Red Bank brewery to open in historic firehouse

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RED BANK Having been established in the borough for more than 100 years, the historic Liberty Hose Company Firehouse has been brought by Ross Brewing Company.

Ross Brewing Company is a craft brewery which makes handcrafted ales and lagers and is in the process of opening its first location in Red Bank, according to John Cocozza, the founder and president of the company.

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The company has finalized and signed its lease and gotten the keys to the historic firehouse. Currently, the company has submitted its development plan to the town and is awaiting word on that. The company is aiming to open somewhere in the first quarter of 2018, according to Cocozza.

Liberty Hose Company was organized on February 11, 1880. The organization took place at a meeting hall on Mechanic Street. The first officers were Foreman Joseph Swannell, Assistant Foreman James Cooper, Secretary Stephen Allen and Treasurer Eben E Heisley. The first elected Red Bank Fire Chief from Liberty Hose Company was Edward Longstreet. Chief Longstreet occupied this position for two consecutive years, 1905 and 1906, according to information provided by the borough.

The fire company for several years met in the frame structure on Mechanic Street used by the Navesink Hook and Ladder Company. Later the Liberty Hose Company occupied the Davis Building at 20 White Street, jointly with the Independent Engine Company. On March 24, 1910, Liberty Hose Company moved to its current location at 40 White Street, according to information provided by the borough.

“As to the firehouse, we chose that because it’s a wonderful historic location in the heart of downtown, and as such will be convenient for our customers to find and enjoy our brews. Plus, it’s a firehouse. It just looks so darn cool. The fact that it’s sat empty for so long, and we can bring it back to life and make it part of the community again, is a bonus,” Cocozza said.

“We chose Red Bank because we live right here in the community, and we love everything about the town. From the arts to the cuisine to the nearby rivers to the people, Red Bank has the best of what Monmouth County has to offer. We want to add just one more piece to the amazing tapestry that is Red Bank,” Cocozza said.

Despite the firehouse being its first location, the company has already participated in charitable festivals such as this year’s Brew For Autism fundraising event, according to Cocozza.

Cocozza said, that the company is committed to helping the community it is a part of and has three primary causes it is supporting.

“The first is the cleanliness and preservation of our local waterways. To that end, we are proud and happy to say that we are working with the American Littoral Society on their Operation Oyster, a project designed to restore and replenish the oyster beds of the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers… In addition to donating time to help the project, we are working with them to develop a unique Oyster Beer that we can market as a way of raising awareness of this worthy cause,” Cocozza said.

“And we’ll be donating profits from the sale of that beer to the organization for this project…So as you can see this project is of paramount importance to us. We are also working with the American Littoral Society and the Sandy Hook Foundation on their End of Summer Party, as well as several other events.”

Combating local hunger in the borough and Monmouth County, as well as, helping children with autism in the state are the other two causes the company is passionate about, according to Cocozza.

“By working with Fulfill, the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, as well as their local Red Bank affiliate Lunch Break, we hope to do our part and then some to eradicating hunger in our area. One recent event coming up that we are working on that will be raising money to benefit Lunch Break is The Rivalry Series, a day-after-Thanksgiving flag football tournament that has become an annual tradition,” Cocozza said.

“And as far as autism, the Center of Disease Control has released data that puts New Jersey at or near the top in terms of childhood autism diagnoses, especially for boys, and it is something that has touched our own family. By working with organizations such as Autism Speaks, and continuing to do events like Brew For Autism, as well as holding our own such events once we get open, we will be working as hard as we can to raise both money and awareness to help those in need.”

While also partnering with local businesses and nonprofits, the company already has a series of events in various stages of planning that the company will put on at the new location once it is open, according to Cocozza.

For more information about Ross Brewing Company visit the company’s Facebook page.

Contact Vashti Harris at vharris@newspapermediagroup.com.

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