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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.

Secatogue Brewing Co.: New West Islip Brews

Ken Srubinski, founder of Secatogue Brewing Co.

When Secatogue Brewing Co. opened last year, crowds packed the taproom as West Islip residents celebrated their first hometown brewery. The crowds dried up during the coronavirus pandemic, but Secatogue is among the local brewers selling beers to go and for delivery.

West Islip native Ken Srubinski started homebrewing seriously in his mid-20s, quickly decided to start a brewery, and, with the support of his family, purchased a 4,300-square-foot building for $1.6 million that was previously home to a construction company.  

“The building was perfect for our needs,” Srubinski says. “It was nearly new and expandable, and was connected to sewers. It was also located on a main road with good visibility and parking for our taproom.”

In a nod to his hometown, Srubinski named the brewery Secatogue, after the Native American tribe that originally inhabited what is now West Islip. He installed a five-barrel brewhouse with four fermenters and two brite tanks. With help from his wife Katie, his younger brother Tom, his father and other family members, Srubinski transformed half of the building into a beautifully appointed taproom with capacity for 100 guests.  

Srubinski typically brews at double capacity, producing 10 barrels of beer a week, to meet demand in the taproom and outside accounts. He plans to add a 10-barrel unitank, which will provide capacity for canning.

Secatogue’s beer lineup runs the gamut from light to dark, with Srubinski usually featuring several IPAs. One of his first successful recipes, Pink Hibiscus IPA, using real hibiscus flowers, is still regularly featured along with several hazy New England Style IPAs.  

The lineup also includes stouts and porters, such as Lei’d Up, made with Hawaiian cold brew coffee from Cyrus Chai & Coffee in Bay Shore, finished with hints of toasted coconut.  Srubinski also loves to experiment with unusual flavors to create beers like All We Have Left is PB&J, a cream ale made with honey, peanut butter, and Concord grapes.

Srubinski is grateful for the support the brewery has received during the crisis.  

“People have definitely not forgotten about us,” he says. “And we’re glad that Secatogue can continue to provide locally made beer to help raise the spirits of our community in these challenging times.” 

Secatogue Brewing Co. is located at 375 Union Blvd. in West Islip. For more information call 631-228-8914 or visit secatoguebrewing.com.

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

Long Island Breweries Offer To-Go and Home Delivery Services

Long Island’s craft brewing industry, along with bars, restaurants, and so many other hospitality businesses, are facing unprecedented challenges from efforts to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Brewery taprooms across Long Island, including the brand new taproom of Saint James Brewery that opened on March 14, are closed until further notice. But breweries have responded by offering to-go service, curbside pickup, and in some cases home delivery. 

Ten breweries in Nassau County are offering to-go and curbside pickup, with Lithology Brewing in Farmingdale also offering local home delivery. Twenty-five breweries in Suffolk County are offering to-go services and curbside pickup, with 10 breweries also offering home delivery of beer.

The Suffolk County breweries offering home delivery include DUBCO in Bay Shore, Great South Bay Brewing in Bay Shore, Harbor Head in Northport, Long Ireland in Riverhead, Port Jeff Brewing, Sand City in Northport, Secatogue Brewing in West Islip, and Six Harbors in Huntington.

In addition to home delivery of beer, Blind Bat Brewery Bistro & Takeaway in Centerport and BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue are also offering delivery of their food.  

LIBeerGuide.com has compiled a complete list of Long Island craft breweries that are offering to-go and delivery services, which is available at libeerguide.com/brewery-to-go-delivery. 

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

Motion Craft Brewed: Massapequa Park’s New Brewery 

Owners Kris Constantelos and Angel Santiago man the taps at Motion Craft Brewed.

Motion Craft Brewed debuted on February 14 on Park Boulevard in Massapequa Park, adding the latest draw for craft beer lovers in the village’s downtown that is home to several popular gastropubs.

After meeting at the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts homebrew club, owners Angel Santiago and Kris Constantelos decided to open a brewery together. One year after signing a lease, they opened Motion in a storefront across the street from The Good Life

“We realized that the southeastern part of Nassau County had untapped potential with no other breweries in the area,” Santiago says. “The village was very receptive to having a brewery on Park Boulevard and was very helpful in the process. We were looking for a prime location with lots of foot traffic and this definitely fit the bill.”

