Bernie Kilkelly

Kilkelly is the publisher of the authoritative LIBeerGuide and a frequent contributor to such publications as Ale Street News and The Gotham Imbiber. Reach him via libeerguide@gmail.com.

Long Island’s Craft Beers Have Promising Year, New Brews Coming in 2022

craft beers
Getty Images

Despite challenges from the ongoing pandemic, Long Island’s craft brewing industry continued to grow in 2021, with new breweries opening and established breweries expanding. Beer enthusiasts cheered the return of beerfests in the fall and Long Island’s homebrewing clubs returned to in-person meetings and competitions.

One sure sign of the industry’s resilience is that all nine breweries that opened new taprooms in 2020, including several that opened during pandemic shutdowns, were going strong at the end of 2021. One of those breweries was HopWin’s Brewery in Bay Shore, which opened for business in April 2020 but had to wait a few months before having customers in its taproom. HopWin’s has developed a loyal following and the brewery finally held a grand opening party in September 2021.

The number of brewery taprooms on Long Island continued to climb in 2021, reaching 53 taprooms compared to just 21 at the beginning of 2016. In February, Peconic County Brewing opened in downtown Riverhead, making it the capital city of craft brewing on Long Island with six breweries.

HopWin’s finally held a grand opening party in September 2021.

One of those Riverhead breweries is ubergeek Brewing, now located at the former location of Moustache Brewing. Rob Raffa, former head brewer of Moustache and founder of ubergeek, took over the brewery and taproom of Moustache in April when Moustache’s founders decided to switch to a contract-brewing model.

Sand City Brewing of Northport opened a second location in March in Lindenhurst. The new 10,000-square-foot location, dubbed Sand City South, has a 20-barrel brewing system, double the size of the brewing system at Sand City’s Northport location that opened in 2015.

Long Island Farm Brewery opened a new taproom in June at its brewery in Manorville. In addition to being a New York State-licensed farm brewery, it is located on a working farm, the 80-acre Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden.  The brewery uses ingredients from the farm such as honey in its beers and has plans to grow its own barley and wheat on the farm.

Beer lovers welcomed the return of in-person beerfests in the fall, including several Oktoberfest events in September.  In Bay Shore, Destination Unknown Beer Co. (DUBCO) held its Dubtoberfest and T.J. Finley’s Pubic House held its 14th annual Oktoberfest celebration. 

Out in Riverhead, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Long Ireland Beer Co., and Garden of Eve Farm Brewery held Oktoberfest celebrations, and Tanger Outlets in Deer Park held its first Oktoberfest craft beer festival.

Some of Long Island’s most popular beerfests returned including Whales, Ales & Salty Tales in October at the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum. The Long Island Craft Classic adjusted its timing and location from its usual August event at Heckscher State Park to an October event with horse racing at Belmont Racetrack.

Cask ale fests remained popular and Brewers Collective Beer Co. in Bay Shore held its Indie Cask Fest in October. Also in October, Port Jeff Brewing had a cask ale event as part of its three-day 10th anniversary party featuring 10 bands. The Blue Point Cask Ales Festival returned in grand style in November with a sold-out crowd enjoying beautiful fall weather while tasting cask ales from more than 50 breweries in the parking lot of the brewery in Patchogue.

A popular attraction at many of these festivals were homebrews from Long Island’s three homebrew clubs, Brewers East End Revival (B.E.E.R), Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME), and Handgrenades Homebrew and Craft Beer Club (HHCBC). The clubs were able to resume in-person monthly meetings in 2021 and hold competitions, with B.E.E.R. holding its 24th annual Brew-Off Homebrew Competition in May after being forced to cancel the competition in 2020.

Looking ahead, craft beer lovers on Long Island can look forward to the opening of more new brewery taprooms in 2022: Necromantic Brew Co., a gluten-free brewery in Farmingdale, Root + Branch in Copiague, and Take Two Brewery in Bay Shore. Cheers to new beers in the New Year!

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Port Jeff Brewing Holds 10th Anniversary Celebration

port jeff brewing
Mike Philbrick, founder of Port Jeff Brewing Co., inspects one of his beers. (Press photo Bob Giglione.)

A special anniversary calls for a special celebration, so Port Jeff Brewing marked its 10th anniversary in October with a three-day party featuring 10 bands. The brewery opened its doors for business on Chandler Square in downtown Port Jefferson on Oct. 15, 2011, one year after its founding by brewer Mike Philbrick.  

