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Interviews from Bay Fest during Long Island Craft Beer Week 2016

I got to talk to some great people from breweries around the Island when I attended Great South Bay Brewery’s Bay Fest. Taking precious time away from the hordes of attendees, I managed to grab a couple of minute-long interviews with folks from three Long Island breweries. I want to thank Tim, Kevin, and Nate once again for answering some questions and ignoring my amateur camera work.

Here’s Tim from The Brewers’ Collective:

Next up is Kevin from Sand City:

And here’s Nate from Crooked Ladder:

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A note from Long Island Craft Beer Week 2016

Melba and I are having great fun at Long Island Craft Beer Week 2016. We’ve been attending keg taps and meeting people enjoying great Long Island craft beers. We have some videos on the #LICBW16 Facebook page.

Today, I’ll be attending Great South Bay Brewery’s Bay Fest. I’ll be helping the LICBW crew at their table. Come say hi!

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2016 Long Island Craft Beer Week

Melba and I have been working behind the scenes, helping out with this year’s Long Island Craft Beer Week. There’s a lot of great people involved in supporting the ever-growing Long Island craft beer community, and that includes restaurants, beer distributors, and people who purchase craft beer, besides the brewers themselves. We’re thrilled to be a part of it!

A can of Long Island Beer Week 2016 Craft Cares IPA with a glass containing Craft Cares IPATo get a taste of what the Long Island Craft Beer Week is about, check out the new downloadable app and the Facebook page, which will have up-to-date information. Long Island Craft Beer Week also supports Long Island Cares, a charity that helps feed the hungry on Long Island, through the Craft Cares beer redemption, where people trade two non-perishable food items for a can of Craft Cares IPA, a collaboration between eleven Long Island brewers. It’s a one-off beer that’s only available during Long Island Craft Beer Week, which runs May 13–22, and only from special locations.

Keep an eye out! We’ll be checking in to special events all week.

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BrickHouse New Brewer Looking at Next Twenty Years

Paul Komsic among his equipment

Paul Komsic – Brewmaster of BrickHouse Brewery.

Walking past the BrickHouse Brewery, it’s easy to take for granted this soon-to-be 20-year old mainstay in Patchogue, New York. But if you take the time to look in the window, you might catch Paul Komsic, current brewmaster, walking among the copper and stainless steel tanks either bringing a new batch to a boil or checking up on a fermenting beer.

taps “I have a quarter of a million dollars in brewing equipment in the front window and some people still believe it’s just for show,” says Paul.

After years of honing his skills as assistant brewer to two former brewmasters, Paul took the reins as brewmaster in December of 2015. He is looking to expand on an already well-received beer line and add his own unique brewing vision to the history of BrickHouse. People are taking notice, but old perceptions are sometimes hard to shake.

When BrickHouse began to brew in-house years ago, they had to overcome an image issue. Paul says, “What confused people, was that we had a business relationship with Blue Point. They were cleaning our kegs and storing our grain, because we just didn’t have the room for it at that time. When everybody sees you going over there and picking stuff up, what are they going to assume? Now we have our own storage for [grain] and our own keg washer. We are 100% self-sufficient.”

“And honestly in the last two years, I think we conquered most of that. Every now and then I get somebody,” Paul continues, “but I would say 85% of everybody knows [that we brew our own beer]. We put so much effort making sure everyone knows this is the new situation. People know who we are at least, and if they haven’t had the new product, they’ve heard 100 times that they should.”

board So what can we expect to see from Paul on tap at the BrickHouse? “I plan to have rotating rye beers throughout the year, those are my personal favorites. I really like nitro beers, and I want to have specialty seasonal beer on nitro. In the early spring< Carrickfergus,” BrickHouse’s popular cream ale. “In the summertime, maybe a golden ale with coffee and toasted coconut, and in the fall/winter have Breakfast Brown, our maple pecan brown ale. I want to do seasonal wood-aged beers as well, experiment with cherry wood, maybe, some oak-soaked in some odd-ball liquor.”

