Peconic County Brewing founder Jeff Schaeffer and beertenders.

Peconic County Brewing held its grand opening in downtown Riverhead last week, making it the sixth craft brewery taproom in the town and establishing Riverhead as the craft brewing capital of Long Island.

The 8,500 square foot brewery has beautiful views overlooking the town’s Riverwalk Park and the Peconic River. The space includes a 2,000 square foot deck that is certain to become a hot spot come summertime. Peconic Brewing is located on the ground floor of the 116-unit Riverview Lofts building, which opened last fall.

Peconic Brewing has a 15-barrel brewhouse and head brewer James Miller had 10 beers on tap for the opening. Among the brews at the opening were Dream Girl IPA made with Simco, Amarillo and El Dorado hops; Hampton Haze New England-style IPA; 631 Belgian-style wit beer; Big Duck Rye Saison; and smooth Iron Pier Stout served on a nitro tap. 

Founder Jeff Schaeffer, who is a Southampton native, tapped his longtime friend and veteran East End chef Luke Andrews to head up the brewery’s kitchen. The menu for the opening was limited but featured several items that are likely to become local favorites including lobster roll served on a toasted croissant (choice of New England style or Connecticut style) and tasty burgers and wings.

The décor in the taproom pays tribute to the inspiration for brewery’s name, which was a movement to establish a new Peconic County by breaking off the five easternmost towns of Suffolk County. Riverhead may never become the seat of its own county, but Peconic County Brewing has succeeded it making it Long Island’s capital city of craft brewing.

Peconic County Brewing Company is located at 221 East Main Street in Riverhead.  For more info visit peconiccountybrewing.com.

Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.

For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink

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