Oceanside’s Barrier Brewing Co. took home the prize for Best Brew of New York State last week at a competition held at the Brookfield Place shopping, dining and office complex in lower Manhattan.
Barrier’s Shadows and Dust, a New England-style IPA, received the most votes from attendees at the final round, beating out beers from two New York City breweries (Harlem Brewing and Bronx Brewery) and two from upstate (Syracuse’s Empire Brewing and Captain Lawrence Brewing from Westchester).
Barrier Brewing reached the final round of the competition by beating out four other Long Island craft breweries in an earlier round on Feb. 28. Those breweries were Blue Point Brewing, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Oyster Bay Brewing and Montauk Brewing. Preliminary rounds were also held for five breweries from New York City and five from Upstate New York.
All four rounds of the Best Brews of New York competition were held in the Winter Garden of Brookfield Place, which was transformed into a biergarten highlighting the beers from across New York State paired with food from Brookfield Place’s top eateries. All proceeds from beer sales, which totaled over $60,000, will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.
Barrier has won statewide competitions before, including the F.X. Matt Cup for Best Craft Brewery in New York State at the 2011 Tap New York Festival. Barrier’s brewmasters Evan Klein and Craig Frymark started out as homebrewers but honed their craft working together at Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn.
Barrier moved into its current location on New Street in Oceanside near the East Rockaway Long Island Rail Road station in 2013, just a few months before Superstorm Sandy. The brewery sustained huge damage from Sandy’s flood waters but rebounded quickly with the support of other craft breweries from around New York State.
Barrier expanded production in 2016 and is currently canning several of its beers for distribution across Long Island and in New York City, including its popular Money IPA.
Long Island beer lovers can taste the winning beer and all of Barrier’s wide range of beers at the brewery’s tap room, open every day except Tuesday. Barrier’s beers, including Shadows and Dust, will also be featured at a Taps and Apps event on April 6 at Heneghan’s Tavern in Point Lookout.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.