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Long Island Breweries

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by 2Xmd, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    Anyone go to the Crooked Ladder grand opening this weekend? Saw the tap list seems pretty basic (pale ale, porter, brown, red ale, pilsner, summer ale).

    I understand the need to establish themselves with common beers that appeal to all but are any LI breweries doing any barrell aging? Any good RIS stouts or DIPAs? Barrier seems promising and about to pick up some Blind Bat to try. Southampton is good of course. But come on we need stuff that others around the country will want to trade their good stuff for. Where is our Pipeworks, Three Floyd's, Surly, Hill Farmstead, etc......
    fugazidps likes this.
  2. jrnyc

    jrnyc Champion (850) New York Mar 21, 2010 Verified

    I am with you, waiting for a Long Island brewery to produce a world class beer like many other areas of the country.
    ant880, 1Sundown2C and 2Xmd like this.
  3. 1Sundown2C

    1Sundown2C Advocate (585) New York Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    It's an hour north in Peekskill :D
  4. 1Sundown2C

    1Sundown2C Advocate (585) New York Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    Riverhead is actually coming together pretty well.
    beerloserLI and zid like this.
  5. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    I know, that area is getting buzz (Rushing Duck, Peekskill, and Capt Lawrence is there too). No one is talking about Riverhead yet. The breweries are there but not the awesome beer.
  6. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    Ok just tried Morticia from Barrier and if you put this shit in a bourbon barrel it could be as good as Parabola. So come on Long Island you are alienating a large population of beer geeks who would like nothing more than to blow money on some good barrel aged beers.
    ceeg, AleFredO and fugazidps like this.
  7. 1Sundown2C

    1Sundown2C Advocate (585) New York Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    Really? I've been putting off picking it up
  8. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    I get what you're saying, but since you brought up Hill Farmstead as a gold standard, here are Shaun Hill's thoughts on new guys:
    "A lot of brewers now go straight from home brewing into making a chili-chocolate-chipotle porter or whatever, and it’s like . . . well, just f@#$% make a good porter first, and understand what a porter is instead of trying to re-invent it."

    Are you mainly hoping to find something for personal enjoyment or for others to covet? Why does it need to be produced on LI? (not rhetorical questions - genuine ones)

    There must be some interest in Greenport, Southampton, Barrier, and Blind Bat from the trading folks who don't live near NY.

    If it's any consolation, I know that Long Ireland has done some work with whiskey barrels.

    The community's interest in barrel aging, Russian imperial stouts, and DIPAs generally comes across as tunnel vision to me, but no doubt I've got some tunnel vision of my own.
    cornontherob, gregkoko and benart like this.
  9. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    I get that Shaun Hill quote, but a lot of times it's one of these beers that wins a home brew competition with one of those crazy beer, so it's not like new brewers are going into uncharted territories.

    It's mainly for enjoyment. Tired of trying to trade for ZD, Dreadnaught, or hearing buzz about Kane or Peekskill. Prairie Artisanal Ales came out of nowhere. Why not closer to me? And if others covet it, bonus! (Now that I think about it some of these LI brewers contract brew out of state.)

    Forgot about Blue Point. They have done some decent stuff and it is widely distributed. But it would be nice for someone to want to trade say a DL for a Sour Cherry IRS? Yeah right..... Southampton's specialty stuff is good. It's great that new breweries are opening but what's so different about say Driftwood Ale and some ale from Port Jeff or GSB? I've gone to beer stores where the owners are having tastings of these beers and have told me none of them are anything special. In my opinion they are mostly safe options geared toward BMC crowd who would chose a Coors Light over one of these.

    I'm determined to find something good on LI. Have to admit I haven't tried much besides Blue Point and Barrier. Would love to support the local economy. Was hoping people would add some suggestions to this thread to prove me wrong.
    pjkelley82, VonZipper and fugazidps like this.
  10. ant880

    ant880 Advocate (645) New York Nov 7, 2010

    I was just discussing this with a fellow LI BA last week. Unfortunately, your assessment is correct. There is an abundance of LI breweries producing an abundance of middle of the road stuff at this point. Barrier is definitely promising and, IMO, they are producing the best beer on LI by far. Hopefully they will start getting a little more creative in the future since their IPAs and stouts have been pretty good (Morticia was excellent as you mentioned).

