Long Island is a beach place. Which means Long Island is a beer place. Touting its own personality and specific pride, Long Island is a cult that separates itself from the rest of New York. So of course, Long Islanders need good craft beer that reflects their heart and soul. And it comes in many forms. Read on to learn the best breweries on Long Island.
1. Montauk Brewing Co.
Montauk Brewing Co., like the town of Montauk itself, has come a long way. From a couple of brews found at local bars, they’ve now grown to offer seven different styles canned up and served throughout Long Island and the 5 boroughs. If you need another incentive for a trip to Montauk any time of year, the tasting room in Montauk village often offers up additional seasonal brews, like every girl’s fall favorite: Pumpkin Ale.
The Driftwood Ale is great anytime of year, where the Summer Ale is a crisp and refreshing wheat beer perfect for a day on the beach. If you’re not one for the pumpkin bandwagon, the Hop Blonde Ale is a good fall alternative, available September-December, balanced and smooth. Looking for something with a little more punch? The Wave Chaser IPA combines 4 different hops at 6.4%.
Bring your dog, enjoy the ocean air, and relax with a flight, pint, or fill your growler. This is one of the best breweries on Long Island.
2. Greenport Harbor Brewery
Greenport is a cute little historic town located on the North Fork of Long Island, with a slight hipster vibe. Packed in stout bottles (and now also cans), displayed with some cool illustrations, and the beer is a perfect reflection of its namesake. Whether you choose to visit their little tasting room in the village, or the larger brewery and beer garden in nearby Peconic, you won’t be disappointed.
The Leaf Pile Ale is one of my favorite pumpkin ales. Before you stop reading this and dismiss me as basic, give it a try. This is a pumpkin ale with complex levels of flavor rather than stomach tightening pumpkin spice sugar essence. The Pith N’ Peel is a perfect blend of bitter hops and sweet citrus, ideal for relaxing in the LI afternoon sunshine. For smooth and easy to drink brews any time of year, choose the Harbor Ale or Tidal Lager.
3. Bluepoint Brewing
If you’re from Long Island you’ve probably been drinking Blue Point Toasted Lager well before craft brewing really took off. If you’re not from Long Island, you probably started drinking Blue Point Toasted Lager once Anheuser-Busch bought the company. Our little local souls died a little bit that day, as we feared they’d move our brewery, change our beer, and kill our spirits. In reality, none of the above happened. Actually, nothing really changed other than the fact that we can enjoy a Toasted away from home now.
Blue Point is in the process of building and opening a bigger and better brewery and tasting room as I type this, so we won’t go into too many details about the place. Let’s stick the the beer: Toasted, tried and true, the Blueberry Ale, perfect for the flavors of summer, Hoptical Illusion, a beautiful American IPA, and what us locals know: the Local Ale and during the holidays, the Local Cheer, brewed specially on tap only at Lessings Main Street restaurants throughout the island. These are two of my favorite beers out of the best breweries on Long Island. The local is a simple, easy ale, much like Long Island itself, and the Local Cheer will fill you with the warm fuzzy feelings of Christmas.
4. Spider Bite Beer Co.
One of the lesser known, more illusive breweries is Spider Bite, and it remains one of my absolute favorites on the list of best breweries on Long Island. An unassuming little tasting room allows you the opportunity to taste all their beers, as there are not many alternative options. You’ll find some taps scattered throughout the island, and some brews available at local beer distributors, but I suggest taking the opportunity to visit. There might not be a ton of room to spread out, but the staff is great so this gives you the opportunity to really talk to them and get to know the beers.
There are 8 beers on tap at a time and I guarantee you’ll find something you love. They’ve got adventurous flavors like citrus, mango, or coffee. The popular classics that you’ll always find include Boris, which they describe as “a complex aroma and flavor of chocolate, coffee and roasty sweetness,” and First Bite, an amber colored pale ale.
5. Great South Bay Brewery
Everyone on Long Island knows GSB. They regularly hold events and festivals at their large brewery over in an industrial section of Bayshore, and you’ll find their beers at every bar, beer distributor and 7-11 around. They’re also growing to the city and boroughs. They always have multiple sour ales on tap at the tasting room. Some so sour you get that tingle behind your teeth, you know the one I’m talking about.
For those less adventurous, it’s popular brews include Splashing Pumpkin (are you sensing a theme on Long Island yet?), Blood Orange Pale Ale, Orange Cream Jetty, Massive IPA, and Blonde Ambition (dyed green every year for St. Patty’s Day).
They’ve always got a ton of beers on tap at a time, and the place is really meant as a hang out– tables, chairs, games (even regularly hosted corn hole tournaments), so make an afternoon out of it.
Ahhhh Moustache. How they grow up so fast. It feels like just yesterday I was at their one-year birthday party. Young, but still one of the best breweries on Long Island.
This brewery is located in Riverhead where a slew of breweries opened up, yet they always seem to stand out for me, and I don’t think it’s just the hipster with the huge beard. It’s a husband and wife team and they truly love what they’re doing and it shows through their brews– funky flavors that always impress. I.e. Lawn a cream ale named as it so perfectly aligns with a day of mowing the lawn– refreshing and light. Or Milk + Honey, brewed with actual lactose. They have a well-rounded variety of styles, all solid recipes, and they experiment seasonally which some good brews. There’s truly something for everyone.
7. Barrage Brewing
I’m not a stout or porter person. I don’t really enjoy dark beers. I’m a saison and IPA person. I like a little fruit with a bite. The first time I came here and saw eighty percent of the beers on tap at the time were stouts or porters, I figured, “well at least it’s beer.” I drank it all with pleasure. They’ve still got a delicious saison on tap (mind you it’s 8%), and usually an IPA or IPL, but I tried the Tribal Cow Milk Stout, boasting flavors of toasted coconut and took a growler home. I usually don’t enjoy such sweet beers, but goddamn it tasted exactly like a Girl Scout Samoa and those cookies aren’t around all year! The Yada Yada Yada Brown Ale is another surprise: a brown ale brewed with snickers. You definitely get the chocolate peanut butter notes.
So if you’re ever in town, drink your dessert instead!
8. Long Ireland Brewing
Long Ireland is one of the best breweries on Long Island because it’s an OG that everyone knows about. I think everyone forgets about nowadays that the craft beer scene has really took over. And it’s a shame, because they’ve got some hits.
My go-to beer when in doubt has always been Long Ireland Celtic Ale. It’s their first beer, an Irish Ale, which they describe as “brewed with four different malts, flaked oats, and honey, it has a smooth , dry finish with a low bitterness from Willamette hops.” You can’t fail with their year-round Raspberry Wheat, Pale Ale, or IPA. And in the summer they’ve got a great summer ale.