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.

New Brews Take Flight at Moriches Field Brewing Company

Rich Flynn founded Moriches Field Brewing

Rich Flynn of Moriches Field Brewing Company launched the grand opening of its new aviation-themed taproom in Center Moriches on Oct. 15.  

A homebrewer for more than 15 years, Flynn founded his brewery after a successful career in the finance industry that included overseeing operations in the United Kingdom for insurance giant AIG.  

“I couldn’t find the beers I liked in Europe, especially a good English bitter, so I decided to brew them,” he says.  

After joining the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts homebrew club, he began to think of starting a new career, worked as an assistant brewer for Brian Baker of Bellport Brewing, and began searching for a location to start his own brewery.

In 2017, he purchased a 5,000-square-foot building that was built decades ago from a military surplus Quonset hut. Flynn embraced the building’s resemblance to an airplane hangar and decorated the taproom with aviation artifacts. He spent three years developing plans, going through the permitting process, and installing a six-barrel brewing system and taproom with 20 taps.

Moriches Field is licensed as a New York State farm brewery and buys most of its malts from Hudson Valley Malts in Germantown.  

“Hudson Valley malts its grains using the old-fashioned method of floor malting, which produces the freshest malts with incredible flavor,” says Flynn.   

The split brewing system enables Flynn and his assistant brewer Jonathan Hillman to brew three-barrel batches and Moriches Field plans to have up to eight beers on tap regularly. For the grand opening, on tap was Summer Winds, a crisp light cream ale, Flynn’s Irish Red, a deliciously robust amber ale, and Long Island Pale Road, a hoppy American pale ale. Seasonal beers will include an American porter, Festive Trickster, a German-style Festbier and Pitch and Yaw, an oatmeal stout.

The taproom will be open Thursday through Sunday and Flynn plans to have food trucks on the weekends. Flights with small servings of three beers are available along with crowlers for takeout. Future plans call for canning beers for takeout and local distribution.  

“I wanted to build a small brewery that serves the local people, like I saw in Europe,” says Flynn, “so I look forward to our brewery becoming a mainstay of this community.”

Moriches Field Brewing Company is located at 1 Wilcox Ave. in Center Moriches.  For more info visit morichesfieldbrewing.com.

Founder Rich Flynn cuts the ribbon at the Grand Opening of Moriches Field Brewing on Oct. 15.

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

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1940s Brewing Company Taps Kegs of Nostalgia

L. to R.: Jon Brengel and Charlie Becker.

Evoking the golden age of brewing when beer sales boomed after Prohibition was repealed and Brooklyn-brewed Rheingold was a top-seller is 1940s Brewing Company in Holbrook, which is expanding to meet demand.

One of Long Island’s fastest-growing craft breweries, 1940s was founded by Charlie Becker and named as a tribute to his father, Walter Becker, who graduated from the U.S. Brewers’ Academy in 1940 before joining Liebmann’s Brewery in Bushwick, where he brewed Rheingold until it closed in 1976.

“I grew up as a Yankees fan,” says Charlie, whose great-grandfather was also a brewer, “but Rheingold was our beer even though it was the official beer of the Mets.” 

After retiring a decade ago, Charlie continued his family’s brewing tradition at home with his daughter, then joined a homebrew club, where he connected with Jon Brengel, who’s been 1940s’ head brewer since the two launched the company in 2014.

“We hit it off and made some great beers together,” said Becker. “It has been a terrific partnership.” 

After raising more than $16,000 on Kickstarter, they set up shop in a 4,000-square-foot industrial space. Last month they celebrated their fourth anniversary. The partners now plan to expand production.  

“We purchased a new 10-barrel brewing system to replace our old 5-barrel system,” says Becker, “and with the addition of new fermenters, our total production capacity will more than double to 85 barrels.”  

The beer lineup at 1940s reflects Becker’s German heritage, with offerings such as Hefie Injustice, a hefeweizen, Bohemia Blonde, and 1940s Lager, the brewery’s take on an old-school lager like Rheingold.  

IPAs are also well represented, including three New England-style hazy IPAs Just Tap it In, Wicked Chowdah, and In Bloom while dark-beer lovers will appreciate Snap Crackle Porter and two sinfully good stouts, Sinners Mass, and Imperial Confession.   