Paul is already thinking about what to create for the upcoming 2016 beer festival season which include large events like the Blue Point Cask Beer Festival and *Alive After Five, which brings thousands of visitors to the streets of downtown Patchogue and the possibility of hundreds of new customers for BrickHouse Brewery. Paul says, “Nobody here is allowed to take off. It’s all hands on deck. It is a madhouse.”

But none of this really phases Paul. He has, as the cliche states, been there, done that. All is his focus now is on creating great beer and putting his own personal mark on a 20-year history. “I love the challenge. I love winning over someone with our beer.”

Paul knows he won’t be the last to brew for BrickHouse, but he says, “To be apart of this… whatever the next brewmaster after me does, he is probably going to have to brew Carrickfergus; he’s probably going to have to brew DePeach Mode. To be able to put something in mix in the greater scheme—it’s really awesome to be apart of that history. It’s good to have my little notch.”

Some recommended beers to try at the BrickHouse Brewery:

Ron’s Burgandy, Paul’s first original recipe, is a deep red “Scotchy-Scotch ale” with a bright American hop finish. Three kinds of rye are used to give this beer a spicy and malty backbone.

Don Dapper IPA, Paul’s first professional IPA recipe. Think bold, fruity, juicy, and expensive. This IPA is made with Chinook, Wakatu, and Ella hops.

Main Street Mocha, a porter brewed with coffee beans, from Roast Coffee & Tea Trading Company, and cocoa nibs.

Crazy Cow, a brown milk stout with the bold taste of chocolate and roasted malts, with a hint of vanilla.

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No Corners Cut for Square Head Brewing in 2016

A Family Affair

Dave and Brad Jordan of Square Head Brewing standing in front of their brewery equipment

Dave and Brad Jordan of Square Head Brewing

Dave Jordan, of Square Head Brewing now brewing with his son, Brad, began to home brew with his own father. “I used to brew with my dad when I was about sixteen years old. We did it for a couple of years and then it kind of fizzled out. Then about six years ago, my kids bought me a sampler pack of Williams Brothers Brewing, from Scotland, they had an Ebulum Elderberry Black Ale. Brad and I were critiquing the beer the best we could and I turned to him and said, ‘we can make this,’ and he said, ‘no way.’ I still had some of my old equipment. We bought a couple of kits and more equipment and got back into it. The elderberry beer clone was the eighth or ninth beer that we made.”

The Leap from Home Brew

Like many of the professional breweries on Long Island, Square Head had its start in a home brew club. Says Dave, “The elderberry clone was one of the first beers we actually put into the home brewing contest that our club,” Brewer’s East End Revival or B.E.E.R., “has every May. We started to doing events with the club. First event we did was Martha Clara,” at the North Fork Craft Beer Festival. “We saw the public response, that was like, yup, all in. We have been with the club five years now.” He continues, “We moved from the kitchen, to the garage, to the space we are in now.”

Starting Large

A small part of the brewing equipment in Square Head Brewery

Fun Fact: That large fermentor (FV4) in the back was sitting the Blue Point Brewing parking lot before Square Head scooped it up.

Many burgeoning breweries start small with a one or three barrel (bbl) system. The Jordans have a head start. “We are starting with 14bbl Mash Tun and a 5bbl brew kettle,” says Brad, as well as, “three fermentors and bright tank.” A bright tank is where the beer sits after the primary fermentation is complete, letting the beer mature and undergo a secondary fermentation for natural carbonation.

“That was all in the research end of it, too, we saw how other breweries started on smaller equipment and right away within six or eight months have to buy bigger equipment. With the amount of contracts that we are hopefully looking at,” says Dave, “we would be fighting to get beer out the door.”

Adds Brad, “It’s a small space we might as well max out now rather than having to shut down and having to get new fermentors, deliveries, and hook up.”

No Strangers to the Local Beer Scene

Square Head Brewing has been attending local beer festivals since 2014, from the Blue Point Cask Festival, Great South Bay Brewery’s Punktöberfest, and Beerfields. Some of the beers it has showcased: Talking Stranger, a double IPA with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook, and Simcoe hops. 3 Dollar Bill, a pistachio pale ale, Suite Solitude, a strawberries-and-cream ale, and Occasional Pause, an amber ale with cinnamon and habaneros grown from Dave’s garden.

Growth in 2016

Several beer taps at the soon-to-be opened Square Head Brewing

Five taps in place, much room for more.

Since autumn of 2015, the Jordans have been expending extra energy to get their tasting room open. “We both work full-time jobs,” says Dave. “We are working nights and weekends to get extra money and working on the tasting room.” That work includes bringing in brewery equipment, building a cold box, recycling and repurposing wood, and putting in countertops. According to Brad, “We are hoping to open soon with four to five solid beers on tap and grow from there. We drilled out for 17 [taps] and then three beer guns for a small bottling line and for filling growlers.”

Once the grand opening date is announced, Dave and Brad are ready to be a part of the Long Island craft beer business community. Says Brad, “We are ready. We have been set every since day we said we are doing this. We are all in.”

The Square Head Brewery is located on High Street in Holbrook, New York. It is the fourth brewery in the area with neighbors Spider Bite Brewing, Saint James Brewery, and 1940’s Brewing.

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RPAB 7th annual Nano Cask Beer Festival

The Rocky Point Artisan Brewers 7th annual Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival marks the unofficial beginning of the 2016 Long Island beer-festival season. Held at the Rocky Point Clubhouse, in Rocky Point, New York, the event highlights nano- and small-craft breweries and brewing clubs from Long Island. With very limited ticket availability, it’s an exclusive treat for those who enjoy tasting one-of-a-kind brews in a relaxed atmosphere. This year, while inspecting the casks on each brewer’s table, we were serenaded with live jazz by The Nick Gianni Trio, while noshing on homemade, gourmet jerky by Two Big Jerks Jerky—the peach mango habanero jerky sold out in less than an hour—and cheese platters made from sheep and cow milk, specially curated by The Big Cheese.

The Nick Gianni Trio at the 2016 Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival

The Rocky Point Artisan Brewers host this event “as a celebration of small, Long Island brewers. They ask all participating brewers to brew a special cask ale on a nano scale. We want the brewers to bring something they made just for this festival. The brewers often bring additional beers of their choice. In past years we have had a great selection of really unique and tasty beers.”

This year’s brewery line up included: 1940’s Brewing Company, Barrage Brewing, Bellport Brewing, Lithology Brewing, Po’Boy Brewery, Moustache Brewing, Port Jefferson Brewing, Rocky Point Artisan BrewersSaint James Brewery, and Sand City Brewing. Brewing clubs included Beer Loves Long Island, Brewers East End Revival, and Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts.

I got to taste some unique beers:

Barrage Brewing Company Assault n Fudgery, a salted caramel and fudge porter, which had attending homebrewers scratching their heads wondering how it was made, keeping brewer Steve Pominski busy answering their questions.

Rocky Point Artisan Brewers Chocolate Doppel Dunkel Bock won over some ardent IPA lovers in my company. It was rich and creamy, without being cloyingly sweet.

Bellport Brewing Company whiskey-barrel-aged Fireplace Bay, a Russian Imperial stout made with Tend Coffee’s Special Prep. For lovers of coffee, this beer was like a strong drip, big and bold.

Sand City Brewing Southdown Stout, a breakfast stout cask conditioned on Madagascar vanilla beans. This recently opened brewery in Northport is getting a lot of buzz from not only beer drinkers but other brewers. Keep your eye on them.

Port Jefferson Brewing Company Life Preserver, a cask-conditioned Vienna lager, was a welcome change from all the porters and stouts available; although, that didn’t stop me from tasting their Peanut Butter Porter right after I finished the lager.

Both Moustache Brewing Co. and Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusists served up coconut beers. LIBME had Coconut Brown Ale that gave no apologies, with in-your-face coconut, while Moustache Coconut Milk Stout, cask-conditioned with vanilla beans and cinnamon, was more sublime and well balanced.

The size and exclusivity of the Nano Cask Ale Festival may make it easy to miss some of these casks, but many of these brewers will pour at the largest cask festival on Long Island, the Blue Point Cask Festival, April 16th, at the Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue.

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Craft Beer New Kids, No More – Destination Unknown Beer Company

Author’s Note: My original vision of Craft Beer New Kids, No More was to be a five-part series focusing on new breweries, open six months or less, and the challenges they faced after their grand opening. I have decided it will be a continous series highlighting breweries up to two years old.

After years of struggling with supplies, regulations, licenses, and the constant outflow of money, you finally open your brewery. Congratulations! You’re the new kid in town! If you’ve done your marketing homework correctly, local media are knocking on your door to publish your story. You’ve received constant calls and emails from beer distributors, bars, and restaurants wanting to get your beer on tap. Twitter and Instagram are abuzz with pictures and good reviews. But it’s now six months, a year, two years later and the newness has faded. Now what?

Destination Unknown Beer Company logo We ask local New York breweries what happens when the spotlight has dimmed, the fanfare has quieted, and the not-so-newsworthy hard work of running a business continues. This time, we talk to Destination Unknown Beer Company co-owners and brewers, Brad Finn and Chris Candiano.

  1. How are your relationships with those first restaurants, bars, and distributors when you first opened compared to now? Do they continue to support you?

    (Chris): We were so small when we opened. We didn’t start distribution right away, just tasting room only. We still struggle with that because we are [six months later] still small. I wouldn’t say we had “fifteen minutes of fame” when we opened, we had about seven-and-a-half. A lot of people still don’t know about us.

    (Brad): We get people in the tasting room all the time [asking], “When did you open last week?”

    Destination Unknown tap list from their tasting room We get an email every single day from a different beer distributor or a different bar. As far as relationships, we did some small distribution and we got amazing feedback from them, and we continue to use them. As we continue to grow and expand, we try to take care of the people that took care of us in the beginning. We have to say “no” to a lot of people. It hurts and we don’t want to do it but we have a hard time keeping beer in [our tasting room].

    (Chris): I feel there are two sides of beer fandom: Beer fans that seek the newest, coolest beers and then move on; and, then you get the locals and your core audience. We have established a core audience and they are what keep us in business day to day.

    We do release a new beer almost every week, because we are small enough to do that. We like to play around, and that gets people into the door. That is not us just trying to rope people in. It is seeing what our little home-brew recipes can do and how they translate to the public—some of them are great, some of them are not so great. This is where we are finding our core beers. So you get people that come in, and they say they want to see what’s new, and that’s awesome.

  2. How important is continuing social media to a small brewer and being engaged with your customer? Is it possible to become too engaged?

    Taps at the Destination Unknown tasting room (Brad): We definitely use social media to our advantage. I try to at least post something every day to all our social media outlets. It lets people know what we are doing, and other times just to keep Destination Unknown in the back of people’s minds. It is an incredible source of marketing. I don’t think we would be doing as well as we are if we couldn’t use social media. It’s very, very important to us as a small, local business to continue to use social media on a regular basis.

    (Chris): We believe in interacting with the public to see what they are looking forward to. This isn’t our full-time gig (yet), and, trying to do our day jobs and this, is very hectic. We can’t always be on top of everything. It’s hard enough with scheduling brewing days, cleaning days, and the tasting room hours.

    It takes the choice of beers out of our own heads. What would you like? We know what we like, but you can also get your own little world what you like making and not what people are looking for. Social media definitely helps us with that.

  3. Events are a huge part of getting your brand recognized. Do you continue to pour at them? Does the cost factor and return-on-investment start to creep in more and more now that you are moderately established?

    (Brad): There is definitely a cost factor. We opened in the summer, so we had festival after festival to choose from. I think when it comes down to us attending an event, we look at the return of investment as far as the market we are going to reach. For example, an event far away from the tasting room, a small majority might visit. We did Bats & Brews Benefit, and it was only 75 to 100 people there, but they were right around the corner from us. Fifty of those people have come to the tasting room. In comparison, when I go to a large event I see two or three of the thousand people that were there.

    We don’t look at it at a financial end. We take the loss, and we know it’s advertisement. Being that it’s advertisement, we more look at the return-on-investment on the type of crowd that are going to be there. Are they beer drinkers that are they going to seek us out? When they taste [our beer], are they in the locale and are they are going to come to the tasting room. We will make the money back when they come to enjoy the beer here.

    (Chris): At this stage in our brewery, we have have no business sometimes going to a really large event, where is 5,000 to 10,000 people. At some of those events, people just hang out and drink a ton of beers, not necessarily taste a bunch of beers. So, at this stage, we are picky and choosy not for monetary reasons. Who is our target audience? It’s easy to get lost in the static.

    (Brad): It’s all about meeting that one person who has a hundred friends. You treat everybody you meet, whether at a big or small event, with respect and just represent yourself well.

  4. How do you balance your brewing needs now, and what your needs are going to be in the future?

    (Brad): It runs our day.

    (Chris): That is our main topic of conversation between us now—it’s every day. We had this conversation last night. What are we doing? We are grinding it out.

    (Brad): It wasn’t like people said you are going to grind it out on a one-barrel system and we said “you are fucking crazy” and “we are going to be different.” We just didn’t know how fast we were ready for expansion.

    A tulip glass with a dark beer from Destination Unknown (Chris): We are trying to keep up. We did not expect to be where we are now, and that’s great, and that’s a good problem to have, but it’s our main problem right now. After our grand opening, we were forced to hit the ground running. We sold out at our grand opening and had to close [the tasting room] for a month.

    (Brad): We didn’t expect that. We have been playing catch up ever since that day. Our business plan was 50 to 60 barrels in our first year, and here we are at six months and we are at 70 barrels, so we knew we were have to grind it out, but we thought the grind would be trying to bring people in and pay the mortgage. We didn’t know the grind would be making beer every single day just to keep up with demand.

    (Chris): That was one problem we never thought in a thousand years that we would have. We can’t make beer fast enough; we can’t make enough of it.

    (Brad): And that’s just for here in the tasting room. People are like “brew more,” and we don’t have enough time—we don’t have enough days to brew more. It’s hard to get investors and loans when you only have six months sales experience. When you only have six months of history, you can’t blame people.

    (Chris): When we decided to jump into this, we did this on a shoe-string budget. We do luckily have six months of really good sales and numbers to show. Banks and traditional outlets are a little hesitant. Is it going to be a private investor? Do we give equity away? This is our baby—why do we want to give equity away? What are we going to get out of this? What are the investors going to get out of it?

    (Brad): I don’t think we knew how fast we would be looking at expansion and how difficult it would be. I think we thought, if we reached capacity at one barrel and we can’t keep up, it’s going to be a no-brainer for someone to see how good we are doing and invest in us.

    (Chris): But that was supposed to be two years down the line, not six months.

  5. What is the most important thing to your business right now?**

    (Chris): Our flagship beer, Dominick White IPA. The public made that our flagship beer. That’s what people went nuts over. We had a pale ale that was great and thought people were going to love. We don’t even make that any more. But, to make [Dominick White IPA] consistently, it is actually pretty hard. There are hop shortages we have to contend with. The main hop is Amarillo which is the most popular hop right now. It’s hard to get, so we have to be creative some time.

    How do we be creative but keep it consistent? It’s the big, constant struggle.

    (Brad): To establish a brand, there has to be a level of consistency and a level that people expect. I can make 100 beers, and I can make that my primary focus, but if I make 100 beers that are shitty…. It’s important for us to establish a consistent reputation of making good, traditional-style beers. It’s a lot harder than people imagine.

    (Chris): The most important thing for us right now is just making good beer. That is what public expects, and that’s why we are here. That’s the most important thing—consistency.

Thanks Brad and Chris! We hope you have continuing success! Destination Unknown’s tasting room and brewery is located in Bay Shore, New York, and you can check it out on Facebook, too.

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Bay Shore Brewery Boom

Fact: The Brewers Collective needs space. In less than a year, it has quickly outgrown the shared facility at A Taste of Long Island in Farmingdale, New York. And room it will have, as it becomes the newest brewery to find a home in Bay Shore, with 1,300 sq. ft. of space on North Clinton Avenue.

collective1 collective2Its move comes as no surprise following its success at the farmers market in Babylon and its constant rotation of beers on tap all across Nassau and Suffolk County like Useful Idiot, an American IPA, Schweet, a witbier beer with orange peel, and Loot, a gruit ale, an historically traditional beer that uses herbs in conjunction with, or replacing, hops. It’s the third brewery to have a home in the Bay Shore, following Great South Bay Brewery on Drexel Avenue, and Destination Unknown Beer Company on Chicago Avenue.

With the success of breweries, craft beer bars, and beer-centric events in Riverhead and Patchogue, Bay Shore may soon woo more lovers of craft beer to stay in Western Suffolk. And just like their neighbors out east, the restaurants and shops of Bay Shore will reap the benefits of patrons as they begin or end their brewery tours in the heart of town.

As The Brewers Collective exits, another slot opens up at A Taste of Long Island in its alternating proprietorship. 1940’s Brewing Company and Po’ Boy Brewery, who were also brewing at the Farmingdale facility, are already in the process of moving into a 2,000 sq. ft. brewery and tasting room on Lakeland Avenue in Bohemia.

Look for The Brewers Collective’s tasting room and brewery to open in 2016.

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Grinding Away

Two brewers walk into a bar. Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened.

Christopher Vetter, brewer and founder of Sail Away Coffee Co. first stopped by the Barrage Brewing tasting room to enjoy a beer flight. He started Sail Away just a year ago, offering cold brew coffee and small-batch roasted beans at farmers markets across Long Island, and was curious about this other small business right around the corner. “I had come across Barrage online and heard about this local brewery right by me where I work. I decided to visit one day, and it was totally unexpected.”

Fortuitously, Steve Pominski, owner and brewmaster of Barrage Brewing was on-site that day, and Christopher, impressed by what he just sampled, struck up a conversation. Chris says, “I had the idea prior, almost to the inception of [Sail Away Coffee], that I would love to use my cold brew and infuse it in beer. I would love a beer to come to life that had all the traits of my cold brew—smooth, non-astringent…” Two weeks after that tasting room visit, an opportunity presented itself.

Photo © Sail Away Coffee Co. Instagram

Photo courtesy of Sail Away Coffee Co. on Instagram

Chris continues, “We got invited to do the NYC Craft Beer Festival as a cold brew vendor. This would be a great idea to approach Steve and invite him along. The next day I walked in there and asked him if he would be into it.” Chris brought samples of his cold brew coffee for Steve to try, and, after a few tastings, a collaboration beer was born. The final product, CMP, a 6.5% ABV. coffee milk porter, is made with a concentrate of Sail Away‘s cold brew coffee.

Steve says of CMP, “I want the porter to mimic a coffee with sugar. It will have that traditional porter, coffee look, using a cold coffee extract that Sail Away will be producing and adding lactose to make it a little sweet.”

barrage Working with coffee is nothing new for Barrage, having experience with brewing coffee in its Famous Last Words Russian Imperial stout and Sweet Louis Coffee Hazelnut cream stout. Steve is ready to take on the challenge of replicating Sail Away‘s unique cold brew into a beer. “In some of the better coffee stouts and porters, the brewers actually cold steep their beans before they actually put them in the beer, so it’s not at all unfamiliar. …it’s kind of funny that brewers have been doing it for awhile. So coffee shops and brewers were doing it side by side and now they are crossing paths.”

The pairing at the NYC Craft Beer Festival would have been a rare chance for beer drinkers to sample the cold brew coffee and the CMP beer at the same time. Steve said, “We are going to be side by side at the beer festival in Manhattan. People are [going to] drink his coffee and then be able to drink my beer… I want people to say ‘Hey, this tastes like I’m drinking coffee, but it’s a beer!'”

Alas, it was not to be. Due to last minute changes in venue and dates, Barrage Brewing was unable to pour at the festival. Do not despair for CMP, the coffee milk porter, will debut this month at the Barrage Brewing tasting room in Farmingdale, New York, and at select restaurants and bars across Long Island.

Barrage Brewing is located at 32 Allen Blvd, East Farmingdale, New York. Sail Away Coffee Co. can be found at farmers markets across Long Island. Visit sailawaycoffee.com or Facebook for up to date information.

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Can-tastic! Long Island Breweries Look to Aluminum

It’s what defined “craft beer” from “macro” for a long time—craft in glass bottles, big beer in cans. Canning has become cheaper and lighter, but, more importantly, there have been improvements in canning technology so the beer doesn’t react to the can, producing off-flavors. These developments didn’t go unnoticed by small breweries wishing to cut costs while preserving the taste of their crafted brew. By switching to cans, breweries achieve greater penetration into beach venues and sporting arenas that don’t want the waste and hazards of glass bottles. Canning is increasing within Long Island’s breweries, some having made the leap, with more planning to jump to aluminum.

Blue Point Brewing Company

Two cans of Blue Point Brewing Toasted Lager  Two cans of Mosaic Session IPA from Blue Point Brewing

No surprise that being one of the elder statesmen of breweries on LI, Blue Point was one of the first to start canning in 2012. Blue Point’s canned beer includes its flagship Toasted Lager, the popular Summer Ale, White IPA, and Toxic Sludge, and most recently Rastafa Rye Ale and Mosaic Session IPA.

Montauk Brewing Company

Cans of Montauk Brewing Driftwood Ale, Summer Ale, Session IPA, Hop Blonde Ale, and Arrowhead Red Ale This brewery at the end of Long Island’s South Fork began canning in 2014. Now, you can find its beers all over the Island, even at impressive venues like Citi Field. Its lineup includes Driftwood Ale, Summer Ale, and Session IPA.

Montauk Brewing is also releasing Hop Blonde Ale, a 5% ABV, hoppy American blonde ale made with Nugget and Ahtanum hops in the beginning of September, and Arrowhead Red Ale, a 5% ABV, Irish red ale, which will be released by the end of the year.

Port Jeff Brewing Company

Cans of Port Jeff Brewing Party Boat Session IPA, Beach Beer, and Overboard Port Jeff first canned its Party Boat Session IPA, and it was an immediate success. Never one to be ordinary, Port Jeff began canning four-packs of their H3 Trippel, a Belgian-style ale, and Overboard, a Russian Imperial stout in 2015. In June, Beach Beer, a Belgian-style wheat beer, was also added.

Great South Bay Brewery

Cans of Great South Bay Field 5 Golden IPA 2015 was the Year of the Can for GSB and its Field 5 Golden IPA. It also introduced Long Island to the “Crowler,” a 32oz. can filled to order in GSB’s tasting room with any choice of beers on tap. Personally, I want to see its popular Blonde Ambition American Blonde Ale and Blood Orange Pale Ale in six pack. I can only hope.

Blind Bat Brewery

Aluminum bottles of Yorker Ale, Commack Common Ale, Echolocation IPA, Midnight Train to Jodhpur, and glass bottles of Purgatory Porter and Hells Gate Golden Ale Blind Bat has been appearing at farmers markets with something shiny and new. Instead of cans, its using aluminum bottles. Some of the new bottles are Commack Common Ale, Echolocation IPA, Midnight Train to Jodhpur, an American black ale, and Yorker Special Bitter.

Barrage Brewing Company

Barrage is looking to release two of its beers in cans before year’s end. First, will be their American IPA Galaxy Beast. Initially the cans will only be available for sale at the tasting room, so don’t look for them at your local distributor… yet.


NB: Photos taken at Bellport Cold Beer and Soda in Bellport, New York, except for Montauk Brewing Company and Blind Bat Brewery which were provided by the breweries.

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