Philbrick said, “We wanted to do something wild to thank everyone in the local community and across Long Island who have supported us all these years.” 

Port Jefferson is a historic harborfront village and a bustling transportation hub as a terminal for the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Cross-Sound Ferry. In the 1990s, the village was home to one of Long Island’s first brewpubs, James Bay Brewing, which had a loyal following but closed in 1998 after four years. 

At the time of its opening in 2011, Port Jeff Brewing was one of about a dozen breweries and brewpubs open on Long Island. In recognition of these craft brewery pioneers, Port Jeff’s anniversary party was capped by a cask ale celebration featuring cask ales from Port Jeff and three other breweries that have been around for more than 10 years – Long Ireland Beer Company, Spider Bite Beer Company, and Blue Point Brewing. Po’Boy Brewery, which opened in nearby Port Jefferson Station in 2017, also served several cask ales.

Philbrick, a Pennsylvania native, started out as a homebrewer and after catching the brewing bug, received formal training at the World Brewing Academy at Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago. He also worked as an apprentice brewer at Iron Hill and other Philadelphia area breweries before launching Port Jeff Brewing.

Port Jeff Brewing has a 7-barrel brewing system and a small tasting room, which is open seven days a week and regularly has 12 beers and a cask ale on tap. The brewery is well known for its hoppy ales including the flagship Party Boat IPA, Schooner Pale Ale, and seasonal Shiznit IPA.  “We are a strong believer in using locally grown hops and other ingredients in our beers,” said Philbrick, “including hops from Condzella’s Farm in Wading River and Wesnofske Farms in Peconic.”

Other popular beers include Beach Beer, a Belgian-style wheat ale brewed with coriander and orange peel, and Port Jeff Porter, with coffee and chocolate overtones.  Port Jeff has several full-bodied beers to help fight the winter chill, including Starboard Oatmeal Stout, Overboard Russian Imperial Stout, Ice Breaka Winta Warma, and Cold North Wind Barleywine.     

Over the years, Philbrick and Port Jeff Brewing have won many awards for their beers at statewide and national competitions. In April 2019, Port Jeff Brewing won two top awards at the TAP New York Festival, the F.X Matt Memorial Cup for Best Craft Brewery in the state and the Governors’ Brewers Cup for Best Craft Beer in the state for Trippel H Strong Belgian Ale. This was the first time a brewery won both cups in the same year.  

Port Jeff produces about 1,500 barrels of beer per year and in 2014 was the first brewery on Long Island to begin canning its beers, which helped increase distribution across the Island and into New York City and Westchester. The brewery also distributes kegs and special release bottles to restaurants and retail beer stores.

The brewery sponsors regular events at its tap room including weekly bingo, live music on weekends, and a free summer concert series.  Port Jeff is also the sponsor of an annual 15K Run to the Brewery in May known across Long Island for its painfully steep hills and its legendary afterparty. “The race that runners love to hate” is just one of the reasons that Port Jeff Brewing continues to be a brewery that Long Islanders have come to love for more than 10 years.

Port Jeff Brewing Company is located at 22 Mill Creek Rd. in Port Jefferson. For more info visit portjeffbrewing.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Greenport Harbor Brewing: Still Innovating on the North Fork

greenport harbor brewing

College buddies John Liegey and Rich Vandenburgh bonded over a mutual love for beer and dreamed about opening a brewery someday. They also shared a love for the North Fork, and after building successful careers in advertising and the law, the beer bug took over and they decided to take the plunge. The partners spent a year of weekends and vacations renovating the old Star Hose firehouse building on Carpenter Street in Greenport Village and opened for business in July 2009.

As the first craft brewery in a region primarily known for its vineyards, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. quickly developed a loyal following for its distinctive beers. Several of the original brews developed by Greenport Harbor’s first head brewer, DJ Swanson, continue to be favorites today, including the Leaf Pile Ale fall seasonal, Otherside IPA and Black Duck Porter.

