There has never been a better time to be a beer drinker on Long Island. Many out-of-state breweries have grown and expanded distribution to New York in recent years, making it possible to find former-unicorn beers like Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale (a great hop-forward ale) in local beer shops.
Even more exciting is the proliferation and growth in local Long Island breweries. I honestly can’t even keep track of all the new breweries that are popping up seemingly every couple of weeks. Quality varies, of course, but freshness really counts in beer and a fresh, locally brewed mediocre beer is still better than a stale one brewed on the West Coast.
Now, some breweries that used to only offer their beers in keg/growler/tap format are bottling or canning their beers, too — so you don’t need to go to the brewery to get your hands on them.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. has been bottling beers for a while now, but that move, along with a growth in production, means I can find one of my favorite New York IPAs, their “Otherside” IPA, just about anywhere that I find myself. I see it at a lot of restaurants and bars, and even my local grocery store chain has it in a small display of locally brewed beers.
There was a time, not that long ago, when I didn’t drink beer at most restaurants and bars because I didn’t want to drink mass-produced, flavorless lagers. More often than not, I can find something better to drink now. And Otherside is my go-to if it’s on the list.
Brewed with Cascade, Centennial and Columbus hops, this is an assertive, well-hopped beer — but also extremely balanced by a not-too-sweet malty backbone. At 7.5 percent abv, it may not be the ideal session beer, but as a guy who loves hoppy West Coast IPAs, this is in the same vein and brewed a whole lot closer to home.
And like I said— it’s pretty easy to find. In fact, it’s probably the easiest-to find-recipe I’ve ever written about here.