Grab a Beer & Watch it Brew

Many historic towns on Long Island are experiencing a Main Street revival. After years of looking at abandoned storefronts, locals are committed to rebuilding their communities and supporting small businesses. Riverhead has jumped on the bandwagon and Crooked Ladder Brewing Company is excited to be a part of the positive change.

Located in the bustling downtown area, this microbrewery commands attention with its beautiful brick façade and open-bay doors. Known for its friendly staff and interesting assortment of handcrafted beers, this Main Street tasting room is a popular destination for visiting tourists and locals.

Eager to learn more, I called Stevie Czelatka, head brewer at Crooked Ladder Brewing Company, to discuss the revival of Riverhead and what’s on tap for summer.

What’s the tasting room like?
The tasting room is in the brewery so people can experience what it’s like behind the scenes. They get to see, smell and hear the working brewery while they’re visiting. That’s pretty special and contributes to our chill, laid back vibe. There are eight taps in the tasting room. We keep an assortment of beers on tap so everyone has a chance to try a liquid they’ll like.

What would you serve to someone who says they don’t drink craft beer?
I’d go with the Kolsch. It’s a light beer. For people who don’t really like craft beer, or who may just enjoy a Bud Light or Coors Light, this is a good choice. It’s more like a Pilsner than any other liquid we have on tap.

What’s on tap right now?
Our three main beers: “Gypsy Red,” an American Red Ale, “70 West IPA,” a West Coast style IPA and “Crooked Kolsch,” a German Kolsch. Plus, our seasonal Blonde Ale “Summeritis” is also on tap.

What’s coming up next?
We have a North East Pale Ale called, “It Was All A Dream” that will be available for distribution next week. It’s medium bodied and brewed with oats, which gives it a more silky mouth feel. It’s broody and juicy, but very sessionable too. It’s not overbearing at all. Then we have a Belgian Dubbel that’s definitely dark and roasty with a hint of caramel and chocolate. It’s pretty sweet and not too dry. Pumpkin Ale is also coming down the line. We usually release it in the tasting room in the middle of August, which seems early but there are some pretty big fans of pumpkin ale out there.

Tell me 3 exciting things that are happening right now.
Riverhead now has an event called “Alive on 25,” which was modeled after a similar event in Patchogue. The first one was [July 14] and it was like a giant block party. There are three more dates this summer and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Distribution wise, we just cracked NYC. Now we have all of Suffolk and Nassau counties and are slowly breaking into the five boroughs.

Lastly, we’re in the planning stages of getting a packaged product together, whether it be in cans or bottles. We’re already working on the logistics of it, but for a brewery of our size in the summer, it’s been hard to keep up with demand. But it’s a good problem to have.

Crooked Ladder Brewery is located at 70 West Main Street in Downtown Riverhead. For more information, visit or call 631-591-3565.

denine anderson-regan

Denine co-writes the award-winning blog, We Know Stuff, with her sister, Daniele. Visit them,, for tasty recipes, fun kids crafts, and family-focused lifestyle articles. Twitter @WeKnowStuff_US.