With no room to expand at the Greenport location, Liegey and Vandenburgh searched for a second location that would give them more space for production and a larger tasting room. “We wanted to be in total control of every ounce of beer we brewed,” Liegey says. “So we decided not to contract brew and looked for a space to build a larger brewhouse.” They purchased the former Lucas Ford showroom on Main Road in Peconic in 2011 and after extensive renovations on the three-acre property, opened the second location in July 2014.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. bottler
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. bottlerOliver Peterson

The 13,000-square-foot Peconic facility houses a 2,000-square-foot tasting room and restaurant with garage door-style windows that open onto a large outdoor lawn. The brewhouse has a 30-barrel brewing system along with bottling and canning lines to supply retail distribution across New York State and Connecticut. With the original 15-barrel system still at the Greenport location, the brewery currently produces about 10,000 barrels a year.

Pat Alfred, who got his start at Barrier Brewing in Oceanside, took over as head brewer at Greenport in 2018 after Swanson moved on to join Sierra Nevada Brewing. In addition to keeping up with demand for Greenport’s mainstay offerings, Alfred has experimented with barrel-aged beers, sours and fruit beers including Tiki Paradise, a wheat beer with piña colada flavors.

Alfred also launched an innovative series of pastry-style beers including Leaf Pile Pie, Gingerbread Cookie Pie and Cherry Pastry Stout. Other popular special releases include imperial versions of Black Duck Porter such as Double Duck Porter Mexican Hot Chocolate with cocoa nibs, coconut, vanilla beans and chili peppers.

Rich and Ann Vandenburgh at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.'s Peconic location
Rich and Ann Vandenburgh at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.’s Peconic locationOliver Peterson

Since its founding, Greenport has been an active contributor to charities helping the North Fork community. At the beginning of the pandemic in early 2020, Vandenburgh helped to form a team of local businesses that produced over 8,000 plastic face shields for local medical facilities and first responders, using Greenport’s Peconic facility to assemble the face shields. Greenport maintains its “Giving Tank” program to donate beer to fundraising events for local charities and children’s programs.

Greenport’s Peconic location regularly has live music and hosts events including a recent Oompahfest on October 2 to celebrate Oktoberfest with a special German menu at the restaurant, live Oompah music, a stein holding contest and the release of its seasonal FestBier.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company has two locations, the tasting room at 234 Carpenter Street in Greenport and the tasting room/restaurant at 42155 Main Road in Peconic.

For more information, visit greenportharborbrewing.com.

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

This story first appeared on DansPapers.com.

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Celebrate Oktoberfest At These Long Island Events

Getty Images

Beerfest fans from around the world were saddened by the announcement in May that the Munich Oktoberfest, scheduled to kick off on Sept. 18, was canceled for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. Fortunately, here on Long Island, there are several in-person events returning this year to help celebrate this season highlighting German beer, food, and culture.

After canceling the event in 2020, Plattduetsche Park in Franklin Square will hold its annual Ompahfest on Sept. 19. Traditionally held on the day after the Steuben Day parade in Manhattan, the fest will feature live German music and dancing, games, a special Oktoberfest menu, and of course plenty of German beer.  This year’s beer menu will include Barrier Frisch, a Kölsch made especially for the Plattduetsche by Barrier Brewing in Oceanside.

Oktoberfest season will continue to be celebrated at the Plattduetsche, Long Island’s premier German biergaten, through the rest of September and October with German music from bands including The Bratwurst Boys, Die Spitzbaum, and accordion rocker Alex Meixner on Oct. 3.

After scaling back its Dubtoberfest celebration in 2020, Destination Unknown Beer Co. (DUBCO) in Bay Shore is bringing back a beerfest format this year for the 3rd Annual Dubtoberfest on Sept. 18.  The fest from 2-7 p.m. will feature German-style beers from 15 Long Island craft breweries along with music, food trucks, and a stein holding competition.

DUBCO brewed five German-inspired beers in preparation for Dubtoberfest, including Hanziskaner, a Kristallweizen-style ale similar in flavor to a Hefeweizen but with the yeast and sediment filtered out to produce a crisp body; Don’t Call Me Honey, Boy, a modern spin on a Kölsch brewed with honey, lemon and Lemon Drop black tea; and Gilgo Gose, brewed with Himalayan pink sale, guava, and passion fruit. 

Blue Point Brewpub in Patchogue is celebrating Oktoberfest on the traditional dates of the Munich fest from Sept. 18 through Oct. 3, with German food specials, live music including a polka band, stein holding competitions, and of course German-style beers on tap.

