The East End of Long Island is well known for being wine country. Everywhere you turn there is a different vineyard vying to be the best. But on Long Island, homemade beer, or craft beer, is also an up-and-coming beverage.
Beer is the next big thing on the Island’s foodie scene. Several microbreweries have popped up recently and they are causing a lot of buzz. One small brewery in particular is The Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, which is located in Greenport right next to the old jailhouse.
This little beer company was a dream-come-true for founders John Liegey and Rich Vandenburgh when they finally opened their doors two years ago. Their three specialty beers are the Harbor Ale, Disorient IPA and Black Duck Porter. They also produce seasonal beers. As of now, this homemade beer is only available on tap at the brewery, but lucky for Long Islanders, Liegey and Vandenburgh are looking into bottling the beer and distributing it. [expand]
Another brewery that is fairly new is the Long Ireland Beer Company. Again, this was a brainchild of two friends who wanted something cool to do with their lives. They have three staple beers, their Celtic Ale, Breakfast Stout (which has a coffee and cream flavor) and Pale Ale. Their Raspberry Wheat is a summer seasonal brew.
On the other hand, the Southampton Publick House has been brewing since 1996. Owner Don Sullivan added a brewery to this popular restaurant and it has become one of the go-to places for good food and crafted beer. Brewmaster Phil Markowski has brewed several award-winning beers that keep patrons coming back for more. There is Southampton Double White Ale, Altbier, India Pale Ale and their seasonal beers, including Pumpkin Ale.
Besides these small brewing houses, there are restaurants on the Island that are known for their wide and unique beer selection. Croxley Ale House in Farmingdale is just one of these places, and they have so many varieties of beer it will make your head spin. They have Dark Ale, Light Ale, Rye and Wheat beers, and something they have dubbed “Angry Ales.” These “angry” beers have something special about them that gives them an extra kick. The Southern Tier, Mokah, Imperial Stout has caramel and chocolate malts; the Sly Fox, Odyssey, Imperial has citrus flavors and caramel with a strong honey finish; and the Dogfish Head, Chateau Jiahu is made with rice flakes, wildflower honey, Muscat grapes and sake yeast.
Another favorite spot for avid beer drinkers is the Library Café, also located in Farmingdale. The craft beers that are served here come from this country and from Europe as well. From the Wachusett Brewery in Westminster, Massachusetts, comes the Wachusett Blueberry beer. At this brewery they do everything themselves and even built their own equipment when the company was first started. Arrogant Bastard beer comes from the Stone Brewery in California, where they have a one-acre beer garden, 32 varieties of craft beer and a bistro that concentrates on natural and organic food. Then there’s the Erdinger Weissbier Dunkel beer all the way from Erding, Bavaria. This brewery happens to be the largest wheat beer brewery in the world, dating back to 1886.
As more microbreweries develop in our area, they are becoming a prominent attraction for those who like to pack up the family and take a drive out East. So, next time, consider trying a pint of ale instead of Pinot Noir. Cheers! [/expand]