Craft Beer Phenoms: Port Jeff Brewing Company

Port Jeff Brewing Company
Port Jefferson
est. 2011

Brewery Dissection
Sunday, Monday, Port Jeff Brewing Company.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Port Jeff Brewing Company.
Thursday, Friday, Port Jeff Brewing Company.
Saturday, what a day.
Groovin’ all week with you.

Port Jeff Brewing Company, a maritime-themed operation (see: Presentation of its beers via Port Jefferson’s aquatic-tistic culture) launched by Michael Philbrick in October 2011, is the newest in-house production brewery on Long Island, but its tasting room is already pouring growlers seven days per week. Seven days per week. What a day. Every day. Groovin’ all week with you.

“Port Jefferson has a lot of foot traffic, so there are constantly people popping their heads in to try our beer and see what we’re all about,” Philbrick says, regarding his brewery’s always-availability. “It definitely helps us if we want to test out new beers or get immediate feedback.” Port Jeff Brewing Company also designates select beers to tasting room-only status, including Tripel H, a dry-finishing tripel with fruity aromas, inspired by head brewer Jeffrey Noakes’ resemblance to 13-time WWE world champion Triple H.

Though Philbrick opened Port Jeff Brewing Company’s 1,600-square-foot facility in October 2011, the brewery has already secured a supplementary space for “empty bottles, grain sacks, kegs and other stuff that isn’t too glamorous.

“We knew and hoped, honestly, that we would run out of space fairly quickly,” Philbrick says. “Things have been moving really quick, and it’s allowed us to get some new equipment and get more beer on the streets.” The brewers acquired two seven-barrel fermenters in June, which increased Port Jeff Brewing Company’s capacity from 32,550 to 51,770 gallons of beer. Furthermore, the equipment allows Philbrick to continue tweaking production levels, with “more focus going to bottles.”

Drink This. Seriously. Do it.
Port Jeff Porter, a schweet-smoooov porter brewed with organic honey from Wading River-based farmer John Condzella, possesses a plethora of disguises. It is a chocolate-rich superbeero. Essentially. “Most of our beers have one flavor that is prominent, but our porter has a lot going on,” Philbrick says. “There’s chocolate, honey and some notes of coffee. It’s complex and versatile, and we can offer it in a lot of different ways.” Variants include an unfiltered, bottle-conditioned presentation (fermentation occurs within the bottle and allows for sustained life) and a three-installment series of aged releases using Heaven Hill Distilleries whiskey barrels. The third release, scheduled for October 12, will commemorate Port Jeff Brewing Company’s first birthday.

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.