LIBeerGuide Brewsletter -- April 2017
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April 2017
Welcome to our new subscribers and we hope that you will share the LIBeerGuide Brewsletter with your beer-loving friends.  Congratulations to the LI brewery winners at the TAP New York Festival held on April 29-30 at Hunter Mountain, especially Spider Bite Brewing which won the F.X. Matt Memorial Cup for Best Brewery in New York State.  Spider Bite was a big winner, taking home the John Calen Memorial Award for Best English-Style Stout in NY State with its Boris the Spider Imperial English Stout, and Silver medals in the English-Style Stout and Strong IPA categories .  Also bringing home an award to LI was Destination Unknown Beer Co. which won a Gold in the Pale Ale category for its Mosaic Mood.  

New Brewery and Tasting Room Opens on Nautical Mile

The month of April saw the opening of Long Island's 27th brewery tasting room, the third to open so far this year.  BrewSA Brewing Company is located on the Nautical Mile in Freeport and held a Grand Opening celebration on April 29.  BrewSA was founded in 2011 by Long Island natives Tom Limerick, Steve Walley and Billy McLaughlin, with the idea of producing a lager made with 100 percent American-grown ingredients.  A few years later, they decided to build a brewery and tap room on the Nautical Mile and took over a large building that was previously home to a boat repair and service company.  The partners hired brewmaster Wayne Milford, formerly the head brewer at Dogfish Head, and built a 15-barrel system with capacity to produce 10,000 barrels a year.  At the Grand Opening, BrewSA had seven beers on tap highlighted by the flagship American Pilsner along with several delicious ales including a pale ale, IPA, chocolate brown ale and a coffee stout.  The spacious tap room is open seven days a week and features an outdoor area with picnic tables.
Bernie with BrewSA founders Steve Walley, at left with wife Roseann,
and Tom Limerick with wife Lynda

BrewSA plans to distribute its beers to bars and restaurants on the Nautical Mile and around Long Island, and recently signed on to become one of the craft beers available at Jones Beach Amphitheater for the summer concert series.  The brewery's founders are also committed to giving back to veterans and have pledged to donate 25 percent of profits each year to military and veterans' charities.

The next brewery tasting room slated to open on Long Island is Barnshed Brewing in Hicksville.  Approval was also recently granted for a new craft brewery and tasting room on West Main Street in Patchogue.  The brewery, Patchogue Beer Project, is expected to open in the fall in the same building as the second location for Bay Shore-based Local Burger Co.  

LIBeerGuide Destination Spotlight: Port Jefferson

With the opening of BrewSA in Freeport, Long Island beer lovers now have 12 towns that are great beer destinations, where you can visit a brewery or brewpub, enjoy locally-brewed beers at a beer bar and dine at a gastropub all in one day or just half a day. Every month in 2017, LIBeerGuide Brewsletter is spotlighting one of these beer destinations, all of which are listed at our Beer Destinations page.  

This month we feature Port Jefferson, the historic harborfront village on the north shore of Suffolk County that is an important transportation hub as one of the terminals for the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson cross-sound ferry.  Just south of the downtown waterfront is Port Jefferson Station, which is the last stop on the LIRR Port Jefferson line.  In the past six years, Port Jefferson has developed an active craft brewing scene with two breweries, many popular gastropubs and beer bars, and beer shops featuring local brews.    

Breweries -- Port Jeff Brewing Co. was founded in 2010 by Mike Philbrick, who started out as a homebrewer and is living the dream of running his own commercial brewery.  After catching the brewing bug, Mike received formal training at the World Brewing Academy at Siebel Institute in Chicago and did apprenticeship brewing gigs at Iron Hill and other breweries in his native Philadelphia area.  Port Jeff Brewing opened in 2011 in a building across from the harborfront that houses a 7-barrel brewing system and a small tasting room, which is open 7 days a week and has 12 taps and one cask ale.  The brewery has expanded production every year by locating additional fermenting tanks at Great South Bay Brewing and was an early adopter of canning their beer for distribution across LI and into NYC and Westchester.  Philbrick is a strong supporter of using locally grown ingredients and his Fresh Hop Ale uses hops from Condzella's Farm in Wading River and Wesnofske Farms in Peconic.  Port Jeff Brewing sponsors a free summer concert series and also sponsors various running races throughout the year, including the upcoming 15K Run to the Brewery on May 21.  Registration for the race is still open and the race after-party is worth running all those miles!

