Cold brews, chairs that hang from the ceiling, deconstructed coffee, lattes out of an avocado…yes, the hipster coffee bars have swept the nation and even Cortland, New York.
With its industrial aesthetic, BRU 64 took inspiration from the west coast trends, a few coffee conventions and brought the best ideas to Main Street Cortland. Spoiler Alert: they don’t serve you deconstructed coffee or anything out of a fruit. What BRU 64 has created is a harmonious coffee lounge that is a perfect blend of the hip and just plain old good coffee. Their coffee beans are roasted locally by Craig and Michelle Brooks of Coffee Mania or CNY Coffee who, working with creators and owners Judd Seales and Kelly Gregory took right up to a few days before opening their doors to find the right coffee blend.
“When we decided to do the coffee thing we wanted to do the best coffee possible,” Judd told us. The entire process took months and lasted right up to just three or four days before BRU 64 opened to the public. “We tasted and we sampled for months,” Judd described. Working with Craig and Michelle, they developed a blend of three different coffee beans from around the world that created BRU’s signature house blend. BRU’s coffee is organic, which is difficult in maintaining coffee bean consistency. Coffee bean suppliers who are organic are limited since most beans are grown in micro-lots. Organic coffee bean yields vary from year to year. This search also contributed to the quest for the perfect roast for BRU.
But coffee beans only contribute so much to the final flavor. Coffee is 98% water.
“We have a huge reverse osmosis water system in this building [Marketplace Mall] that makes all the water for our coffee,” Judd told us. “which nobody has a clue that what they’re drinking is probably to the highest of science standards.”
According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, there are water for brewing standards that measure odor, color, chlorine, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, PH, and sodium levels. BRU 64’s reverse osmosis water hits every single acceptable range or higher.
“We just kind of went overboard on trying to make the absolute perfect coffee,” says Judd. And we thank him for his perfection.
This obsession to getting it right can be seen throughout BRU 64. The space that BRU now occupies sat vacant for nearly three months while Judd waited for the right type of business to approach him. With its curved window that overlooks downtown, it’s a prime location. Judd and Kelly wanted something that would not only work for downtown, but also work cohesively with the other businesses in the Marketplace Mall. There was a general consensus that every downtown needs some sort of social gathering place. And thus, the idea for BRU 64 was born.
In its two years, BRU 64 has settled into its position as its position as that social gathering space for downtown Cortland. It definitely has the hip aesthetic taken from west coast research but it doesn’t feel like it is trying too hard to be hip. It is warm and welcoming. With its comfortable furniture and free wi-Fi, it is a perfect remote workspace, study space, or place to grab a coffee and a bite to eat with friends.
BRU 64’s mantra is coffee lounge by day and pour house by night. BRU 64 offers a unique ever rotating beer tap. 64 different beers to be precise. This is partially the reasoning behind the ‘64’ in the name. The other reason being it’s located at 64 Main Street. BRU has become the new go-to place for beer-connoisseurs to try new brews or that unique flavor. The beer enthusiast can even participate in their BRU 64 Beer Tour to try at least 64 different types of beer within a year and get a free tour t-shirt. Some of these specialty beers are not the easiest to get a hold of, but fortunately from old college friends, Judd was able to come up with an outstanding assortment. It’s who you know in the beer world.
Technology has come to the beer world too. BRU 64’s digital beer menu is powered by Untappd, a free app that allows you to socially share the brew that you’re drinking and you can check in where you are. The app will also help you find where certain types of beers are located. When you get the app, you create your own profile. When you walk into BRU 64, their digital menu will pop up. The app lets you log the different beers you drink and keep track. The app will also alert you when a new beer is added to the menu. Users can rate the beers they drink as well.
This coffee lounge and pour house has fashioned itself as the downtown gathering space for a wide range of customers from students, to business people, or those who want to grab a coffee and relax. For those who want to work remotely, and for friends to come together over a brew or two. While you won’t find lattes served in avocados here, you will find a welcoming, cool space that you’ll find hard to leave.
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