A pair of Riverhead native sons are the latest brewers to join the East End craft beer scene.
Identical twins Pete and Dan Chekijian, 43, and founders of Twin Fork Beer, recently leased office space on West Main Street in Riverhead and are searching for a nearby headquarters to brew their beers and open a tasting room. They are currently brewing their offerings on a contract basis at another local brewery.
“We just got off the ground in November and we’re trying to fly under the radar,” Peter Chekijian, who along with his brother graduated from Riverhead High School in 1990, told northforker. “The next big hurdle will be to get a physical location up and running.”
Twin Fork’s flagship beer, its Chromatic Ale, is a malt-forward, not-to-hoppy American pale ale that Chekijian said appeals to a wide variety of people.
“We don’t want to blow people out of the water with something they can’t relate,” said Chekijian, who began the venture as a home brewer. He added that he has about 30 recipes in his arsenal.
“This is probably as mainstream as we are going to get,” he said of the signature brew.
Beer lovers can find their Chromatic Ale on tap at 25 Long Island restaurants including Digger’s Ales and Eat in Riverhead, CJ’s American Grill in Mattituck and Blue Canoe in Greenport.
Digger’s Ales and Eats owner Stephen Wirth said he put Twin Fork Beer on tap at the downtown eatery as soon as it was available. Twin Fork’s handle, which features a tuning fork, has been featured among Digger’s roster of beers for about a month, he said.
“People love it,” Wirth said. “People love anything local. They take pride in knowing that things were made locally.”
He said the fact that it is tasty also makes it an easy sell.
“It’s got a nice copper color to it,” he said. “It’s a good beer.”
Riverhead has become an increasingly attractive option for brewers looking to open a brewery and tasting room on the East End. Mustache Brewing Co. opened in 2014, joining Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. and Long Ireland Beer Co. Those companies say there has been a high demand for their product, with some producers expanding operations across state lines.