Seaweed’s not just for sushi anymore.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. (GHBC) recently had opportunity to flex their brewing muscles with the addition of an unusual and very Long Island-centric ingredient—kelp! The North Fork brewery is introducing a unique, robust new porter featuring local sugar kelp, harvested by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), at a special Kelp Art and Awareness Event this Friday, January 12 from 5–8 p.m. at their Peconic location (42155 Main Road).
Along with debuting the very limited edition kelp beer, the event will showcase kelp-based products from local vendors and kelp-inspired art made by East End artists. Additionally, CCE Marine Program experts will present their findings on the feasibility of establishing a kelp aquaculture industry on Long Island and answer questions about their initiative.
CCE has been working on a project to determine whether kelp could be grown and harvested, creating an entirely new industry on the East End providing a sustainable commodity while also cleaning local waters. Kelp and kelp-derived products offer a wide range of culinary, pharmaceutical, agricultural and cosmetic industry applications.
GHBC co-owner and gallerist Ann Vandenburgh gave each artist participating in the exhibition three grain sacks from her brewing operation to be repurposed and transformed into works of art. The resulting pieces, modeled after blades of kelp, will be hung from the rafters of GHBC’s large Peconic tasting room.
Finally, a kelp product showcase features several local businesses and makers who are displaying products they produced using kelp provided by CCE’s Marine Program. Life is Gruff Bakery, Nauti Gal Soap, The Dirty Mermaid, Southampton Soap Company and Mana Made Jewelry will all have interesting kelp creations on offer.
The brewery points out that seaweed aquaculture is an emerging green industry that may offer considerable environmental and economic benefits to the region. CCE’s Peconic Estuary Kelp Aquaculture Feasibility Study (funded by Suffolk County Quality Protection and Restoration Program and Land Stewardship Initiative) is carefully evaluating the potential of this new industry in Suffolk County and the Peconic Estuary.
Kelp improves water quality via bioextraction of water column nitrogen and carbon, while producing a high-demand, renewable product. The product also happens to be a really cool, different option that could give the region one more feather to our already well-adorned cap.
The event is open to all, and admission is free.
Learn more at greenportharborbrewing.com.
Visit ccesuffolk.org/marine/habitat/kelp-aquaculture-feasibility-study for more info about Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Kelp Feasibility Study.