11/01/18 6:01am

Pat Alfred takes a beer break at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.’s Carpenter Street location. (Credit: David Benthal)

It’s a Friday afternoon in September at the original Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. and Pat Alfred is loading kegs of the brewery’s new Respect to Process pale ale onto a pallet.

It’s past Labor Day, but the temperature inside the brewing space is approaching 100 degrees, so beads of sweat drip down the brewer’s face as he labors through the end of his day.

Before he calls it quits, Alfred breaks out a hose. The kegs get sprayed. The floor gets cleaned. Everything gets sanitized. (more…)

04/09/15 9:37am
John Liegey and Rich Vandenburgh on the bottling ling on Wednesday. (Credit: Pauk Squire)

John Liegey and Rich Vandenburgh on the bottling line on Wednesday. (Credit: Paul Squire photos)

Check the shelves at your local supermarket and chances are you’ll find bottles of Budweiser, Samuel Adams, and Coors.

But starting later this month, you’ll also find Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. six-packs.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. started its first bottling run Wednesday at its Peconic building, churning out freshly-labeled Otherside IPAs.

Starting April 20th, those beers — along with Black Duck Porter, Summer Ale and the Harbor Pale — will be distributed to Waldbaums, King Kullen, local IGA supermarkets, 7-Eleven and Whole Foods across New York, said founders John Liegey and Richard Vandenburgh.

The bottles will be available in Buffalo and as far north as Canada. By May, the beers will be available in Connecticut too.

“When we started almost six years ago, we thought we would just be in a little firehouse,” Vandenburgh said. “It’s just amazing how it’s taken off. It’s pretty mind-blowing.”

The mood in Greenport Harbor Brewing’s Peconic bottling room was jubilant Wednesday afternoon. Employees took turns filing fresh bottles into the labeling machine and placing the finished bottles into six-packs. In between checking the machines and putting away bottles, Liegey whipped out a camera to document the day.

When an employee accidentally dropped an empty brown bottle near the labeling machine, shattering the bottle to pieces, the rest of the workers laughed and cheered.

A peek inside @greenportbrew's first bottling run. They'll hit stores later this month. #beer

A video posted by pauljsquire (@pauljsquire) on

Liegey said at peak efficiency, the bottling line can churn out 3,000 bottles an hour. On Wednesday, they were running about 1,800 per hour.

“It’s awesome,” Liegey said over the din of the machine and the clink of bottles shuffling around. “This is going to push us out much farther.”

Vandenburgh said the opportunity to bottle on the North Fork fits their mission for the company: to stay true to its local roots, even while filling this month’s 5,000 crate order.

“We want to make sure every ounce of our beer is made on the North Fork,” he said. “We want to have our hands on every bottle and every keg.”

As the bottles spun around the bottling line, head brewer D.J. Swanson stocked the machine with empty bottles. He recalled joining the company on day one, working as a consultant.

Back then, it was just the three of them. On Wednesday, the room was filled with a dozen workers.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Swanson said. “It’s good to finally see it happen. We’ve come a long way.”


Greenport Harbor Brewing

Greenport Harbor Brewing

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. brewmaster Joe Hayes sorts bottles Wednesday of the company's first batch of Otherside IPA, their first bottled beers. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. brewmaster Joe Hayes sorts bottles Wednesday of the company’s first batch of Otherside IPA, their first bottled beers. (Credit: Paul Squire)

01/10/14 11:31am
Photo by Cyndi Murray

Photo by Cyndi Murray

When beer and food are paired well together, it brings out the best flavor in both the meal and the brew, according to Greenport Harbor Brewery Company co-owner John Liegey.

That was certainly the case Thursday night at Love Lane Kitchen in Mattituck. For the month of January the restaurant is teaming up with a different local brewer each Thursday night for a carefully crafted four-course dinner and beer pairing. (more…)

10/13/13 1:00am
greenport harbor brewing wine press north fork

Photos by Matt Furman (bottom left photo by Randee Daddona)

John Liegey and Richard Vandenburgh are local innovators, opening the North Fork’s first brewery in Greenport in 2009. They perceived opportunity, not adversity, during prior visits to the beer-desolate peninsula and wanted to inject variety into the village, once a prominent whaling port, with a hops-wrapped harpoon. (more…)