After holding a virtual Oktoberfest event last year, TJ Finley’s in Bay Shore is holding its 14th Annual Oktoberfest celebration in person on Sept. 25. The fest at the pub and its outdoor biergarten will run from 3-9 pm and will feature German food, live music, German-style beers and a stein-holding competition. 

HopWin’s Brewery in Bay Shore will hold its long-delayed Grand Opening celebration on Sept. 25, which in honor of the season has been named Hopwins Hoptoberfest.  The event from noon-8 pm will feature German-style beers from HopWin’s including Hefeweizen, Helles, Dunkel, and Radler, along with German food, live music, stein holding contests, and axe throwing.  

An Oktoberfest celebration will be held on Sept. 25 in downtown Riverhead at Grangebel Park overlooking the Peconic River.  Hosted by Reflextions Riverhead, the event from 4-8 pm will feature live music, food, stein holding and beer from four local craft breweries: Long Ireland Beer, North Fork Brewing, Peconic County Brewing, and Tradewinds Brewing.

Long Ireland Beer Co. will hold its 8th annual Oktoberfest celebration on Sat. Oct. 9 at the brewery in Riverhead.  Food trucks will provide German food to pair with the brewery’s Oktoberfest Munich-style Marzen and other brews. Long Ireland will hold its annual Stein Holding Contest and other fun contests including keg tossing and sausage eating. The festivities will run from noon-9 pm and the perennial movie favorite BeerFest will be shown on the big screen at the end of the night.  

Tanger Outlets in Deer Park will host an Oktoberfest craft brew fest on Oct. 16 featuring tastings of locally brewed beer and cider. Running from 1-5 p.m., the fest will have live music and food will be available for purchase, including German specialties.  

Garden of Eve Farm Brewery in Riverhead will hold an Oktoberfest celebration on Oct. 16 and 17 with craft-brewed beers, live music, pumpkin picking, and a special Oktoberfest menu. Fun Fields tickets include hayrides, farm animals, a Bounce House, Pedal Kart track and other activities for the family.

Wherever you celebrate Oktoberfest this season, stay safe and Prost!

A full list of Long Island Oktoberfest events can be found at LIBeerGuide.com/li-oktoberfest

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Lithology Brewing Co. in Farmingdale Rocks On

Taproom manager Mary Natale sets up a flight at Lithology.

Lithology Brewing marked the fifth anniversary in July of opening its taproom on Farmingdale’s Main Street and is moving forward with plans to increase beer production at the brewery and through contract brewing.

Lithology’s cofounders – Kevin Cain, Manny Coelho, Lee Kaplan, and Marc Jackson – started brewing together in 2007 and after winning the Beer Field’s Homebrew Competition in 2014 decided to start a brewery. Two of the cofounders, Cain and Kaplan, are environmental engineers and the brewery is named after a geological term for the study of the physical characteristics of rock and sediment.

“Our name pays homage to the rocks that filter one of our key ingredients, our delicious New York water,” said Cain. “This water makes genuine New York bagels and pizza taste so great, and you can tell the difference in our beers.”

After receiving its licenses in 2015, Lithology launched operations as a tenant brewer at A Taste of Long Island, a commercial kitchen and brewery in Farmingdale that served as an incubator for several of Long Island’s craft breweries, including 1940s Brewing, The Brewer’s Collective and Po’ Boy Brewery.

When A Taste of Long Island closed in early 2016, Lithology took over the lease and officially opened its taproom in July 2016.  The brewery raised more than $36,000 on Kickstarter to buy more equipment to expand production, including a brite tank and two additional fermenters. John Ardito replaced Jackson as a co-owner and Coelho took on primary responsibility as head brewer operating the 4-barrel brewing system.

Coelho usually has eight Lithology beers on tap at any one time, including mainstays like hoppy American IPA, a deliciously nutty Brown Ale and dry-hopped Designated Hitter American pale ale. “I try to maximize our brewing system by brewing full batches several times a week,” said Coelho, “so we are able to have a good variety of beers available, including our seasonals.” Seasonal favorites include citrusy Sunrise Summer Ale, crisp Pils and robust Pumpkin Porter, which will be on tap in October. 

As a New York State licensed farm brewery, Lithology is currently required to use at least 60 percent of ingredients from New York. Lithology has used ingredients from Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s in Malverne for several years, including organic honey, squash and mugwort. The brewery is partnering with Crossroads to grow hops and sells its beer at the farmers market there every other week. 