Popular summer seasonal beers include Signal 8 Summer Wheat Beer and Sapphire Squeeze Blueberry Ale, which is one of the brewery’s biggest sellers. In October, the brewery will have its popular fall seasonal beers on tap, including Effen Pumpkin Ale and Gute Zeiten German for good times a traditional German-style Marzen beer.  

And with all that German heritage running through its beers, 1940s makes for an ideal place to say “Prost” (cheers) this Oktoberfest. 

1940s Brewing Company is located at 1337 Lincoln Ave. in Holbrook.  For more info visit 1940sbrewingcompany.com.

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

Long Island Oktoberfest Events 2020

Getty Images

The Munich Oktoberfest, which was cancelled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, is no stranger to hard times. Since it was first held in 1810, the two week festival was cancelled several times in the 1800s due to cholera epidemics and wars, and was again cancelled in the 1900s during the two World Wars.

Thankfully revelers can still celebrate the spirit of Oktoberfest on Long Island this fall with traditional German beer and food at local craft breweries and German restaurants.

Several of Long Island’s craft breweries are holding Oktoberfest celebrations, including Destination Unknown Beer Company (DUBCO) in Bay Shore, which will hold its 2nd annual Dubtoberfest on Sept. 26. Instead of the beerfest it held last year with more than a dozen local craft breweries, this year’s event will have two seatings featuring traditional German dinners from The Village Lanterne in Lindenhurst accompanied by Oktoberfest beers from DUBCO and other local craft breweries. Reservations are required and each session will also have a Stein holding contest to win prizes and bragging rights.

Long Ireland Beer Company in Riverhead will hold its 7th annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 2 and Oct. 3 with the Bacon You Crazy and Geenas Weenas food trucks providing German dishes to pair with the brewery’s Oktoberfest Lagerbier and other brews. The brewery’s annual Stein Holding Contest will be held on Oct. 3, socially distanced this year of course.  Reservations for tables of up to six people are required.  

Plattduetsche Park in Franklin Square, Long Island’s premier German restaurant and beer garden, is open Wednesday through Sunday for outdoor dining in its Biergarten.  Reservations are not required and the large beer garden allows for lots of social distancing while enjoying wursts, schnitzel, sauerbraten and other traditional German dishes along with a wide selection of Oktoberfest beers from Germany.  

Rowdy Hall pub in East Hampton will feature a special Oktoberfest prix fixe menu during the month of October with traditional German dishes including schnitzels, wursts, kassler rippchen, potato pancakes and Bavarian pretzels. German beers including Warsteiner, Spaten and Paulaner will be on tap to accompany your meal.

The Oak Chalet in Bellmore, which has been serving delicious German cuisine and beer since 1981, took advantage of its large grounds and parking lot to set up an outdoor dining area with large umbrellas and a tent. The restaurant will celebrate Oktoberfest with German music from accordionist Frank Rapuano every Thursday night until Oct. 29. There is also limited indoor dining available in the charming chalet-like dining room. 

For a complete listing of German restaurants on Long Island visit LIBeerGuide.com/german-pubs-and-restaurants.

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 Cider House Farm Cidery Presses On

Will Loughlin, Riverhead cidermaker.

September is prime time for picking apples on Long Island, but for those who prefer to enjoy apples in adult beverage form, the Riverhead Cider House has plenty to offer.  

Since opening in 2017, the cidery has developed a loyal following for its wide variety of hard ciders and its rustic tasting room featuring local craft beer, wine, and a café serving farm-to-table dishes.  

“New York State now ranks first in the U.S. for number of hard cider producers,” said Scott Ramsey, the executive director of the New York Cider Association, calling it “a time of great opportunity for New York cider.”

Riverhead was the first cidery on Long Island to be licensed as a New York State farm cidery, taking advantage of a new law for hard cider produced with apples grown exclusively in the state. The number of farm cideries statewide has grown from eight in 2014 to more than 50 last year.

Will Loughlin became Riverhead Cider House’s cidermaker soon after its opening, following years of making ciders at home. The Hauppauge native was originally attracted to cider about 10 years ago after he discovered he was allergic to wheat.  

“Cider is gluten-free and craft ciders are a great alternative for people who can’t enjoy beer,” said Loughlin. “The brewing process is similar, using apple juice as our base instead of barley, malt, and wheat.” 

