LIBeerGuide Brewsletter -- June 19, 2017
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June 2017
Welcome to our new subscribers, especially the rugged crowd at the Nautical Mile Craft Brew Festival on May 13, who didn't let the rain and cold stop the fun!  We also welcome the arrival of summer on Long Island and all the opportunities the season brings to enjoy the beautiful beaches, bays, parks and other attractions that make LI so special.  Many of these places will host beer festivals and other events this summer, so make sure to check out's Events page.  

Barnshed and Saint James Open Tasting Rooms 

Two more craft brewery tasting rooms opened on Long Island in May, the 4th and 5th new tasting rooms this year, bringing the total number of brewery tasting rooms and brewpubs to 28.  This compares with one brewery and four brewpubs in 2007, marking a decade of remarkable growth for craft brewing on LI.  There is more expansion on the way, with several craft breweries including Jamesport Farm Brewery on the North Fork, Harbor Head Brewing in Northport and Fire Island Beer Company in Bay Shore hoping to open their tasting rooms later this summer.

Kristine and Bryan Murphy of Barnshed;  Jamie and Rachel Adams of Saint James

Barnshed Brewing opened a tasting room at its brewery located in an industrial park just west of Route 107 near the Grumman Studios on the border of Hicksville and Bethpage.  Brewer Bryan Murphy is a Bethpage native and lives nearby with his wife Kristine, who is his partner in the brewery.  Bryan started homebrewing in 2010 and when he and Kristine started planning to open a brewery they became active members of the Handgrenades Homebrew Club, experimenting with a variety of beer styles.  Last year they raised over $16,000 through Kickstarter to build a 1 barrel system and small rustic tasting room.  Barnshed usually has six or seven beers on tap ranging from refreshing hefeweizen to hoppy pale ales and IPAs to rich porter and chocolate oats stout,  The tasting room at 100 Lauman Lane in Hicksville is open on Fridays from 6-9 pm and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm.  

Saint James Brewery opened its new tasting room in Holbrook on May 16 during Long Island Craft Beer Week,  Brewmaster Jamie Adams, who runs Saint James with his wife Rachel, fell in love with Belgian-style beers while at college in Maine (think Allagash White) and started homebrewing after returning to New York.  He joined Brewers East End Revival and after pouring one of his beers at the Blue Point Cask Ales Fest in 2010 was encouraged by the owners of Blue Point to start a brewery.  Saint James was granted one of New York State’s first farm brewery licenses in 2012 and moved production to Holbrook in 2015.  Located just across the road from Spider Bite Brewery, Saint James’ 2,000 square foot facility has a 6 barrel brewing system and recently added new fermenting tanks to ramp up production.  Jamie is committed to using locally sourced ingredients in his Belgian-style ales, including peaches and apples from Richter Orchards in Northport, hops from Condzella Farm in Wading River and strawberries from Sujecki Farms in Calverton.  The tasting room at 929 Lincoln Avenue, Unit 11, is open every day except Monday, check for hours.  

LIBeerGuide Destination Spotlight: Bay Shore

Long Island beer lovers now have 12 towns that are great beer destinations (listed at our Beer Destinations page) where you can visit a brewery or brewpub, enjoy locally-brewed beers at a beer bar and dine at a gastropub or restaurant all in just one day or half a day.  This month we feature Bay Shore, a bustling village on the Great South Bay that serves as one of the gateways to Fire Island.  After some lean years in the 1990s, downtown Bay Shore along Main Street has seen a tremendous revitalization, especially following the opening of the YMCA Boulton Performing Arts Center in 2003.  With a growing number of craft breweries and a lively nightlife scene with popular gastropubs, beer bars and restaurants, Bay Shore is a great place to visit on your way to or from the beach, or as a destination on its own.  
Breweries -- Bay Shore is home to four breweries that are located in industrial areas a short drive or cab ride away from the LIRR station and the downtown area along Main Street (27A).  Great South Bay Brewery was founded in 2009 by fourth-generation brewer Rick Sobotka, and opened a 4,000 square foot tasting room and party space in 2013 at its production facility at 25 Drexel Drive in North Bay Shore.  GSB hosts several popular festivals at the brewery throughout the year, including the 5th annual Bay Fest recently held on June 3, and the popular PUNKTÖBERFEST coming up on October 21.  Over the years, GSB has won numerous awards for its beers, including gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival for Hog Cabin Maple Bacon Porter and Jetty Cream Ale.   

Great South Bay will soon be sharing its address with Fire Island Beer Company, which agreed last year to lease 15,000 sq. ft. of space that wasn't being used in the 40,000 sq. ft. building.  Fire Island Beer was founded on Fire Island in 2007 and started contract brewing its beers in Connecticut in 2009.  Co-owners Bert Fernandez and Simon Leonard, who is the head brewer, had been searching for a location for a brewery and tasting room for several years.  They started brewing at the new facility in early June and plan to open a tasting room later this year.  Fire Island's flagship beers like Sea Salt Ale and Red Wagon IPA will continue to be contract brewed but the new brewery will allow them to experiment with new styles and seasonal beers.   

Destination Unknown Beer Company, known as DUBCO, operates out of a 2,000 square foot industrial unit loated east of downtown.  Co-founders and brewers Brad Finn and Chris Candiano grew up nearby and attended West Islip High School together, then reconnected years later over a shared love of homebrewing.  They raised $24,000 through Kickstarter to buy kegs and additional fermentation tanks, and to build out their two floor tasting room which opened in May 2015.  The brewing system was initially a 1-barrel system and is now a 3-barrel electric system producing over 400 gallons a month.  DUBCO brews a wide variety of beers and won Gold medals at the TAP New York Festival in 2016 for its Triple Rainbow Belgian Triple and in 2017 for its Mosaic Mood Pale Ale.   

The Brewers Collective Beer Company officially opened its tasting room in April at its brewery located in an industrial building just south of the Southern State Parkway.  The brewery, which proudly proclaims its collective ownership, was founded in 2007 as a homebrewing club and debuted their beers to the public in 2012 at the Blue Point Cask Ale Festival.  After deciding to become a commercial brewery, the founding comrades received a NY State farm brewery license in 2014 and spent time at the Taste of Long Island brewery incubator in Farmingdale perfecting recipes while searching for a space of their own. The new Bay Shore brewery houses a 3-bbl electric brewing system and small tasting room with 12 taps and a cask ale. Brewers Collective is known for its creative takes on historic beer styles including gruits using herbs from East End farms and IPAs like Useful Idiot IPA using locally grown hops.  

Gastropubs, Beer Bars and Restaurants -- If there is one beer bar that put Bay Shore on the map as a great beer destination, it is T.J. Finley's Public House, which opened in 2006 on E. Main Street.  Owner Drew Dvorkin, who owned beer bars on the West Side of Manhattan, saw the opportunity to educate Long Islanders about craft beer and also provide high quality pub food, so T.J. Finley's became Bay Shore's first gastropub.  T.J. Finley's also sponsored and hosted beer tastings and festivals that brought beer lovers to downtown Bay Shore, including ongoing annual festivals like the Winter Bourbon & Beer Festival and Pumpkinfest.  Dvrokin has since branched out and in 2015 with some partners opened Local Burger Co. on E. Main Street, pairing burgers, hot dogs and other comfort food with an all Long Island draft beer selection. 

T.J. Finley's paved the way for other beer bars and gastropubs on Main Street, including: The Cortland in 2010 which features only New York State beers on tap and in bottles; Tulullahs, which opened in 2005 as a small 20 seat restaurant, then reopened in 2013 after a major expansion that added 100 seats and a bar with 13 taps; Changing Times American Sports Bar & Grille, which opened in 2012 with 20 taps,  Corks & Taps, a gastropub with 20 taps that opened in 2015; and Salt & Barrel Oyster & Craft Cocktail Bar, an upscale seafood-focused gastropub opened in 2016 by the Flynn family of Flynn's in Fire Island, with 8 taps and 40 bourbons to enjoy   Also popular on the east end of downtown is Southside, a Lessing's owned pub in the historic Southside Hotel.  

Today there is no doubt that Bay Shore's restaurant scene is on par with any of Long Island's other top dining destinations including Huntington, Patchogue, Rockville Centre and Babylon.

