It hasn’t quite hit Matt and Lauri Spitz of the East End’s newest craft brewery, Moustache Brewing Co., that their dreams have finally come true. The couple, who recently moved to Riverhead from East Islip, have been sapped of energy through a grueling year-long process to get their Polish Town brewery and tasting room up and running.
“I’m exhausted,” Matt says while surrounded by their family, friends and other Moustache supporters at the brewery’s soft opening on Sunday. “I’m still running on adrenaline.”
Lauri says she and her husband often spent nights falling asleep together on the brewery floor after mind-numbing hours of installing equipment, filing paperwork and helping contractors.
“We would be here working until 3 in the morning and we had an aerobed that we would put in the tasting room,” Lauri recalls. “We slept in our hoodies, bathrobes and our bed-in-a-bag and we woke up feeling sick every morning, but who wants to drive home an hour at 3 o’clock in the morning?”
The do-it-yourselfers initially raised more than $30,000 to open the brewery through a successful Kickstarter campaign, but Lauri says the final cost of growing the Moustache Brewing Co. has far exceeded those funds.
“I could have bought a house in North Carolina and paid cash for it,” she says of the amount of money dumped into the project. “We realized that the other day, but, we have a brewery and that’s kind of cooler.”
It’s been a long time coming for the Moustache Brewing Co., according to Lauri’s sister, Kim Corbett, who tended bar at at the soft opening and rang up retail sales.
“They always knew this would happen,” she says. “It was just a matter of when.”
While waiting for the green light on the Hallett Street location, Moustache began building a local fan base at Riverhead’s new year-round farmers market, where the Spitzes consistently tapped dry the kegs of their beloved brews, including the couple’s Maiden Voyage Pale Ale.
Moustache was also poured at this past Saturday’s inaugural North Fork Horseradish Festival at Hallockville Museum Farm in Jamesport.
This Saturday, April 19, the Spitzes will have no need to lug kegs to any local events, as the ribbon will be cut at the site of Moustache Brewing Co., nestled into Hallett Street’s dead-end off Pulaski Street in Riverhead.
But it won’t only be a ribbon that gets cut at the grand opening. Matt, who sports a handlebar mustache, the company’s namesake, will also publicly cut off his beard.
“I grow a winter coat every year and usually cut it off on the first day of spring,” he says, adding that this year he ultimately decided to wait for the official opening of the brewery.
After both ribbons and beards have been cut to celebrate the official opening of Moustache Brewing Company, Lauri says the first pint of beer will be served to the highest bidder in an auction to benefit the Kent Animal Shelter in Calverton.
“We have friends that are battling it out,” she says. “They wanted to potato sack race for the first pint, but I said that might be dangerous and thought that, while we had everyone’s attention, we’d do some good and make it into something awesome. We’re big charity people.”
Moustache’s current system is capable of producing four barrels of beer per week, but Lauri says the next step is finding a new refrigerator seven-times the size of their five current ones, which are each capable of holding one fermenter at a time.
Four different Moustache beers were on tap the soft opening, including Milk & Honey Brown Ale, You Might Shoot Your Rye Out Scotch Ale, Everyman’s Porter and One Drop Pale Ale, and Matt says there are new brews on the horizon.
“We’re going to be doing a bunch of different IPAs because I’m a hop head,” he says. “We want to do a double IPA and a standard American IPA. We’re also going to play with a couple different seasonals to see what works and in the summertime we’re going to do our Mojito Pale Ale.”
Moustache Brewing Co., 400 Hallett Ave, Riverhead. 631-591-3250. moustachebrewing.com
Watch the “birth” announcement video: