Tags Posts tagged with "Beer"

Beer

By Bob Lipinski

“Irish diplomacy is the ability to tell a man to go to hell so that he looks forward to making the trip.” (Irish saying)

Bob Lipinski

Before you begin cooking the corned beef, you will need some good old-fashioned pants-slapping music. Naturally, the Irish Rovers or Clancy Brothers would be a great choice. Now, the best songs to listen to include “The Unicorn,” “The Orange and the Green,” “Goodbye Mrs. Durkin,” “Black Velvet Band,” “Donald Where’s Your Trousers,” “Bridget Flynn,” “Lilly The Pink,” and “Harrigan.”

To help celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, here’s the scoop on corned beef.

The term corned beef has nothing to do with American corn, but rather an English term from the seventeenth century, for curing and preserving a brisket of beef in salt, which at one time was in the form of pellets (or grains of salt), called corns. Today “corning” is the term used to describe the process of curing a brisket of beef by steeping it in a pickling solution.

Here’s what I use to cook corned beef. Photo by Bob Lipinski

Corned beef, a staple of all Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, is generally cooked by steam, although some cooks prefer to boil, bake or even microwave it (ouch, when you see the electric bill.) I have found that steaming the corned beef in a tall pot used for steaming clams minimizes shrinkage, maintains moisture and cooks in less time than other methods. Be certain the bottom of the steamer pot is filled with water, plus the pickling spices, which are often packed with the corned beef. (You can use a tablespoon of pickling spices, available in the supermarket if needed.) Do not trim off any fat pre-cooking; it adds to the moisture. Cook according to the package or your butcher’s advice. To keep the corned beef tender after cooking, let it rest for five minutes before serving. Now, remove any excess fat. To avoid stringy, cooked meat, be certain to slice against the grain.

Between the Irish music, the parade up Fifth Avenue and eating chunks of Irish soda bread, I enjoy beer on Saint Patrick’s Day. Everyone has their favorite and the most popular Irish beers are Beamish, Galway Hooker, Guinness, Harp, Murphy’s, O’Hara’s and Smithwick’s. However, my favorite is Guinness Foreign Export Stout, available only in four-packs. Guinness Stout is relatively low in carbonation and should ideally be served at 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you prefer wine, my suggestions for white wines are chenin blanc, gewürztraminer, pinot blanc, riesling and sylvaner. Red wines are barbera, Bardolino, Beaujolais, Chianti and pinot noir. Equally fine is rosé, white zinfandel and a blanc de noirs sparkling wine.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Whiskey” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com.) He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com or [email protected]

Some of the craft beers now for sale at the Cinema Arts Centre Sky Room Cafe. Photo from Raj Tawney

The Sky Room Café has expanded its menu, now offering craft beer and wine.

According to Raj Tawney, director of publicity and promotion at the Cinema Arts Centre, located at 423 Park Ave., Huntington, this is part of a continuing effort to make the Sky Café into its own entity.

Aside from a wide-ranging menu, the Sky Café also hosts Cult Café, Sky Room Talks, Pop Culture Café, Hard Luck Café, movie trivia night and various music acts every month.

Cult Café is a new film series aimed at a younger audience that shows popular cult classic films. The first film featured was “The Big Lebowski,” which ran last Saturday and had an audience of more than 100 people. Movies to come include “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.”

Sky Room Talks is a series where local film historians give talks and play clips from different films and television shows. One talk focused on the still popular “Twilight Zone” TV series from the early 1960s and was led by historian Philip Harwood.

Kegs clutter the back of the Sand City Brewing Co. Photo from the business

There’s a new spot in Northport for those looking to kick back with a cold one.

Sand City Brewing Co. opened its doors in October as the only brewery in village, with all beers made on-site.

What started off as a hobby for owner Kevin Sihler has became quite the business venture.

“I started home-brewing 10 years ago,” Sihler said in a phone interview. “As soon as I started, I wanted to perfect the craft. It was a hobby I got interested in and then I became infatuated with it and it took over my life — and my house.”

Sihler said his friends, Bill Kiernan and Frank McNally, started helping him back when he was brewing in-house and eventually became partners with him in Sand City Brewing Co.