One of LI's newest brewery tasting rooms opened in Port Jefferson Station in January.  Po' Boy Brewery was started in 2014 by award-winning homebrewer Bobby Rodriguez, who then spent two years searching for a new location and put in long hours on nights and weekends to set up his 3-barrel brewing system and tasting room, which has 8 taps for beer and cider.  Po' Boy Brewery's tasting room hours are 4-8 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and noon-6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.     

Gastropubs and Beer Bars -- Port Jeff and Port Jefferson Station are home to many bars and restaurants, but for great food and beer pairings it is worth searching out some of the noteworthy gastropubs in the area.  Two of these gastropubs are offshoots -- Old Fields in Greenlawn opened a second location in Port Jeff in 2014 and Brewology295 in Speonk opened near the harbor on Main Street in 2015.  Both gastropubs feature cuisine focused on fresh local, ingredients paired with a wide beer selection, with Brewology Port Jeff having 24 beers on tap and Old Fields of Port Jeff with 5 drafts and a large craft bottle selection.  Also worth checking out in the harborfront area for its lively bar scene, good draft selection and live music is Portside Bar & Grill

For excellent BBQ and a terrific beer selection, it is worth a visit to L.I. Pour House Bar & Grill In Port Jefferson Station.  The bar has a unique self-serve pouring system where you can buy a bracelet and pay by the pour from the selection of 20 taps.  For an even larger beer selection, The North Tap sports bar in Mount Sinai, located just east of Port Jefferson Station, has 40 taps and a lively bar scene with 16 TVs, pool tables, darts and pinball.   

Beer Stores -- a great recent addition to the Port Jeff craft beer scene was the opening in 2016 of Craft at C'est Cheese, a beer shop and tap room that opened adjacent to C'est Cheese, a retail cheese, wine and craft beer shop that has been located on Main Street for over five years.  Owner Joe Ciardullo of C'est Cheese partnered with Chris Roche to turn some underutilized space into a tasting room with 12 taps that serves pints as well as filling growlers for take away.  The space is also used for tasting events and private parties.  

Port Jeff Beverage in Port Jefferson Station has a large craft beer selection and a growler station with 6 rotating beers on tap, usually featuring a brew from Port Jeff Brewing and other local beers.

Upcoming Beer Festivals
May 13 -- Nautical Mile Brew Festival, Tropix on the Mile, Freeport.  Two sessions, 1 - 4:30 pm and 6 - 9:30 pm

May 20 -- Patchogue Craft Brew Festival, The Emporium, Patchogue.  Two sessions, 1 - 4:30 pm and 6 - 9:30 pm  
June 3 -- Bay Fest 2017, Great South Bay Brewery.  5th annual festival featuring live music and food trucks, 1:30 - 5:30 pm

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 admission 2 - 5:30 pm

For more festivals check out LIBeerGuide's Beer Festivals page.
Upcoming Events on Long Island
May 12 -- Maifest at Plattduetsche Park, Franklin Square -- featuring live music by the Alex Meizner Band and a complete German dinner, 7:30 to 11:30 pm   

May 13 -- Taps & Apps with Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. at Heneghan's Tavern in Point Lookout -- 1 to 4 pm

May 12-21 -- Long Island Craft Beer Week 2017 will feature a new Craft Cares collaboration beer, a malty red ale created by nine of LI's craft breweries and brewed at Blue Point Brewing.  Donate two cans of food for the benefit of Long Island Cares and get a can of Craft Cares Red Ale at participating breweries and beer bars.

For more events check out LIBeerGuide's Events page.


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