Craft Beer Phenoms: Blind Bat Brewery

Blind Bat Brewery
est. 2008

Brewery Dissection
While garages are commonly utilized for automobile storage and arcane methamphetamine laboratories, Paul Dlugokencky, owner of Blind Bat Brewery, has converted his 350-square-foot carport into a one-man brewery, producing residential batches of wood-smoked and farm-inspired beer in limited quantities.

Dlugokencky, who established Blind Bat Brewery in 2008, experiments with local herbs and vegetables in his portfolio, including Long Island Potato Stout, a dusty-dry stout brewed with organic potatoes, and Honey & Basil Ale, an earthy pour with subtle sweetness. Both beers use ingredients (potatoes and basil, respectively) harvested by Dlugokencky’s wife, Regina, who is CSA manager at Fox Hollow Farm in Huntington. “I enjoy sourcing local as much as possible,” says Dlugokencky, who self-bottles and sells his beer at several farmers markets. “The hope has been that some other folks will enjoy the beer I create as much as I do, but I am brewing the beer I am interested in drinking.”

Blind Bat Brewery is currently a part-time gigabyte for Dlugokencky, who still works as a supervisor for the American Institute of Physics. He is close, however, to “finally quitting the day job after four years of brewing in part-time nano mode” and securing an industrial space on Johnson Avenue in Bohemia. “I’ve been getting quotes from a number of manufacturers for a 10-barrel system, which will allow me to move up from approximately 70 barrels a year to about 1,000 barrels a year,” says Dlugokencky, who hopes to brew full-time in 2013. The commercial transition will provide a tasting room and retail location, and allow Blind Bat Brewery to increase capacity to 31,000 gallons of beer.

Drink This. Seriously. Do it.
Hellsmoke Porter, an opaque, chocolate-charred porter brewed by smoking barley over apple and alder wood. “I thought it would only be a seasonal beer for autumn and winter, but folks also ask for it in the spring and summer,” says Dlugokencky. While Dlugokencky suggests pairing Hellsmoke Porter with “any grilled or smoked meats,” we recommend Inferno, the first book of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. It’s appropriate.