By Bernie Kilkelly
The Long Island Craft Classic festival had record attendance on August 12 in its second year being held at Heckscher State Park. This year the fest sponsored the first Long Island BREW’D competition, in which nine Long Island breweries competed in a taste-off judged by festival attendees. What made the competition unique was that the breweries all agreed to use a mystery ingredient, which they only found out about six weeks before the festival. The ingredient this year was peach and the winner was a collaboration beer brewed by Pat Alfred, head brewer at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and Chris Candiano, co-founder and brewer at Bay Shore’s Destination Unknown Beer Co. The two long-time friends developed a recipe for Fuzzy Flamingo, a sweet Berliner Weisse-style ale brewed with fresh raspberry, milk sugar and of course peach, that was not overpowering at just 4.8%. The winning beer will be available for a limited time (until the batch runs out) in the tasting rooms at both breweries.
Several Long Island craft breweries and beer bars are supporters of concerts and summer street fairs in their hometowns featuring live music, food vendors and of course craft beer. Farmingdale Music on Main will be held on Aug. 24 from 5-9pm with sponsors including Lithology Brewing, Croxley Farmingdale, Dark Horse Tavern, Library Cafe, That Meetball Place and other bars. Port Jeff Brewing’s free summer music series will have its last two concerts outside the brewery on Aug. 23 and Aug. 30 from 7-9:30pm. Riverhead Alive on 25 will be held on Aug. 24 and 31 from 5-9:30pm with sponsors including Long Ireland Beer, Moustache Brewing and Twin Fork Brewing.
Long Island’s homebrew clubs were pleased to host noted beer author Stan Hieronymus at several events across the island on Aug. 19 and 20. Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts (LIBME) organized a hops seminar at Barrier Brewing Co. in Oceanside and a beer brunch at The Fifth Season in Port Jefferson. Peter Tripp, owner of Homebrews & Handgrenades homebrew shop in Baldwin, hosted a book signing that was attended by many Long Island homebrewers including members of LIBME and the Handgrenades Homebrew Club.