As the director of operations of a new Riverhead-based brewery, Duffy Griffiths has found himself back where he was five years ago. Until 2015, Griffiths was the original brewer at Crooked Ladder Brewery, which closed last year, and now he is opening up Tradewinds Brewing Company in that same spot along with his wife Wendy and business partner Kristi Macdonald.
Located at 70 West Main Street in downtown Riverhead, Tradewinds held a soft opening last weekend with five beers on the menu — the Lilly light lager, the No Paddle pilsner, the Alsatian Hefeweizen, the New Guy! New England IPA and the Breaking Tide double IPA.
After spending four years at Greenport Harbor Brewery as the director of brewing operations, Griffiths left to focus on the small boutique, high-end craft beer destination he hopes Tradewinds can become, he said. The Hefeweizen, the first beer of their summer season, he describes as refreshing with banana and clove flavorings. The New Guy! IPA is super hoppy and hazy with coconut notes and tropical fruit flavors while Breaking Tide, the double IPA, has classic citrus notes.
“It’s eight and a half percent,” Griffiths said. “That’s definitely not something you can have a few of.”
The team behind Tradewinds started making plans to open before the coronavirus hit and anticipated opening in the Spring.
“We were planning on hitting the ground running come around April or May,” said Griffiths, who also owns Duffy’s Deli in Jamesport. “Due to COVID, we were holding what we did back a little bit. We brewed two lagers — a pilsner and light lager, because we knew we could store the lager in the tanks.” The lager would last while IPAs they knew they could make in less time, about 10 days to two weeks, he said.
Over the next few weeks, Tradewinds will add a few more beer choices to its menu, including some more IPAs. “We have a lot of different beers coming out. We did a New England IPA yesterday. We will brew another IPA tomorrow,” Griffiths said. “It’ll be a bit IPA-forward for the summer.”
Now that the brewery is open, Griffiths is excited about what it can bring to the community, especially considering that Tradewinds Brewing Company is one of four breweries currently operating in Riverhead, with two more in the works.
“Not everybody’s going to love every beer, but we want every beer to be great in the style that we are doing,” he said. “When they come in, we want them to have a couple beers and maybe go to our friends in the area and be part of the community.”
Griffiths added that there’s potential to eventually have brewery tours in Riverhead, something that can showcase the different styles of beer throughout the town.
To visit the Tradewinds Brewing Company tasting room, the hours are Thursday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
70 W. Main St. in Riverhead.