Coolest northforker stories of 2018: Riverhead craft beer industry continues to grow

Peter Barraud and Ian Van Bourgondien opened North Fork Brewing Co. in June. (Credit: David Benthal)

The highly anticipated North Fork Brewing Co. opened its doors in June in Riverhead to the delight of craft beer drinkers. 

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 locally sources its grains and hops, which Barraud and Van Bourgondien grow at their family farm in Peconic.

The East Second Street tasting room — located in the former Riverhead Fire Department headquarters — also offers Bridge Lane rosé, Raphael sauvignon blanc and a nonalcoholic root beer made with the brewery’s hops.

North Fork Brewing Co. was not the only Riverhead brewery to open a new tasting room. Moustache Brewing Co. unveiled its newly expanded tasting room in October. The 1,400-square-foot tasting room is more than three times the size of its original 400-square-foot space — and not too far away either.

Co-owners Lauri and Matt Spitz signed the lease to take over the rest of the building that housed their Hallet Avenue operation in October 2017. The larger space not only gives guests more room to enjoy their beer, it allows the brewers flexibility and the ability to increase production.