Long Beard Brewing Keeps Moving Forward… Slowly
Before the pipers began to play at Long Ireland Beer Co.’s Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day, before the lines formed for the first can release at Moustache Brewing>, I took a detour to the former 2nd Street Firehouse two blocks away from Main St. in Riverhead.There were two trucks in the driveway and the sounds of demolition inside. On the second floor, I was greeted by co-owners and brewers Paul Carlin and Craig Waltz of Long Beard Brewing, working on the upstairs of the old firehouse. They used my visit as a good time to take a break. On the first floor the brewery and tasting room are slowly taking shape. Metal grids mark the future positions of the tasting room, bathrooms, cold box, and brewery. A large pile of ripped-up concrete in the center of the floor was the tell-tale sign of the beginning of a drainage trench. Paul and Craig admit that there is a lot more work to be done, and they are doing most the work themselves. I have seen this before—wait for influx of capital, then construction time, then wait for inspections or permits. Rinse. Repeat.
Long Beard’s owners are trying to make good use of their downtime, refining recipes that will one day make their way to the taproom. There at an opportune time, I tasted Fuzzy Poms, an oatmeal milk stout made with hand-picked caramelized peaches from the now unfortunately defunct Davis Peach Farm. I was reminded of a popular brand of peaches-and-cream oatmeal that rhymes with “Shaker Boats,” with a hint of cinnamon, in a creamy, dark beer. Paul and Craig are hoping to be able to sell bottles of Fuzzy Poms the by this same time next year.
While enjoying this preview of Fuzzy Poms, we talked more about the beer business and the trials of opening. It is difficult to visualize the tap lines and bottles ready for distribution when you are surrounded by piles of debris, but Paul and Craig are in it for the long haul and this is just one more step in the process of opening a new brewery on Long Island.