Long Island Craft Winter

As September and October become November and December, beer enthusiasts are on the prowl for winter seasonal brews?beers created for those biting, frigid evenings best spent curled near a fireplace, snuggling with a rifle, obsessively counting the embers dancing around the slow-roasting possum just slaughtered on your front lawn with the help of your youngest child.

Here’s a glimpse at some recently/soon-to-be released Long Island craft winter brews:

Fire Island Beer Company – Frozen Tail Ale


From founder/owner Jeff Glassman:

“Frozen Tail Ale has a festive layered blend of five different American and British hops, balanced nicely with four specialty malts that impart delicious roasted caramel and toffee flavors. Frozen Tail Ale is a medium bodied mahogany-colored beer that is intricately balanced to be clean, smooth, and flavorful.”

IBU: 60
ABV ~ 6.50%

Great South Bay Brewery – Sleigh Ryed


Style: Red Rye Ale
Color: 26?
ABV: 6.50%
Bitterness: 40 IBU
Grains: Malted and Unmalted Rye
Hops: Chinook and Cascade
We Drink this with: Beer-Braised Venison with Cranberry Compote

The pilot batch for Sleigh Ryed debuted at last night’s Great South Bay dinner at The Lark Pub & Grub, which doubled as a birthday celebration for yours truly. We sampled the Sleigh prior to the dinner’s first course, and again during the third course, paired with a Smoked Salmon Cake and Fresh Cucumber-Dill Salad. I found the Sleigh Ryed exhibited a warm, Scotch-like feel that sat nicely under the juniper berries. Founder/Head Brewer Rick Sobotka explained to beer dinner attendees that the second batch of would include “double the juniper.”

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company – Anti-Freeze


Just spoke with head brewer of Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, DJ Swanson, about Anti-Freeze, their English Old Ale-inspired winter seasonal. According to Swanson, Anti-Freeze is a chewy, full-bodied ale, reddish-brown in color, with hints of caramel and toffee. It runs around 7.0%ABV and was made with Maris Otter and English Crystal malt and hopped with Goldings.

Barrier Brewing Company – Various


Evan Klein, founder/head brewer of Barrier Brewing Company, sent over a hefty email consisting of his recent releases.

Antagonist ESB
Barnacle Brown
Rembrandt Porter
Cairn Scottish Ale
Dubbel Down (Belgian Dubbel – which will be poured at Jimmy’s No. 43’s “Battle of the Belgians”)
A special Christmas ale called Uncle Lee’s Christmas Ale, brewed with maple syrup and cinnamon and exclusively for the NYC Dive Bars.

The message also included style releases for 2011?English Dark Mild, double IPA, Barleywine, Imperial Stout, Saison, Baltic Porter?and a target plan to increase annual production to 500-600 BBL.

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.