North Fork Brewing Company is celebrating the opening of its Riverhead tasting room just in time for Fourth of July.
The East Second Street tasting room — located in the former Riverhead Fire Department headquarters — is raising its garage door to welcome the public for the first time on Friday, June 29 from 3 to 9 p.m.
The company, headed by cousins Peter Barraud of Baiting Hollow and Ian Van Bourgondien of Southold, offers a wide range of brews from IPAs to stouts to experimental ales and a sour with decidedly local infusions.
The brewery is opening with seven beers on tap including traditional and new age IPAs such as the flagship West coast style “Pierce the Ale.” Other beers include a coffee maple breakfast stout, a pale ale and wild beers made with yeast Van Bourgondien cultivates locally from beach plums, blackberries and other fruits for beers that are distinct to this region.
The brewery also locally sources its grains and hops, which Barraud and Van Bourgondien grow at their family farm in Peconic.
“We have been working hard to have as many beers on tap as we could by the time we open,” Barraud said. “We are trying to showcase our wingspan as brewers. All of our beers are very different.”
Local is a sticking point. They hired another of Van Bourgondien’s cousins, Southold native Caitlin Flynn and her business partner Elyse Parkhurst of North Fork Design Co., to create the modern tasting room. Along the way, various family members and friends also pitched into help with everything from scrubbing the bathrooms to building the bar.
“To have the people we grew up with help us with this next phase of our lives has been awesome,” Van Bourgondien said. “It makes the opening even more special — this isn’t just Pete and Ian’s thing. Nothing would be possible without family and friends.”
Some of those friends are artist Mike Everitt of Everitt Design in Wading River, who painted the eye-catching mural opposite the bar, and Ricky Saetta of Est. 1981 in Greenport, who crafted the installment to the right of the taps.
“It is nice do to things like this in your hometown,” Van Bourgondien said.
North Fork Brewing Co. will offer rotating taps throughout the year. The brewers are currently working on aging beer in rye whiskey barrels from Long Island Spirits in Baiting Hollow and in red wine barrels from Pindar Vineyards in Peconic. The tasting room also offers Bridge Lane rosé, Raphael sauvignon blanc and a nonalcoholic root beer made with the brewery’s hops.
North Fork Brewing Co. will also be open Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 from noon to 9 p.m. as well as for the July 4 holiday. Visit northforkbrewingco.com for additional hours and information.
Check out more photos from inside the brewery below: