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Babylon IDA awarded $700,000 grant for craft beer incubator

Matthew T. McDonough says the Babylon IDA came

Matthew T. McDonough says the Babylon IDA came up with the idea for a beer incubator last year after reading about brewers struggling to find working space. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

The Babylon Industrial Development Agency has been awarded a $700,000 grant by Empire State Development for its proposed $12 million project to turn a former missile-component test facility in Copiague into a craft beer incubator.

The IDA plans to buy the property at 1305 S. Strong Ave., demolish the dilapidated 25,000-square-foot structure there now and build working space for up to 10 brewers. Renters there would have access to a tasting room for customers, and would share production space and equipment with other brewers.

“We were recognized as a priority project for Long Island,” said Matthew T. McDonough, chief executive of the IDA, who came up with the idea last year after reading about brewers struggling to find working space. “We have gotten recognition from the state that this project is significant. We’re pretty excited.”

McDonough, 26, said the agency intends to “aggressively seek grants to fund this project” from both the state and federal government. The IDA has completed two rounds of canvassing to measure community sentiment, and plans to host an informational meeting on the proposal early next year.

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