The brewery also uses ingredients from Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Village, including sage, rosemary and pure honey used in its Bees Knees honey ale. Coelho said, “Restoration has been a great partner and we support their sustainable farming operations by donating the spent grain from the brewery for them to use for mulching.”  

Lithology contract brews four-packs of cans at Butternuts Beer and Ale in upstate New York, including Designated Hitter, Pils and Sunrise Summer Ale. The brewery plans to add its American IPA and New England IPA to the contract brew lineup in the next few months.  

The brewery also plans to brew certain beers in larger batches at Farmingdale and bring in a mobile canner to can beers for sale in the taproom and off-premises. Lithology is currently self-distributing kegs and cans on Long Island but is in talks with another brewery to expand distribution of cans in New York City and across Long Island.  

Farmingdale’s downtown has boomed over the past several years and Lithology has been at the forefront of promoting community events, including the popular Music on Main summer series. 

The taproom hosts a variety of fun events including bingo, barre workouts and the Writer’s Block monthly series to highlight upcoming local artists. 

Over the summer Lithology brewed Pineapple Invasion, the official beer of Babylon’s STATTfest music festival, and hosted a block party in August at the brewery with live bands. The brewery named after the study of rocks and water knows how to keep the party going with rock music and great craft beer.

Lithology Brewing Co. is located at 211-A Main Street in Farmingdale.  For more info visit lithologybrewing.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

From Waterdrinker to Beerdrinker: Long Island Farm Brewery Opens in Manorville

long island farm brewery
L. to R.: Nick Giuffre, Joseph and Kirk Weiss, and Brian Smith.

Long Island’s newest craft brewery, Long Island Farm Brewery, opened in June in Manorville. In addition to being a New York State-licensed farm brewery, it is located on a working farm, the 80-acre Waterdrinker Family Farm & Garden.

Waterdrinker is owned by the Weiss family, which has been farming on Long Island for five generations. When brothers Kirk and Joseph Weiss and their longtime friend Nick Giuffre decided a few years ago to turn their homebrewing hobby into a business, they quickly zeroed in on an old potato barn located on the farm.  

“We were excited to renovate a building with a lot of history,” said Kirk Weiss, “and we look forward to using ingredients from the farm in our beers.” 

New York State currently requires farm breweries to use at least 60 percent of ingredients grown in the state. The partners are planning to relocate a hop farm they own in Center Moriches to the farm brewery property, where they will grow a variety of hops including Nugget, Willamette, Cascade and Centennial. 

“In addition to using our own hops in our beers,” said Weiss, “in the future we plan to grow our own barley and wheat on the farm.” 

The 4,000-square-foot potato barn underwent substantial renovations including pouring new floors to replace trenches used for washing potatoes. The airy building now houses a 1,600-square-foot brewhouse with a 10-barrel brewing system, with the remaining space devoted to a spacious bar and taproom.  

Once the partners received their licenses and permits, they hired head brewer Brian Smith, who had previously been an assistant at BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue and at Long Island Spirits distillery in Baiting Hollow. For the brewery’s opening, Smith had 10 beers on tap including the popular Waterdrinker Blonde Ale, which quickly sold out, and several pale ales including Farmer’s Tan session IPA, Mattock West Coast IPA and Out East IPA.  

“We are planning to brew a Sunflower Honey Ale made with honey from our farm for the summer Sunflower Festival,” said Weiss, “and a Pumpkin Ale for our popular Fall Festival.”

The brewery offers growlers and cans for takeaway and in the future hopes to self-distribute cans to local beer retailers. But in the meantime, head out east to Manorville and spend a day at the farm enjoying all the goodness of the harvest, including fresh craft beer made with local ingredients.

Long Island Farm Brewery is located at 663 Wading River Rd, in Manorville. For more info visit longislandfarmbrewery.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Northport’s Sand City Brewing Co. Opens Second Location in Lindenhurst

sand city brewing
Luca Baby is among Sand City’s popular IPAs.

Northport-based Sand City Brewing Co. opened its second location on March 5 in Lindenhurst, making it one of the few local breweries to expand to more than one site.

The 10,000-square-foot new taproom and brewery on South Wellwood Avenue, known as Sand City South, became the third brewery to open in Lindenhurst after W.A. Meadwerks and 27A Brewing.