Beer Stores -- Bay Shore Beer & Soda is a Beverage Barn store with a good craft beer selection highlighted by a growler station with 8 taps.   The store is located a short walk from the LIRR Bay Shore station and is a good place to stock up for the Fire Island ferry ride.  
Running for Beer

In addition to having a passionate craft beer community, Long Island has a passionate running community, and for many people those passions combine to produce clubs that enjoy fun runs and post-run brews.  LIBeerGuide had the pleasure of meeting one of these clubs, Brew Crew Running Club, at the Port Jeff 15K Run to the Brewery on May 21.  Brew Crew's members are mostly based in Suffolk County, so the club meets for Thursday evening runs in either Northport or Farmingdale followed by visits to Sand City Brewing or Lithology Brewing.  The club also plans weekend fun runs and participates in races across LI.  For more info on Brew Crew activities email John at

Another active club that combines running with craft beer is the Hoptron Running Club, which was formed by regulars at the Hoptron Brewtique beer bar in Patchogue.  The club meets for runs on Tuesday evenings that end up at Hoptron for an extended Happy Hour.  

There are many running races across LI that have fun post-race parties, including several organized by the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC).  GLIRC also sponsors training runs for its races that include post-run refreshments.  

On June 24, the Rotary Club of Ronkonkoma will hold its annual Run Around the Lake, with 4 mile and 1 mile runs, to honor the memory of Navy Seal Lt. Michael Murphy and raise funds for veterans groups.  Runners will receive complimentary post-race BBQ and beer (for runners 21+), courtesy of Texas Roadhouse in Deer Park.

Homebrew Club Roundup

Brewers East End Revival (B.E.E.R) held its 21st annual Brew-off competition on May 13 at Great South Bay Brewery.  A total of 162 entries were judged in 18 categories, including meads and ciders.  The Brewers Cup for best beer brewed by a B.E.E.R. member was awarded to Michael Murphy for his Holiday Porter, which will be brewed later this year at a local brewery or brewpub.  
Handgrenades Homebrew Club will hold a club only homebrew competition at its monthly meeting on July 18.  The club holds a monthly bottle swap, usually on the second Thursday of the month, at the Homebrews & Handgrenades supply shop in Baldwin.  The shop will also hold a Homebrew Swap Meet on June 25 open to all homebrewers who have equipment they want to sell or swap. 
Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) will hold its next monthly meeting on July 12 at LI Pour House in Port Jefferson Station.  The winner of the club’s annual Chopped competition will be announced at the meeting and the winning beer will be brewed later this year at Blue Point Brewing.
All three of Long Island’s homebrew clubs will participate in the Brewers Collective Chinook Brew Off at Brewers Collective Beer Company in Bay Shore on July 23.  Brewers Collective donated a supply of Chinook hops for members of the clubs to use, and their homebrews will be judged by the brewery’s Skeleton Army club and available for sampling.  The winning beer will be brewed at Brewers Collective  and put on tap in the tasting room.        

For more info on homebrewing, including homebrew supply shops, check out LIBeerGuide's Homebrew page.
New Places to Enjoy Great Beer

Henley's Village Tavern is a new gastropub in Brightwaters, offering upscale comfort food cooked from scratch with six beers on tap including LI craft beers.

Burgerology opened early in 2017 in Rockville Centre and has been so successful that its owners, who also own New York Burger Bar in Massapequa, will open a second location in Huntington this summer in the spot of the recently closed STAGS Tap House.  Burgerology offers a creative burger menu including a make your own option, along with 10 craft beers on tap.  

Brew Cheese, the craft beer and artisanal cheese bar in Stony Brook that opened in 2015, is planning to open a a second location in Northport this month.  The new location will have eight beers on tap and dozens of cheeses, along with sandwiches and soups.   
Upcoming Events on Long Island
July 8 and 9 -- 134th Annual Plattduetsche Volksfest at Plattduetsche Biergarten in Franklin Square.  Two day festival celebrating German culture with live music, dancing and plenty of German beer and food.  Saturday from 2-11 pm and Sunday from 11 am-10 pm.  

July 22 -- 3rd annual Long Ireland Pintwood Derby at Long Ireland Beer Company in Riverhead.  Car registration from 11 am-1 pm, first race of traditional pinewood cars at 2 pm, spectators welcome.

August 12 -- Long Island Craft Classic, Heckscher State Park, East Islip.  2nd annual version of the former North Fork Craft Beer Fest.  VIP session 1-2 pm, general adminssion 2-5:30 pm

For more events check out LIBeerGuide's Events page.


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