Expect a destination for touring the North Fork’s largest brewery, sampling some of the region’s tastiest porter and now, a sit-down meal, when Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. completes its new addition this spring.
Four support trusses for the new structure were installed at the Peconic property on Wednesday, which co-owner John Liegey called a “pivotal moment” in the building’s construction. He and fellow owner Rich Vandenburgh expect the space, which they are calling a “brew pub,” to be open to the public by mid-spring.
“It’s going to have a very open floor plan,” said Liegey, adding that outdoor seating will be available in warmer months. “It’s going to be a great space. We want an open environment where people feel comfortable.”
Once completed, the new 2,000-square-foot tasting room and restaurant area will double the facility’s public space. The new structure will have a sloped ceiling, four large garage doors which will open to the outdoors and hop bines will snake their way through a pergola-covered fire pit area.
Twelve additional taps will be available in the brew pub bringing the total number of taps at the brewery to 26. The owners are also planning to install solar panels on the roof.
The 75-seat space will be available for private events and food will eventually be prepared in the kitchen, which is expected to take up about 20 percent of the new building. The business’ food truck, a big green bus dubbed the “North Fork Test Kitchen,” will supplement the kitchen’s offerings.
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However, the two owners stress that their business will always be ultimately about craft beer and beer education.
“We’re still beer focused,” Vandenburgh said. Both noted that the brewery is not a traditional bar or a spot for late night eats.
“It’s a gathering place,” Vandenburgh said.
The new addition will also enhance the brewery’s offerings and allows visitors to lounge at the kid- and pet-friendly facility for longer. A grassy area outside the building is ripe for relaxing in an Adirondack chair or playing a lawn game.
And of course, expect their staples like Otherside IPA and Harbor Ale, to flow through the brew pub’s taps.
“That atmosphere, that drives the passion and commitment to a particular brewery,” Liegey said. “That is exactly the way we got attached to this.”
The two owners, who included the new building in their site plan approved by Southold Town in 2014, said the time was right to expand.
“On given days, it gets a little crazy in there,” Liegey said. “It felt like it might be nice to have a little more room there. And it allows us to offer that space for events without closing the tasting room.”
2015 was the biggest year yet for the business, which opened in a converted firehouse on Greenport’s Carpenter Street in 2009. It expanded and opened its new 11,000-square-foot Peconic brewery in July 2014, but last year saw the biggest growth.
The partners said sales doubled in 2015 over 2014 — though they declined to disclose exact numbers — largely due to the addition of a bottling line last spring. The operation was projected to bottle 400,000 beers in 2015.
Instead it bottled more than a million.
“We’re hoping we are going to enjoy that sustained success,” Vandenburgh said.
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