Nassau now has 10 craft brewery taprooms, more than double the number just two years ago.     

Constantelos was influenced by the traditions of his Italian and Greek immigrant family making wine at home, and started out homebrewing mead, a honey wine. Santiago’s homebrewing efforts focused on ciders, using a wide variety of ingredients and flavors, which he carried over into his homebrewed beer.

“We decided to brew a beer together, a Belgian-style saison flavored with honey and orange peel,” Constantelos says. “And it turned out so good that we continue to use the original recipe.”  

The beer, called My First Crush, was on tap at the grand opening and will continue to be a mainstay of Motion’s beer menu.

The partners installed a one-barrel brewing system with a two-barrel fermenting tank, so they are brewing double batches of their beer and ciders.  

“We plan to upgrade our brewing system over the next year to keep up with demand,” said Constantelos.  

Motion Craft Brewed’s taproom has 10 taps serving a diverse range of beer styles along with several ciders. On the opening weekend, the beers included Boulevard Hefeweizen, Motion Vienna lager, and Straight Outta Wonka, a rich chocolate peanut butter porter. Also on tap were three ciders: Peach Bellini, Le Pasion made with passion fruit, and Cider Colado, a pineapple coconut cider.  

According to Constantelos, the name of the brewery and its logo refers to a boat propeller always in motion. Based on the enthusiastic crowds who packed the taproom on opening weekend, the direction of this new craft brewery will be full steam ahead.    

Motion Craft Brewed is located at 1036B Park Blvd. in Massapequa Park. For more info visit motioncraftbrewed.com.

 

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

Bright Eye Beer Co. Opens in Long Beach

Bright Eye Beer Co. held its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020.

Bright Eye Beer Company, Long Beach’s first craft brewery, celebrated its grand opening Friday night with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and hundreds of craft beer lovers packing its taproom on Park Avenue. 

Leading the event was Long Beach Chamber of Commerce President Ian Danby of Cybernet, who was joined by local and state officials including City of Long Beach Councilman Mike Delury and New York State Senator Todd Kaminsky. Also on hand were representatives from National Grid and PSEG Long Island, both of which supported the brewery with small business grants.

“Our goal is to create a gathering place for friends to sip and savor locally brewed beers they can call their own,” said Luke Heneghan, who co-owns the brewery with Molly Allare and his sister, Keira Heneghan.

Bright Eye’s brewery and taproom is located on West Park Avenue directly across from City Hall and the Long Beach Long Island Rail Road station. It took over a 5,000 square foot space in 2018 that had been vacant for two years. The historic building was constructed in 1939 for a McLellan’s Five and Dime Store and most recently housed Long Beach Craft and Variety store.

The new owners built a 15-barrel brewhouse and a 40-foot-long bar in the taproom, which is topped by recycled steel beams from the old Point Lookout Pavilion that was taken down in 2018.

On hand for the grand opening were many members of the Heneghan family from Point Lookout, who own the popular J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern and Restaurant. Bright Eye’s name came from a fish packing company that was located in Point Lookkout in the 1930s and 1940, Bright Eye Fish Co.

“A fish with bright eyes meant that it was freshly caught,” said Luke Heneghan, “so we are proud to be carrying on the name with our freshly made local beers.”    

Initially the new taproom will be open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 9 p.m. 

Bright Eye Beer Company is located at 50 W. Park Avenue in Long Beach.  For more info visit brighteyebeerco.com.

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

Bright Eye Beer Company, Long Beach’s First Brewery, Opens in February

The Bright Eye team L. to R.: Keira Heneghan, Luke Heneghan, Kaci Heneghan, Molly Allare, and Brendan Maxim.

Bright Eye Beer Company is planning to open the first craft brewery in the City of Long Beach on Feb. 21.  

Co-owner Luke Heneghan, who grew up in nearby Point Lookout, built the brewery in a 5,000-square-foot space that was originally a five-and-dime store and spent a reported $800,000 on renovations. 

“We’re excited to be opening in the heart of Long Beach and hope that our taproom will become a place for community gatherings and local artists to display their work.” says Heneghan.  

He and his partners, Molly Allare and his sister, Keira Heneghan, spent a year installing a 15-barrel brewhouse and a 40-foot bar in the building built in 1939.  

“We were committed to recycling the wood from this historic building,” he says. “We took over 150 feet of old-growth pine from floor joists. We removed and used them to make the top of the taproom bar and other table tops.”  

The taproom also features recycled steel beams from the old Point Lookout Pavilion that was taken down in 2018. The brewery’s name, Bright Eye, was the name of a fish packing company, Bright Eye Fish Company, in Point Lookout in the 1930s and ’40s. 

“A fish with bright eyes meant that it was freshly caught,” says Heneghan. “So we are proud to be carrying on the name with our freshly made local beers.”    

He honed his brewing skills while working at his family’s Point Lookout restaurant, J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern. To launch the new brewery, he enlisted head brewer Brendan Maxim of Port Jefferson, who brewed for Laguna Beach Beer Company in California and Crazy Mountain Brewing in Colorado. Among the beers Bright Eye will have on its 16 taps are a West Coast IPA, a New England-style hazy IPA, and a creamsicle ale served on a nitro tap. 

Bright Eye is licensed as both a microbrewery and as a farm brewery, and Heneghan expects to use local ingredients, including hops from Route 27 Hop Yard in Moriches. Bright Eye plans to sell crowlers and self-distribute kegs to local bars and restaurants, including J.A. Heneghan’s.  

“I hope they will set aside at least one tap for us in Point Lookout,” he jokes.      

Bright Eye Beer Company is located at 50 W. Park Ave. in Long Beach.  For more info visit brighteyebeerco.com.

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

New Craft Beers Brewing on Long Island in 2020

Last year, New York State passed Colorado and Washington to have the second most craft breweries nationwide after California. Of more than 450 statewide, Suffolk County has the most breweries of any county in the statemore than 40.

Nine breweries on Long Island opened new taprooms in 2019, the latest being Bay Shore’s Ghost Brewing Co., bringing the region’s total to 46. And more expansion is coming in 2020, both from new breweries opening taprooms for the first time and older breweries setting up new locations.  

“We’re excited to have a tasting room to share our beers and also products from the local farmers and producers where we source our ingredients,” says Rachel Adams, who founded Saint James Brewery in Holbrook a decade ago with her husband, Jamie. The new taproom in St. James will have 12 taps, including nitro lines, and will also serve New York wines and spirits.  

Another expanding local craft brewery is Sand City Brewing, which opened in Northport in 2015. After a long search for a property to build a second location, Sand City settled on a 10,000-square-foot building on Wellwood Avenue in Lindenhurst that formerly housed a CVS pharmacy.  The new location, slated to open this spring, will have a 20-barrel brewhouse along with a large taproom and beer garden. 

“The new brewery is double the size of our Northport brewery and will allow us to experiment with new beer styles and barrel-aged beers,”  co-founder Bill Kiernan says.

Several breweries are expected to open their first taprooms early in 2020. They include HopWin’s Brewery in Bay Shore, founded in 2015 by brothers-in-law William Hoppe and Steve Winn, which took over a building that is near The Brewers Collective Beer Company. Also close to opening is Bright Eye Beer Company, formerly Point Lookout Brewing Company, located in a 5,000-square-foot space on Park Avenue in Long Beach.  

Other breweries planning to open their first taprooms later in 2020 including Motion Craft Brewed in Massapequa Park, Moriches Field Brewing Company in Center Moriches, Long Beach Brewing Company and Flying Belgian Brewery in Oceanside, Twin Fork Beer Company in Riverhead, and Root + Branch Brewing Company in Copiague.

Now that’s a lot to raise a glass to!

For a complete list of Long Island brewery taprooms and brewpubs, check out libeergude.com/brewery-tap-rooms-brewpubs. Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.

Noble Savage Brewing Makes Ferociously Good Brews

Glen Cove Mayor Timothy Tenke and Noble Savage Brewing Company owner Frank Bilello.

