Port Jeff Brewing Company 2nd Anniversary Party – Saturday October 19, 2013


Owner & Brewmaster Mike Philbrick celebrating his brewery’s 1st birthday
It’s hard to believe that just two short years ago a trip to the quaint waterfront town of Port Jefferson, Long Island couldn’t be capped off by a brewery visit. Thankfully, Port Jeff Brewing Company came in and changed all that. Replacing The Red Sled Christmas Shoppe (don’t worry Santa enthusiasts, they just moved to the Harbor Square Mall), PJBC became the first and only brewery in owner Mike Philbricks hometown.


Port Jeff Brewing Company
What better way to commemorate this occasion than with a full day of over 20 Port Jeff beers on tap? Last year, the brewery celebrated their first anniversary in a similar fashion, with the festivities being held both in and around the brewery on the outdoor deck. We were able to arrive a little before the celebration kicked off and spent the remainder of the day enjoying some Port Jeff staples and trying many of the special timed releases that were offered. One stand out was the rum aged Boo Brew, which was a deliciously boozy take on Port Jeff’s pumpkin ale. There were also casks, brand new beers and old favorites blended with fruit and other interesting additions. Another “off the menu” offering was Wet N’ Wild, which was a originally a wet hop brew using Condzella Hops that took a wild, delicious turn into a sour somewhere along the way.

This year there will be no shortage of great beer and entertainment, with Andrews-Blessing Band performing outside and setting the soundtrack for the day. Like last year, there will be a few staples available in the tap room throughout the event (we are partial to the porter) but they will also be pouring almost 20 special timed releases. The lineup is below, straight from the mouth of the Port Jeff Facebook page (with times of special releases included). We already have our eye on the PJBC/Bobby Rodriguez collaboration which we “helped brew”, Imperial Force as well as Wet N’ Wild to see how it has evolved in the year since it’s birth. WN’W was the highlight of the party for us last year but it faces some stiff competition this time around. The event is free to all who wish to attend with the delicious brews being served pay as you go. It runs from 10 am-7 pm, so if you stick around for the long haul and share with friends you could potentially drink your way through the entire list (or at least give it a valiant effort). Hope to see you all there!

All Day

Boo Brew
Low Tide Black IPA
Party Boat IPA
Port Jeff Porter
Schooner Ale (Winner of Silver Medal at 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship)
Starboard Oatmeal Stout (Winner of Silver Medal at 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship)

Special Releases (Limited)

Beer Fields Apricot Amber (Winner of Beer Fields’ 2013 Home Brew Contest)
Imperial Force
Studio 56 (Exclusive for Tap and Barrel)

Carolina Common (Collaboration w/M. David Gonzalez of Foothills Brewing)
Birra DeNicola (Exclusive for Del Fuego, La Tavola, and Ruvo)
Rumkin (Cask)

Barrel-Aged Porter (Winner of Bronze Medal at 2012 U.S. Open Beer Championship)
Wet ‘n’ Wild (Cask)
White’s Beach Wit (Winner of Gold Medal at Hudson River Craft Beer Festival 2013)

Big Boy Birch Stout (Cask)
H³ (Tripel H)
Runaway Ferry Imperial IPA

Barrel-Aged Oatmeal Stout (Starboard Oatmeal Stout aged in Heaven Hill Distilleries Whiskey Barrel)
Party Barge (Party Boat IPA dry-hopped w/Amarillo)
Schooner Ale w/Cherries (Cask)

Port Jeff Porter w/Cocoa Nibs & Vanilla Bean (Cask)

Barquentine Belgian Pale Ale (Winner of Bronze Medal at 2013 U.S. Open Beer Championship)


Barrage Brewing Company Kickstarter – Let's Kick Those Doors Open!!!



But first here is a little background. As you can see from the above photo, Barrage Brewing Company is ready to start brewing. Unfortunately they have run into a crappy situation thanks to the Suffolk County Sewer District. The SCSD wants Steve Pominski (owner of BBC) to do a fair amount of work at his brewery located in Farmingdale, New York. This came as a bit of a shock because everything seemed to be kosher with all of the building permits up until the moment the SCSD stepped up to the plate. The town had no issues with the brewery or the beer that would be produced there and did not mandate any upgrades or changes to the location. To run the burners a gas line was needed but there was no issue in obtaining the line (although it was delayed several months due to hurricane Sandy). All seemed to be going fairly well, things were moving forward nicely while Barrage Brewing Company waited for it’s license to come in from New York State so they could be a full fledged brewery crafting beer for a thirsty public. Ah the halcyon days right?

