The month of March is not the only thing roaring in like a lion on Long Island. Our craft beer scene is coming back to life with many beer festivals and other in-person events on tap for March, April, and May.
The Spring Craft Beer Festival is returning to the Nassau Coliseum on March 26 after a multiyear absence due to the pandemic and before that the closing of the Coliseum for renovations. Held at Belmont Park racetrack from 2016 to 2019, the festival was first held at the Nassau Coliseum in 2007. Produced by Long Island’s premier beer festival organizer, Starfish Junction, this year’s event will feature one afternoon session with general admission from 2:30 – 6 p.m. and VIP tickets that include an extra hour starting at 1:30. Over 100 craft breweries from Long Island and across the U.S. will be pouring their brews. The event will raise funds for the local Kids Need More charity and their Camp Adventure program to enhance the lives of children coping with life-threatening illness.
The festival will also feature tastings of homebrew from Long Island’s three homebrew clubs, Brewers East End Revival (B.E.E.R.), Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) and Handgrenades Homebrew and Craft Beer Club (HHCBC). The clubs have returned to holding monthly in-person meetings and B.E.E.R. will hold its 25th Annual Brew-Off homebrew competition in person on May 21 at Po’Boy Brewing in Port Jefferson Station.
Blue Point Brewing is holding its annual celebration of 4/20 on the afternoon of April 20 (of course) at the brewery in Patchogue. The Shakedown on Main Street party will feature a live headline performance by the funk band Lettuce, the Shakedown market with munchies including grilled cheese, local arts and crafts vendors, and the Blue Point Terpene Tent with exclusive variations of Blue Point’s seasonal Legalize Wheat Ale.
The New York State Brewers Association is planning to hold a beer festival on Long Island on April 30, with the likely location being Belmont racetrack to celebrate the opening weekend of live racing.
Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore will host the Long Island Feast Fest on May 7 with dozens of food trucks, live music, local artists and vendors, and craft beers from Great South Bay and neighboring Ghost Brewing.
The popular NY Best Wings Fest, a celebration of finger-licking good wings and great craft beer, will be held on May 21 at South Shore Craft Brewery in Oceanside. There will be two sessions, with attendees able to eat wings from some of Nassau County’s top restaurants while enjoying South Shore beers and live music.
For Long Islanders who prefer to earn their beer with some exercise other than wing eating, the 15K Run to Port Jeff Brewing is returning on May 22 after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Billed as “the run you’ll love to hate” due to its punishing hills, the race is followed by “a party you will just love” with food, live music, and plenty of Port Jeff beers for the worthy finishers.
Port Jeff Brewing is also holding a three-day Spring Music Fest-of-Ale, with live music from 10 bands and plenty of craft beer, at the brewery in downtown Port Jefferson on April 29, 30 and May 1.
With summer just around the corner, the hot Long Island craft beer scene is not likely to go out like a lamb after a busy spring.
More information about upcoming beer festivals and events can be found at LIBeerGuide.com/events.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.
For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.