    As far as barrel-aged beer, Port Jeff has a bottled version of their BB Porter out. Unfortunately, the one bottle I bought was infected and Dave from Bellport Beer mentioned in this forum that Port Jeff had called their accounts to pull this from the shelves.
    VonZipper and 2Xmd like this.
  11. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Savant (380) New York Jul 24, 2010 Verified

    Peconic County Reserve, Black Raspberry Lambic, Berliner Weisse, Double Ice Bock, Hommage. Five world class beers produced at the Southampton Publick House that others around the country will trade some of their best bottles for.

    What Long Island needs is more brewers utilizing wine barrels from the local vineyards, and fruit from the local farms.
  12. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Advocate (565) New York Dec 31, 2012 Verified

    i saw 2 makers mark barrels at greenport last year.....
  13. JMagee

    JMagee Aficionado (225) New York Jan 2, 2013 Verified

    Yea, just sitting in the tasting room, full of I believe Anti-Freeze. They were still there as of the Anniversary Party, so I really don't know at this point what on Earth the intention for when the beer is coming out. Maybe this Winter.

    As for Crooked Ladder, I went on Saturday to the Grand Opening and was pleasantly surprised. For a grand opening at a place just starting as a brewery, the beers were better than expected. My favorite was the Pilsner, but everything else was pretty steady. But everything else kind of tasted similar. I couldn't notice a wide differentiation in malts between the other beers on tap.

    My main concern about Crooked Ladder going forward is their business plan. It's built next door to Digger O'Dells and is co-owned by the owner of Digger's. If their intention is to basically have Crooked Ladder the de facto brewery for Diggers and create some arbitrary Brewpub of sorts, I don't see any reason why the beers would become any more exciting. If you make the decision to go John Harvard's, you know you're going to be drinking their beer, and you know it's going to be pretty good, but not great (although there are a couple gems in their line up). The business plan of just brewing for Digger's and a few other local accounts and selling to the local market is pretty sound and steady, and could make smart business sense.

    If they intend to be a completely different autonomous entity, then I would imagine down the road we could see them branch off into more exciting things. But of course growing pains and all those things need to be addressed first.

    Just my thoughts and ramblings.
    2Xmd likes this.
  14. 1Sundown2C

    1Sundown2C Advocate (585) New York Jan 13, 2012 Verified

    Yeah but half of those are retired and the other half haven't been made since 2011
    VonZipper, ant880 and 2Xmd like this.
  15. xenjoiii

    xenjoiii Savant (380) New York Jul 24, 2010 Verified

    Some will be returning.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  16. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Advocate (570) Colorado Dec 9, 2011 Verified

    I was always under the impression that to make good beer, you needed good water. And I was always under the impression that Long Island water sucked.
    cavedave and 1Sundown2C like this.
  17. abkayak

    abkayak Savant (475) New York Jan 8, 2013 Verified

    than explain the pizza and bagle thing..my understanding is thats why they are so good here
  18. sirsteve42

    sirsteve42 Advocate (630) New York Jan 15, 2009 Verified

    Rocky point artisan brewers has a quadruple scwarzbier fermenting with some bourbon oak at the moment....it will be bottled shortly. If you haven't had the schwarzbier its delicious. Also, try any of their pilsners and hefeweizen. You can find their stuff wll over Suffolk and a few select places in nassau. There is a farmers market in rp on Sunday from 8-1 and they are there every week filling growlers.
    2Xmd likes this.
  19. just for the record, ive noticed that our drinking water is better than 99% of places i ever visit....absolutely no need for bottled or filters here....no idea how that translates to beer making, though

    and i can be at the beach in 20 minutes, where EVERY beer tastes better :)
    cosmicevan, beerloserLI and 2Xmd like this.
  20. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Savant (400) New York Aug 1, 2012 Verified

    Pussies lol
    beerloserLI likes this.
  21. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Advocate (565) New York Dec 31, 2012 Verified

    Your right. I wish i lived somewhere with no beaches
  22. TychoNDC

    TychoNDC Savant (425) Colorado Jan 7, 2013

    Let's get this thread back on track. Regardless of folks' opinions on LI, I'm quite interested in learning more about any upcoming micros/nanos, especially out in Suffolk. I have been to Port Jeff several times and have been pretty pleased with their beers so far. I can only guess that they will continue to expand their offerings and it wouldn't surprise me if they started offering some solid BA beers. I hear good things about Rocky Point but haven't seen their beers yet. I should check out the farmer's market some time. Greenport Harbor Brewing makes some cool stuff too.

