Until this summer, the South Fork of Long Island had been without a craft brewery between Riverhead and Montauk since 2016, when the pioneering brewpub Southampton Publick House moved to Jobs Lane after 20 years on Bowden Square and stopped brewing. Now a new brewery in Sag Harbor, Kidd Squid Brewing, is filling the gap and serving fresh craft beer in an 1870s era former Long Island Rail Road freight station just a block off Main Street in the historic whaling village.
Rory McEvoy and Grainne Coen, the married couple who opened the brewery in July, paid homage to local lore by partly naming the brewery after Captain William Kidd, the British pirate who supposedly buried treasure on Gardiners Island. “Our 9-year-old son, Bennett, came up with the squid part of the name,” said Coen, “and Kidd Squid Brewing was born.”
McEvoy, who worked as an event producer in New York City for his own agency and previously for the New York City Parks Department, began to homebrew over eight years ago. During the pandemic, he decided to take his hobby to the next level and struck a deal with North Fork Brewery in Riverhead to contract brew his recipes.
Kidd Squid is licensed as a New York State farm brewery. “We plan to use local ingredients as much as possible,” said McEvoy, “especially when we can use them to brew more exotic beers.”
Brews on tap so far have included Whalers Pilsner, Sag Harbor Lager, Baby Squid IPA and Giant Squid double IPA. All beers are also available to take away in 16-ounce cans.
The brewery recently made a German-style gose, The Tide Gose In, using salt from the Amagansett Sea Salt Co. Another regular offering is a monthly New England Style IPA, with each new version named after the Native American name for the latest full moon. “We brew on the full moon and release on the full moon,” said McEvoy, with recent versions such as Buck Moon, Sturgeon Moon, and Strawberry Moon.
In addition to beer, Kidd Squid offers its own Up She Rises hard seltzer and sells other New York State products such as kombucha made by Brooklyn’s Mombucha Kombucha, wines from nearby Channing Daughters and Wölffer Estate, and spirits from Sagaponack Farm Distillery. Local food options are also available for purchase, including salads and prepared foods from L&W market and cheese from Mecox Bay Dairy.
The taproom has a spacious outdoor area and airy indoor room with brightly colored floral wallpaper designed by McEvoy. The brewery is supporting the Sag Harbor community including donating 10% of sales of Sag Harbor Lager to the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, located in the iconic movie theater on Main Street that was nearly destroyed by a fire in 2016.
“We are excited to bring fresh local beer to Sag Harbor,” said McEvoy, who noted that Sag Harbor last had a brewery in the 1890s, which for unknown reasons was named Montauk Brewery. Kidd Squid is a great stopping-off point for beer lovers headed further east on the South Fork as well as a fun destination on its own.
Kidd Squid Brewing Company is located at 11 Spring St. in Sag Harbor. For more info visit kiddsquid.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.