supportive customers,” Sellers said.