Loughlin sources the majority of his apple juice from Beak and Skiff Apple Orchards in the Finger Lakes region. Riverhead Cider House planted its own orchard in 2017 with 200 trees featuring 15 different varieties, and hopes to be able to harvest enough apples next year to produce cider.

The cidery has a large selection of year-round ciders available, including traditional hard apple ciders such as Apple Annie, Benjamin’s Best, and Founders Reserve with more fruit sweetness and lower alcohol. Loughlin makes a wide variety of seasonal ciders, with some available only on draft at the tasting room, including Grapefruit Squeeze, Pool Side Pineapple, and Wild Blueberry sparkling cider.  

One of Loughlin’s favorite seasonal ciders is Blackberry Habanero, which last year won a Gold Medal at the prestigious Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition and a Bronze Medal in the inaugural New York Cider Competition.  

Loughlin said the cidery is looking forward to a busy fall, including the return of some favorite fall seasonals such as Cinnamon Toast Cider, perfect for enjoying in front of the fireplace after a crisp fall day spent picking apples.  

Riverhead Cider House is located at 2711 Sound Ave. in Calverton.  For more info visit riverheadcider.com.

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

Related Story: Apple Picking on Long Island 2020: What To Expect at The Orchards This Season

Related Story: Riverhead: LI’s Breadbasket, And So Much More

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Tradewinds Brewing Company Breezes Into Riverhead

Photo courtesy of Tradewinds Brewing Company.

Opening a new craft brewery is stressful enough when there’s not a pandemic afoot, but veteran Long Island brewmaster Duffy Griffiths was up to the tall task.

A pioneer of craft brewing on LI, Griffiths was the original head brewer at John Harvard’s brewpub in Lake Grove before launching Crooked Ladder Brewing Company six years ago and moving over to Greenport Harbor Brewing a year after that. His latest venture, Tradewinds Brewing Company, debuted in June on West Main Street in Riverhead in a space that housed Crooked Ladder, which closed last year. 

“I’m excited to be back brewing on a smaller scale and will be focusing on making high-quality craft beers in a wide range of styles,” says Griffiths.  

Tradewinds took over the 7-barrel brewing system previously used by Crooked Ladder, which also includes six 15-barrel fermenting tanks.  

The new brewery, which is owned by Griffiths’ wife Wendy and their business partner and friend Kristi Macdonald, aims to get involved with brewery tours in Riverhead, possibly including Brew Crew Cycles group bike and brew tours scheduled to start up at the end of July.

In addition to its taproom, beers from Tradewinds will be available on tap at neighboring Diggers Ales & Eats and in cans at Duffy’s Deli in Jamesport, also owned by Griffiths.  

Griffiths says the initial beer lineup at Tradewinds focused on summer seasonals and IPAs, with offerings such as Lilly light lager, No Paddle pilsner, Alsatian Hefeweizen, and Breaking Tide double IPA. Tradewinds also brewed and canned The New Guy! IPA, a New England-style hazy IPA that is being offered online as part of the recent Craft Aid festival to raise funds to support North Fork breweries.  

The opening of Tradewinds increases the number of craft brewery taprooms in Riverhead to five, with two more under construction and planning to open later this year. Twin Fork Beer Co., founded by identical twins Dan and Peter Chekijian in 2014, is working on a new brewery and taproom on Raynor Avenue. And brand new craft brewery Peconic County Brewing is being built on East Main Street by Jeff Schaeffer, who named it for a long-ago proposal for the five East End towns to secede from Suffolk County.  

The East End may not be its own county, but Riverhead is looking more like the capital of craft beer on LI, with Tradewinds being the latest gust of momentum. 

Tradewinds Brewing Company is located at 70 W. Main St. in Riverhead. For more info visit tradewindsbrewing.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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Old Tappan Brewing Company In Bayville Marks First Anniversary

L. to R.: Brent Kunkle and Matthew Cryan.

A year after the Village of Bayville celebrated its centennial, the village’s first craft brewery, Old Tappan Brewing Company, cheers its first year in business.

Film business veterans and homebrew hobbyists-turned- Old Tappan co-owners Matthew Cryan and Brent Kunkle opened the brewery after spending eight months renovating a 1,200-square-foot former dance studio, where they installed a one-barrel brewing system. They repurposed oak from the studio’s dance floor to make the taproom bar.