The brewery is located on Main Street in the village, at a spot that has seen many different tenants, including The Spy Shop and The Inlet, over the past few years. But this did not scare off Sihler at all — if anything, he loves the spot.

Sand City Brewing Co. owner Kevin Sihler and his son, Hudson, pose inside the brewery. Photo from Sihler
Sand City Brewing Co. owner Kevin Sihler and his son, Hudson, pose inside the brewery. Photo from Sihler

“The location is great for a brewery,” Sihler said. “The alleyway off Main Street gives us more seclusion.”

The Centerport-based Blind Bat Brewery was originally looking to set up shop at this space in 2014. However, the owner, Paul Dlugokencky, could not come to terms on the lease with the landlord and left the location.

The tasting room is casual and relaxed, and welcomes both dogs and children.

According to Sihler, about 300 pounds of beer are brewed on any given day. Sihler said he likes to experiment with different styles, and add a unique twist to standard flavors.

Southdown Breakfast Stout, a popular beer, is brewed with coffee, chocolate and oats. Day Drifter Oatmeal IPA is also brewed with oats and is Sihler’s twist on classic India pale ale.

Since opening, Sihler said the tasting room is always crowded

“We are literally selling out of beer before we can brew it,” he said.

Aside from single glass tastings and a flight of five different beers, growlers are also available for purchase.

Sihler, a Northport resident, said he always wanted to set up shop in Northport.

“There’s a quaint feeling in this town,” he said. “The small town environment of getting to know your neighbors — I like that feeling.”

He said Sandy City Brewing Co. is actually named after a local hot spot in Northport, Hobart Beach Park, which many refer to as “Sand City.”

“It portrays the image of a relaxed place that everyone can relate to,” he said.

Sand City Brewing Co. is open Thursdays through Sundays.

Cops: No link between drinking in public and delis

Stock photo

Huntington Station residents say they are concerned with local delis serving beer on premises because they believe it has led to an increase in public drunkenness.

“It’s a problem. That’s what bars are for,” Jim McGoldrick, a Huntington Station resident said. “It’s a disadvantage for bar owners. It’s not right.”

While he admits drinking in public is a problem in the area, Suffolk County Police 2nd Precinct Inspector Christopher Hatton refuted the notion that delis serving alcohol are leading to an increase in public inebriation.

“The department doesn’t have any evidence that it leads to public intoxication, and it is also not illegal,” Hatton said in a phone interview. “I don’t think it’s a link.”

Hatton said that there is a problem with public alcohol consumption, which is illegal, especially in the Depot Road area. But he hasn’t seen any connections between the delis in Huntington that serve liquor on premises and an increase in public intoxication.

At a 2nd Precinct meeting in South Huntington in early August, many community members complained that the alcohol these delis serve is leading to an increase in individuals who are publicly intoxicated. They also didn’t understand how these establishments could both sell and allow customers to consume liquor inside the store.

Residents said they have witnessed people who are highly intoxicated attempting to cross the street, something they fear could lead to traffic accidents.

“We have a handful of calls from residents who speak about it,” Assemblyman Chad A. Lupinacci (R-Melville) said in a phone interview. Groups like Huntington Matters, an anti-crime civic group in Huntington Station, have expressed concerns.

Lupinacci said that his office is keeping an eye on the issue, as well as keeping in touch with New York State Liquor Authority, the agency that handles all liquor licenses. He acknowledged that there are safety concerns associated with this issue.

“It’s definitely something to take into consideration, the safety concerns,” he said. “I do think it is something we need to make sure isn’t causing more problems or unintended problems.”

In order for serving beer on premises to be legal, a deli must apply for a specific type of liquor license.

According to Bill Crowley, director of public affairs for NYSLA, a deli needs to apply for an eating place beer license. This license allows beer drinking onsite and for beer to be sold for consumption off-premises, as long as food is prepared and served at the location as well.

This type of license runs for three years, and the fee to obtain one is $480, plus an additional $100 filing fee.

NYSLA keeps track of all establishments with liquor licenses.

“We have enforcements and we do investigations, both randomly and complaint-driven,” Crowley said. These investigations include underage sweeps and can sometimes require many follow-ups before anything is uncovered.

