Today is the 65th birthday of Kirby Shyer, who founded the Zip City Brewing Co. in New York City, the only brewpub in Manhattan when it opened in November of 1991, since both New Amsterdam and Manhattan Brewing has closed earlier. He was a pioneer in the industry, especially on the East Coast because his brewpub was in such a visible place in downtown Manhattan. Unfortunately, when the bottom fell out of craft beer in 1997, the brewery closed. I met Kirby a little later when he was working for another brewery and called on me at BevMo and we later attended a Cleveland Indians baseball game, along with Tom Dalldorf, when the Craft Brewers Conference was in Cleveland in 2002.
Kirby worked in the brewery industry for several years after Zip City closed, both for breweries and distributors. More recently, he’s left to work on a project outside beer and beverages.
All About Beer’s archive includes a great 2017 overview of Zip City and Shyer by Tom Acitelli entitled A Brewpub’s Collapse 20 Years Ago Sounds Familiar.