Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

Long Island Beer Adventure – Blue Point Brewery

The town of Patchouge, NY has become Long Island’s unofficial beer mecca, as it is home to Long Island’s only microbrewery, Blue Point Brewing, and several fine beer pouring establishments and restaurants. I heard about Blue Point before when I sampled their Toasted Lager last summer, and when I purchased the Beer Hall Guide To Long Island at my last visit to DEKs. During the holidays, I found time to visit Blue Point with Mike and my little brother, Greg.

The trip to Blue Point was an adventure that involved incomplete directions and lots of U-turns. We eventually located the brewery and parked behind it. I was surprised to see that it was so small, because I forgot that their bottling takes place at Clipper City Brewing in Maryland. So, we made our way on a crisp Long Island evening through the brewery’s back door, through a swarm of people holding plastic beer cups filled with various colors of beer – amber, black, yellow. 
Inside the foyer, all the brewing equipment could be seen in a warehouse looking room on the side, and through a bright yellow door lay the “tasting room.” Opening the door revealed a packed bar – probably above the capacity of the place. We pushed our way to the bartender who was cheery and quick – and poured the three us a Toasted Lager, an ESB and an OHB (Old Howling Bastard).  We quickly retreated back into the open air with our brews to sample them surrounded by brewing equipment. 

The Toasted Lager is the quintessential Long Island beer, and has a stand-out taste. It smells of malt and is a medium amber color, making it a clear alternative to most everything else on tap at local bars here. The taste is slightly toasty, and with a mild hop presence. It is very drinkable and shows a subtle spiciness. It could just as easily be a refreshing summer beer as it could be a winter warmer, which may be why it is so popular. It is a salvation, too, when eating out on Long Island, when you don’t want the typical Bud/BudLight/Coors/CoorsLight options. 


The ESB was an exceptional example of one, and was a delight to taste. The bitterness of the hops was balanced with a subtle sweetness. It deserves Bronze Medal it snagged in the World Beer Cup, and would have paired fabulously with something sweet.

The OHB, or Old Howling Bastard is named after an “infamous local character” and is one of their strongest beers, coming in at 10% ABV. Its a Barleywine, and not overly sweet. I actually wished that the brew had a little bit more weight to it, it tasted a lot lighter (to me) than it should have. The taste, though, was enjoyable, and I sipped it slowly while sneaking around the brewery. 
Later, Mike went back for an Oatmeal Stout, which received rave reviews from us both. It was sweet and smooth, malty and warm, and genuinely a great stout. It reminded me of Rogue’s Shakespeare Stout and was certainly a gem. I was tempted to bring home a growler of this, but decided to pass on it because of the growing volume of beer that I was already planning to bring home. If you see this on tap, grab it, because it is a treat. 

Some notes on the visit : This is the smallest brewery I’ve visited thus far, and is very compact, open, and raw. There’s no Plexiglas hallways and tours on the half hour. Just a warehouse making great beer for local restaurants- the rest brewed at Clipper City for bottling. I kept my coat on because it was chilly inside… but that was part of the adventure, too.
I also enjoyed seeing some of the little idiosyncrasies of the brewers – a plush alien magnetically attached to one of the fermenters, a fake plastic bat hanging from the ceiling, a kitty (see picture) who’s name was Bud Light wandering around like he owned the place, and pictures tacked to a cork board of the brewer’s beer dogs (one that looked a lot like my mom’s dog, Guinness), and the floor made out of sand/concrete which included beach stones and a piece of beach glass permanently embedded in the flooring. It was a fun time, and good beers were had by all. 
My next time to Long Island I hope to return to DEKs, and possibly take a train into the city to visit the Brooklyn Brewery. For now, its nice to know that there are at least some pulses of craft beer life pouring their way into the usually mediocre bar scene of Long Island. 

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9 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Just stumbled upon your site and read this review of Blue Point Brewery. I traveled to NY from Colorado a few months ago and visited this brewery.You review was spot on. Great beer, and cozy enviroment. I enjoyed the Hoptical Illusion, and brought home a bottle of the OHB. The head brewer told me to age it for 3 years. So all I can do now is wait. PS you are a beer BABE!

  2. Scott-TheBrewClub

    Sounds like a fun time! Of the few Blue Point beers I’ve tried so far, they have all been good and I’d have them anytime! Being in Jersey, most of their selections are common. (This is good!)

  3. Anonymous

    If you ever want to swing by Pennichuck give us a call (number on the website) we do not technically do tours, but if you come by to purchase a bottle you go into the brewery itself thus a mini tour (length of time depends on what we are doing that day… as for weekends, sometimes we are here)
    Damase

  4. ben

    BTW, to the Artist formally known as Wurst, I hope you are not serious about this comment. Yes, the west coast has great beer but the east coast also has a lot to offer. Perhaps you should see what Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are brewing up. Outside of New England, New York and Pennsylvania have some of the best beers I have ever had. Weyerbacher and Stoudt’s are two breweries that I will put up against any left coast brewer.

  5. ben

    Blue Point really seems to be taking off. They have an offering in just about every bar/restaurant I go to in CT. I’m surprised to hear that they don’t bottle in house although, I’m sure they’re working toward it. Thanks for the review. I hope to make it there over the summer to check it out first hand.

  6. Chipper Dave

    Just wanted to wish you a very happy new year and all the best in 2009. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and look forward to more. I voted for you to try homebrewing – I’m jumping back in now.

  7. mike

    west coast/east coast rivalry should be left to baseball, or possibly hip-hop.

  8. Artist formerly known as Wurst

    Luv, everyone knows the best beers in the world are brewed on the West Coast. Your East Coast thing is coming up short. You should get out a little more.

  9. B.E. Earl

    I grew up in Blue Point, so I was a little disappointed when the Blue Point Brewery was set up in neighboring Patchogue, but that quickly turned to delight when I tried their beers.

    Mark and Pete are great guys as well as great brewers too.

    My favorite concoction is to mix a half and half with their Blueberry Ale and their Hoptical Illusion. I was introduced to it at the brewery and it quickly became my favorite thing to order whenever I saw both on draft at a bar or restaurant. It usually caused eyebrows to raise behind the bar…until they tried it themselves. Great summer drink!

    Happy New Year!

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