Red Zone September 2013

Red ZoneAfter two years of draft-only availability, Blue Point Brewing Company will bottle Wet Hops Experiment in September. The autumn-seasoned pale ale is brewed with 200 pounds of wet, or fresh, Centennial and Mosaic hops harvested and immediately shipped overnight from Hopunion in Yakima, Washington. Blue Point Brewing Company is the only East Coast beer-maker receiving the Hopunion shipment. “You have to brew with them immediately for maximum flavor and aroma,” said Mark Burford, owner and brewmaster. “We’re psyched to be bottling it for the first time and the fact that we’re the only East Coast brewery doing this makes each batch that much more special.”

Brewtopia of Port Jeff
(631) 403-4999, Port Jefferson

Mark Romano and Carol Coddington opened Brewtopia of Port Jeff, a Harbor Square Mall boutique with bottles and homebrewing supplies, in 2011. The former owners of Lindenhurst’s The Loyal Dog Ale House shifted to retail to present beer within a safer environment because, “If you own a bar, you constantly worry about people drinking strong beers and driving home,” Romano said. “We loved the beer industry and wanted to stay involved, but without the negative side.”

Brewtopia pushes positivity with a bottle-focus on wild-fermented ales, including Brasserie Cantillon Classic Gueuze and Cascade Brewing Noyaux. The latter is a blend of Belgian-style blondes and tripels aged in oak barrels for two years, then aged with raspberries and apricot noyaux for an additional year. “It also has Lactobacillus, a bacteria which gives tartness to the beer,” said Romano. The store also sells 40 homebrewing kits and hosts frequent workshops with Michael Philbrick, owner and brewmaster of Port Jeff Brewing Company.

“An educated consumer is our best customer, so we try to plant the seeds for people who want to get into homebrewing,” said Romano, a homebrewer of 10 years. “You can come here and buy a stout, then buy one in a box that you can brew.”

Pizzetteria Brunetti
(631) 288-3003, Westhampton Beach

When a beer hits your eye,
And pairs well with’a pizza pie,
That’s Brunetti…

Repentant Preface: Apologies to Dean Martin for my lyric-butchering.

Michael Brunetti and his son Jason emphasize tradition with their crust-blistered Neapolitan pizzas by using imported ingredients—San Marzano tomatoes and fior di latte mozzarella, for example—and cooking with a wood-fired, Acunto-constructed oven shipped from Italy. The pizzeria’s beer list, a concise selection of Italian-only bottles, is crafted with similar authenticity. “Italy has recently taken the craft beer industry by storm and brewers are making really interesting stuff,” Michael said. “If we want to present authentic Italy and complement tradition, it makes sense to offer only imported Italian beers.”

Examples found at Brunetti:
Birrifico del Ducato VIÆMILIA:
A clean, grassy-herbal pilsner with mild bitterness

Grado Plato Strata S. Felice:
An amber ale brewed with chestnuts

Read Niko’s symphonic interpretation of Blue Point Brew’s 2011 wet hop experiment debut.

Follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, at where you can find more craft beer on Long Island.

Photo by Kenny Janosick

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.