'Frasier's' Kelsey Grammer shows support for Barton Orchards after devastating fire

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When a familiar face turned up behind the temporary bar at Barton Orchards on Tuesday, everybody knew his name.

With music drifting through the air, a crowd lined up in front of a large tent at the orchards to meet actor and local beer maker Kelsey Grammer, who was serving up brews and conversation from behind the bar.

"He's a legend," said Ernie Bello, who was attending the event. "This is a great event; he's certainly a very approachable man."

Grammer, who played Dr. Frasier Crane on "Cheers" for nine years and the show's spin-off "Frasier" for another 11, was serving up pints of beer from his Catskills-based brewery, Faith American Brewing Company.

For an hour and a half, he chatted with guests, posed for selfies, poured beer and answered questions about his days on "Frasier" and "Cheers."

He was at the Beekman farm as a way to offer his support after a fire destroyed two of its buildings. Grammer had previously stopped by Barton Orchards, which has been offering his Faith American beer for months, earlier in the summer.

"We always talked about him coming back," Peter Barton, owner of Barton Orchards, said. "Then he heard about the fire and wanted to come out right away."

"They've been great friends of the beer and that's what friends do," Grammer said of Barton and the farm. "When I first came here and the beer was doing well, and they were busy, it was great to see."

For Tuesday's event, the beer was free and provided by the Dutchess Beer Distributor.

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Grammer founded his brewing company in Margaretville, in Delaware County, in 2015 at a former dairy farm on land he's owned since 1993. Faith American Brewing Company currently has three brews: Faith American Ale, Calico Man IPA, and Blue Hazy IPA. The brews are available in 31 New York counties, including Dutchess and Ulster, as well as 19 counties in New Jersey.

"The land I have was a prosperous place and then the dairy farm went (belly) up," Grammer said. "I've owned it since 1993 and I thought there was something to bring it to life and it's gone very well."

As for Barton Orchards, which was getting ready for their harvest season before the fire on Aug. 22, Peter Barton said they're still trying to piece everything together. They've set up a temporary tent with benches, a bar, concessions and a stage next to the ashes of the lost buildings.

"It was catastrophic losing two buildings," Barton said. "But we're Barton strong and rebuilding from the ashes."

Heather Clark writes about food, drink and the restaurant business throughout the Mid Hudson Valley. Know of a restaurant opening or closing? Let her know at hclark@poughkeepsiejournal.com.

This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: Why 'Frasier's' Kelsey Grammer was serving beer at Barton Orchards