Most any story written about the current state of Long Island beer today mentions the proliferation of small new breweries on Long Island. There really are a lot of breweries on Long Island now. Some are on the bigger side — think Great South Bay Brewery or Greenport Harbor Brewing Company. But most of the new kids on the block are far smaller.
Some, like Centerport’s Blind Bat Brewery or Moustache Brewing Co. in Riverhead, are making some of the Island’s best beers. Some of the breweries’ brews reflect the fact that the brewmasters were amateurs not so long ago — improving but not quite there yet.
One of the newer breweries, Sand City Brewing Co. in Northport, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by brewing (and canning) our beer of the week: Sand City Brewing Co. “One” Imperial IPA — and it cements the brewery’s growing reputation for quality.
In fact, this is the kind of hoppy ale that people wait in hours-long lines for at some notable New England breweries.
It bursts with floral and citrusy hop aromas — think grapefruit and tangerine — with subtle notes of tropical fruit. Fruity and juicy, the palate has similar flavors with just enough malt backbone to bring balance. Not as bitter as you might expect, it’s on the softer side and very easy to drink more than one — even at 8 percent.
Some friends and I enjoyed a few cans at our local beer-focused bar. It worked great with my pork ramen and with their burgers.
I hear good things about their Black IPA and Red Sand Hoppy Amber. Hopefully, I can make the trip to Northport over the holidays.
Sand City Brewing Co.’s beers are available at better beer bars and shops from Suffolk County to Manhattan.