    As for the original lamentation regarding the lack of HF's or Crooked Stave's on LI, I am with you in wanting such breweries to pop up, but I also think there are many more barriers to entry into being a small brewery on LI. Property values, license fees, taxes, transportation, and basic ingredients probably all cost a lot more on LI then in rural Vermont or Oregon. The cost of living in general is obscenely high on Long Island compared with many other places, and these factors make small-scale creative enterprises like an aggressive nano-brewery a difficult venture.
    VonZipper likes this.
  23. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    Ok, now that we r back on track, yes I would too also like to hear more about local breweries. Just read why Barrage Brewing in Farmingdale hasn't opened. A rejected sewer line permit by the County. They currently have a kickstarter campaign going and plan an opening later this year. Seems like environmental impact concerns could be a barrier to entry and like u said high costs of doing business on L.I. could be a factor. Most of the breweries seem to be in out of the way industrial areas.

    That being said, Oyster Bay Brewing has an IPA that could be good. And Barrage looks promising. Blind Bat will open in Farmingdale soon also. (Could Farmingdale be the new San Diego?). And been meaning to check out Rocky Point based on sirsteve42 recommendation. Just never out that way.

    Good link:
    BodiesLexus likes this.
  24. abkayak

    abkayak Savant (475) New York Jan 8, 2013 Verified

    Farmingdale cant be the new San Diego..it just cant be. pblm here on LI is its friggin Big and comes w/ traffic. I hit my local brewer enough it's easy. but if I want to drive for goodies I think abt Nj, Pa, Ct, Vt just as quick as I would about Suffolk cnty
    VonZipper likes this.
  25. Harryrass

    Harryrass Aficionado (180) New York Dec 31, 2008

    Barrier makes some great beer. Blind Bat too, but both are tough to find anywhere on L.I., so those are "must visit" places. I agree that there is an awful lot of middle of the road beer being put out though. I don't agree with the idea that Port Jeff is not putting out good stuff. Check out that brewery for the best they make. Barrage is not operational yet, but I've had his stuff at festivals. If he can keep the quality of the stuff I tried, he will be another must visit place. Rocky Point makes amazing stuff. Super talented brewers. Draft only, in only a few places. I look forward to them being more available.
    Oh yeah, the water here is some of the best in the country, the bagels rule, and the pizza is second to only NYC. Keep your hate to yourself!
    cosmicevan, 2Xmd and VonZipper like this.
  26. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,060) New York Mar 12, 2009 Verified

    Mid Hudson Valley is and will continue to be New York's San Diego. With all the great new breweries open here, the equally great ones slated to open soon, the great quality of life, reasonable cost of living, lack of traffic, friendly people, and beginnings of an actual fine beer culture, we have things Long Island doesn't have and will never have.

    Long Island is a victim of its geography and location near to NYC. The cost of doing business in a an area of Long Island that is attractive/feasible to folks wishing to frequent that business is just the most obvious impediment.
    sirsteve42 and otispdriftwood like this.
  27. sirsteve42

    sirsteve42 Advocate (630) New York Jan 15, 2009 Verified

    Im looking in orange county due to the cost of living on LI and im not a big fan of the traffic. BUT....I can walk to the beach and to my local brewers house. Damn im caught in a tough situation! Housing is back on the rise along with mortgage rates.
    Back to beer...again if you havent had RPAB(Rocky point artisan brewers) you have to try their lagers as they are all fantastic and im a big fan of the hefeweizen as well.
  28. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    I hear ya, but I'll try to be a little 'glass half full' for the sake of discussion rather than disagreement.