Things took a slight turn when Public Works “…came out of nowhere” and required a line to coming from the brewery and ending at one sample well. This shed a light on the sewer system possibly becoming an issue but all seemed well and BBC thought the one line and well combination would be all they would need. As it turns out this was only a glimpse of things to come. When Steve and crew went to file the permits the Suffolk County Sewer District came in and turned everything upside down. The SCSD did not care what Public Works wanted, they had a list of their own requirements.

As it turns out that list not only requires two sample wells which need to be attached to a drain in the brewery and a separate bathroom line (in case Steve is dumping trub or beer product down his drains) but these lines must run out to two wells in the parking lot of the brewery. These then need to be run about 140 feet connecting to the main sewer hook up. While that may seem like a lot of work already the SCSD also had originally requested that ALL of the buildings units would require a well. The owner of the location was not happy, Steve was not happy all around it was a gloomy time in Farmingdale. Luckily the plumber Barrage has hired has thirty plus years of experience working with the SCSD and was able to talk them into only requiring four wells total. The landlord has agreed to put in two wells, brining his location up to code, while Steve will need to put in his own two wells. This is not a cheap addition and will cost Barrage Brewing Company the better half of $18,000 to accomplish. Yikes.

The bottom line is this: without achieving his Kickstarter goal Steve Pominski will have to shut down Barrage Brewing Company. FOREVER. That will be that. The decades long dream will end with three year short years of frustration rather than many happy years of success and good craft beer. There are 20 days left in Barrage Brewing Company’s drive to raise $18,000 and as of this writing they are 22% funded. #Local stuff is the jump off right so if you are able head on over and donate.

All-Grain Brewing Clinic by Karp's Homebrew at The Lark Pub & Grub



UPDATE: Mike Philbrick international brewer of mystery and brewmaster/owner of Port Jeff Brewing Company will now be be the, “guest star brewing instructor”, for this event. AWESOME. Call Karp’s for tickets: 631-261-1235 and remember the $20 fee goes straight to charity. Oh and Sunday is Mike’s birthday so it is great he is participating.

Alan Talman of Karp’s Hardware and Homebrew in Northport, New York will be putting on an All-Grain Brewing Class at The Lark Pub & Grub (also in Northport) this Sunday March 10th.

Here is a description in Alan’s own words coming from the Karp’s Homebrew Facebook page: “We will brew an all-grain batch while answering all the questions you can ask. Complete novice to intermediate all-grain brewers will learn lots of great stuff. We’ll discuss water treatment, mash schedules and starch conversion, the malting process, oxygenation, etc. We’ll demonstrate hydrometers, refractometers, oxygen stones and other fun stuff. You’ll leave with a solid understanding of homebrew all-grain mash techniques to begin or improve your home process.”

The class costs $20.00 per person with all of the proceeds being donated to Lay Council Food Pantry in Northport. Tickets should be purchased in advance at Karp’s since these classes tend to sell out. So get moving and get your tickets. You can pay by cash, credit card or check made out to the Lay Council Food Pantry.

This informative class will show attendees the ins and outs of the homebrewing process. The beer being brewed will be, according to Alan, “An American Brown Ale” since he is a big fan of Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale. This sounds like a nice end of winter brew to us. The beer will be brewed in smaller, five gallon batches to allow the entire brewing process to be shown in a timely fashion.

Alan will get one batch going before the class starts and get it up to a point where he can pause the process. When the class begins he will start another batch from scratch. This will allow the attendees to see the process from start to finish in a condensed manner. A brew day can be a six hours or longer so doing it in this way, kind of how cooks would when demonstrating recipes on television, will shorten but not diminish the experience.

