The COVID-19 pandemic has been n0thing short of a financial disaster for most mom-and-pop establishments in the city — with many forced to close for months at a time, or face severe restrictions on their customers to avoid contamination.

But for partners John LaPolla and Douglas Amport, business has been as brisk as a frosty fresh pint of home-brew beer as Brooklyn’s Bitter and Esters never had to close.

While they had to restrict customers from coming inside their establishment on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights — the only home-brewing shop in New York City — they already had a powerful web-based operation and a strong local following that had customers from all over lining up to brew their own beers at home.

John LaPolla of Bitter & Esters on Washington Avenue
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