Tag Archives: Blue Point Brewing

Getting Goosed at a craft beer festival

 A trio of beers from Goose Island prove to be among the best of the fest

Barry McLaughlin (1)

Goose Island rep Barry McLaughlin shows a bottle of Halia

By Alan J. Wax

Time to eat my words after drinking against my principals.

Since AB-InBev’s acquisition of Chicago’s Goose Island Beer Co. —and subsequently, Blue Point Brewing on Long Island and Elysian Brewing in Washington—I had made my mind up to pass up on their offerings and not support this industry giant.

I’d been loath to indulge in these AB crafty beers, particularly after the Budweiser commercial launched earlier this year that mocks craft brewers.

That changed today at the North Fork Craft Beer Festival on Long Island’s East End.

As I strolled through a dried patch of grass that was once a fairway at the Calverton Links Golf Club, I came upon the Goose Island Brewery booth staffed by Barry McLaughlin, a friend who is now the brewery’s representative for Long Island.

As it turns out, he was pouring the best beer I tasted at the event and two others that came darn close, all Goose Island products.

McLaughlin, who until recently marketed craft beers for AB distributor Clare Rose, poured me a few ounces of Halia, a sour elixir based on Goose Island’s popular farmhouse ale Sofie. Halia is Sofie aged on whole peaches in neutral wood barrels. It’s name means “remembrance of a loved one” in Hawaiian; Halia was brewed in memory of a friend of one of its brewers who loved peaches. It also sells for nearly $40 for a 765ml bottle.

Wow! What a delight this hazy golden 7.5 percent ABV brew proved to be. Brettanomyces dominated the nose and on the palate I puckered up for a hit of sharp lacto tartness. It’s juicy brew that offers up definite peach character. Not much oak there, but that was just fine. No distraction from the other flavors. 5 stars.

The beer is part of Goose Island’s barrel program, which encompasses thousands of wine and spirits barrels (Bourbon barrels, of course, are used for Goose Island’s much-sought-after Bourbon County Barrel Stout), filled with brew.

Next, McLaughlin poured me Gillian, another brew based on Sofie, but one with honey added. Goose Island’s web site describes it as inspired by an amuse bouche often prepared by the wife of one of its brewers. Gillian also is aged in part in wine barrels and made with Michigan strawberries and Michigan organic honey. This orange-hued beer boasts 9.5 percent ABV. It’s got a honeyed nose, rounded mouth feel and offers up fruity notes leading to a dry, tart finish. 4.5 stars.

Last in the Goose Island line up was the brewer’s 25th anniversary beer, an American wild ale from Goose Island’s Clybourn facility brewed in 2013 and also known as Brettanomite. The 6.3% ABV golden sour ale was tart and flavorful with an in-your-face brett character, it was juicy and a bit cidery. 3.5 stars.

So glad I was willing to keep an open mind about these beers. I’ll be happy to open my fridge door for Goose Island beers like these going forward.



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Long Island breweries, bars to celebrate Craft Beer Week May 6-17

LI Craft logo

By Alan J. Wax

Long Island: get ready for Craft Beer Week.

Long Island’s craft beer industry and its supporters in the hospitality and retail trade are readying a week-plus long celebration of the region’s breweries and beers. It runs from May 6 to May 17, which of course, is more than a week.

Breweries, bars and restaurants will be running special events to mark the celebration. So far, 21 breweries have signed on along with 20 restaurants and bars, three retailers and two wholesalers.

David Schultzer, owner of Bellport Cold Beer & Soda and the lead organizer of Long Island Craft Beer Week, says the celebration is designed to create awareness of Long Island breweries and beers and to attract mainstream beer drinkers to craft beer. “While the focus is Long Island beer and breweries, we need to get more people into craft beer.”

Nevertheless, he said, other states, such as Oregon and California, sell a far greater proportion of locally produced beers than New York.

“We don’t do a good job of letting people know we exist,” he says. Moreover, he said, with the growing number of small breweries opening in the region, brewers will be fighting for the same piece of the pie—and survival, unless they attract legions of new imbibers. “If you don’t expand that customer base, how can you survive?”

The first big event of Long Island Craft Beer week is the May 6 kickoff, Long Island Craft Beer Cares, a charity beer and food tasting at the Melville Marriott Hotel to benefit the Long Island Cares food bank; the Lustgarten Foundation, which raises funds to fight pancreatic cancer, and the New York Bully Crew, a pet-rescue organization.

A collaboration brew — Long Island Craft Cares — developed and brewed by Great South Bay Brewery, of Bay Shore; Port Jeff Brewing, 1940’s Brewing Co., of Farmingdale; Barrage Brewing Co. of East Farmingdale, Blue Point Brewing Co. of Patchogue, and BrickHouse Brewery, also of Patchogue, will debut at the charity event.

Breweries represented at the Long Island Craft Beer Care event include: Blue Point; Great South Bay; Barrage; 1940’s ; Port Jeff; BrickHouse Brewery; Brooklyn Brewery; Sixpoint Brewery, Brooklyn; Spider Bite Beer Co., Holbrook; Blind Bat Brewery, Centerport; Destination Unknown Beer Co., Bay Shore; The Brewers Collective, Farmingdale; Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, Bronx Brewery and Southern Tier Brewing Co., Lakewood, New York.

Beers, Burgers Desserts of Rocky Point, The Tap Room of Patchogue, Noodles & Co., of Garden City, Verde Wine Bar of Deer Park, The Trattoria, St. James will be among area eateries serving up delicious food to accompany the local craft beer at the Craft Beer Cares event. Tickets are $55 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite.

