Wine Not Hit These Non-Winery North Fork Spots?

Sniff. Sip. Savor. Repeat. The North Fork wine trail is an oenophile’s dream—there are more than 30 to choose from, each appealing to different tastes and vibes. But there are plenty of pitstops for those who prefer hops, spirits or grown-up apple cider. Take a detour and imbibe at these non-winery options.

Riverhead Ciderhouse, Riverhead

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An instant sensation, Riverhead Ciderhouse opened in March and now needs 15 kegs of cider to get through a week (to put it in perspective, cider master Will Laughlin recently told me they initially predicted they’d need three). Though local wines are on the menu, so are Long Island beers and ciders made in-house. Benjamin’s best is already a favorite. There is some high-fruit sweetness in the nose and a light finish. Breweries with beer on tap include Blue Point and Great South Bay Brewing Co. Indulge indoors or out—both spaces are large, boast plenty of seating and have games like Uno and cornhole to play. Phone: 631-591-0217 | Address: 2711 Sound Ave. Click to go

Twin Stills Moonshine, Riverhead

Husband-and-wife duo Joe and Patricia Cunha have been brewing moonshine from local corn since 2016 and it’s had locals buzzing ever since. The menu includes apple pie, honey, strawberry and coffee moonshines and cocktails where, you guessed it, moonshine is the star. New to the menu is the koketos. A tropical vacation in a glass with a very adult twist, the drink tastes of coconuts and chocolate. The bootlegger, made with strawberry, apple pie and 100-proof whisky moonshines and a splash of cola, is fruity and sinful at the same time. There’s also local beer on tap for the lightweights of the group. Phone: 631-779-3199 | Address: 5506 Sound Ave. Click to go

Jamesport Farm Brewery, RiverheadJFB Sugar Skull (1)

The new kids on Sound Ave., Jamesport Farm Brewery opened at the end of summer 2017. It’s got all the bells and whistles of a winery—outdoor seating, an indoor tasting room and a wagon that sells food. But the hops take the place of grapes. The barn swallow brown is smooth and drinkable with notes of chocolate and coffee. Pumpkin beer enthusiasts can sip the seasonal Sugar Skull, a pumpkin/yam ale made with Willamette hops and fall spices. Phone: 844-532-2337 | Address: 5873 Sound Ave. Click to go

Long Island Spirits, Baiting Hollow

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This local distillery became the first to open on Long Island since Prohibition when Rich Stabile unveiled it a decade ago. Set in a centuries-old Baiting Hollow barn, it produces vodka from local potatoes. Gin, whiskey and sorbetta are now available for tasting. Cocktails include the indulgent raspberry truffle made with raspberry sorbet, LiV Vodka, chocolate syrup and half and half. It’s creamy, tangy and utterly delicious. Traditionalists rave about the artisan old fashioned. Phone: 631-630-9322 | Address: 2182 Sound Ave. Click to taste

Woodside Orchards, Aquebogue 

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This cidery boasts a small rustic tasting room and outdoor seating area with fire pits and picnic tables. It’s recently expanded its menu from four to seven ciders on tap. In addition to staples like the traditional and traditional sweet, pineapple has made its way onto the menu. Expect a refreshing, crisp and sweet sipper. Phone: 631-722-5770 | Address: 729 Main Rd. Click to taste

beth ann clyde

beth ann clyde

Beth Ann Clyde is a social strategist of Long Island Pulse. Have a story idea or just want to say hello? Email bethann@lipulse.com or reach out on Twitter @BAClyde.