Some local establishments that ran into problems with NYSLA actually didn’t have an eating-place beer license. In both instances NYSLA was involved with, the license called into question was a grocery beer/wine product license. This license allows for off-premises selling of beer and “wine products,” which is a beverage that can’t contain more than 6 percent alcohol by volume — also known as wine coolers.

Quisqueya Deli on West Hills Road in Huntington Station applied for a grocery store license, which only permits for the sale of beer consumed off premises. However, in March, the business was fined $2,000 by the full board of NYSLA for allowing consumption on premises. In July, the board voted to cancel their license.

Phil Solages, the attorney representing Quisqueya Deli, said the business had no comment.

Sayed Deli & Coffee Shop on West Pulaski Road also has a grocery store license. However, the business was fined $3,500 for sale to a minor in April 2012. An attempt to interview a store official was unsuccessful.

The NYSLA Full Board votes on the penalty when an establishment is found abusing its license. Depending on the severity of the violation, a business could receive a fine or get the license permanently revoked.

Many delis in Huntington Station have an eating-place beer license and have received no violations, according to Crowley.

“I know there are delis in Huntington Station, along New York Avenue, that serve alcohol on premises,” Hatton said. “They basically turn into a bar, to watch sports games, but it’s not illegal as long as they’re serving food prepared there.”

Drawing a crowd
Police say a 22-year-old Selden man arrested at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 5 on Broadway in Port Jefferson repeatedly engaged in violent behavior directed toward a nearby crowd.

Out of control
Police said a 56-year-old Riverhead man was arrested on Sept. 5 on the corner of Chereb Lane and Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station. The man was in possession of a controlled substance.

On Sept. 2, police arrested a 25-year-old man from Holtsville for criminal possession of a controlled substance on the corner of Route 25A and Miller Avenue in Shoreham-Wading River. Police found Suboxone when he was detained at 4:10 p.m.

Second time’s the charm
A 29-year-old man from Mount Sinai was arrested in Port Jefferson Station on Sept. 4 after a car crash. Police discovered the man, who had been driving a 1999 Dodge south on Jayne Boulevard at the time of the collision, had been drinking alcohol and was operating the vehicle without interlock, a device that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit. The man was obligated to use the device due to a prior drunk driving conviction.

Let there be rock
Police arrested a 21-year-old Centereach man on Sept. 5 after he made verbal threats and struck an unidentified man with a large rock.

Cross-stealing
A 51-year-old man from North Patchogue was arrested at the 6th Precinct in Selden on Sept. 3. Police said the man stole women’s apparel and accessories from Smith Haven Mall.

It happened in the tresspast
An 18-year-old male from Holtsville was arrested in Selden on Sept. 3, about two weeks after police say he trespassed at Sachem East High School.

It’s electric
Police arrested a 61-year-old man from Rocky Point for reckless endangerment on Glenwood Road on Sept. 3. Police said the man had tampered with an electric meter in July.

Calling shotgun
On Sept. 5 at 1:30 p.m., an unidentified person stole a shotgun from a residence on Forest Avenue in Port Jefferson Station.

Steal like an eagle
Police said an unknown person stole lawn sculptures from someone’s yard on Lenox Street in Port Jefferson Station on Sept. 3. One of the pieces was a wooden eagle sculpture.

Entering and breaking
An unknown person stole cash, a laptop and a laptop bag from a home on Middle Court in Miller Place. The incident happened on Sept. 5. Police said the person also broke the window on the driver’s side of a 2001 Ford Mustang that was parked in the driveway.

Clean this
On Sept. 6 at 4:04 p.m., the front glass window of the dry cleaning shop on Echo Avenue in Miller Place was broken.

A jewel of a thief
On Sept. 5, police said an unidentified man took a box containing a bracelet without paying from the Kohl’s on Route 25A in Rocky Point.

Ponti-attack
An unknown person damaged the rear passenger door and tire on the right side of a 2008 Pontiac on Sept. 4 on Route 25 in Selden.

Something fishy
On Sept. 6 someone stole fish and other merchandise from the Shop Rite on College Road in Selden. Police said the person left the store with the stolen items and got into a car that was waiting outside the store.

Cig-nificant steal
Police said on Sept. 5 an unknown person stole money and cigarettes from a 2010 Jeep and a 2005 Saturn. The incident occurred on Middle Court in Miller Place.

