While touring local wineries and hitting the North Fork and Hamptons wine trails has long been a tradition on the East End, the region’s booming craft beer scene and the option to visit our many area breweries and tap rooms is a more recent phenomenon.
For those who prefer porter over pinot, or suds over Syrah, or if you’re just a connoisseur looking to try something new, this is a great time to stop by an East End brewery—or four.
Dan’s Best of the Best list celebrates North and South Fork beer purveyors—and the actual beers they produce and serve—and some of those winners also happen to be among our favorite breweries to visit, tour and taste.
Southampton Publick House (40 Bowden Square, 631-283-2800) won our Platinum award in the South Fork’s “Beer” and “Brewery” categories. The only brewery in town, this popular brewpub makes some of its beer on premises and exports nationwide. The Publick House is a great stop for casual dining and drinking, with tasty bar eats, entrees and Happy Hour every weekday and all night on Fridays (after 10 p.m.)—plus the famous Ladies’ Night on Wednesdays from 9 p.m.–midnight. Try their year-round brew, such as the powerful Belgian-style Southampton Double White ale, or go with the Burton IPA or Keller Pils. Seasonal beer is also available.
Our Gold winner for beer and brewery on the South Fork, Montauk Brewing Company (62 South Erie Avenue, 631-668-8471), is another one of the coolest breweries/taprooms in the area to visit. Currently being renovated to brew their beer on-site, this red house in the heart of Montauk is as casual, inviting and authentic as its namesake hamlet. Get growlers and cans to go or try a tasting flight while relaxing at the assorted picnic tables outside. You can also check out local art in the taproom’s rotating gallery exhibitions. Try the Arrowhead Irish Red Ale and Offland IPA on tap or their classic Driftwood Ale and Summer Ale in handsome cans.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, with locations in Greenport (234 Carpenter Street, 631-477-6681) and Peconic (42155 Main Road), is the North Fork’s Gold brewery and Silver beer. South Forkers even voted it among their Best of the Best breweries, despite its location. The growing company’s original brew house and taproom—where they serve beer, brew special releases and show art—lives in an old former firehouse near the water in Greenport. It’s a terrific place to visit, try some beers with friends and take in the village flavor.
Meanwhile, Greenport Harbor does the bulk of its brewing and bottling at the much larger, newer operation in Peconic. The taproom in Peconic features unique design elements and a cool, rustic, recycled style. Who doesn’t love sinks made of kegs and growler as light fixtures? With room for large groups, it can even be rented for events, including weddings and parties. Take home growlers, kegs and/or super artsy bottles. The choice is yours.
Between the Forks, Riverhead is home to several Best of the Best breweries that are well worth the visit—all in one day if possible! The really daring should try the Brew Crew Cycles Party Bike.
Founded in 2012 by Matthew and Lauri Spitz, the North Fork’s Platinum beer winner, Moustache Brewing Company (400 Hallet Avenue, 631-591-3250) in Riverhead, has a revolving menu of craft beers made from fresh, local ingredients. Visitors to this brewery and small taproom will find a no-frills experience that’s all about great beer and their homebrew ethos. Check them out this Saturday, May 30 at 12 p.m. to celebrate the release of Moustache’s new Blueberry + Ginger Tripel, a limited, barrel-aged bottle that is exactly what this microbrew is all about.
Just a 5-minute walk away in Riverhead, Long Ireland Beer Company (817 Pulaski Street, 631-403-4303) is the North Fork’s Platinum brewery. Consistently named among Long Island’s favorite local craft beers, this brewery makes both year-round and seasonal brews, unpasteurized and all natural. Try their famous Celtic Ale and Breakfast Stout, or dig into the Brewer’s Reserve selections. The tasting room is open Thursday and Friday from 3–7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1–6 p.m. They will also gladly give visitors a tour of their brewing operation, just be sure to call ahead.
Also a short walk away in the same Riverhead neighborhood is North Fork Silver winner Crooked Ladder Brewery (70 West Main Street, 631-591-3565). This homey taproom and adjoining production facility features brick walls and lots of barrels, which makes a perfect setting to enjoy a tasty libation while watching the beer get made. Sip delights such as their Shinnecock Bock, Summeritis or Captain Kidd’s Imperial IPA and keep the glass when you’re done.
Find more of Dan’s Best of the Best beer, breweries and everything else on the East End at DansBOTB.com!