Tag Archives: Great South Bay Brewing

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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March 9 Nassau Coliseum Spring Craft Beer Festival to feature 50 breweries

Beer fest logoTickets still available for popular Long Island brewers fest.

Hard to believe it’s been seven years since the first Spring Craft Beer Festival at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island.

The March 9 event, put on by Starfish Junction Productions, always draws a huge crowd.

This year, more than 50 craft brewers from around the country will be pouring samples of more than 100 brews in the venue’s 60,000-square-foot exhibition hall.

A handful of breweries will be offering special kegs at select times during each session. Among them: Goose Island Bourbon Barrel Stout and Big John Imperial Stout, Great South Bay Massive IPA with hops from the Condzella farm in Calverton and Harpoon Director’s Cut.

There also will be samples of homebrews produced by members of the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts club.

Tickets remain available online for both the afternoon and evening sessions, but once sold out no tickets will be sold at the door.  The first session runs from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.; the second from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Advance tickets are $45 and tickets at the door, if available will be $55. Designated drivers get in for $12. The times can be found at this link.

Food will be available for purchase during each session.

Attendees must by 21 or older to attend and must show a valid photo ID at the door.

Are you going?  Look for me at the afternoon session.

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Creative brews at LI Nano Cask Festival

The scene at 2013 Long Island Nano Cask Festival

Renee Irizarry checks out the brews at 2013 Long Island Nano Cask Festival

Creativity was on display at the 4th Annual Long Island Nano Cask Festival.

Held at the Rocky Point Beach Club on Jan. 26, this relatively intimate beer event run by Rocky Point Artisan Brewers featured nine brewers and twice as many brews. About 150 people attended the five-hour event.

Participating brewers asked by the sponsors to bring unique, creative contributions –all served from casks, that it without forced carbonation – certainly complied.

To be sure, some brews succeeded more than others. Among the best:

Tangerine Belgian Tripel produced by the festival hosts. This was a version of the brewery’s Ardennes Tripel with an addition of fresh, hand-peeled clementine zest. Oddly summery with its light, refreshing “ade” character, the beer was mightily deceptive with 10.5 percent alcohol by volume.

Another fruited beer, Port Jeff Brewing’s Schooner Ale with cherries also was among my favorites at the fest.

Barrage Brewing, which is awaiting the installation of gas lines at its new Farmingdale brew house, showed off a oak-aged, rum-raisin porter called Raven Shadow, a smooth, easy sipping brew with chocolate and roasted grain notes with a touch of acidity in the finish.

There was more than fruit being used in the brews served that afternoon.

Photo1 (82)Prominent among them was Blind Bat Brewery’s Sweet Potato Saison, a round and sweet brew. It will be worth watching to see how brewer Paul Dlugokencky hones the recipe for his second batch of this unique brew.

Hoppocratic Oath by Great South Bay Brewing, though not a nano brewery, also was a winner. This brilliant, copper hued imperial IPA presented a huge citrus nose, deliciously estery fruit notes and a tasty bitter finish.

Stouts also made appearances, albeit with some unusual flavorings. Port Jeff Birch Stout was slightly reminiscent of a root beer with its wintergreen character, but lacked the vanilla creaminess root beer devotees enjoy. And Mint Chocolate Stout from Spider Bite Brewing was a light rendition with hints of both additives.

Were you there?  Tell us in the comments section what beers you enjoyed.

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Jan. 26 Long Island Nano Cask Festival to feature many one-off brews

2013-nanocaskfest (1)

One of my favorite small time beer fests is almost upon us — the Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival.

Sponsored by Rocky Point Artisan Brewers, this Jan. 26 festival features a small group of small brewers pouring unique brews in a cozy venue, the North Shore Beach Owners Club House in Rocky Point. To keep it comfortable organizers plan to sell only 150 tickets. The festivities start at 3 p.m.

It’s an opportunity to sample exciting local brews—many of them one offs brewed especially for this event —without having to elbow your way to the tap.

What makes this event special is that the brews are served from casks with natural carbonation rather than forced carbonation. Our friends across the Atlantic call cask beers “Real Ale” and it was the traditional way of serving beer until forced carbonation came along. To the uninitiated, that’s why British beers have a reputation for being warm and flat.  To be honest, these beers are neither. A cask beer generally is served at cellar temperature and, if done right, can be downright creamy and flavorful.


Scene from last’s year’s nano festival. (Rocky Point Artisan Brewers photo)

To be sure, there’s always disagreement among beer aficionados about which beers are best suited to be served on cask.  British-style beers and some Belgians work best, to my taste. Those extreme beers with tons of hops just don’t work. They need the carbon dioxide to offset all that bitterness.

In addition to the host brewery, other participants include Barrage Brewiing, Blind Bat Brewery, Ghost Cat BrewingGreat South Bay Brewing, Greenpoint Harbor Brewing, Montauk Brewing, Port Jeff Brewing and Spider Bite Brewing. Also, Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts, a local home brew club will be pouring various homebrews, including an expresso-flavored cider from award-winning home brewer Bobby Rodriguez and Frank Filacchione’s rauch beer.

421410_338113679560636_1970184522_nAmong the commercial offerings  lined up are a vanilla smoked porter from Spider Bite, which also will pour an India pale ale brewed with a  new hop variety, Belma (described as having tropical citrus notes).

Blind Bat, meanwhile will pour a sweet potato saison, while the new Montauk Brewing Co. is bringing what it calls an eastbound brown ale fermented with espresso beans from Hampton coffee company

Port Jeff Brewing will be bringing a birch stout and a version of Schooner Ale flavored with cherries.

Barrage Brewing will have two casks: Ravens Shadow, an oaked rum raisin porter, which I believe they poured at last year’s nano fest, and FairyTale Red Hop Ale, an Irish red ale  dry hopped with Amarillo and citra hops.

Tickets, $40 each, include a tasting glass, unlimited beer samples and live music. Crazy Beans, of Miller Place, and Bite Me Cakes, of Sound Beach, will supply the eats. This year, as an added feature there will be a farmer’s market taking place, where produce will be available for purchase and growlers of beer will be sold during the final hour of event.

For tickets go to Rocky Point’s web site.

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The Good Life pub raises $22,000-plus for Hurricane Sandy relief


The Good Life owner Pete Mangouranes during Hurricane Sandy relief benefit.

The Good Life has a good heart.

The Massapequa Park, Long Island, gastro pub, was packed to overflowing Tuesday evening due to the promotional efforts of owner Pete Mangouranes, who promised to donate every penny spent at the pub that evening to Hurricane Sandy Relief. Indeed, by the time The Good Life closed its doors Mangouranes had collected $22,090.

The monies, including purchases by The Good Life’s patrons, servers tips and more will be split among local churches and the Tunnel to Towers Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, said Mangouranes, who put every penny of his night’s sales into the pot.

The Good Life owner Pete Mangouranes, left, looks at the scene at his bar.

The scene was a testament to Mangouranes’ social media outreach campaign.

The crowd was five deep at the bar, where the servers included Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr., the wait for a table in the dining room ranged up to three hour. Meanwhile, dozens more imbibed drafts from a trailer on loan from Manhattan Beer Distributors on the sidewalk in a heated tent donated by Top Notch Tent Rental.

Captain Lawrence, Saranac, Great South Bay Brewery, and Ithaca Beer Co.  donated kegs of beer and Roberto Bobby Rodriquez, an award-winning homebrewer, contributed a keg of his Zombification, a hard cider made with molasses and Belgian ale yeast. A local bakery, Sugar Rush, sold cupcakes and cookies and donated rolls for sausage and pepper sandwiches sold on the sidewalk. The publishers of “Question of the Day” books pitched in too, selling their books for the charity event.  Mangouranes also raffled off a surfboard and took in donations of gift cards, clothing and other items.

Other beer-related charity events are on the calendar. On Nov. 14 The Loyal Dog Ale House in Lindenhurst, is holding an open bar from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. for those who contribute $20 to the Red Cross. And Tap & Barrel in Smithtown on Nov. 25 holds a $50 per person benefit to aid Oceanside-based Barrier Brewing, which was effectively wiped out by the storm.

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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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Long Island Craft Beer Week early start


Dan Burke and Greg Martin of Long Ireland Brewing and Great South Bay's Greg Maisch at Croxley's Craft Beer Week preview party.

Long Island Craft Beer Week for 2012 got underway today—for most folks.

For me, this 10-day celebration of Long Island brewers and beer purveyors (May 11-20) got underway a day early at Croxley’s Ale House in downtown Farmingdale, where four local brewers poured limitless cask-conditioned samples of their brewers’ art in a crowded back part of the bar’s dining room, and a parade of servers carried in trays of boneless hot wings all night. I was disappointed I didn’t get to try the promised sldiers, bacon sticks, crab cakes and the like. Gone, perhaps, just two hours into the five-hour event or never served.

But never mind, We were there for the beer. And there was plenty of that.

Greg Martin and his partner, Dan Burke, of Riverhead’s Long Ireland Brewing Co., were easy enough to spot in their dark green tee shirts. They were serving up glassfuls of their original brew, Celtic Ale, a sweetish mild-tasting brew.

A few steps in and you tripped over one of the several brew crew members from Bay Shore’s Great South Bay Brewing Co.: Phil Ebel V, the brewery’s energetic director of sales, sales rep Sean Nolan, brewer Greg Maisch and assistant brewer Kevin Ryan. So many of them, but just two Great South Bay brews, the lovely, fruity and spicy Kismet Saison and the potent Massive IPA.

Barry McLaughlin of distributor Clare Rose / Long Island Craft Beer Specialists was there with a Blue Point Brewery team pouring the Patchogue’s brewery’s resiny, dry-hopped White IPA and its black IPA, Toxic Sludge, which is eminently more drinkable than its name would suggest.

And last, but certainly not least, there was Mike Philbrick of Port Jeff Brewing Co. with casks of his idiosyncratic White’s Beach Wit with lime zest and Schooner Pale Ale with cherries. The former packed a wallop of coriander, which became less noticeable as the level of the beer in my glass got lower, The latter offered just a hint of cherries, just a new accent for the brewery’s fine pale ale.

Enough beer, really for a few hours. As the hours ticked by I remarked to Philbrick that I had it. His response: “I’ve got 10 more days of this.”

A wide range of Long Island Craft Beer Week events will taking place across the region, including the Golden Tap Awards, a people’s choice awards competition that will honor Long Island’s best bar, brew pub, brewery, sales rep, new beer and overall beer. It will be held on May 15 at the Boulton Center for Performing Arts in Bay Shore. There will be plenty of chances to enjoy the local suds.

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