Not friends anymore
An unidentified person stole a license plate off a 1988 Jeep on Friendship Drive in Rocky Point. Police said the incident happened on Aug. 30 at noon but was reported on Sept. 2.

Incoming message
On Sept. 4 an unidentified person or persons damaged a mailbox on North Howell Avenue in Centereach.

To Infiniti and beyond
Police said someone broke a window of a 2011 Infiniti on Tree Road in Centereach on Sept. 4. Police were unsure which window was damaged.

Wanted for grand larceny
Suffolk County Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying and locating the man who used a stolen credit card at two locations last month.
Police said a man used a stolen credit card at Speedway Gas in Lake Grove and Stop and Shop in Ronkonkoma on Aug. 6. The man fled in a red vehicle. A purse containing the credit card that was used had been stolen from a vehicle that was broken into at the LA Fitness parking lot, located at 110 New Moriches Road in Lake Grove on Aug. 6 between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m.
Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest. Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS (8477). All calls will be kept confidential.

Cars vandalized
Suffolk County Police are investigating whether or not a string of incidents of criminal mischief at Stony Hollow apartments on Old Town Road in Port Jefferson Station is related. Residents reported to cops on the morning of Sept. 3 that a number of vehicles were vandalized: a windshield on a Nissan Sentra was shattered; rear passenger windows on a 2007 Mazda and a 2014 Honda were broken; and someone took a GPS cable and damaged the windshield wiper control lever on another vehicle. The incidents are estimated to have taken place sometime between 10 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 4:15 a.m. on Sept. 3. 

Shove off
A 19-year-old man from Clarksburg was arrested in Stony Brook on Sept. 3 at 11:08 p.m. and charged with second-degree harassment. Police said the man shoved a male police officer in the middle of the roadway on North County Road in Stony Brook.

In the dark
Police arrested a 21-year-old man from Stony Brook on Sept. 3 at 11:21 p.m. and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Cops said the man was driving a 2014 Mitsubishi with no lights on when he was pulled over and arrested.

Emergency heroin
A 37-year-old man from Farmingville was arrested in Stony Brook on Sept. 2 and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said that at 10:10 p.m. the man possessed heroin in the trauma room of Stony Brook University Hospital’s emergency room.

Sloppy DWI
Police arrested a 21-year-old man from East Setauket on Sept. 4 at 1:33 a.m. and charged him with driving while intoxicated. Cops said the man was driving a 2005 Hyundai on Sheep Pasture Road and was pulled over after they observed him failing to maintain his lane, crossing over the yellow lines and into the shoulder.

Not staying in the lines
A 39-year-old woman from Bohemia was arrested in Setauket-East Setauket on Sept. 4 and charged with driving while intoxicated. Police said that at about 3 a.m. the woman was pulled over after she was observed failing to maintain her lane, crossing over the double yellow lines in a 2013 Jeep, on Lower Sheep Pasture Road.

Jewels and jams
Cops arrested a 44-year-old Selden woman on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. on Nesconset Highway in Setauket-East Setauket and charged her with petit larceny. Police said she took jewelry and headphones from Kohl’s department store on Nesconset Highway.

Taking the high road
Suffolk County police arrested an 18-year-old man from St. James in Smithtown on Sept. 5 at 12:35 a.m., and charged him with operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs in the first degree. Police said the man was driving northbound on Route 25A in Smithtown in a 2004 Jeep and failed to maintain his lane of travel.

Pole-iced
A 44-year-old man from St. James was arrested in Smithtown on Sept. 5 and charged with operating a motor vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. Police said the accident occurred on Moriches Road in Smithtown on Sept. 4 at 6:35 a.m. — cops said he drove a 1995 Chevy van north on the road, hit a utility pole and fled the scene. He was arrested at the 4th Precinct the next day at 10:30 a.m.

Bud Light blues
Two 17-year-old girls were arrested at the 4th Precinct on Sept. 4, and each was charged with petit larceny for stealing $25 worth of Bud Light beer from Gulf gas station on Express Dive South in Ronkonkoma, on Aug. 28 at 12:30 a.m. One girl was from Ronkonkoma, the other from Holbrook.

Beer me!
A 46-year-old man from Smithtown was arrested in Nissequogue on Sept. 4, at about 8 p.m. and charged for selling alcohol with a revoked license. Police said the man served beer and wine at an event on Long Beach Town Park.