Free Long Island Craft Beer pint glasses will be available and can be ordered online and picked up on May 7 at these locations: The Tap Room, Patchogue; Savoy Tavern, Merrick; Beers Burgers Desserts, Rocky Point; Brewology, Speonk; Lil’ Left Coast, Bellmore; Bobbique, Patchogue and Eat Gastropub, Island Park.

The celebration’s other big event is Bay Fest, a beer festival featuring dozens of breweries at Great South Bay Brewery, i25 Drexel Ave., Bay Shore on May 16. Twenty-seven  breweries — at last count — and several home brew clubs will be pouring samples of their wares. There’s a general session from 1:30 to 5:30 pm with tickets $40 online and $15 for designated drivers. A VIP session, which starts at 12:45 p.m. $55 per person and $15 for designated drivers. Tickets are available at Ticketfly.

In addition to the host brewery, participating brewers include Port Jeff Brewing, BrickHouse Brewery, Blue Point Brewing, Barrage Brewing, 1940’s Brewing, Montauk Brewing Co., Oyster Bay Brewing, Barrier Brewing of Island Park, Southampton Publick House, Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing, Goose Island Beer Co. of Chicago, Two Roads Brewing of Stratford, Connecticut, Brooklyn Brewery, Ommergang, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Long Ireland Beer Co. of Riverhead, Adirondack Pub and Brewery of Lake George, Third Rail Beer Co. of Manhattan, Southern Tier, Samuel Adams, Destination Unknown, and Lithology Brewing, Farmingdale.

The big events sandwich a multitude of smaller, but no-less exciting events. You’ll find them listed at the Long Island Craft Beer week website.

Hope to see you at one them.


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Hurricane Sandy collaborative relief beer, Surge Protector IPA, makes debut

Surge labelThe culmination of 13 weeks of effort involving a group of Long Island brewers has come to fruition.

The group’s collaborative beer, Surge Protector IPA, makes its debut today (Jan. 22). Proceeds from sales of the beer will go to help victims of Hurricane Sandy and Barrier Brewing Co., whose Oceanside, Long Island, brewery was decimated by the storm surge.

After six weeks of emails, meetings and brainstorming, the group on Dec. 4 produced a collaboration brew at Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue.  Each of the breweries — Barrier Brewing Co., Blind Bat Brewery, Blue Point Brewing Co., Great South Bay Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., and Long Ireland Beer Company – donated an ingredient.

Surge Protector IPA initially will be released in six locations on Long Island and in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, and Queens. They are:

Beginning Jan. 23 the beer, bottled by Blue Point, will become available across the Long Island.  Clare Rose is distributing the beer. The group also is selling commemorative T-shirts.

Sandy Relief Beer started as a video project by photographer Matt Furman and freelance journalist Niko Krommydas, but evolved into a collaborative relief effort involving the eight local breweries.

Long Island Cares, Inc. will receive one-half of all proceeds from Sandy Relief Beer.

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Brooklyn Brewery’s Hindy gets LI Beer Week lifetime achievement award

The Long Island Craft Beer Week Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Brooklyn Brewery co-founder and president Steve Hindy.

The award, presented as part of the second annual Golden Tap Awards held May 15 at The Boulton Center for Performing Arts in Bay Shore, NY, is given to an individual who has made exceptional contributions of outstanding significance to the field of brewing or beer.

Brooklyn Brewery celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and recently was ranked No. 13 on the Brewers Association 2012 list of Top 50 Craft Brewing Companies.

Hindy was chosen for the award because of his commitment to craft brewing and his local community, the awards organizers said.

The Long Island Craft Beer Week awards honor Long Island’s beer innovators and pioneers. Some of the winners were selected through a People’s Choice-style online vote.

Blue Point Brewing Co., of Patchogue, was named Best New York State Brewery. The winner was selected by online public poll. Established in 1999 by Mark Burford and Peter Cotter, the Patchogue Brewery now is the 34th largest in the U.S. Other nominees were Fire Island Beer Co., Great South Bay Brewing, Long Ireland Beer and Greenport Harbor Brewing.

The Long Island Beer of the Year Award was presented to Blue Point for its Toasted Lager, the brewery’s flagship brew. Nominees for this category were selected by Long Island brewers and brewery owners and the winner was picked via online public voting.

The Best New Beer of the Year Award went to Blue Points White IPA, an unfiltered European-style white ale with a fresh American IPA finish. Brewed with malted and unmalted wheat and west coast hops, the 6 percent ABV beer is fermented with German yeast. Nominees for this category were submitted directly by Long Island brewers and brewery owners.  Only beers released in 2011 were eligible. The winner was selected by online public vote.

The award for Best Brewery Sales Rep went to Sean Nolan of Bay Shore’s Great South Bay Brewery. The award recognizes a local, hard-working sales rep who works directly for a Long Island brewery selling into the Long Island market.  The winner was selected by a vote of local business owners, including restaurants, bar owners and beer retailers.

The Best Long Island Bar Award went to TJ Finley’s in Bay Shore after an online public vote. The bar offers 26 tap, one on cask, 48 bottles and 4 cans. Other nominees were Bobbique in Patchogue, Tap & Barrel in Smithtown, The Good Life in Massapequa Park and Croxley’s Ale House in Farmingdale.

Best Long Island Brew Pub Award was won by Brickhouse Brewery, of Patchogue, which was established in 1995. The winner chosen through online voting.  Other nominees were Black Forest Brewhaus in Melville, John Harvard’s in Lake Grove and Southampton Publick House.

The Pioneer Award went to Michael Deinhardt, founder of the Brewer’s East End Revival (BEER) home brewing club, which he and others established in 1996 and now has more than 80 members. The award recognized Deinhardt’s commitment to beer education, which directly had an impact on the growth of the local beer community, the organizers said.

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