Craft cares brew day at Fire Island.
by Bernie Kilkelly
Like flowers that bloom in sunny Spring weather (which supposedly is coming soon), new breweries and tasting rooms continue to pop up across Long Island. Much of this growth has come since the passage of New York State’s farm brewery act in 2012, with Long Island now having 26 licensed farm breweries out of a total of 44 breweries overall.
Small Craft Brewing Co. in Amityville held the official grand opening of its new tasting room on March 23. Small Craft was founded in 2014 and was licensed as a New York State farm brewery in 2017. Eastern Front Brewing Co., a farm brewery founded in 2015 by brewer Doug Pearsall and his girlfriend Christina Oman, is getting ready to open its new tasting room in Mattituck pending final permits.
In Northport, Sand City Brewing’s tasting room has been closed since September for renovations but will have to wait for approval to reopen from the village zoning board after complaints were raised about crowds and noise. Sand City is continuing to brew and can its popular IPAs and other beers while waiting for further hearings with the village. In other zoning board news, Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola has submitted plans to expand its operation to include a full kitchen and an outdoor beer garden.
The popular Blue Point Cask Ales Festival will be held on April 21 at the brewery on River Avenue, probably for the last time as Blue Point gets ready to move into its new 60,000 sq ft facility on Main Street this summer. The Spring Craft Beer Festival will be held on April 28 at Belmont Park with a new format that includes live viewing and betting on the horse races from the Grandstand.
Long Island Craft Beer Week 2018 will be held from May 11-20 with a variety of events at breweries and beer bars across the Island. On March 20, brewers from 19 craft breweries gathered at Fire Island Beer Co. in Bay Shore to brew this year’s Craft Cares collaboration beer. Craft Cares is brewed especially for the “Can for a Can” food drive, in which people can receive a can of Craft Cares beer by donating a can of food to Long Island Cares/The Harry Chapin Food Bank. In 2017, the “Can for a Can” drive raised over 3,400 pounds of canned food. Dave Schultzer of Bellport Beer and Soda, one of the organizers of Long Island Craft Beer Week, said “Craft Cares is a great way for Long Island’s craft brewers to give back to the community and strengthen the partnership between local brewers and the establishments that sell Long Island craft beer.”
The 2018 Craft Cares collaboration beer is an ‘Intercoastal IPA,’ according to Paul Komsic, head brewer at BrickHouse Brewery in Patchogue. “We wanted to bring together influences from all across the US and in Europe, so the recipe includes yeasts from both California and England,” said Komsic. Malt was donated by Country Malt Group and all of the hops were donated by Long Island hop farms, including Condzella Farms in Wading River, Route 27 Hop Yard in Moriches and L.I. Hops in Riverhead. Canning of the beer will be donated by The Malt Man mobile canning services and labels by DWS Printing in Deer Park.