“The larger brewery will help us triple the amount of beer that Sand City is able to brew,” says Bill Kiernan, who cofounded Sand City with Kevin Sihler, who adds: “We have the room now to set aside some of our beers to age and develop even more complex flavors.” 

The brewhouse has a 20-barrel brewing system, double the size of Sand City’s Northport location. Sihler, who is Sand City’s head brewer, said the new capacity will enable the brewery to increase canning and distribution of their current beers and to experiment with new styles. 

Since its opening in fall 2015, Sand City has built a reputation for brewing some of Long Island’s best IPAs, or India Pale Ale, a heavily hopped beer style. Among these IPAs are single-hop beers like Mofosaic, brewed with Mosaic hops and IPAs brewed with a combination of hops, such as Classic Girl IPA dry hopped with Galaxy, Mosaic and Citra hops. 

Recent collaborations include Double IPAs brewed with upstate New York breweries such as Tin Barn Brewing from Chester and Equilibrium Brewery from Middletown. Finback Brewery from Brooklyn also collaborated recently on Double Something Infinity, brewed with 11 different varieties of hops.

While the IPAs have received the most attention, Sand City also brews a variety of other styles, with recent beers such as A Fairly Simple Operation, a Blueberry Golden Ale, Roaring Noon Belgian-style Witbier with orange and coriander, Red Sand American Amber Ale and Guava Freak, a Belgian-style Tripel.   

It took Sand City a couple of years to become a fixture in Northport’s lively downtown, but after a few months it looks like Sand City South is already on its way to becoming a standout destination for Long Island’s South Shore. 

Sand City South is located at 150 S. Wellwood Ave. in Lindenhurst. For more info visit sandcitybeer.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Lost Farmer Brewing Company Opens in Mineola

The new brewery touts a retro theme.

Beer drinkers will begin enjoying craft brews in central Nassau County at Lost Farmer Brewing Company’s May 1 opening in Mineola.

Co-founders Domenick Petralia and John Strom are childhood friends from Garden City. They began construction on the 2nd street location in 2020, with much of the work done by Strom and the crew from his firm, Strom Home Remodeling.

“We developed a passion for craft beer over the years and decided to take the next step,” Petralia says.

Their beers at Lost Farmer will use local and exotic ingredients to produce high-quality brews. 

“Our name pays tribute to the small, unknown lost generations of farmers and farms across New York State who grow the ingredients we use,” Petralia says. “It also refers to the location and our ‘Get Lost’ atmosphere and retro environment in an utterly booming area.”

It’s a Craft Malt Certified brewery, committed to using malt from local providers. 

“We get the majority of our malts from Hudson Valley Malt, an artisan craft malthouse in Germantown, New York,” Petralia says.  

Lost Farmer’s 2,200-square-foot space features a taproom overlooking its custom-designed 7-barrel brewhouse with 9 fermenting tanks. The taproom’s garage door opens onto a courtyard with wooden picnic benches and decadent wooden wine barrels. The retro atmosphere has TVs playing MTV music videos from the 1980s and 1990s, along with free PAC-MAN and Donkey Kong games for patrons.  

Beers on tap include Juicy IPA, a hazy New England-style IPA, and a wide variety of other beer styles. Customers can enjoy flights and take away beers in 32-ounce growlers and 64-ounce growlers.

The brewery plans to start a barrel-aged beer program to make barrel-aged sours, gose, and stouts using 20 barrels from Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars in the Finger Lakes.

Taproom snacks include locally handmade focaccia bread and hot Bavarian pretzels. Biscuits & Barbecue, a standout for Cajun and Creole food located a block away, will offer a special menu for Lost Brewing patrons on Tuesdays to Thursdays; there will be food trucks and occasional live music on weekends. The taproom is dog-friendly and kid-friendly, and Sunday is family day, with an occasional Mister Softee ice cream truck appearance.

Lost Farmer plans to self-distribute to local bars, restaurants, and beer stores, so craft beer lovers won’t have to get lost to find delicious fresh craft beer.  

Lost Farmer Brewing Co. is located at 63-A 2nd St. in Mineola. For more info visit lostfarmerbrewing.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Blue Point Brewing Celebrates Unofficial 4/20 Holiday With New ‘Legalize Wheat’ Beer

Blue Point co-founder Mark Burford and oyster farmer Keenan Boyle celebrating 4/20.