“We aim to make drinkable beers so people can enjoy having more than a couple,” said Cryan. 

The name “Old Tappan” is a shout-out to Cryan’s hometown of Glen Cove, where he enjoyed bicycling on tree-lined Old Tappan Road, as depicted in the brewery’s logo. Now a resident of Bayville, he and Kunkle, who lives in nearby Sea Cliff, decided to locate their brewery in Bayville, which has a bustling downtown area, especially in the summer beach season.

Old Tappan quickly earned a loyal following for its quality beers and laid-back taproom decorated with movie posters and for serving popcorn as a nod to the co-owners’ film background.  The taproom also regularly featured live music from local musicians.  

The brewery expanded its brewing capacity in early 2020 to two barrels, with Cryan brewing twice a week to keep up with strong demand. Cryan said he typically aims to have six beers on tap in the taproom, with a focus on seasonal ales and session beers that are lower in alcohol.   

Currently available at the brewery are Bayville Blonde Ale, a light-bodied ale; Bog Monster hazy New England-style IPA, dry hopped with Citra hops; Bionic Osprey IPA, a West Coast-style hoppy IPA; and Cascadian Ale, a dark hoppy ale.  

Other beers planned to be in rotation this summer will be Blueberry Ale, a fruity American Pale Ale; Accidents Will Hefe’n, a refreshing hefeweizen made with Belgian yeast; and German Hex beer, a German-style wheat beer made with white wheat.

Cryan and Kunkle are both on hiatus from the film business while they work on growing Old Tappan’s business and expanding brewing operations in Bayville.  

“When we opened our taproom a year ago, one of our main goals was to become a community business,” said Kunkle. “The pandemic hit and we quickly found out what you can do for the community, and what the community can do for you. The people of Bayville and surrounding communities have been tremendous and we are proud to be doing our part to give back.”

Old Tappan Brewing Company is located at 37 Ludlam Ave. in Bayville. For more information visit oldtappanbrewing.com.

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

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Long Island Craft Brewery Taprooms Open Outdoor Seating

Long Ireland Beer Co.'s reopening on June 10.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Long Island craft breweries have taken advantage of phase two of New York State’s reopening to open outdoor areas for their taprooms.

In an informal survey, LIBeerGuide.com found that more than 30 of Long Island’s 46 craft brewery taprooms and brewpubs have opened with outdoor seating. With just a handful of exceptions, LI breweries kept busy brewing and selling beer after the shutdown of taprooms on March 16 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Breweries quickly shifted to providing to-go service, curbside pickup, and in some cases home delivery. 

Brewery owners were thrilled to welcome back patrons in person to their taprooms, while maintaining social distancing and mask-wearing rules. 

While so many of our customers kept us going throughout the shutdown by buying beer to go, it was a great feeling to finally pour some pints and see smiling faces again,” said Dan Burke, co-owner with Greg Martin of Long Ireland Beer Co. in Riverhead. 

Many breweries that did not have outdoor seating at their taprooms adjusted to the phase two rules by quickly setting up small seating areas on the sidewalks outside their entrance.  Bright Eye Beer Co., which opened its new taproom on Feb. 21 in downtown Long Beach, set up a small patio on the sidewalk outside the brewery. Oyster Bay Brewing in downtown Oyster Bay also set up a small sidewalk area with tables and chairs.  

Other breweries located in strip malls were able to cordon off sections of their parking lots to create outdoor seating, including Old Tappan Brewing in Bayville and Saint James Brewery, which opened its new taproom in St. James on March 14 just two days before the shutdown. 

Several breweries that closed either completely or for part of the shutdown have reopened, including BrewSA Brewing and Noble Savage Brewing. BrewSA Brewing, located on Freeport’s Nautical Mile, reopened on June 10 and featured live music from local band Jerry & the Newcomers on June 14. Noble Savage Brewing, which celebrated the first anniversary of its opening in downtown Glen Cove on June 1, reopened with outdoor seating on June 12 including food from Green Street Food Truck.    

