If you build it, they will come.
That appears to be Riverhead’s motto when it comes to craft breweries, as the town welcomes its fifth beer maker to the fold.
Last month, a building permit was issued at the former firehouse on Second Street in Riverhead, the future home of Long Beard Brewing Co. It joins Crooked Ladder Brewing Co., Long Ireland Beer Co., Moustache Brewing Co. and Twin Fork Beer Co. to make Riverhead the East End’s premiere beer town.
Long Beard co-owner Paul Carlin said he’s happy to be coming to the new location on Second Street.
“The way I look at it, we’re kind of an experiment for this section [of Riverhead],” he said. “If we can become successful, then I think it’s going to bring a lot of value to this corridor and I think you’ll see things start to pick up.”
Long Beard’s arrival on Riverhead’s craft beer scene has been in the making for some time. Plans were discussed even before property owner Bob Castaldi was able to acquire the former firehouse, where they lease space.
Then the brewery had to wait months longer than anticipated to receive its federal license to operate. Now with a building permit also in hand, Mr. Carlin anticipates being open by late summer.
Carlin and business partner Craig Waltz, who started making Long Beard beer more than four years ago, will do the construction themselves. The tasting room will be centered around a large bar, designed to look like the bow of a Viking ship.
Other attractions will include outdoor seating, live music and a rotating collection of food trucks parked on the premises to feed hungry customers.
“We’re trying to develop more of an attraction, a place where you’re going to come and be completely blown away,” Carlin said. “Servers will stand inside the ship to serve drinks.”
The tasting room will comprise about 1,000-square-feet of the 4,000-square-foot building with much of the rest of the space being used for brewing operations. The brewery will open with six fermenters holding five barrels or 150 gallons each.
Natives of Brookhaven Town, Carlin said he and Waltz once envisioned a tasting room somewhere closer to home, but are looking forward to being a part of Riverhead’s growing beer scene.
“Long Ireland Brewing encouraged us to come to Riverhead,” he said. “[This town] was much more welcoming.”
Long Beard Brewing Company will be located at 24 East Second Street in Riverhead, for more information visit longbeardbrewing.com.