Noble Savage Brewing opened in the heart of downtown Glen Cove this summer and quickly gained a following for its distinctive beers and cozy taproom. 

Owner and brewmaster Frank Bilello began the search for a location for his new brewery in 2016 and quickly focused on Glen Cove, where Garvies Point Craft Brewery opened a year prior.

“I think is was serendipitous,” says Bilello. “We found a great spot in a city that is business friendly and was going through tremendous revitalization.” 

Bilello, who was born in Glen Cove and now lives in Sea Cliff, caught the brewing bug as a homebrewer and then honed his craft working at Oyster Bay Brewing for a year. After finding the location for his brewery, he spent almost two years renovating the 2,700-square-foot building with the help of grants from the City of Glen Cove, National Grid, and PSEG Long Island.  

“Without the grants I received, I wouldn’t have been able to get everything done,” says Bilello, who gutted the century-old building where he built a 2-barrel brewing system and rustic taproom featuring a long bar accented by handmade barstools.  

Noble Savage is licensed as a New York State farm brewery and sources many ingredients from the Hudson Valley.  

“We work with Hudson Valley Malt in Germantown, which is the closest provider and gives us the freshest malt we can use,” says Bilello. He also uses hops from Germantown Beer Farm, including Cascade hops that are the only hops used in his Amber Ale. 

Bilello’s beers at Noble Savage run the gamut from light lagers to hoppy pale ales to hearty brown ales and stouts. One of his experiments was Kveik Pale Ale, named for a slang Norwegian word for yeast, a nonpurified yeast used in traditional Norwegian farmhouse brewing.  

Another creation was Bomb Johnson, a dry-hopped New England-style hazy IPA. Bilello has also used ingredients from local businesses in his brews, including brownies from Pudgy Owl Bake Shop in his Fudge Yeah Glen St. Stout. 

Noble Savage’s taproom, which was initially open Thursday to Sunday, recently added Wednesday nights in addition to happy hour specials.  

Downtown Glen Cove is poised to become Long Island’s next hot restaurant and nightlife destination and Bilello is happy to be there, saying, “We got in at a good time.” 

Noble Savage Brewing Co. is located at 27 Glen Street in Glen Cove. For more information visit noblesavagebrews.com.

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

Ghost Brewing Comes Alive in Bay Shore

Brewmaster Paul Komsic

The newest craft brewery tap room on Long Island came to life in Bay Shore this weekend as Ghost Brewing Co. opened to the public for the first time. 

The new brewery is located in the back of the building that also houses Great South Bay Brewery.  The space was originally set to be the home of Fire Island Beer Co., but that brewery unexpectedly shut down in the fall of 2018. Ghost Brewing took over the space in early 2019 and hired veteran brewmaster Paul Komsic to lead the brewery.  Komsic had been head brewer at Patchogue’s BrickHouse Brewery for almost a decade and was looking for a new challenge.  

“I came from the oldest brewery on Long Island to launch the newest brewery,” said Komsic, “and I’m excited about having a much larger brewhouse to experiment with different beer styles.”

The new brewery has a 15-barrel brewhouse and on opening weekend Komsic had eight beers on tap, with plans to have as many as 12 beers on tap going forward. Komsic plans to brew a wide variety of beer styles and is committed to using locally sourced ingredients. He also plans to focus on wood-aged beer, using barrels from local companies such as East Coast Wood Barrels in Medford and Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow.

Among the beers on tap this weekend were several IPAs featuring a variety of hops including Knife Fight made with only Simcoe, West Coast Ghost made with Amarillo, Azacca, Centennial and Simcoe, and the deliciously dry Brutality made with a Champagne Enzyme. Komsic demonstrated his versatility with a range of other beer styles including Kentucky Common, Saison and Witbier. He also had a Strong Ale made with sweet molasses and a rich Cream Ale with banana and peanut butter flavors (named in honor of Elvis, of course).    

The growth of the craft beer industry on Long Island continues to surge as Ghost Brewing became the ninth new tap room opening this year.  The total number of brewery tap rooms and brewpubs across the Island is now 46, with several more expected to open in the next few months including HopWin’s Brewery in Bay Shore and Bright Eye Beer Co. in Long Beach.

