Welcome to our new subscribers and we hope all of our readers are holding up okay in this week's deep freeze. Thankfully the beer scene on Long Island continues to be hot, with lots of new breweries, new beers and fun events to warm our hearts and our palates!
A fun event coming up soon is the Hops & Props Craft Beer Festival, returning on Saturday Feb. 9 to the Cradle of Aviation Museum near the Nassau Coliseum. The air and space museum, displaying over 75 planes and spacecraft, is a great setting to taste craft beers from over 60 breweries and Long Island's homebrew clubs. The festival, sponsored by Garden Social gastropub and beer garden in East Meadow, will have a VIP session from 6-7 pm followed by General Admission from 7-10 pm. Use our special promo code HPLIBG19 to get 20% off the price of VIP or General Admission tickets. We will be at the fest, please stop by the LIBeerGuide table to say hello!
New Brewery Tap Rooms Open in Mattituck and Patchogue
2019 is off to an exciting start for Long Island craft beer lovers as two new brewery tap rooms opened in January, bringing the total number of brewpubs and brewery tap rooms on Long Island to 38.
Patchogue Beer Project, located just south of West Main Street across from BrickHouse Brewery, held the grand opening of its sparkling new tap room on January 5. It is the third brewery to open in Patchogue but the first to open in over 20 years, following BrickHouse which opened in 1996 and Blue Point Brewing which opened in 1998. The owners of the New York State-licensed farm brewery include Ryan and Mackenzie DiSpirito, restaurant industry veterans, and Mike Philbrick, who is also the founder and owner of Port Jeff Brewing. Philbrick, who oversaw the design and buildout of the 5-barrel brewhouse, was interested in creating a different kind of brewery that would allow local brewers to collaborate on unique beers. He will oversee brewing operations but expects his head brewer to work closely with guest brewers including Paul Komsic at BrickHouse and Jim Richards at Blue Point.
Winter hours for PBP's tap room are Mon.-Thurs. noon-9 pm, Fri.-Sat. noon-10 pm, Sun. noon-8 pm, with live music featured every Thursday. Food is available for order from neighbor Local Burger Co., which opened last fall in the same building.
Eastern Front Brewing Company opened its tap room on Main Road in Mattituck on January 13. The NYS-licensed farm brewery was founded by Doug Pearsall and his girlfriend Christina Oman in 2015 and has been distributing its beers, including Love Lane Lager and Miami Weiss beer, at local restaurants and festivals. Pearsall developed a taste for great beer while stationed in Germany in the early 80s and after returning to Long Island decided to start brewing. He is a marine mechanic and metal fabricator and built his own all-grain brewing system, which he scaled up to his current 5 barrel brewing system by making much of the equipment himself. The brewery is located a few miles away, and Pearsall and Oman did much of the restoration work themselves on the rustic tasting room housed in a 100-year-old building.
Winter hours for Eastern Front's tap room are Tues.-Thurs. 5-8 pm, Fri.-Sat. 2-8 pm, Sun. noon-6 pm.
Waterzooi Celebrates 20th Anniversary and Knighthood
Waterzooi Belgian Bistro in Garden City toasted its 20th anniversary with a festive 6-course dinner on January 28. Billed as the “Knights of the Round Table Beer Dinner,” the packed event also celebrated the Knighthood of Waterzooi co-founder Chris Werle, who was knighted by the Belgian Brewers Guild at a ceremony in Brussels last fall. Werle is also a co-founder of the five Croxley Ales beer bars on Long Island and Brooklyn, and he was honored for his contributions to promoting Belgian food, beer and culture over the last 25 years.
(l to r) Jeff Piciullo, Sir Chris and Chef Ed of Waterzooi with Dan Leeman of Global Beer Network
Werle and his longtime friend Jeff Piciullo opened the first Croxley Ales in their hometown of Franklin Square in 1993 and were on a mission to bring great beer to Long Island. After a trip to Belgium with their friend, chef Ed Davis, the idea for Waterzooi was born. “We were blown away by the culture around beer and food and decided to open a traditional Belgian bistro to bring that culture to Long Island,” said Werle. 20 years later, Waterzooi is recognized as one of the top Belgian restaurants in the country and has Long Island’s largest Belgian beer selection, with 23 Belgian brews on tap and an extensive bottle menu.
The sumptuous 6-course dinner featured items from Chef Davis’ original menu at Waterzooi, including griddled wild boar sausages, salmon wellington and of course Waterzooi’s calling card and Belgium’s national passion, moules frites. Among the beers that accompanied the courses were a special 20th Anniversary Ale, a robust amber tripel ale, brewed by the Brasserie de Silly artisanal brewery in Belgium. The beers were provided by longtime Belgian beer distributors Ryan Niebuhr of Remarkable Liquids and Dan Leeman of Global Beer Network, who served as host of the event. Leeman praised Waterzooi's role as a pioneer in spreading appreciation of Belgian beer on Long Island and beyond, saying, "Without Waterzooi we would not have the market for Belgian beer in the U.S. that we have today.”
Hopsy's brewery partners include BrewSA Brewing and Moustache Brewing
Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) -- the club will hold its February meeting on Wed. Feb. 6 at Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead. Signups will be held for the club's 2019 Chopped! Competition and new members are always welcome.