We hope that everyone enjoyed thanksgiving and that you’ve all recovered from your food coma your hangover or both. The annual festivities in the Team_Spanos household went down as planned aside from a pesky lingering cold. During the past week my middle son Derrick turned 5 and had 3 parties to celebrate and my youngest son Matthew experienced his first ever thanksgiving. It was good times indeed and it involved family, lots of craft beer, wine and a ton of delicious food. And when you synthesize the essence of life those pillars, along with all important pillar of health, are paramount to happiness. The older I get the more true this ethos rings; we are but a momentary flicker of light before the sun in terms of our life span in this universe so it is vital to find your niche and enjoy every lasting second. Don’t just live, really live, don’t just love, really love and never settle for less than your passion. You don’t know how much more time you’ve been allotted so anything less than your best would be a disservice to the miracle of life. With all that said, I’ll get off my soap box and get down to business…today’s post will be an ode to family and craft beer, two glorious pillars that routinely contribute to my happiness.
My nephew Kevin and I hit Long Ireland Brewery at 817 Pulaski St., Riverhead NY 11901. They’ve been distributing since 2009 and operating their own brewery since 2011. Growth is their aim and objective and in 2015 they produced over 4,000 barrels of wonderful craft beer. Co-owner Greg Martin has appeared on the show a couple of episodes back which you can check out here.
Located just off of Route 25 and not that far from the last exit of the Long Island Expressway, Long Ireland possesses a certain Suffolk county charm. The outside resembles a trendy barn and the inside reminds me of a toned down version of Sons of Anarchy meets the country of Ireland. And I mean this in the most kick ass way possible. The cozy tap room already had a pretty good crowd and there wasn’t a single opening at the bar when we walked in around 4pm. The few tables available for seating were also occupied and this was no surprise considering that the 2016 Black Friday Imperial Stout had just been released. The black Friday stout has become something of a tradition for the brewery. It’s a savory, bittersweet, robust stout with solid alcohol content. If you like big bold syrupy thick imperial stouts, and I certainly do, this one might just be for you. A staunch departure from their balanced and well-made flag ship Celtic Ale, black Friday stout has become the stuff of Long Ireland legend and they were even offering a flight featuring stouts from previous years. My nephew Kevin is a craft beer newbie of sorts and it took a bit to nail down his flavor palate. Sadly he isn’t an IPA kinda’ guy but he does enjoy the traditional Belgian and German styles and as I suspected he has an affinity for stouts and porters! We came for the stout which was delicious, but we figured with so many choices why stop there?
DIPA ABV 10.5% 105 IBU – This one has hops infused into the brewing process at 20 separate intervals from boil to bottle (11 during the boil and nine during the dry-hop stage), resulting in an aromatic and flavorful beer (Riverhead Patch, 2.12.12). It contains the following Malts - English Pale, Crystal and Caramel. Hops: Summit, Magnum, Cascade, Columbus
Polish Pilsner ABV 5% /24 IBU – First brewed in celebration of the 40th annual Polish Town Fair, its popularity kept it on the regular rotation. The Polish Town Pilsner consists of pilsner malt and Czech, Saaz and Tettnang hops
Celtic Ale ABV 5.5% 23 IBU - Celtic is Long Ireland’s take on traditional Irish ale and is brewed with four different malts, flaked oats, and honey. It finishes dry and smooth with a low bitterness from Willamette hops.
Chocolate Porter ABV 5.8% 35 IBU - Chocolate and Malt on the nose. Strong semi-sweet chocolate flavor on the tongue. This one is relatively light and quite pleasant on the tongue.
At this point we were pretty hungry and we needed to bring back food for the rest of the family back at home. We decided to get pizza from Michelangelo’s at Mattituck Plaza. Ironically the guy behind the cashier was originally from Astoria, Queens (my old haunts). When he informed us that 3 large pies would be a 30 minute wait, I promptly asked him for the nearest watering hole and he told me that Four Doors was right across the intersection. Kevin and I knew exactly what to do. This local dive bar was ripe with Suffolk county alcoholics and all the accompanying small town charm. Most fortuitously for us Blue Point Brewing Company’s Toasted lager was on tap. This would be our last beer of the night, with momentum shifting to my dad’s extensive wine collection and some pretty good pizza.
Four Doors Down is located at 10560 Main Rd, Mattituck, NY 11952.
Look who’s coming to Dinner
The next day my niece Regina brought a special guest to dinner; her boyfriend, my long time friend local Long Island Lothario/white trash hippy extraordinaire John Williams. They came with a case of New Belgium Fat Tires and a 6 of Raspberry Shock Top. We never got to the shock top and instead transitioned to the wonderful world of wine. All in all a solid break filled with good times and good people.
Long Ireland Tap Room Hours
Next up for BTBT is a podcast event at Big Alice Brewery in LIC, Queens, New York featuring a Beard & Mustache Contest. Big Alice is doing its part in the battle against prostate cancer by raising funds for Zero Cancer and BTBT is proud to be participating.
Big Alice Brewing - 808 43rd Road, Long Island City, NY 11101 (347) 688-BEER or (347) 688-2337
Let us know in the comments if you’re a fan of Long Ireland’s brews or if you’ve been to Four Doors Down.
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