Hug it out
Police received a report of a man and woman pushing each other after getting into a verbal dispute at Watermill Caterers on Nesconset Highway in Smithtown on Sept. 3 at about 10:20 p.m.

Fender, hood damaged
Someone damaged the hood and right fender of a 2015 Nissan parked at a home on Kental Lane in Nesconset. The incident occurred after midnight on Sept. 3.

Check-mate
Someone wrote a bad check out to AAA maintenance in Smithtown on West Jericho Turnpike on Nov. 4 last year. There have been no arrests.

Got mail?
Someone damaged the mailbox of a Grove Road home in Kings Park on Sept. 3 at 6 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Pickpocketed
Someone took a pocketbook with money in it from an unlocked 2001 Toyota parked on County Road 14 in Kings Park on Sept. 2 at 11 a.m. There have been no arrests.

Bad hair day
Someone broke the driver side window of a 2004 Toyota at Pat’s Place Hair Salon on Lake Avenue in St. James on Sept. 6 at 1 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Wheeled away
Someone stole a black Raleigh speed bike from a driveway on Lake Avenue in St. James on Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. There have been no arrests.

Three’s a crowd
Police arrested a 32-year-old woman from Wantagh and charged her with leaving the scene of a crime and property damage. Cops said that on Sept. 5 at about 2 a.m. the woman struck a 2015 Toyota on High Street in Huntington. Driving a 2005 Nissan, she hit the Toyota and the Toyota then struck a 2013 Nissan. Significant damage was caused to all three vehicles. The woman then fled the scene and was arrested later that day at the 2nd Precinct.

High time
Cops arrested a 21-year-old man from Huntington Station on Sept. 3 and charged him with unlawful possession of marijuana . He was arrested at the corner of 5th Avenue and West 11th Street at 12:40 p.m. inside a 2012 Nissan.

Coke in sheep’s clothing
Cops arrested a 52-year-old man from Huntington Station at Tremont Court in South Huntington on Sept. 3  at 4:25 p.m. and charged him with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police said he had a large quantity of cocaine in a cigarette pack.

Heroin spotted
A 20-year-old man from Dix Hills was arrested in Dix Hills on Sept. 2 and charged with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. Cops said he was in a 2010 Jeep in the driver’s seat at Otsego Park in Dix Hills at 10:50 p.m. when an officer observed heroin on the center console of the vehicle.

Partying too hard
Cops arrested a 41-year-old man from Massapequa on Sept. 6 at about 7:30 a.m. off the road on East Jericho Turnpike in Huntington and charged him with driving while ability impaired by drugs, with a prior conviction in the past 10 years. Police said they found the man passed out, slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle with the key in the ignition and the engine running.

Weed on display
Cops arrested a 24-year-old man on Sept. 4 and charged him with criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree. Police said he was on the corner of West Shore Road and Mill Dam Road in Huntington with a large quantity of marijuana in public view.

The wrong kind of batting team
Two men reported being jumped by multiple men on Sept. 9 at 4 a.m. in Huntington Station on Broadway. The suspects kicked and punched the victims multiple times with a baseball bat, causing a broken nose and many contusions. Both men were transported to Huntington Hospital to be treated. Nothing was stolen from either.

Not so luck-key
A woman found her gray 2008 Honda keyed on the driver’s side in the Walt Whitman Mall parking lot in South Huntington on Sept. 6. She reported the incident at 10:50 p.m.

Chasing the Chase imposter
A man said someone withdrew money from his Chase bank account without his permission on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. in Dix Hills.

Pickpocketed in plain sight
A woman reported that she left her pocketbook in the front seat of her car on 2nd Avenue in Huntington Station on Sept. 5. She saw a suspect open the door of her car, remove her pocketbook and then flee the scene at 11:20 p.m.

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Spider Bite’s founder and brewmaster Larry Goldstein says his beer has developed a loyal following.

By Steve Mosco

Personality goes a long way, even in beer. Far removed from the stale sameness of big-name beer companies, micro- and nanobreweries throughout Long Island are offering unique options to the brew drinker who craves more than watered-down sips from cold-activated, color-changing cans.

