Folks know Riverhead for its big attractions, the Long Island Aquarium and Suffolk Theater, and its fabulous street festivals that light up downtown. The area has become a popular destination for crowds heading back from a day in wine country, bringing tons of business to local restaurants and venues. But, beneath this, something else is brewing. Riverhead has quietly become a craft beer destination. Long Ireland and Moustache Brewing Co. have been drawing in beer enthusiasts for years, but small brewing companies are cropping up across the town, and it’s time everyone gets to know them a bit better.
Crooked Ladder Brewing is a diagonal tasting room on West Main Street. The weird angles and classic brick interior lend the space a modern, quirky atmosphere. For the fall, Outta My Vine Pumpkin Ale (5.7% ABV) is now on tap. Stevie Czelatka, the head brewer, says, “this a very sessionable, medium-bodied, lightly spiced pumpkin ale brewed with fresh ginger and cinnamon.” You can also try their Fresh Hop Black IPA (6% ABV), a malty, roasted brew with hops sourced locally from LI Hops.
You can find Long Ireland Beer Company on Pulaski Street, open seven days a week. They’ve currently got 10 beers on tap. Their 5% ABV Pumpkin Ale is brewed using pumpkin purée and spices. You can stop by for a tour any time. Visit longirelandbrewing.com to find out more.
Moustache Brewing Co. recently released its Black Currant Porter. A perfect beer for the end of summer, the currant cuts through the bitterness for a nice, balanced taste, and they’re releasing their first beer in a can, Proton double IPA, on September 17. Of course, they’ve always got on tap their Milk and Honey Ale, (6% ABV) which, made with non-fermentable milk sugar, has a smooth, sweet finish. Call 631-591-3250 or visit moustachebrewing.com for more info.
Long Beard Brewing is drumming up interest, as they’ve mysteriously taken over Riverhead’s Second Street Firehouse. With their Long Beard emblem on the door and constant construction, it’s clear that something is afoot, but, what does this newcomer have to offer the Riverhead beer scene?
“We’ve actually been a brewing company for over four years now,” says co-owner Paul Carlin, one half of the Long Beard team. “We waited a long time for the perfect location. We took a chance, and it turned out for the better. We’re really excited about being in Riverhead. The fact that Riverhead is becoming a craft beer town its even better for us. We think the location is definitely part of our recipe for success.”
Another part of that recipe is Carlin and business partner Craig Waltz’s imaginative and no-nonsense approach to their brews. They know what flavor they want, and they know how to make it happen. Currently they’ve got a roster of about 16 different beers, including an IPA, double IPA, pale ale, and a Salt Caramel Scottish Ale. New to their lineup is a beer designed for the autumn weather, a caramelized peach old mill milk stout.
“It’s like breakfast in a glass,” says Carlin. “It’s a thick beer, a heavy, creamy stout with lots of caramel flavor, but the peaches give it a great aroma and tartness.” The company took to Facebook to find the perfect name for this delicious creation, which they will be revealing soon.
“We don’t have a set date to open yet,” says Carlin. He and Waltz have been renovating the firehouse by hand, putting their own personal touch on every inch of the space. “We’re hoping to open by the holidays. We want to get the doors open and see everyone come in. I’m sure everyone will enjoy the beer and the feel of the tasting room.”
Long Beard Brewing Company is located at 24 East Second Street in Riverhead. For more information visit longbeardbrewing.com.