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Bernie Kilkelly

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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.

Celebrate Oktoberfest At These Long Island Events

oktoberfest
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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.

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Lithology Brewing Co. in Farmingdale Rocks On

lithology
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.

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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.

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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.

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Lost Farmer Brewing Company Opens in Mineola

brewing
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.

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

4/20
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.

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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

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27A Brewing Company Keeps Local History Alive in Lindenhurst

27A Brewing
Co-founders and Lindenhust natives Ryan and Melissa Cooke.

Beer has a special place in the history of Lindenhurst, where one of Long Island’s first breweries opened in 1871, and where Linden Brewery, previously the region’s largest brewery, closed in 1949. 

Breaking the 70-year dry spell to ensure locally brewed beer is part of the village’s future is 27A Brewing Company, which Lindenhurst High School sweethearts Ryan Cooke and Melissa Bates-Cooke founded in 2019 in a 120-year-old building on North Wellwood Avenue that formerly housed a longtime butcher shop.

“The fact that Lindenhurst was a brewing town is important to us,” says Cooke. “We’re happy to keep that tradition alive.”   

During the renovation of the space they restored the original tin ceiling and an old marble butcher block, which is now the bar top in their taproom. The taproom is decorated with Lindenhurst memorabilia, including a display of Linden Brewery bottles.

The company has a three-barrel brewing system and regularly has six beers on tap. Cooke, a former assistant brewer at Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. in Brooklyn, uses a Norwegian yeast, kviek, that allows for faster fermentation, and loves to experiment with different styles and hops, brewing 130 different beers since 2019, according to Untappd.

“I want to have beers at 27A that are approachable for newer craft beer drinkers,” says Cooke. “So I focus on softening the water profile and offering some beers that are lower in [alcohol by volume].” 

Recent offerings included refreshing Benkert’s Blonde Ale, crisp Paint My Memory Pilsner dry hopped with Galaxy hops, and rich Oath of the Abyss Dark Double IPA. Other seasonal favorites include Rainbow Cookie Stout and Jekyll and Hyde, Ryan’s version of a Black and Tan made with Jekyll Pale Ale and Hyde Imperial Double Black IPA.

They’re well on their way to Lindenhurst’s status as a local beer mecca. Soon after the opening of 27A Brewing, Lindenhurst became home to LI’s only craft meadery, W A Meadwerks, and will soon have the second outpost of Northport’s Sand City Brewery.  

27A Brewing Company is located at 173 N. Wellwood Ave. in Lindenhurst.  For more info visit 27abrewing.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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Riverhead’s Newest Brewery Celebrates its Grand Opening

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.

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Long Island Beers to Help You Stay Warm in a Blizzard

long island beers

As the nor’easter raged on Monday, many beer lovers reached for hearty winter ales to warm up after shoveling snow or enjoying a sleigh ride. There are plenty of high alcohol craft beers on Long Island, with all kinds of beer styles brewed at double, triple and imperial ABV levels. But true winter ales, often called Winter Warmers, are notable not just for high ABV but also their rich maltiness and added spices.

Winter Warmers trace their origins to the British tradition of brewing robust, high alcohol beers to be enjoyed in the cold of winter, often with spices used in mulled wine like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and orange peel. The style became popular in the U.S. after Anchor Brewing in San Francisco brewed its first Anchor Christmas Ale in 1975 and Sam Adams introduced Old Fezziwig Ale in 1995, a rich brown ale brewed with cinnamon, ginger and orange peel.  

Many of Long Island’s craft breweries feature seasonal winter ales, including several that have become longstanding favorites. Blue Point Brewing’s Winter Ale was one of the first seasonal beers introduced after the brewery was founded in 1998 and became available in 6-packs in 2005. This rich amber ale uses pale, Vienna, crystal and chocolate malts for robust flavors and weighs in at a warming 7.7% ABV.  

Long Ireland Beer Co. brews its Winter Ale with five different malts including Honey Malts and Cararuby for a deep ruby-red color. The Riverhead brewery, founded in 2009, uses three hop varieties along with ginger, allspice and cinnamon for a spicy finish. With its full body and 7.2% ABV, this beer produces a definite warming effect. If you can’t make it to Riverhead, 6-packs are available at beer retailers and select supermarkets across Long Island.  

Port Jeff Brewing, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October, has a winter seasonal beer on tap at its tasting room. The 7.6% ABV beer, Ice Breaka Winta Warma, is a full-bodied ale brewed with mulling spices, vanilla beans, molasses and brown sugar.   

In Bay Shore, Destination Unknown Beer Company serves up its Old Fashioned DUBCO Christmas Winter Warmer, brewed with Crown Maple syrup, orange peel, demerara sugar and luxardo cherries. The beer is aged on bourbon-soaked oak and this year’s version brings the true Christmas spirit at 9.3% ABV.  4-packs are available for takeout or can be ordered online for curbside pickup or delivery.

One of Long Island’s newest breweries, Tradewinds Brewing, is featuring seasonal Winter Red ale at its Riverhead tap room that opened in 2020. This double IPA, with a warming 7.8% ABV, was dry hopped like a classic West Coast IPA using Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus hops to give a piney flavor that balances the rich maltiness.

While we may not have another blizzard the size of the one this week, we can count on Long Island-brewed winter ales to help us weather any storm.

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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