    Great South Bay's Blood Orange Pale Ale just won a Golden Tap Award... you'd never mistake it for Port Jeff's Schooner Pale Ale. Switching gears to pessimism, there's probably a slim chance I'd ever buy either again. Schooner is certainly nice and the GSB pale punches you with blood oranges if that's what you're into. Certainly neither will draw cult followers. Don't dismiss them due to me or some store owner. It's too much fun figuring it all out on your own.

    I have much respect for Alesmith and felt like their ESB was the best I've ever had. Grabbed Long Ireland's on a whim and actually found that I preferred it! It's great when you get really surprised.

    Brooklyn and Queens are part of LI, there's a lot there that shouldn't be left out. On the East-of-Queens side of things, Greenport and Barrier were just considered the top 2 NYC-ish breweries by the Village Voice (for what it's worth, there's a thread about it).

    You don't need to have great beer brewed in your county, it just needs to be distributed here. Three Floyds doesn't but Maine Beer Co (as an example) does. Some people would trade places with you in a minute for the distribution we get. There's much whining about the amount of Goose Island something-something stouts we got.

    Am I trying too hard to put a positive spin on things?

    Well, we'd all love to be within walking distance of Founders.
    2Xmd likes this.
  29. marshmeli

    marshmeli Savant (485) New York Feb 14, 2012 Verified

    I think Barrier make some great beers and Money and Bumble are top notch IPAs (and people not from NY that I have shared with agree and they were clamoring for more of both).

    While Brooklyn and Queens are part of the land mass that is long island non need to specify Queens at all when talking about Barrier, IMO. As Greenport is all the way out on the North Fork, def no need to mention Queens with Greenport.
  30. JMagee

    JMagee Aficionado (225) New York Jan 2, 2013 Verified

    Agreed about Queens/Brooklyn. Just about all of the people I've known from Queens/Brooklyn would consider themselves from the City, or Queens/Brooklyn. They would never say they're from Long Island.

    I saw that Village Voice list and thought it was just...lazy. It just felt like VV thought "let's pick good breweries in the area that would probably love to be affiliated with NYC, and list them in article that considers them NYC-ish". Don't get me wrong, I think they made some good picks, but to even imply that one could realistically visit Greenport and Captain Lawrence in a day without wanting to kill oneself, is somewhat ridiculous. it just seemed like a "Things to do this weekend" article for people living in NYC.

    I really do think once the new GHBC building is up and running they're the most likely to experiment with some funky and/or barrel-aged one offs
  31. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    Maybe I wasn't clear.
    I was saying those two breweries are East of Queens County.
  32. marshmeli

    marshmeli Savant (485) New York Feb 14, 2012 Verified

    Got ya...
  33. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    No disagreement here. Count me as one of 'em. They are LI counties even if not thought of as such.

    Don't think they implied this, but it's funny nonetheless. You might give people ideas. Hopefully the adventurous and not suicidal sort of people.
  34. 2Xmd

    2Xmd Advocate (665) New York Apr 19, 2013

    Don't dismiss them due to me or some store owner. It's too much fun figuring it all out on your own.

    Great suggestion. Have been trying to reduce my current overloaded supply before I start buying more beer. I tried to get some Blind Bat this weekend but they weren't at the farmers market in Babylon on Sunday. Hopefully I do find something that's good. Who knows maybe in a few years we won't be able to get locals IPAs because people from Vermont are driving down here and buying them all up! Hahaha.
  35. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    Yeah, be careful what you wish for!
    Those Vermont raiders will head south looking for all our golden idols.

  36. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    Hope the brewers are reading because that's smart. A trip through the North Fork reveals just how smart that is.
    cosmicevan likes this.
  37. RandomBattle

    RandomBattle Savant (310) New York Jun 25, 2010 Verified

    I've been saying that shit for years...
    cosmicevan likes this.
  38. cavedave

    cavedave Poobah (1,060) New York Mar 12, 2009 Verified

    All three of them?
  39. zid

    zid Advocate (700) New York Feb 15, 2010 Verified

    Shhhh! You are ruining the fantasies of grandeur.
    cavedave likes this.
  40. jaIsPoAn

    jaIsPoAn Savant (400) New York Aug 1, 2012 Verified

    Like I said earlier ......pussies