For marijuana enthusiasts, the number 420 has a special meaning, signifying the time of day — 4:20 p.m. — when cannabis culture is celebrated.

According to legend, the daily ritual was started by a group of high school students in San Rafael, C.A., in the 1970s. Over the years the number 420 has also come to signify the date, 4/20 or April 20, for an unofficial national holiday to enjoy all things gnarly, dude!

Although legal recreational marijuana is not yet available in New York State, Long Islanders were able to celebrate 4/20 at an outdoor market at Blue Point Brewing in Patchogue.  Dubbed “Shakedown on Main Street” as an homage to the Grateful Dead, the market featured merchandise from local vendors, live music, grilled cheese, and of course Blue Point beer.

Legalize Wheat beer with graphics by Grateful Dead artist Helen Kennedy.

Blue Point introduced a new beer at the event, Legalize Wheat, a 7.0% ABV Hoppy American Wheat Ale made with a Pineapple Express blend of terpenes, the naturally-occurring compounds that enhance the flavor and aroma of both beer and cannabis. For the new beer label, Blue Point commissioned graphics from Helen Kennedy, the first female artist-in-residence for the Grateful Dead.

Legalize Wheat is a limited edition beer and is available in six-packs and also as part of a special HopBox, available for shipping across New York State and for pickup at the brewery. The HopBox also includes a Legalize Wheat poster designed by Helen Kennedy, six-packs of Hoptical Illusion and Peripheral Drift IPAs, a four-pack of LIIT Hard Tea Seltzer, a package of Blue Point rolling papers, and treats to satisfy the munchies — special brownies and Flaming Hot Cheetos.

Take a long strange trip to Blue Point while supplies last!

Bernie Kilkelly is editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters here. Sign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.

Twin Fork Beer Co. Serves Pitch-Perfect Brews in Riverhead

Courtesy Twin Forks Beer Company.

Visitors to craft breweries may sometimes see double, especially after a few pints. But at Twin Fork Beer Company, which opened in Riverhead in October 2020, customers would not be mistaken if they ran into the founders, identical twin brothers Dan and Peter Chekijian.

The brewery’s name is a triple homage to the Twin Forks region, the twin brothers, and to tuning forks used to tune musical instruments, because their father was a classical pianist. 

“We use the tuning fork in our logo and in our distinctive tap handles to show our love and respect for music,” says Peter, whose younger brother is a professional musician.

After pursuing a variety of jobs in manufacturing, sales, and wine importing, Peter started homebrewing in 2008 and joined the Brewers East End Revival homebrew club. He then interned at Long Ireland Beer Company in Riverhead to deepen his brewing skills, and his brother joined him in the dream of starting their own brewery.

The brothers took the leap in 2014 and founded Twin Fork Beer Co., contract brewing their beers at local breweries. They wanted to be part of the craft beer boom that has now resulted in Riverhead having the most craft breweries of any town on Long Island.  

Twin Fork’s logo made out of beer cans hands in its tasting room.

In 2018 on an undeveloped lot on Raynor Avenue, they broke ground on an 11,480-square-foot facility with a 20-barrel brewhouse, cold storage for distribution, and a tasting room. The expanded production capacity of their new brewery will enable Twin Fork to continue expanding self-distribution of cans and kegs across the New York Metro area. 

Twin Fork’s beers have names that also pay tribute to musical terms, including the flagship Chromatic Pale Ale, Crescendo IPA, Minuet Session IPA and Sonata, a Kölsch-style Lager Ale.  Seasonal beers include rich Legato Stout in the winter, Harvest Notes amber ale in the fall, and the soon-to-be-released Summer Notes ale.  

Before opening, the brewery received approval to expand its tasting room to provide more space for social distancing during the pandemic. Savannah Kurz, tasting room manager, said the brewery’s priority is the health and safety of its customers and employees.

“We have an outdoor area with picnic tables that was great to use on warmer days,” said Kurz, “and we look forward to opening that up again this spring.”

Twin Fork will soon have its own permanent food truck at the brewery, serving food in perfect harmony with its beers.    

Twin Fork Beer Company is located at 807 Raynor Avenue in Riverhead. For more info visit twinforkbeer.com.

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

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

Sign up for Long Island Press’ email newsletters hereSign up for home delivery of Long Island Press here. Sign up for discounts by becoming a Long Island Press community partner here.