Ghost Brewing’s taproom will be open on weekends through the end of December and then plans to add Wednesday and Thursday evening hours.  The spacious room is highlighted by a long bar topped by the Ghost logo, and also has comfortable couches for lounging. The tap room is dog friendly and food is available from food trucks that also serve patrons of Great South Bay Brewery.  

Ghost Brewing Co. is located at 25 Drexel Ave., Bay Shore. For more info, visit the brewery’s Facebook page @ghostbrewingco.

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

Blind Bat Brewery Opens Bistro To Pour Its Scary Good Brews

Paul Dlugokencky pours one of his brews at Blind Bat Brewery's bistro

After years of searching across Long Island for a space to open a tasting room, Paul Dlugokencky of Blind Bat Brewery followed his sonar back to his hometown of Centerport.     

Blind Bat Brewery Bistro & Take-Away opened in July and has become a favorite neighborhood spot. His wife and co-owner, Regina, is an organic farmer who grows produce and herbs used in Blind Bat’s beers and at the bistro. Together, they created a fun menu featuring burgers, sausages, sandwiches, and house-made knishes and hummus made with organic ingredients.  

“We’re happy that people are coming in as much for the food as for the beer,” says Dlugokencky.

Founded in 2008, Blind Bat Brewery, playfully named in part for Dlugokencky’s nearsightedness, is a nanobrewery — a three-barrel brewing system in a cottage behind his house — making beers with wood-smoked malts and locally grown ingredients. The brewer has been a regular at local farmers markets for years, but finding a commercial space proved frustrating, with some deals falling through.  

“Happily we ended up right in our hometown and hope to find additional space to expand our brewery here,” he says.

The bistro has eight taps featuring brews ranging from light citrusy Belgian saisons and German hefeweizens to robust porters, IPAs, and stouts.  

Dlugokencky received a New York State farm brewery license in 2017, but even before that he was using mostly local ingredients, as does the bistro menu. Several menu items incorporate Blind Bat beers, including porter in the sloppy joes.  

“We expect to add soups to the menu in the winter,” says Dlugokencky, “which will also use our beer as an ingredient.”  

The bistro is currently open on Fridays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., with plans to add more days later this year.  

Craft beer lovers should set their sonar on Centerport and make a stop at the bat cave.  

Blind Bat Brewery Bistro & Take-Away is located at 94 Washington Dr. in Centerport. It can be reached at 631-944-3333 or blindbatbrewery.com 

Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com

South Shore Craft Brewery Holds Grand Opening in Oceanside

South Shore Craft Brewery debuted on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019.

Hundreds of craft beer lovers turned out to help South Shore Craft Brewery celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and party Saturday at its new tap room in Oceanside.

Located on Hampton Road in an industrial section of Oceanside, South Shore Craft Brewery was founded in 2017 by Nick Cimorelli and Hugh Howard, who are both longtime teachers at East Rockaway High School. The friends were avid homebrewers and active members of the Handgrenades Homebrew Club, and together shared a dream of starting their own brewery. After finding a location, they spent more than 18 months building out a brewhouse with a seven-barrel brewing system as well as a spacious rustic-style tap room with ample seating at the long wooden bar, along with plenty of room for additional tables.  

The opening of South Shore’s tap room made it the eighth new brewery tap room to open on Long Island this year. The total number of brewery tap rooms and brewpubs across the Island is now 45, with several more expected to open over the next six months as breweries finish the construction and permitting process.   

The brewery is licensed as a New York State farm brewery and sources the majority of its ingredients from suppliers and growers in the Empire State. At the grand opening party, South Shore had 12 beers on tap ranging from hoppy Pale Ales and New England IPAs to robust amber ales, brown ales and stouts. South Shore also serves other New York State-produced beverages including meads from W.A. Meadwerks in Lindenhurst as well as local ciders and wines.   

South Shore Craft Brewery’s tap room is currently open Thursdays to Sundays and will host live music and other events over the winter.  The tap room is also available to rent for private events.

For more information on South Shore Craft Brewery visit southshorecraftbrewery.com.

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