Red Zone October 2013

Niko’s Seasonal Suds

Rocky Point Artisan Brewers Oktoberfest
Style: Oktoberfest
Availability: September-November
Taste Words: Malty, Smooth, Dryness
Profile: The copper-colored lager, produced only in 50-gallon batches, ferments for four weeks, enabling sweetness to transition to maltiness with a dry finish. Rocky Point Artisan Brewers has previously created an Oktoberweisse, blending Hefeweizen and Oktoberfest, but will remain traditional-style in 2013.

The Riverhead Project
(631) 284-9300, Riverhead

Dennis McDermott was admittedly unfamiliar with beer, but recognized its local popularity and created theBEERPROJECT in August. An offshoot of theWINEPROJECT, which launched in 2011, theBEERPROJECT is a year-round effort to introduce and educate customers with family-style dinners, classes, keggers and small-plate pairings on Wednesday. Terrance Daly, formerly of Stony Brook’s Mirabelle Tavern, is the program’s consultant. “It’s very approachable, affordable and intimate,” said McDermott, who opened The Riverhead Project in 2011. “We’ll rotate events every Wednesday and grow the brand. There is no failure rate.”

The restaurant has also craft-converted its four drafts, which previously “had no rhyme or reason for being there,” said beverage manager Brittny Johnson. The focus is now “local and small.” Crooked Ladder Brewing Company’s Gypsy Red, the Riverhead-based brewery’s amber flagship and Bronx Brewery’s Summer Pale Ale were recent selections.

SwingBellys BBQ
(516) 431-3464, Long Beach

Sean Sullivan’s dedication to Long Beach is undeniable. Though his barbecue business was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, Sullivan’s primary post-disaster focus was community, feeding 2,000 displaced locals for Thanksgiving and co-launching Project Pay It Forward, an altruistic effort resuscitating storm-battered establishments in Long Beach. After two months of renovations, SwingBellys BBQ’s own revival occurred on Memorial Day and featured an expanded bar and 16 drafts. The latter recently poured Barnacle Brown Ale, Scotch Cairn Ale and Greenroom Pale Ale from Oceanside’s Barrier Brewing Company, which were also temporarily paralyzed by Hurricane Sandy.

“We got about four feet of water and had to completely gut the place out,” said Sullivan, who originally opened Swingbellys BBQ in 2007. “The town was amazing and did everything right, though. For the first few weeks after we opened, I only poured Long Island beers.”

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

Photo by Stephen Lang

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.