All that being said this still will be a long (yet really fun) day. The class will run from 12 pm to at least 4 pm meaning it can possibly go longer. One huge benefit of having the event at The Lark is there will be adult refreshments for sale and, in a wonderful synergy of co-promotion, there will be specials available to those in the class. The Lark also has excellent food or, as they say, “grub” which will also be available to those attending. This class will be a great chance to learn the process of brewing while being in an environment where food and beer pairings are actively promoted. Fun times with learning and proceeds from the class donated to a good cause? Yes please.

For more information:

Karp’s Hardware and Homebrew
2 Larkfield Road, East Northport, NY.
(631) 261-1235


The Lark Pub & Grub
93 Larkfield Rd, East Northport
(631) 262-9700



On Second Thought… Southampton Publick House WILL Release Their Russian Imperial Stout in 2013!!!

UPDATE: There are 450 bottles (750 ml) available for sale at the brewery. The brewmaster Evan Addario wanted to keep this hush, hush so those that frequent Southampton Publick House could grab some bottles. He didn’t want all of them to go to people who just show up when “rarities” are available. Head over to the brewery to get a bottle (2 bottle limit per person). Most importantly visit Southampton more frequently as Evan says he puts up one-offs often.

You may have read somewhere that Southampton Publick House would not be putting out their Russian Imperial Stout in 2013. Okay, it was here at Beer Loves Company where you may have read that. Well it seems that was a fib, or at least let’s say a glitch in the Matrix.

Last night we received an email from SHPH containing an invitation to a beer dinner for the release of their Biere de Mars (a 6.5% ABV Biere de Garde) and also, surprisingly, a 2013 edition of their Russian Imperial Stout. Having reported that this beer would not be released this year we were left kind of, well, thunderstruck. We quickly sent a late night email over to the Publick House to see why they had a change of heart and to see if there would be a release party for their RIS this year. Here is the response we received from their newly minted(ish) brewmaster Evan Addario.

I am sorry for the misunderstanding. This years plan was to brew the Russian Imperial Stout, but as we had no other rare, cellared beers, we could not put on a release party as we have in the past. We decided instead to have a beer dinner, as we do a couple of times a year. This one is focusing on the release of the Biere De Mars, our spring seasonal as well as the RIS. The plan is to have the RIS on tap for a week or so, as long as supplys last. I hope this answers your questions and I hope to see you guys out here for a glass.

Evan Addario

Southampton Publick House
40 Bowden Square
Southampton, NY 11968
(631) 283-2800”

If you remember from our original article we spoke with Don Sullivan, the President of Southampton Publick House & Southampton Bottling LLC, who told us there would not be a release of RIS this year. Back then, Don said that he would pass our message along to Evan and we are glad that he ultimately came to us bearing good news.

Unlike previous years, the RIS will only be available on tap and only for a very limited time. So if you are not attending the beer dinner tonight, make it a point to get out there this weekend to partake in the small batch that is available. This is your one chance for Southampton Russian Imperial Stout this year, so don’t miss out. And hopefully the bottle release will be back, party and all, in 2014!

PS: Check out BJ Gamboa’s article over at Drinking Made Easy about the 2012 release. A little something to hold you over until next years experience.


Condzella Hops Kickstarter: Halfway There


Condzella Hops Kickstarter campaign to bring the Wolf WHE 140 Hopfen Pflückmaschine (a hop harvesting machine) to their Wading River, Long Island farm is halfway to its conclusion and also a bit more than halfway to its goal of $27,000. Last we checked they had raised $14,775 from 153 different backers, but hopefully that number is increasing even as we type. Thats an average donation of $96 per contributor which is not exactly pocket change and shows just how strongly the local craft beer and agricultural community is behind this campaign.

There are still 16 days left, so its not too late for you to show your support. Depending on your level of involvement, you will be rewarded with not only the satisfaction of knowing you helped bring the “New York Hop” back, but tokens of appreciation ranging from a Condzella Hops mason jar mug to a beer dinner that actually takes place on the farm to the ability to name a row of hops in next years harvest.We had the opportunity to speak with John Condzella today (the creator of both Condzella Hops and this Kickstarter campaign) about the process so far and his hopes for the next 16 days and beyond.

