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Peter and Larry Frasca opened The Branch Brewing Co. to showcase their love of beer. (Photo credit: Lilly Parnell)

Centuries ago in Italy, a branch — or frasca — hanging over the front door of a cantina would signal to weary farmers that this was a proper place to unwind and quench a thirst after a long day’s harvest. When brothers Larry and Peter Frasca decided to open a new brew pub in Mattituck, well… it seemed like the place named itself.

With The Branch, the Frasca brothers aspire to extend their own branches of welcome to North Fork locals and visitors alike. Set up at the junction of Sound Avenue and North Road in Mattituck, The Branch Brewing Company is the newest addition to the North Fork’s ever-expanding sudsy scene. 

Opening its doors on Thursday, November 16, the brewery offers a place to find friendly faces and unwind, while simultaneously showcasing a collection of New York-made beers, craft cocktails and much more. 

“We have 72 mirrored taps, which means we can showcase 42 different types of products at one time,” said co-owner Peter Fresca. “We get to highlight all our favorite breweries and put them in a single place.” 

For over 20 years, Larry worked in the hospitality industry and always carried an appreciation for beer and all its varieties. In 2010 he began experimenting with home brewing kits alongside his brother Peter. The two would meet at Larry’s home in Kings Park, testing unique flavors and styles and making many mistakes along the way. 

“We had the ‘Oops IPA’ in 2012, where we put too much water into the vessel and had to make a mad scramble adding whatever ingredients we had in the house to not waste the batch,” said Peter. “We had another one called ‘What’s Burning’ named for when Larry set his apron on fire and didn’t notice.” 

Although Larry’s dream of owning a brewery of his own has been in the works for nearly eight years, it was during the pandemic that the sibling duo — both desiring to escape the chaos of their corporate jobs — decided to turn their brotherly hobby into a new career path. 

For the next two years, Larry searched across Long Island looking for the perfect place to showcase the best local beers. “If there was a place on Mars where a brewery could go, I would have looked at it,” joked Larry. 

It was a year after Larry’s realtor initially came across the listing of North Fork Roadhouse in Mattituck that the Frascas could officially call it theirs. Quickly, the pair transformed the dimly lit wing and burger joint into a bright and welcoming space. 

Most of the renovations focused on refining the details. Eliminating the blue filters from the lights created a more expansive feel inside while adding black paint behind the chrome taps enhanced their visual appeal and made them pop. The lofted ceilings and exposed beams in the brewery’s main area evoke a cathedral-like atmosphere, earning it the endearing nickname of “beer church,” as one patron affectionately described the decor during a recent friends and family night. 

“Beer church” (Photo by Lilly Parnell)

With two outdoor patios, a permanent concrete stage, and ample parking, an abundance of entertainment events will be a guarantee even before the weather warms up. A complete menu of in-house smoked wings, burgers, and flatbreads created by head chef Derek Holmes will be served daily. However, the brothers emphasize that beer will be the main draw for patrons. 

“To this day, beer is considered the common man’s drink,” said Larry. “There’s a lot more to beer, there’s so much variety and nuance, and styles. What I think we’re trying to do here is elevate beer as a concept.” 

Peter Frasca, Derek Holmes, and Larry Frasca. (Photo by Lilly Parnell)

The duo wants The Branch to be an approachable place, serving a combination of familiar and unusual flavors and styles. They want patrons to indulge in elevated twists on and more funky ferments not often found on the East End. 

While the in-house brewing system is still in the works, The Branch currently has two Frasca originals on tap: a grapefruit IPA called “Pith Happens” and a German-style pilsner called “Glückspillen.” Both were brewed in collaboration with Robert Raffa’s übergeek Brewing Co. in Riverhead. Larry notes that the guidance of Raffa as well as Lisa and Fred Giachetti at Del Vino Vineyards in Northport, has made the process of opening the brewery much easier.

“[They] have been instrumental in getting us to this point with their friendship and support,” said Larry. “This industry is really weird because as much as we’re all kind of competitors, everybody’s willing to offer a tremendous amount of help.” 

That spirit of collaboration is prevalent in what’s in the glass at The Branch. Alongside their own creations, the Frasca brothers will showcase a collection of Empire State beers from Brooklyn, Queens, Riverhead, and Montauk. Additionally, three craft cocktails will be on tap provided by Montauk Distilling Co. in Riverhead. 

“There’s so much innovation happening in the beer space that makes me pretty excited,” said Peter. 

The space will eventually include an in-house brewing, with the outlines of a three and a half barrel system already in the works. The brothers plan to collaborate on all brewing operations, working together to create new flavors and styles unique to The Branch.

The Branch is located at 9095 Sound Ave., 631-315-BREW (2739). They will be open Wednesday and Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m. and from noon to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Find more information on their website.