Big news is brewing out in Montauk, as New York’s easternmost brewery prepares to open its doors to an expanded facility in 2015. The roughly 1,200-square foot-extension of the gallery tasting room at 62 South Erie Avenue will allow Montauk Brewing Company to brew beer on-site for the first time since its inception.
“We really appreciate everyone who has supported us in the tasting room, this just comes full circle,” co-founder and CMO Vaughan Cutillo says. “Every tasting, every growler has helped us to fund this project.”
Making space for the beer to be brewed on-site was always a long-term dream for the company. East Hampton Town had to figure out how to categorize the first brewery to be built within its borders, but “once we proved our model, everyone was very supportive,” says Cutillo, who founded the company with friends Eric Moss (brewmaster) and Joe Sullivan (CEO). Though the recipes are all Montauk, the actual brewing process has been completed off-site (contract brewed) since the company first opened its doors in 2012.
At capacity, the brewery will be able to produce 5,000 kegs per year. Construction of the building is currently underway. The equipment is expected to be delivered in January, and Montauk Brewing Company hopes to begin brewing in February. Visitors will be invited to take tours of the facility, which boasts vaulted ceilings and subway tiling. The gallery tasting room, so-named because it invites friends to enjoy a flight while taking in the rotating exhibitions of local art displayed inside, will remain open throughout all phases of construction.
As a part of the expansion, Montauk Brewing Company will be adding four additional taps to its gallery tasting room, making space for eight kegs total. “This will be like a test kitchen,” Cutillo says. “It allows us to be more fun and creative. We can do things like use local ingredients, and do fun recipes and one-off beers.” Conversely, contract brewing requires beer to be produced en masse, leaving less freedom to release brews on a limited basis.
Montauk Brewing Company will also be updating its license to a microbrewery license. Once that process is complete, the taproom will be able to serve full pints. Currently, only tastings and growlers may be poured.
The news of an expanded brewery comes under a year after Montauk Brewing Company made another big move—releasing its flagship Driftwood Ale, an English-style pale ale, and popular Summer Ale in cans this past spring.
Amid all the construction, Montauk Brewing Company is also in the process of getting the permits together to host a grand re-opening party, hopefully to be held on Saturday, June 27, 2015. “We first opened the tasting room on June 30, 2012,” Cutillo says. “We’d like to celebrate the first beer brewed in Montauk and a triumphant three-year journey.” Prior to the anniversary party, a soft opening will be scheduled for the springtime.
With the exception of adding a glass door that will allow people to view the brewing equipment, the current gallery tasting room will remain unchanged, inviting people who love Montauk, love beer and love art to come together. Or, as the cans advertise, to “come as you are.”
“The whole build-out has been a great learning experience,” Cutillo says. “It’s eye-opening how much the community has supported us. It’s a really Montauk thing to do, to support small businesses, and it’s really fun to be a part of it.”
Montauk Brewing Company is located at 62 South Erie Avenue, Montauk. For more information, visit montaukbrewingco.com or call 631-668-8471.