It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... Winter Ales
Long Island’s craft breweries are getting ready for the cold by brewing hearty winter ales. Blue Point Brewing’s Winter Ale was one of the first seasonal beers introduced after the brewery was founded in 1998 and became available in six packs in 2005. This amber ale uses crystal and chocolate malts to add a robust flavor and weighs in at a warming 7.7% ABV.
Long Ireland Beer Co. in Riverhead brews its Winter Ale with five different malts including Honey Malts and Cararuby for a deep ruby-red color and uses ginger, allspice and cinnamon for a spicy finish.
Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore started brewing its Sleigh Ryed Winter Ale soon after the brewery was founded in 2010. Head Brewer Greg Maisch got his inspiration from German rye beers, known as Roggenbiers, which use rye malt to give the beer a pronounced spiciness. His recipe uses 28% malted rye, along with roasted barley malt for a deep amber color and whole juniper berries added to the boil for a piney finish.
One of the most fun ways to sample Sleigh Ryed Winter Ale is on the annual pub crawl organized by Tapped Enterprises, which will be held this year on December 2. Great South Bay brews special cask versions of Sleigh Ryed that are sent to some of Long Island’s best beer bars. This year’s 7th annual crawl will visit the Tap Room in Patchogue, T.J. Finley’s in Bay Shore, South Shore Dive in Sayville and Maxwell’s in Islip.
Two of Long Island’s newest craft breweries are getting ready to brew their winter ales for the first time. BrewSA Brewing, which opened on the Nautical Mile in Freeport this spring, will have a winter ale from head brewer Wayne Milford on tap at the brewery’s tasting room beginning in December. Joe Curley, founder and brewer of Tweaking Frog Brewing Company, is brewing his first ever Winter Warmer on the brewery’s new 10 barrel system in Jamesport, which they share with Jamesport Farm Brewery. The name of the new beer will be chosen from a contest held at the Wet Hop Festival in September, with the winners taking home growlers of the brew.