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When I first visited Crooked Ladder Brewing Company in downtown Riverhead, I purchased a T-Shirt. Every time I wear it people approach me to talk about the brewery.

Maybe it’s the stylish brick decor of the building or its close proximity to Digger O’Dells that has people buzzing. Or maybe it’s just the fact that they make darned good beers.

When I was copied on an assignment to write about the brewery’s latest release, I jumped right on it.

Crooked Ladder’s 70 West IPA was on tap for the first time this weekend and it didn’t disappoint.

The name represents both Crooked Ladder’s address — at 70 West Main Street — and the bitterness of the hoppy beer at 70 IBU’s (international bitterness units). By comparison, the brewery’s Gateway Session IPA measures at 31 IBU’s.

70 West IPA is also stronger at 6.0% alcohol by volume — Gateway is 4.5% ABV.

Here’s the current list of tasting choices, with an asterisk next to my top 3 picks (the seasonal pumpkin ale will likely soon be off the list). Full flights are $9 and you keep the souvenir glass.

Gateway Session IPA
Gypsy Red
*70 West IPA
Downtown Brown
Ponquogue Porter
*Outta My Vine Pumpkin

Click here to read about each microbrew.

(PHOTO CREDIT: Grant Parpan/

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