Varitage Brew Works exists to make great beer in homage to those who paved the road that brought us here. We take seriously our role as a community cornerstone and strive to positively impact all local businesses while maintaining a responsible environmental footprint. We also strive to be a support pillar for Mental Health and to promote the healthy consumption of craft beer.
We promise to continue evolving in a way that stays true to our core beliefs as a small-batch, local New Jersey Nano Brewery. Our story begins with those who came before us and continues on through our beers and the people we share them with. Varitage Brew Works' goal is to become a staple in the Bloomfield community, something those who live here and those who came before us can be proud of.
FROM THE GARAGE
Bloomfield, New Jersey’s Varitage Brew Works is the culmination of more than a decade of work, perseverance and constant tinkering from founder/CEO/head brewer Mark Costa. In his brewing career, Mark has worked to hone his craft and test recipes in his garage—while holding down a 9-5 day job—on his way to winning home brewer awards in competitions nationwide. From those beginnings, Varitage Brew Works has blossomed into Bloomfield’s first craft brewery.
It all started with the first win. In 2018, Mark placed in the Best of Show Round in a competition in Illinois, which led to his first commercial collaboration with an up and coming brewery based out of Bloomington, Illinois. It was that experience that crystalized Mark's decision to make brewing good beer into a career.
Mark’s first career, however, was in the breakneck world of digital advertising, an industry in which, truth be told, he excelled. After roughly 10 years of the cubicle-and-meeting life, Mark saw that a significant change was needed to make brewing his career.
He shot his shot, and soon jumped from working in digital advertising into a full-time production position at a prominent brewery in New Jersey. As tells it, the career change, intimidating as it was, simply had to happen in order for him to learn the ins and outs of making beer at a professional level:
“Very early on in this journey I made it a point to recognize the differences in cultures between homebrewing and commercial brewing. Before opening a brewery, I wanted to fully immerse myself in the commercial brewing world. I wanted to learn the ropes from the ground up and explore my passion in a fast-paced commercial brewery and, more importantly, I wanted to learn what it takes to be a professional brewer.”
STORIES AND HOMAGE THROUGH BEER
Long hours spent in his garage homebrewery and in the fermentation cellar at the brewery that he worked at led Mark to realize that Varitage Brew Works could be a vehicle not only for making great beer, but for telling the story of why we make great beer and for building a community.
Something happens when long hours and hard work collide with passion and commitment. It causes a person to reflect, to shine a light on aspects of the past while still keeping his sights set toward the future. When put together just right—like a beer recipe—the sum of every part illuminates the way forward.
It’s one thing to make excellent beer, but there’s so much more to the story—and the rest has to be told:
“My father's side of the family left their home country of Portugal for a better life for their future generations. They arrived here in 1968 from the Azores. In moving across the ocean, there was a lot of fear, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of love and a lot of excitement for the unknown possibilities. It reminded me of the sacrifices and uncertainties that I experienced when I changed careers to chase a dream. Varitage Brew Works represents where we came from and the possibility of where we can go.”
Mark Costa and Neil Levine have been family friends for over fifteen years. It just so happened that Mark and his wife Katie ended up living in the house next door to Neil and his wife Marty. As Mark's love for brewing evolved, Neil was right there peeking over the fence and watching it all unfold. Neil was Mark's taste tester and always offered a helping hand. When Mark decided to leave his job in the corporate world Neil was right there to offer his full support and encouraged Mark to chase his dream.
When it came time to sit down and seriously plan the brewery, Mark believed that there was no better partner. Since then, the two have had many business meetings over the fence line separating their back yards.
ORIGIN OF THE HOPRANGEA
The flower petals found within our branding are Hydrangea petals. Hydrangeas blanket the landscape of the Azores from where Founder/CEO/Head Brewer, Mark Costa's family immigrated. Every time we ventured back to the motherland It was magical to see all of these Hydrangea flowers all over the island. It really is something special. It is only fitting to include this concept as a focal point within our branding to pay homage to a piece of heritage that defines us.
Varitage Brew Works pays homage to the generations that have come before us. The inspiration behind each beer is a culmination of the variety of heritages that make us who we are. Mark's inspiration includes family traditions established from growing up in North Jersey, his ancestors hailing from a small island in Portugal's Azores, and the rich past of Bloomfield dating back to 1812.