Dining Out - Galaxy Brewing Co. offers fresh fare, drink

By Dave Greber

February 5, 2014 Updated Mar 7, 2014 at 3:44 PM EDT

Binghamton, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) The Southern Tier has some of the most unique and diverse flavors in the region. Although traditionally known for our spiedies, there is so much more out there.

So, we hit the road, with open minds and empty stomachs.

First up: Galaxy Brewing Company, the first and only brewery and sit-down restaurant in downtown Binghamton.

The first thing you'll see when you walk inside is the 10-tank operation that's churning out craft beers that live up to the restaurant's other-worldly name.

It's owner and staff have a strong affinity to local. From the New York-grown hops it uses in the brewery, to dozens of ingredients in the kitchen, Galaxy is an eye-popping experience -- for your mouth.

"Very, very early on we decided we not only want to have great beer, but we want great food to go with it," said owner Mike Weisel.

Mike learned the trade from his grandfather, who owned a small brewery in Lehigh Valley. And although the brewing desire has been in the family ever since, life got in the way, and Mike thought his dream of owning a brewery would never come to fruition.

Then, an opportunity he couldn't pass up.

"I'm working with my son," Weisel said. "And we're having a good time doing it."

Mike's son Seth is the brewmaster, and it's not his first foray into the art of craft brewing.

"You have a son who's a commercial brewer. That helps a lot," Mike said. "This would not have been possible with my skill level as a home brewer."

Not only does he bring a wealth of experience in turning grain, malt and hops into beers with planet-size tastes, Seth also ensures Galaxy's Culinary Institute of America-trained chefs don't miss out on the opportunity.

"Our chefs are very creative, and I work together with them, and they've done a number of dishes where they use beer with the food," Seth said. "And it just ends up complementing each other very nicely.

"There really aren't too many places out there that are using local ingredients, local hops and that kind of thing," Seth added. "But also, freshness, you come here you have the beer at the source. It's not been sitting on a supermarket shelf for who knows how long."

From farm to table to distinct flavors and a downtown street that's a major part of the city's reemergence, Mike and Seth knew they wanted to make an impression.

And they've returned the favor.

"I want people to come in and say I had a really fun time, and for the next time they go out, they say, 'Oh, what about Galaxy.'"

Galaxy Brewing Co. is located at 41 Court St., in Binghamton.