I’m a big proponent of the local movement, and that encompasses buying local, eating local and, yes, drinking local. I’m not sure if Southampton realizes how lucky is it to have its own craft brewery – local beers can be as varied as local wines, and it’s fun to learn more about what you’re drinking and to know that care and attention is paid to creating unique, distinct flavors.
With that in mind, my brother and I were very excited when the hostess offered to start our meal with a sampler of all of the Publick House’s current brews. Five minutes later, we had seven shot glasses of beer on our table to share. I enjoy Belgian-style beers, and the Publick House’s Double White always tops my list of favorite brews. Drawing inspiration from the classic Belgian white ale style, the Double White has a fuller citrus flavor, and it has won numerous awards in national beer competitions. Despite my obvious bias, I was equally willing to sample the remaining beers, and they did not disappoint. The Old Willy Winter, another seasonal brew, was the perfect spiced beer for a cooler night. My brother noted that his favorite was the Southampton Secret. I don’t think many people would disagree with his choice.
A brewery isn’t a brewery without beer, but it also needs two equally compelling counterpart – the ambience and the classic American food. The Bowden Square establishment has nailed both, as the bar is always full, especially in the summer and especially during a major sporting event. As far as food, the Publick House offers the quintessential burgers, wings, steak and salad, but they also put their own spin on the typical menu with daily specials and local favorites. My brother started with the Jalapeno Black Bean soup of the day, which he noted was not short on the jalapenos. As the waitress took our menus away, I decided that I wanted to start with a salad, and she created one with bleu cheese. It was nice to have her accommodate my off-the-menu request.
For our main course, I chose to sample one of the brewery’s most popular items – the Grilled Cajun Chicken Sandwich. Topped with pepperjack cheese and guacamole and served on a fresh ciabatta roll, it’s definitely a must-try. Though it came recommended by our server, I’ll admit that the reason I chose it is because I am never one to pass up a good guac. I’m happy to report that there were chunks of avocado in this version, and it added the perfect coolant to the spicy kick of the chicken. My brother went with the Crab Cake Sandwich, which was uniquely topped with sweet corn relish and smoked paprika aioli.
We were pretty full and decided to forgo dessert, but took note that it included an array of cookies, cakes and ice cream. Though we also opted out of finishing our meal with another pint, there’s no doubt that I’ll be back soon to enjoy the Double White and some March Madness.
Southampton Publick House, 40 Bowden Square, Southampton. 631-283-2800, www.publick.com.