Many people use homebrewing as a relaxing hobby, but for one New York City firefighter, homebrewing became a burning passion that sparked his founding a brewery in his hometown on Long Island.
Twelve-year FDNY veteran Bryan Murphy opened Barnshed Brewing in early 2017 in a small warehouse located off Route 107 on the Hicksville-Bethpage border, where he grew up in a large Irish Catholic family. His launch came after raising more than $16,000 on Kickstarter to purchase a used 1-barrel brewing system from a local brewer and becoming a licensed New York State farm brewery.
“The support from the community has been tremendous,” Murphy says, “beginning with the Kickstarter campaign and then the enthusiasm of people who come to our tasting room.”
Barnshed’s name came from Murphy’s first makeshift brewhouse, a backyard shed shaped like a barn, where he made his homebrews. Many of the beers on tap today in Barnshed’s cozy tasting room open on Thursday and Friday evenings include his first beer, 135 Pale Ale, Propaganda Porter, Murphy’s Lawger, and Bethpage Blonde.
There are usually 12 beers on tap and Murphy likes to experiment with many different styles, including Belgian beers, German hefeweizen, New England IPAs, and Irish stouts.
“Being small, we have the flexibility to brew whatever beers we want,” said Murphy, who still does all the brewing himself.
Most of Barnshed’s production is consumed at the tasting room but beers are also available at a few accounts including BK Sweeney’s in Bethpage, Kegs and Cases in Levittown, and Heneghan’s Tavern in Point Lookout.
“We are self-distributing right now and looking to add a few more accounts,” said Murphy, “but we like where we’re at.”
Seasonal beers on tap in October will include Oktoberfest, a Marzen-style dark lager made with chocolate malt, Pumpkin Ale made with traditional pumpkin pie spices including allspice and cinnamon, and Barn Dunkel Weizen, a dark wheat beer.
It’s just the thing to quench a fiery thirst.
Barnshed Brewing is located at 100 Lauman Lane in Hicksville. For more information visit barnshedbrewing.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.