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Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. is among the participating vendors. (Credit: Vera Chinese, file photo)

The North Fork might still be Long Island Wine Country, but it’s also a place where craft beer and cider producers are increasingly carving out a stake.

The first River Craft Beverage Festival — which celebrates the producers of all those beverages — will take place Saturday, July 18th on the East End Arts lawn in downtown Riverhead. Craft beer, wine, and hard cider from more than 30 East End craft beverage makers will be offered.

Participating vendors include Spiked Seltzer, Po’Boy Brewery, Bellport Brewery, Crooked Ladder Brewing Co., Moustache Brewing Co., Woodside Orchards, Whole Le Crepe, and Holy Schmitts.

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The festival will also feature live music, games, food, and local vendors. General Admission is $45 and includes more than three hours of craft beverage sampling as well as a souvenir sampling glass. There is also a designated driver ticket for $15.

The River Craft Beverage Festival will be hosted by The East End Tourism Alliance (EETA), a non-profit whose mission is to promote the East End region as a travel destination for visitors, meetings, weddings, and seasonal vacations.

The EETA was recently awarded a grant from the State of New York allowing them to fund and market a multitude of events focused on the craft beverage Industry. EETA launched its first food and craft beverage event, Taste of the East End, this past May.

Event co-organizer Nicole Buckley said events like these help establish New York and the East End among the top craft beverage destinations in the country.

“The festival is really meant to promote the craft beverage industry in New York and showcase all the great wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries that are right here in our backyard,” said Buckley.

The event will take place directly after EETA’s third annual Paddle Battle, a stand up paddle board, kayak and canoe race on the Peconic River that raises money for three non for profit organizations: United Way, Vet’s Build Program, Riverhead Foundation.

For tickets or for more information about the River Craft Beverage Festival, visit

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