The East End craft beer scene made great strides since last summer, and more exciting developments are coming soon, from breweries expanding to new brewers cropping up.
Moustache Brewing Co., which is entering its second summer in Riverhead, will bring back its Mojito Pale Ale in June.
“The Mojito Pale Ale stems from moments of indecision a couples summer ago as home brewers wanting a mojito and beer at the same time,” explains Lauri Spitz, who co-founded the brewery with husband Matthew.
The brew, with an ABV of 6.0%, is light bodied, crisp and refreshing, with mint in the aroma and a hint of citrusy zest thanks to lime and hops. Spitz says one of her favorite food pairings with the Mojito Pale Ale is Mexican food, specifically, tacos. “It’s the perfect summer beer,” she adds.
Last summer, Moustache had the capacity to brew just five barrels of beer at a time. The facility added bigger tanks in February, and now the brewery has the capacity for 19 barrels.
Moustache will continue this summer to produce its IPA of the Month. They don’t plan the India Pale Ale varieties ahead of time. “It’s always spontaneous,” Spitz says.
Find Moustache beer on draft at local watering holes or visit Moustache Brewing Co. at 400 Hallett Avenue, Suite A, Riverhead, for a pint or a growler fill. For tasting room hours, go to moustachebrewing.com.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. released its first bottles in April, after years of being available on tap exclusively. The first four brews to be bottled are Harbor Ale, Black Duck Porter, Other Side IPA and their seasonal release, Summer Ale. Each is adorned with artwork by Scott Bluedorn of East Hampton. For the honey-infused Summer Ale (5.3% ABV), Bluedorn drew a honeybee/seaplane hybrid pulling a banner that reads, “Beehave.” This golden ale is slightly sweet with a floral finish.
Greenport Harbor Brewing has taprooms both at 234 Carpenter Street in Greenport and 42155 Main Road in Peconic. Get a growler filled at either location, find Greenport on tap at a number of East End bars and restaurants and, now find bottles in stores. Visit greenportharborbrewing.com.
Many exciting things are happening for Montauk Brewing Company.
Starting this baseball season, Montauk Session India Pale Ale is available by the can at Citi Field in the promenade level behind home plate, and elsewhere in the stadium.
Montauk Brewing Company cofounder Vaughan Cutillo explains that Citi contacted the brewery last fall, and Montauk submitted samples.
“We’re honored that they reached out to us because we didn’t expect that,” Cutillo says. He suspects the brewery’s name influenced Citi.
“We’re fortunate that the name ‘Montauk’ travels really well,” he says. “It’s not really just a local name anymore. It’s more of a national or global name.”
The Session India Pale Ale, which is Montauk’s newest year-round beer, has a 4.9% ABV and is light-bodied. Crack and can and, ““you’re immediately hit with citrus and floral notes before you take your first sip,” Cutillo says.
Making its return is the Montauk Summer Ale, a caramel malt blend with a refreshing finish and 5.6% ABV. An additional summer ale will be made available in the Montauk Brewing Company taproom only—no cans, and no distribution to bars or retailers.
After undergoing renovations so Montauk Brewing Company can begin brewing beer on site, the taproom reopened in early May. Cutillo says, “It’s been a three-year journey of permits and getting everything together.” The changes also include adding more taps.
“We can put out a lot of beer. It’s a great showpiece brewery,” he adds. “It’s a beautiful space we created. We have floor-to-ceiling white subway tile [and] stainless steel equipment.”
Visit the taproom at 62 South Erie Ave, Montauk. Call 631-668-8471 or go to montaukbrewingco.com for hours.
New on the East End craft beer scene is Twin Fork Beer Company. Identical twin brothers Dan Chekijian, of Hampton Bays, and Peter Chekijian, of Aquebogue, are currently scouting a location to open a brewery and tasting room in downtown Riverhead. In the meantime, they are putting out their flagship beer, Chromatic Ale, under a contract brewing agreement with a Long Island brewery.
Chromatic Ale is an American Pale Ale with 6.6% ABV, Dan Chekijian explains. “It’s actually a very easy drinking but malt-forward ale—not too hoppy,” he says. “It pairs well with a lot of foods.”
The brew is currently available on draft at about 60 locations throughout Long Island. Look for Twin Fork’s tuning fork tap handle, a tribute to their family’s musical background. Learn more at twinforkbeer.com.
Long Ireland Beer Company’s Summer Ale (5% ABV) is a golden ale with citrus tones brewed with English pale malt, pilsner malt, wheat, cascade and Columbus hops, and lemon peel. It’s available in six-packs and on draft. The brewery/tasting room, which is in its fifth year, is located at 817 Pulaski Street, Riverhead. Visit longirelandbeer.com for hours.
Southampton Publick House is bringing back its Summer Blonde, which was new to the scene last year.
“Year One was an absolute success,” brewmaster Evan Addario says. It’s a Belgium-style abbey single ale, available far and wide on draft and in bottles.
There are no spices and no fruit, though the Belgian yeast strain used in the brew gives many drinkers the false perception that the beer must have spices, Addario explains.
The Publick House is planning other seasonal beers that will be available at the bar and restaurant in Southampton Village this summer. Year-round, find Publick House’s Keller Pills, Double White and Burton IPA, each of which Addario says lend themselves to summer drinking. Visit the Publick House at 40 Bowden Square, Southampton, for dinner and drinks. Learn more at publick.com.
Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, with its brewery-taproom at 70 West Main Street in Riverhead, has three beers for spring and summer 2015. Shinnecock Bock is a Maibock with 7.2% ABV and 33 IBUs. It’s a pale bock that is traditionally brewed to celebrate the coming of spring after a long cold winter, according to brewing partner Duffy Griffiths. Summeritis, which comes out in mid-May, is a light-bodied golden ale brewed with just the right amount of hops to give it a nice citrus finish. Duffy says it is a very sessionable beer, at 4.6% ABV and 21 IBUs. Peconic Bay Pilsner, to be released in early June, is brewed with German grains and hops. It’s a refreshing light bodied, straw colored lager. Visit crookedladderbrewing.com for hours and special events.