Phase three of reopening on Long Island is currently planned for June 24, which would allow indoor dining and drinking establishments, including brewery taprooms, to operate at 50 percent of capacity. Several craft breweries are waiting until phase three to reopen, including Po’Boy Brewery in Port Jeff Station and Small Craft Brewing in Amityville.  

27A Brewing Co. in Lindenhurst is waiting for phase three to reopen its taproom, but in the meantime for Father’s Day it is teaming up with local restaurant Bakuto and bespoke men’s shaving and grooming supply shop, Holy Block Trading Co., to offer a Father’s Day take-out BBQ package that includes a crowler of 27A Brewing beer and a special after-shave for Dad from Holy Block.   

A complete list of Long Island craft brewery taprooms and brewpubs is available online at libeerguide.com/brewery-tap-rooms-brewpubs.

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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Long Beach Brewing Company Rolls Ashore

L. to R.: LBBC co-owners Brett Blau, Dan Scandiffio, and Patrick Harter.

The voyage of Long Beach Brewing Company has been a long one, but LBBC overcame rough seas to found its home port on busy Lawson Boulevard in Oceanside.  

LBBC has been brewing beers at its 5,000-square-foot brewery for more than a year and began selling brews for pickup and delivery during the coronavirus shutdown. Work is also underway to finish construction of its taproom, with plans to open this summer when the lockdown ends.  

“We’ve had a tremendous response to our pickup and delivery services,” says Brett Blau, a co-owner of LBBC. “It’s been a great way to get our beers out to new customers, many of whom have become repeat customers.”

The three co-owners Blau, Patrick Harten, and Dan Scandiffio are all Long Beach natives who raised more than $29,000 on Kickstarter to launch the brewery before signing their lease in 2017. The 10-barrel brewhouse features a Pioneer brewing system from Portland, Oregon and will have 20 taps in the tasting room. It self distributes four-packs to beer stores and kegs to bars and restaurants. 

As a New York State-licensed farm brewery, it uses local ingredients in its beers. Its flagship beer, hoppy Ghost Wave IPA, is made from almost all state-grown ingredients.

Summer seasonal beers include 3350A Pilsner, a crisp lager, and West Penn Wheat, a refreshing German-style hefeweizen. Another German-style brew is The Shipwrecks Black Lager, an unusual combination of pilsner lightness with the robust roasted malt taste of a stout, named after a popular local punk band.

The newest addition to LBBC’s lineup, Oceansized, introduced during the shutdown, is a New England-style hazy IPA with super fruity hoppiness.

According to Blau, LBBC’s taproom will have taps dedicated to a tenant brewer, veteran Long Island craft brewery, Flying Belgian Brewery. The taproom will also feature local wines, kombucha from Oceanside neighbor Coastal Craft, and possibly other regional beverages and spirits.  

One thing for certain is that the taproom will have space for live music performances and display space for local artists.  

“We are proud to be an active member of the community, supporting fundraisers and food drives over the years and especially during this crisis,” says Blau. “We are looking forward to welcoming the community to our brewery when we all come through this together.”

Long Beach Brewing Company is located at 3350A Lawson Blvd. in Oceanside. For more info visit longbeachbrew.com.

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

Holbrook-based Spider Bite Spins Gold in NY Beer Competition

Two Long Island craft breweries took home virtual medals Thursday at the 4th annual New York State Craft Beer Competition, a hotly contested affair with nearly 1,000 beers in 12 categories, that was hosted on Zoom and live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube.

Spider Bite Beer Co. from Holbrook won the gold medal for its Open Wide EXP brew in the American Double IPA category. Great South Bay Brewery from Bay Shore took home a bronze medal for Holographic Haze in the Hazy IPA category, which was the most contested style with 88 entries.

The NYS Craft Beer Competition is held annually by the New York State Brewers Association, a nonprofit trade association that supports the craft brewing industry through advocacy and education. The group was a strong advocate for the passage of New York State farm brewery laws in 2013, which helped bring about a brewing renaissance statewide and across Long Island.  

New York State now has 467 breweries, compared to about 90 at the beginning of 2013, passing Colorado and Washington last year to have the second most craft breweries nationwide after California. Long Island now has more than 60 breweries, up from about 15 in 2013, with Suffolk County having the most breweries of any county in the state with more than 40.

In this year’s NYS Craft Beer Competition, beers were judged in 11 beer style categories along with a special category for New York State beers meeting the 2020 farm brewery requirements of using at least 60 percent New York State hops, malt and other local ingredients.

The gold medal winner in the New York State beer category was Big aLICe Brewing Co. from Long Island City, for its brew The Many Lives of Our Lives. This brew was the big winner of the night, also taking home the Gold medal in the Fruit and Spice Beer-Sour category and the Best in Show award, the 2020 Governor’s Excelsior Craft Beer Cup.

Spider Bite Beer Co. was founded in 2008 by Larry Goldstein and Anthony LiCausi and is a frequent medal winner at beer competitions for its innovative takes on classic beer styles, including Boris the Spider Imperial Russian Stout. In addition to a wide variety of beers, Spider Bite recently launched a new line of hard seltzers, Spiker Bite, which are available in crowlers at the brewery in several flavors including Passion Fruit.

Great South Bay Brewery was founded in 2009 by Rick Sobotka and has won multiple medals over the last decade at the Great American Beer Festival, Tap New York Festival and other beer competitions. Among the medal-winning brews from GSB are Jetty Cream Ale, Blood Orange Pale Ale and Hog Cabin Maple Bacon Porter. GSB also launched a line of hard seltzers this year called Spiked, which is being sold in 12 packs of cans at beer stores across LI. 

As the coronavirus pandemic spread across New York State, resulting in the closing of brewery taprooms across the state, the NYS Brewers Association was a strong advocate fighting for temporary permits for breweries to provide curbside pick-up, home delivery and shipment of beer.  

Many Long Island breweries are offering curbside pick-up and delivery services to get beer to customers during the shutdown. A complete list of brewery pickup and delivery services is available at libeerguide.com/brewery-to-go-delivery

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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Long Island Homebrewers Celebrate Virtual Big Brew Day

Many people on Long Island are using this forced stay-at-home time to catch up on reading lists or take up new hobbies. But Long Island’s homebrewers already have a favorite stay-at-home activity, which they will celebrate today with virtual festivities and homebrewing for annual Big Brew Day.  

In 1998, the U.S. Congress named May 7 as National Homebrewers Day to mark the 20th anniversary of federal legislation to legalize homebrewing for the first time since Prohibition. To celebrate this day, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) created Big Brew Day to be held on the first Saturday in May. 

After a decline in the 2000s, homebrewing blossomed in popularity in the 2010s among craft beer enthusiasts who realized that homebrew is the ultimate craft brew.  Long Island has three active homebrew clubs – Brewers East End Revival (B.E.E.R.) and Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) in Suffolk County, and Handgrenades Homebrew Club in Nassau County.  

These clubs all hold monthly meetings and annual competitions, and serve their homebrews at local beer festivals where they are usually the most popular attraction. During the COVID-19 shutdown, the clubs have continued to hold virtual monthly meetings and regular Zoom happy hours.

Many of Long Island’s craft breweries were founded by former members of the homebrew clubs and these breweries regularly host and sponsor events for the clubs. Blue Point Brewing in Patchogue, which was founded by two former homebrewers, has hosted an annual event for Big Brew Day for several years but due to the COVID-19 shutdown, this year’s event will be virtual.

Longtime Blue Point brewer Jim Richards will lead a virtual toast at 1 pm on Blue Point’s live Instagram feed, and after the toast Blue Point will link in the presidents of each Long Island homebrew club to discuss club activities. Members of the Long Island clubs will be brewing a wide variety of beer styles at home, including Shelter-in-Place IPA that will be brewed by this member of the Handgrenades club.

Long Island’s Big Brew Day activities will be a part of a worldwide event as the AHA has pushed to make this year’s event the largest homebrew event ever.  The AHA is the largest homebrewing group in the U.S. with more than 46,000 members and sponsors the world’s largest homebrew competition.  More than 3,500 AHA members and other brewers pledged in advance to participate in Big Brew Day, brewing more than 23,000 gallons of beer in all 50 states, six U.S. territories and 63 other countries.  

For anyone who wants to take advantage of this stay-at-home time to try homebrewing, there are plenty of resources available at LIBeerGuide.com/homebrew. The website lists homebrew supply shops on Long Island that are open for pickup to get equipment and ingredients, and information on Long Island’s homebrew clubs who are always welcoming and eager to help new homebrewers.

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