Tag Archives: Brewers East End Revival

Searching for Oyster Bay Brewing Co.

Oyster Bay Brewing Co., Long Island’s newest craft brewer, is a bit hard to find. When it opens in mid-June, beer aficionados can expect to find what its owners say are drinkable brews.

Oyster Bay logoLong Island’s newest brewery isn’t easy to find.

Located in the back of a two-story brown and tan building whose 76 South Street address it shares with a baseball-card shop, the Oyster Bay Brewing Co. is opposite Jack Halyard’s Restaurant and its front door faces the Oyster Bay Town Hall parking lot. There are no signs indicating its presence as yet and, in fact, the brewery’s tasting room won’t open to the public for about two weeks.

When it does open, however, its owners, Gabe Haim, 30, of Bayville, and Ryan Schlotter, 31, of Centerport, will offer tastings and growler fills of their IPA and amber ale, along with T-shirts, sweatshirts and pint glasses.

It’s not a big place. Once the home of a Mexican restaurant, the space had been vacant for the past six years. Now, it accommodates a hand-built tasting bar, a half dozen 3-barrel fermenting tanks and a 3-barrel brewing system.  All the tanks are temperature-controlled. Dozens of empty kegs line a shelf near the 15-foot ceiling of the white with brown wainscot walls.

“It all fits nice and snug in here and we’re all spec’d out for expansion,” says Schlotter.

A community associated with Teddy Roosevelt and Billy Joel, Oyster Bay, Schlotter said also has great water for making beer. Until 15 years ago, he noted, area residents waited on line to get their water from a nearby natural spring.

The opening will mark the culmination of two years of planning by the pair, who both work at Rallye BMW, and who after experimenting making home brew from kits, decided making beer is what they wanted to do with their lives. They’d considered opening a restaurant or a pizzeria, but a visit to Indianapolis, where Haim’s wife’s cousin, Kevin Matalucci, is head brewer at the Broad Ripple Brew Pub, sealed the deal.

They rejected the idea of starting as a contract brewer as some brewers on Long Island have done.  “You just fax your recipe in,” said Schlotter, adding there was little satisfaction to be gained.

Ryan Schlotter shows off controls at Oyster Bay Brewing Co,

Ryan Schlotter shows off controls at Oyster Bay Brewing Co,

Besides, they wanted their beer to be closely identified with Oyster Bay, a community associated with Teddy Roosevelt and Billy Joel. Oyster Bay, Schlotter said, also has great water for making beer. Until 15 years ago, area residents waited on line to get their water from a nearby natural spring, he noted.

They found their site, ordered equipment and received their federal brewers permit in March followed by their state license on April 19. After learning how to use their equipment they brewed their first batch of IPA on May 19. An amber will follow and then, perhaps a wheat. Meanwhile, Schlotter said they are tinkering with a stout recipe.

Ryan says brewing on their system, compared to home brewing, is like making a wedding cake versus a cupcake. “It was a learning process,” he added.

Schlotter said they expect to brew three times a week and keg all of their production and self distribute. So far, they’ve got a list of 30 potential outlets for their beers.

“Everything will be drinkable,’ Schlotter said, noting their beers will be flavorful, but aimed at the widest array of beer drinkers.  Beer geeks, he said, may be disappointed by that notion.

OBBC IPA is an easy drinking brew with a barely perceptible 9 percent abv. Rich caramel malt notes balance the citric bitterness of the beer, which was sampled from a bottling of an earlier test run.

“We’re at the happy medium where it’s a very drinkable beer but still true to craft beer flavor and prices,” said Schlotter.

St. James Brewing moving closer to reality

The owners of St. James Brewing Co. say they are close to finding a location for their proposed brewery.

Jamie Adams, who is currently in construction, and Tom McCarthy, a financial advisor, told a May 20 meeting of the Brewers East End Revival home brew club that they hope to lease space soon in St. James off Jericho Turnpike. The brewery will specialize in Belgian-style brews. Adams said he has been home brewing for 20 years.

Great South Bay Brewing starts up its kettles

The Great South Bay Brewery crew at work on first brew to be produced in Bay Shore. (Photo by Great South Bay Brewery).

The Great South Bay Brewery crew at work on first brew to be produced in Bay Shore. (Photo by Great South Bay Brewery).

Great South Bay Brewery of Bay Shore, brewed for the first time at its own facility in a Bay Shore industrial park, producing a batch of its Blonde Ambition on its 30-barrel system.

Great South Bay beers until now have been produced exclusively in Brooklyn at the Greenpoint Beer Works, where Kelso and Heartland brews are also produced.

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Picks for Long Island Craft Beer Week

LI CBW logLong Island’s beer community celebrates itself during Long Island Craft Beer Week (LICBW) May 10-19 with a dizzying collection of festivals, special tastings, tap takeovers and more.

