More than a decade into its existence, it would be hard to describe Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. as anything but a success.
Now with two locations — including a larger tasting space in Peconic that includes dining — and a growing distribution, the business has claimed its place as one of Long Island’s most successful craft breweries.
But that doesn’t mean the team at Greenport Harbor is resting on its laurels. Last week, owners Rich Vandenburgh and John Liegey announced the hiring of two familiar faces in the local craft beer world, a pair of moves made with an eye toward the future.
Greg Doroski of Mattituck, a former partner and head brewer at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn, who actually began his career as an intern at Greenport Harbor in its first year, returned to the brewery Monday in the new role of innovations director. He’s joined by the former owner and operator of Hoptron Brewtique in Patchogue, Amanda Danielsen, who started last week as general manager of retail services.
Both said they’re excited to join a forward-thinking company.
“As fantastic as the product is now, every business has to think about the next level, where’s the next customer base,” Danielsen said. “That’s something that both of us, in different ways, will be bringing to this endeavor. It’s super exciting.”
The duo joins other hires Greenport has made in the past couple years that have made a splash, including chef Greg Ling, who brought his unique approach to casual dining to the Peconic space, and head brewer Pat Alfred, who lends a creative eye to the operation, which now produces about 10,000 barrels a year.
Danielsen and Doroski have a history of collaboration as she coveted Threes Brewing to have a presence in her former tasting room, which closed in 2019 after seven years in business.
And both new employees have longstanding relationships with Greenport Harbor. Doroski worked his way up from intern — his first responsibility was to paint the exterior of the Greenport space — to assistant brewer and later brewer before helping to found Threes Brewing in 2014. He left the popular Gowanus brewery in 2017, after plans to open a production facility in Cutchogue fell through. He most recently ran unsuccessfully for Southold Town Supervisor in 2019, a campaign that may have indirectly paved the way for his return to the brewery.
It was in the moments after he learned he officially lost by slightly more than 100 votes that Doroski received a call from Liegey about returning to the company where his career began. His experience building relationships on the campaign trail should come in handy in his new role, he said.
“I hope to help Rich and John plot Greenport Harbor’s course into the future and assume the lead on examining overall operations and processes in the brewery with an eye to continuing to pursue better efficiencies, techniques, processes and culture,” Doroski said in the announcement that he was coming on board.
Liegey and Vandenburgh said Doroski’s new role will also expand to existing lines of business and to develop new opportunities.
Both Doroski and Danielsen, who is overseeing operations and team members working in both tasting spots in her new role, see working with other businesses, including nearby breweries, as an important part of Greenport’s future. Danielsen reflects on how successful events that brought breweries together were at her former tasting spot and Doroski gets excited talking about how the brewery could partner with area farms and restaurants.
Both said the transition from an ownership position to employee was made easier by their faith in the Greenport brand.
“It’s hard to take the step to work for someone else and I wouldn’t have done it unless it’s a company that I respected, owners I respected and also a product I would want to put my name on,” Danielsen said.
“They’re making great beer,” he said of the Greenport team. “The food is great. The vibe is great. And they’re great guys.”