Freeport’s famed Nautical Mile has become a craft beer destination with the additions of The Craft House, The Beer Garden, the Nautical Mile Craft Brew Fest and a craft brewery, the BrewSA Brewing Company.
Long Islanders Tom Limerick, Steve Walley and Billy McLaughlin — who met while working on Wall Street and bonded over their love of beer — opened the brewery and taproom in 2017.
“We realized that the most popular lagers in the U.S. are all foreign owned,” says Limerick. “We decided to make a lager with 100-percent American-grown ingredients.”
The founders also wanted to support veterans, so they donate 25 percent of BrewSA’s profits to veterans’ charities and donate beer to fundraisers for such groups.
BrewSA typically has 12 beers on tap, according to Head Brewer Peter Tripp, who joined the brewery in July after having run Homebrews & Handgrenades, a homebrew supply shop in Baldwin, for the past five years.
The core beers include American Pilsner and Pilsner Light, Wheat and Cherry Wheat, and American Pale Ale and Double IPA. Tripp has begun to introduce his own recipes, such as a New England IPA and a Pumpkin Ale.
BrewSA will soon be installing two seven-barrel Unitanks, which allow brewers to ferment, carbonate and filter a brew all out of the same tank.
“With the Unitanks we’ll be able to do one-off seasonal beers,” says Tripp, “like a Gingerbread Cookie Brown Ale for the holidays.”
American Pilsner was their first. After perfecting the recipe and contract brewing the beer in Wisconsin, BrewSA looked to build a brewery on Long Island and quickly settled on Freeport.
BrewSA took over a large building that housed a boat repair company and installed a 15-barrel brewing system with capacity to produce 10,000 barrels a year. The spacious taproom looks out on Woodcleft Avenue and the canal, with the brewhouse visible behind the bar. Patrons can order food from local restaurants to be delivered to the brewery.
“I knew the Nautical Mile would be perfect for us,” says Limerick. “There are so many great restaurants and people can stop at our taproom before or after a meal.”
BrewSA Brewing Company is located at 180 Woodcleft Ave., Freeport. They can be reached at 516-721-9332 or BrewSA.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.