It’s no secret that Long Island is overflowing with craft breweries. What craft beer devotees may not know is how much work — and ingredients — go into keeping breweries afloat and churning out dynamic, foamy goodness. It’s more than just the expected barley, hops, water and yeast. Brewmasters must employ peppery grains and floral bouquets, enlivening fruits and balancing bitterness along with equal measures of patience, flexibility and plenty of capital.

Born in basements and garages, with and without spousal approval, homespun ale artistry on the Island often froths forward from conversations over really bad beer. Those initial beer-side chats about the betterment of the drinker’s experience sometimes morph into a far grander dream of bringing beer brewed with care to the masses.

Port Jeff Brewing Company has grown an enthusiastic following, especially on the local level. Beer drinkers in Port Jefferson hoist the brewery’s offerings with a healthy dose of local pride, and crowd the brewery’s tasting room, open daily from noon to 8 p.m., along with brew followers from beyond town limits. The brewery also hosts free tours every Saturday at 4 p.m., where visitors learn about the brewing process for popular Port Jeff beers like Schooner Pale Ale, Port Jeff Porter and more.

The Port Jeff Brewing Company has many different beers to choose from. Photo by M. Furman
The Port Jeff Brewing Company has many different beers to choose from. Photo by M. Furman

“For the first few years, it was just a hobby that was cool,” said Michael Philbrick, who went from 10-year home brewing hobbyist to head brewmaster at Port Jeff Brewing Company in 2011. “When we first opened, there were no breweries even close to here. Now there seems to be another five every few years.”

All of these breweries are proving to be a financial boon to New York State. According to a report released in April by the New York State Brewers Association and the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, the craft beer industry in the state grew 59 percent from 2013 to 2014 — with a total economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion.

But even with those growing numbers and the industry’s popularity with imbibers, Philbrick said the craft beer industry only accounts for a small shred of the market share on Long Island — domestic juggernauts and foreign imports still rule the cooler.

“Of all the beers on the Island, you’re looking at a very small share of the market for craft brews,” he says. “Amazingly, there is still room to grow.”

Philbrick believes this produces a healthy amount of camaraderie among brewmasters on Long Island. They all want each other to survive and thrive in this industry.

“We all do the same events and deal with the same people,” he says. “And we all got into this for the same reason: the love of beer. We learn about the business from each other and we do group purchasing of equipment. I ran out of bottles once and the guys at Great South Bay [Brewery] helped me out. And I know they’ll call me for a certain hop or grain.”

Port Jeff has also worked with Spider Bite Beer Company, a fledgling brewery out of Holbrook. Spider Bite’s founder and co-owner, Larry Goldstein, agreed with Philbrick that it makes no sense to undercut other local breweries in order to get ahead. Goldstein routinely works with Barrage Brewing Company in East Farmingdale, participating in tap takeovers at bars together and lending each other equipment.

“We’re only going to survive if we cooperate,” he said. “This business is way too expensive to be selfish.”

When Goldstein first decided to back out of his chiropractic practice in favor of the brew life, he was floored by the sheer amount of operational expenses. But he pushed through, buying equipment fit for a laboratory, kegs and key ingredients to achieve some truly remarkable flavor profiles.

“It’s a huge investment even to just get started,” he says. “You have to buy all the equipment, all the kegs, the ingredients. And everything is expensive. It’s insane.”

The insanely enticing flavors of Goldstein’s Boris the Spider Russian Imperial Stout, Rophenia Belgian Quad and more are available to imbibe at Spider Bite’s Holbrook tasting room, open Thursdays, 4 to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 3 to 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m.

Even considering the sky-high cost involved in the production of beer, each brewmaster says they would rather work their fingers to the bone and push their bank accounts to the brink doing what they love than anything else. Obstacles often stand in the way — a busted septic tank here, an uncooperative municipality there — but most brew heads learn to roll with problems in order to get their product to the public.

Michael Philbrick, founder and owner of Port Jeff Brewing Company. Photo by M. Furman
Michael Philbrick, founder and owner of Port Jeff Brewing Company. Photo by M. Furman

For Jamie Adams, founder of Saint James Brewery, this is no vanity project. There is purpose behind all of this hard work and investment. Established in 2012, Saint James is a New York State farm-certified brewery that creates Belgian-inspired ales in a farm-to-pint initiative. Culling fresh ingredients like apricots, raspberries, barley and select spices from local farms, including Condzella’s Farm in Wading River, Adams and his wife and co-owner Rachel are getting back to the roots of beer making.