John chose Kickstarter over a more traditional means of obtaining the money, like a business loan, because he really wanted to get the word out about both the machine and the cause. Doing it this way allows community involvement and even after the machine is purchased there will be people across Long Island and NY that are literally invested in the progress of Condzella Hops. Ultimately, his short term goal is to obtain the hop harvester but his vision has a much broader scope. John hopes that this campaign will kickstart hop farming in this region and he is excited to not only share the harvester (either through forming a co-op or by charging a nominal fee) but also show farmers new to the crop the proper way to get started. He is not just trying to better Condzella Farms, but the entire local agricultural and craft beer community.

At the halfway point, John is optimistic and excited. He said the feedback so far has been great, and he has been doing everything he can to get the word out. With NYC Beer Week upon us, he will be appearing at several events throughout it and will also have a table at the Spring Craft Beer Festival at Nassau Coliseum on March 9, which is a big day for him for a variety of reasons. Not only will he be educating people about his farm and campaign at the show, it is also his birthday and the day before the end of his Kickstarter campaign. In addition, Port Jeff Brewing Company (who brewed a wet hopped ale using Condzella Hops) will be releasing their Wet and Wild Ale. This beer was a “hoppy accident” which was born from attempting to dry hop with Condzella fresh hops, resulting in a wild yeast transforming the brew. We had the opportunity to try this beer at Port Jeff’s first anniversary celebration and it was a fruity, tart and delicious. John has yet to try the Wet and Wild, but is excited to do so.

So what about a backup plan if the campaign fails? Not going to happen, according to John. He has been tirelessly working to spread the word and garner support anyway he can, whether it be posters, phone calls, E-mails or interviews like this one, and he will continue to do so through the conclusion of the campaign. He is confident that his efforts will be rewarded and Condzella Hops will meet their goal. But, he can’t do it alone.

John is excited about the outpouring of support thus far and knows that in order to be successful they will need help from the community. Since ultimately this hop machine will help both the local farming and craft beer communities, it is only fitting that it is a group effort to revitalize the New York hop. So please visit Condzella Hops Kickstarter page and read about the campaign, watch the video and give if you can. Even if you can’t contribute right now but support the idea, share it with your friends and family and help John and Condzella Hops get the word out there. Help to (re)kickstart the New York Hop.


Southampton – A Photo Journal of Fall Festivities

After breaking the tragic news that the release of Southampton Publick House Russian Imperial Stout is cancelled for 2012, we decided a little levity was in order. We offer here a post collecting of images from our trip this past fall to Southampton. Over the last three years we have headed out to Eastern Long Island, before Halloween, with the intention to grab some pumpkins and try some beer. Our destinations have been Hank’s Pumpkintown (which was insanley packed this year) and Southampton Publick House. Last year we even stopped at Duck Walk Vineyards, which is across from Hanks’s, but this year we opted not to as it seemed like every parent out there decided to drown their sorrows in some vino.

Hank’s is located in Watermill NY and is a gigantic, epic, event of a pumpkin patch. There are several corn mazes, slides and a train which offers rides through the pumpkin patch. We took a walk around and ended up selecting two small sugar pumpkins. These two pumpkins made it home and eventually we carved them, like champions. Next we decided to leave Hank’s with its gaggle of grade schoolers and bleary eyed parents behind and head over to the Publick House for a few snacks and brews. The bar had a fair amount of people inside, the location has a bar/dining area as well as a dining room, but a table was secured without too much trouble.

A few specials were on the board as were two seasonals. We tried the Abbey Single, Pumpkin Ale and we split the Abbot 12. All of the beers were satisfying, refreshing and delicious. The single was a nice light take on a Belgian brew with subtle yeast, hop and spicy notes. The pumpkin ale had a nice body and spiciness to it (click for our review of the bottled version). The Abbot 12 is Southampton’s take on a Belgian Quad. This is a strong ale featuring of dark fruit, alcohol, yeast and sweet accents. We actually were served this brew in a pint glass which at 10.5% ABV is a large serving and the reason we split it. The food we had was standard bar food which worked well in the setting and hit the spot. An overall successful trip. We suggest you head out to Southampton Publick House and Hank’s when the season rolls back around. Now here are the pictures you were promised (sorry for the long rambling rundown). Enjoy!


Long Island Pompion Pumpkin


Hank;s Pumpkin Town

Southhampton Publick House Bar Room

Southhampton Publick House Bar

Southhampton Publick House Beer List

Southhampton Publick House Bar

southhampton hank's pumpkin