04/16/14 8:00am
04/16/2014 8:00 AM
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces new reforms to ease restrictions on farm wineries. (Credit: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office)

Local wineries and farm breweries are celebrating recent statewide reforms they say will both reduce the financial burden on the local beverage industry and give them more freedom to sell and distribute their products. (more…)

09/03/13 12:00pm
09/03/2013 12:00 PM

GIANNA VOLPE FILE PHOTO | Greenport Harbor Brewing Company co-owner Rich Vandenburgh in front of the company’s proposed Peconic location in February.

Delayed while paperwork was compiled for the banks, construction is expected to resume soon at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company’s second location in Peconic, said co-owner Rich Vandenburgh.

It was announced in December 2011 that the local craft beer company, which opened in 2009 on Carpenter Street in Greenport, would take over the vacant Lucas Ford dealership at the corner of Route 25 and Peconic Lane. The doors of the new location were to open this past May.

Remodeling of the three-acre property got off to a running start, but hit a snag earlier this year after the company applied for a small business loan to complete the work, Mr. Vandenburgh said.

“Finalizing the financing has been difficult,” he said.

The company applied for a U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Loan, which requires a significant amount of documentation, including an environmental site assessment, he explained.

Mr. Vandenburgh said the paperwork is finally complete and he believes Greenport Harbor Bewing Company is 30 to 40 days away from restarting construction. He and his partner, John Leigey, hope to begin beer production in January, with a grand opening in May 2014.

“We can’t make and sell the beer fast enough,” Mr. Vandenburgh said.

The new location will go beyond a typical tasting room. The plan is to run a brew-pub-style restaurant that will incorporate a 25,000-barrel brew house system, as well as a tasting room with indoor and outdoor seating.

Mr. Vandenburgh and Mr. Liegey said the new space will not only help the company increase operations, but will also provide the land to “cultivate and explore locally grown crops, solidifying the North Fork as a local beer destination.”

“We’ll get there eventually,” Mr. Vandenburgh said.

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02/22/13 8:00am
02/22/2013 8:00 AM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Greenport Harbor Brewing Company co-owner Rich Vandenburgh in front of the company’s new Peconic location.

Though the Greenport Harbor Brewing Company is still taking baby steps to get the its Peconic location up and running, owner Rich Vandenburgh has not stopped dreaming big.

The Southold resident told The Suffolk Times he’d like to run a brew-pub-style restaurant at the property.

“The property is just under three acres so we’d have that ability there, and it’s kind of the ideal space for one,” Mr. Vandenburgh said. “We’re keeping [the Greenport location], that’s our heart and soul, but the new property would allow us to cultivate the brew pub restaurant side of the business.”

Building a brew pub in Southold would reflect local and national expansions of the craft beer industry.

Not only are two new breweries already in the works in Riverhead just two months into 2013, but Mr. Vandenburgh said the number of U.S. brewers registered with the Brewer’s Association has also been on the rise.

“When we first started three years ago there were just about 1,200 brewers nationwide,” he said. “Last time I checked, that number was over 2,000, with 700 to 1,000 breweries in planning. Long Island hasn’t historically been a leader in the craft beer world, but I think there’s a lot of talented, motivated people that recognize there’s a lot of room in the Long Island market for good craft beer.”

His advice for those thinking about getting into the brew game?

“Just do it,” he said. “Don’t worry about failure. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing then go for it. Start out small and build it up; that’s what’s happening with us.”

Though Mr. Vandenburgh said he is in favor of making his brew pub dreams a reality, he said some local restaurants and pubs aren’t so hot on the idea.

“We’ve gotten some pushback,” he said, “We explain to those people who bristle that it’s not an us-against-you thing. There needs to be a chorus where we’re all singing together to raise an appeal to the East End.”

He said developing the East End’s craft beer industry has the potential to bring in visitors to benefit all area restaurants.

“We feel like it’s a hot spot for craft beer and if the East End is becoming a place where wine and beer enthusiasts are coming to visit for the weekend, they may have a meal with us,” he said, “but they’ll also go to other locations and have meals. We want to make sure all the restaurants are going to succeed.

“Some places don’t [understand] that and it’s unfortunate. We’re not looking to take food out of restaurant owners’ mouths.”

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