“We want the customer to understand and appreciate the value of a locally brewed product,” said Adams. “For us, it’s all about Long Island. Whether it’s fruit farmers on the East End or honey farmers or local barely, the goal is to enlighten people and help appreciate the value of working with local raw materials.”

A former clerk in the New York Stock Exchange, Adams is a self-taught brewer and meticulous worker. Those days on Wall Street are a distant memory, but his worker-bee mentality has remained intact. He now focuses on raising his standards with every batch of farmhouse Belgian ale.

“Chances are when someone is drinking our beer, they are having it for the first time. So each batch we make has to be perfect,” says Adams. “This is a higher calling for me. The agricultural economy is so important to everything we do. And if it grows, it can help this island tremendously. It’s not cost effective for all brewers to use locally grown ingredients, but we want to get to the point where that is the norm.”

Adams wants the emboldening medley of flavors so singular to craft beer to change the mind-set of beer drinkers and distributors. And like his beer-brewing brethren, he wants to pop the cap on the craft industry’s share of the Island’s beer market.

He envisions a time when local craft breweries can claim 20 percent of the market — a monumental task that actually seems achievable when comparing the charisma and personality of craft brew to the demoralizing drudgery of mass-produced beer.

“Our job as brewers is to work together to get bar owners to put more craft beers on tap,” he says. “I believe if you give consumers a local option, they will take it. And that is how we grow this business.”

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By Bob Lipinski

Beer, one of the world’s great social lubricants, is ideal for celebrating Father’s Day, or any other day for that matter. Beer is a generic term for all alcoholic beverages that are fermented and brewed from malted barley — other ingredients can be used such corn and rice — hops, water and yeast. Beer is subdivided into two distinct categories — ale and lager.

bob-lipinski-beer-wAle is fermented fast and warm, producing richly flavored beers with a slightly darker color than lager beer. Ale usually has more hops in its aroma and taste, and is often lower in carbonation than lager-type beers. It is usually bitter to the taste, with a slight tanginess, although some ale can be sweet. Ale is originally from England, where it is referred to as bitters. Some examples of ale are brown, pale, scotch, Belgian, Trappist, stout and porter.

Lager is fermented slow and cool, producing delicately flavored beers. It was developed in Germany around the 15th century. The Germans first introduced it into the United States in 1840, in Philadelphia, through a Bavarian brewer named John Wagner. Lager comes from the German word lagern — to store — and is applied to bottom-fermented beer in particular because it must be stored at low temperatures for a prolonged time. Lagers were traditionally stored in cellars or caves for completion of fermentation. They are bright gold to yellow in color, with a light to medium body, and are usually well carbonated. Unless stated otherwise, virtually every beer made in the United States is a lager. Some examples of lager are pilsner, bock (including doppelbock, eisbock, maibock), märzen/fest beer, Vienna style, dortmunder, Munich helles and pale lager.

Beer, a most versatile beverage, can also be used in cooking in place of wine in most recipes.

Cooking suggestions: Replace the wine with beer in your favorite marinade for chicken, pork, beef, turkey, or even lamb. When making a flour, water and egg batter for frying foods, such as eggplant or zucchini, substitute beer for the water. For seafood pasta with shellfish, like shrimp, scungilli or calamari, cooked in tomato sauce, add a bottle of dark beer and some hot pepper flakes for increased flavor and texture.

Bob’s Beer Bread
3 cups self-rising flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 12-ounce bottle of your favorite beer — not light — at room temperature
1/4 cup butter, melted
Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Sift flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add the beer and continue to stir until dough no longer sticks to sides of bowl (about 1 minute). Put dough into a lightly greased and floured 9” x 5” loaf pan. Bake at 375°F for 1 hour or until golden brown. Spread melted butter over the top of the bread during the last 10 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 -20 minutes before slicing.

This Father’s Day, sit down with dad and enjoy a frosty cold one.

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written nine books, including “Italian Wine Notes” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple,” available on amazon.com. He can be reached at boblipinski.com or [email protected]