Opening a new craft brewery is stressful enough when there’s not a pandemic afoot, but veteran Long Island brewmaster Duffy Griffiths was up to the tall task.
A pioneer of craft brewing on LI, Griffiths was the original head brewer at John Harvard’s brewpub in Lake Grove before launching Crooked Ladder Brewing Company six years ago and moving over to Greenport Harbor Brewing a year after that. His latest venture, Tradewinds Brewing Company, debuted in June on West Main Street in Riverhead in a space that housed Crooked Ladder, which closed last year.
“I’m excited to be back brewing on a smaller scale and will be focusing on making high-quality craft beers in a wide range of styles,” says Griffiths.
Tradewinds took over the 7-barrel brewing system previously used by Crooked Ladder, which also includes six 15-barrel fermenting tanks.
The new brewery, which is owned by Griffiths’ wife Wendy and their business partner and friend Kristi Macdonald, aims to get involved with brewery tours in Riverhead, possibly including Brew Crew Cycles group bike and brew tours scheduled to start up at the end of July.
In addition to its taproom, beers from Tradewinds will be available on tap at neighboring Diggers Ales & Eats and in cans at Duffy’s Deli in Jamesport, also owned by Griffiths.
Griffiths says the initial beer lineup at Tradewinds focused on summer seasonals and IPAs, with offerings such as Lilly light lager, No Paddle pilsner, Alsatian Hefeweizen, and Breaking Tide double IPA. Tradewinds also brewed and canned The New Guy! IPA, a New England-style hazy IPA that is being offered online as part of the recent Craft Aid festival to raise funds to support North Fork breweries.
The opening of Tradewinds increases the number of craft brewery taprooms in Riverhead to five, with two more under construction and planning to open later this year. Twin Fork Beer Co., founded by identical twins Dan and Peter Chekijian in 2014, is working on a new brewery and taproom on Raynor Avenue. And brand new craft brewery Peconic County Brewing is being built on East Main Street by Jeff Schaeffer, who named it for a long-ago proposal for the five East End towns to secede from Suffolk County.
The East End may not be its own county, but Riverhead is looking more like the capital of craft beer on LI, with Tradewinds being the latest gust of momentum.
Tradewinds Brewing Company is located at 70 W. Main St. in Riverhead. For more info visit tradewindsbrewing.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.
For more food and drink coverage visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink