Rick Sobotka of Great South Bay Brewing stands by five taps of his beer.

QnA with DnU with Rick Sobotka

Rick Sobotka of Great South Bay Brewing stands by five taps of his beer.

Rick Sobotka behind the taps. Photo courtesy of Great South Bay Brewery, posted on Facebook.

At this point, let’s call Great South Bay Brewery a “sleeping giant.” Founded in 2010, it has been winning over the palates of Long Island craft beer drinkers one tap take-over at a time. Those tap handles include: Massive India Pale Ale, Blonde Ambition Ale, Robert Moses Pale Ale, Blood Orange Pale Ale, Snaggletooth Stout, and limited releases: Kismet Saison; Splashing Pumpkin Ale; Sleigh Ryed Winter Ale; and Hoppocratic Oath Imperial IPA.

For brewmaster and founder, Rick Sobotka, a fourth-generation brewer, beer runs in his blood. And, with a massive brewery and tasting room in the final phases of construction, there is no doubt that 2013 is year of Great South Bay. Squeezing in some time between all his brewing and building, Rick answered some questions”

  1. You have been working on the new brewery for almost a year. What’s the status? What can craft beer drinkers expect when you are finished?

    Rick Sobotka of Great South Bay Brewing working on his new brewery in Bay Shore, New York

    The final stages of construction. Photo courtesy of Great South Bay Brewery, posted on Facebook

    (Rick): Great South Bay (GSB) moved the location of our brewery to 25 Drexel Drive, Bay Shore in July, 2012. We began construction of the new brewing facility in September of 2012. We plan to have GSB beer brewed on our brand new 30 BBL Brew System for BAY FEST—our inaugural beer fest at the brewery—which is Saturday, May 11th. In 2013, we will be brewing a series of IPAs, high-gravity barrel beers and continue our passion to brew Belgian styles (strong ales, saisons, and sours).

  2. Are you still planning to can your beers? Will you be bottling 12oz. or 750mL, as well?

    We purchased a 12oz. bottling line, which has been custom manufactured for us, and it will arrive next week. We will package our flagship beers in 6-packs and cases. We will package our bigger style beers in 4-packs. We will also plan to package in 22oz. bottles and 750mL bottles which will come at a later date. We have not forgotten about our original concept to package in cans… we may something up our sleeve.

  3. You have well-rounded line up of beers. Any new styles on the horizon?

    Our first big beer up will be our Bourbon barrel-aged Scotch ale, Marauder, followed by our imperial chocolate porter, Lethal Cupcake, and our Russian imperial stout, Dirty Deeds. Field 5 Golden IPA will return, in addition to our Rye IPA and Session IPA. Conscious Sedaison, a saison will appear in bottle-conditioned 750mL packaging as well.
    Expect to see the following beers:

    • Bayliner Weisse, a Berliner weiss
    • Imperial Blonde, a Belgian strong ale
    • Great South Bay, a Vienna-style lager
    • Long Island Ale, an amber ale
    • Snozberry Stout
    • Crazy Charlie, a 3-second IPA
    • Goofy Foot, a milk stout
    • Jetty Cream Ale
    • Chipotle Porter
    • Boogeyman Barleywine
    • GSB Oktoberfest
    • The Father, The Son & The Holy Gose
    • Tell No Tales, a rum barrel-aged pale ale
    • (and nearly 10,000 more)

  4. Have you had another brewer’s beer and thought, man, I wish I made that?

    Yes…, almost daily. Craft brewing is an endless adventure. There are so many great beers in the market now, and it is my sincere hobby to taste and enjoy my fellow brewer’s beer. The brewer’s beer that I enjoy, I would also want that brewer to enjoy mine.

  5. Cocktail olive, maraschino cherry, fancy umbrella or lemon twist?

    Mmmmm…, no thanks. Just give me a non-fancy glass filled with some fine local craft beer.

Thanks, Rick, for answering our questions, and taking time out from creating your ten-thousand beers! We look forward to tasting all of them.