LICBW, which actually runs 10 days, is a collaborative venture created by brewers, bar owners and beer event promoter Starfish Junction Productions to raise awareness of the thriving local craft beer scene and promote patronage at local establishments.

This third annual event appears to be bigger than in the past. And with good cause.

The craft beer scene on Long Island has exploded with the opening of new breweries and new places to imbibe.

In the past 12 months brewers Spider Bite Beer Co., Rocky Point Artisan Brewers and Montauk Brewing swelled the industry ranks in Nassau and Suffolk Counties to 15, for now. At least four more are planning to open their doors in the months ahead.

Among new taverns specializing in craft beers include the Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola, the Tap Room in Patchogue and Croxley’s in Smithtown.

What’s more beer distributors and retailers are adding new brands to their portfolios and shelves, respectively, and on the retail level, an increasing number of growler filling stations. Moreover, many dining spots, such as Jackson’s in Commack and Roots Bistro Gourmand in West Islip have embraced craft beer, providing additional locations for beer aficionados to please their palates.

Homebrewers, too, will be participating with a competition sponsored by the Brewers East End Revival home brew club on May 18 in St. James. And, Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts is sponsoring the Golden Tap Awards.

The week’s organizers are dispensing free pint classes across Long Island on May 9 and Untappd, the mobile beer-logging app, will offer badges for those who make it to at least two of the venues participating in Long Island Craft Beer Week.

All told, there will some 80-plus events taking place over the 10 days—11 if you count the kickoff events of May 9. While many of these events will feature fine beers, not all will be Long Island focused.  Troublesome for some Long Island purists, perhaps. But for enthusiasts who want to sample interesting beers, these days ahead offer nothing but excitement.

With so many events on the calendar, what do you do?  Here are my top 10 plus 1 recommendations.

May 9, 6-11 p.m. Croxley’s, Farmingdale, hosts an Official Pre-Party Cask tasting that features a mix of local and domestic cask-conditioned crafts and food, too.  Get there early as these casks often are drained quite quickly. $24.95.

May 10, 6 p.m. TJ Finley’s Public Housewww.tjfinleys.com, Bay Shore. Long Island Craft Beer Week Kickoff Party featuring a PAYG Blue Point Brewery tap takeover as well as a special offering from the Patchogue brewery.

May 11, 1 p.m.- 5 p.m.  Bay Fest at Great South Bay Brewery in Bay Shore. A tented beer fest featuring 20-plus mostly local breweries. Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate.

May 12,  7 p.m. to 4 a.m. If you can leave mom for a while—or take her with you—get over to the Black Sheep in Mineola for special tapping of Keegan Ales Super Kitty, an American strong ale with honey and plenty of hops conditioned for six months with oak chips

May 13, 6 p.m-2 a.m.  The Tap Room in Patchogue is offering a Dogfish Head tap takeover with 12 lines devoted to such rare brews as 120 Minute IPA and World Wide Stout. PAYG.

May 14, 6 p.m. Golden Tap Awards Gala
 89 North, Patchogue. Long Island’s beer Oscars, Emmys and People’s Choice Awards rolled into one to honor Long Island’s beer innovators and pioneers. Awards will be presented to winners in all aspects of the craft beer industry including bars and breweries, based on online polling and an official panel judging. Tickets include the awards show as well as a cocktail hour before the show with light fare. $55.

May 15, 7:15pm – Midnight. Barrier Brewingwww.barrierbrewing.com beer dinner at Press 195www.press195.comin Rockville Centre, featuring five Jewish-Latin inspired dishes paired with five electric brews from Barrier. Tickets are limited and purchase in advance at bar. $70 including tax and tip.

May 16,  8 p.m.-11 p.m. Black Sheep Ale House, Mineola, veers north with a Maine Beer Co. ‎ tap takeover and Organic Cheese Pairing. Maine Beer’s entire line up of beers paired with small batch organic cheeses from Silvery Moon Creamery in Portland, Maine. Mo, Titus, Mean Old Tom, and Peeper will be available on draught. There also will be beer flight/cheese pairings with 5-oz. pours of each draft and pours from Lunch and Zoe bottles. PAYG

May 17, 7 p.m.-4 a.m. Back to the Black Sheep in Mineola for a special cask. This time it’s Port Jeff Brewing’s Wet & Wild Wet-Hopped
Sour Ale, a wet-hopped brett-laced sour ale. PAYG.

May 18, 3-7 p.m.TJ Finley’s Public House, Bay Shore, puts on 10-plus casks of local and regional beers and BBQ. $40 in advance; $55 at the door.

May 19.  2-4:30 p.m. It’s an all-grain home brew tutorial at The Lark in East Northport, NY 11731
with Alan Talman of Karp’s Hardware and Homebrew. $10 donation to benefit a local animal shelter. Reservations required.

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