Local Alum Builds Business with Homemade Brew

Paul Sciara ’92 and his brothers are branding City Island Beer from the basement up.

Paul Sciara, City Island BeerThree brothers, one shared interest: creating a beer that family and friends could enjoy. After years of taste-testing on holiday occasions, this family tradition now can be shared beyond the dinner table and found at a bar or restaurant near you.

Paul Sciara ’92 and his two brothers, John and Jeff Sciara, decided that it was time to put their beer-making skills to the test and commercialize the recipe that they created in their basement as a hobby. The brand, City Island Beer, based on where the brothers currently live, made its debut this past March during New York City Beer Week. It’s now being sold in restaurants and bars throughout the tri-state area, including the College’s neighboring Bronx Ale House.

“We’re a small company, but we are excited to be in the industry,” Sciara says. “More importantly, people are excited about us, too!”

The Business Behind the Beer

The brothers are currently brewing their beer with a partnering brewery in Paper City, Mass., but are looking to build their own microbrewery on City Island, once they are an established brand. They are working with a scaled-down half-barrel system they created, which Sciara insists makes their beer taste just right. Their flagship beer is the City Island Pale Ale, but they hope to expand their craft as they develop new recipes.

I received a top-notch education when I was there, and now it’s great to be working with the College again on this new business opportunity.

“The Pale Ale launch was definitely a success,” Sciara says. “We’re getting our feet wet in the market and getting involved in events, allowing us to meet people who love what we’re doing, which has made this a great experience for everyone so far.”

Sciara also brought City Island Beer to another part of the Bronx he is familiar with, the Manhattan College campus. He presented his business venture to Frederick Greene, Ph.D., associate professor of management and marketing, who worked with one of his classes to create a business plan for the Sciara brothers.

City Island Pale Ale was also a featured beer this year at the College’s Alumni Reunion Weekend. Sciara plans to continue this relationship with alma mater by partnering with Manhattan’s food provider Gourmet Dining and growing hops in one of the gardens located on campus.

“I’ve made lifelong friends at Manhattan,” Sciara says. “I received a top-notch education when I was there, and now it’s great to be working with the College again on this new business opportunity.”