By Derek S. Gerard
It seems like every time I look, a new microbrewery is opening up on Long Island. This is, of course, awesome. Long Island has 40-something wineries and a distillery, so why not kick it into high gear and bring more craft beer to the people?
Port Jeff is a great town in Suffolk county that most of you have probably been to if you’ve taken the ferry from Long Island to Connecticut. Port Jeff Brewing is bringing the beer scene over there to the forefront. At the brewery, which opened up in 2011, you can have yourself a merry little tasting of most (if not all) of their currently produced beers, get yourself a growler, and have a nice chat with the tasting room staff.
The brewery location itself features a 7-barrel brewing system, and a lovely little tasting room with a bar that looks like a boat, which is fun! Some of their featured beers include the Schooner Ale (English style pale-ale), Port Jeff Porter (smooth, dark colored and sweetened with local organic honey) and the Runaway Ferry Imperial IPA, which boasts a criminally insane rating of 109 IBU. IBU refers to the International Bitter Units scale, and a rating of over a hundred means you’ve got some deliciously bitter beer in your future! My favorite beer of theirs is the Belgian-styled H3 (Tripel H), which is a bit sweet and finishes dry.
With all that beer tasting one may get hungry, and in that case, there are a plethora of awesome dining options within walking distance (or stumbling distance). For delicious hamburgers check out the huge selection at the Gourmet Burger Bistro, for Mexican food check out the Port Jeff classic Salsa Salsa, and if you’re looking for an inexpensive lobster dinner you’re right down the road from the legendary Tara Inn. For a current list of Port Jeff Brewery’s delicious beers check out their website http://www.portjeffbrewing.com
Port Jeff Brewing
22 Mill Creek Rd
Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Hours of Operation: Daily, Noon to 8PM
Ransom Wines & SpiritsThis young, ambitious whiskey has more character than most whiskeys 10 times its age! Ransom's distillers thought way outside the box here, and we think the result is one of the most fascinating youngsters on the market. Whipper Snapper is a blend of two whiskeys: One made from both malted and unmalted locally-grown barley, and another by re-distilling a Kentucky white corn whiskey to a high proof. These get combined, then split into a variety of barrels for aging: French pinot noir, new American oak and used American whiskey barrels. Ransom selects eight different barrels for each batch with an average aging time of one year, and blends them together for the final spirit. tip of the tongue Whiskey fans searching for something new will be fascinated by this one. We haven't tasted anything else quite like it.$36.00
Ransom Wines & SpiritsIt's alive! Ransom has brought Old Tom back from the dead. This gin is based on an old, practically extinct recipe from America's pre-Prohibition heyday, revived and developed with the help of cocktail historian David Wondrich, so you know it's gotta be good. The first time we took a sip, we were blown away by its malty, subtle sweetness and smooth vanilla notes picked up from barrel-aging. We can't stop talking about it (or drinking it) . Ransom's Old Tom Gin won the 2013 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the 2013 San Diego Spirits Festival and the 7th Annual American Distilling Institute Judging. tip of the tongue We love this gin on the rocks with a lemon twist. This is the perfect gift for a serious home bartender or a whiskey fan that wants to try something new. Did you know? Gin can be infused with a wide variety of botanicals, but it MUST contain juniper berries, which are responsible for that distinct, piney, gin-y flavor.$44.00
Ransom Wines & SpiritsThis gin is an amazing blend of old-school and modern styles, harkening back to the gin first invented by the Dutch, called genever. Ransom's take displays the malty, hoppy aromas of the style with a more intense 14-botanical infusion - including Oregon marionberry and local hops. Distiller Tad Seestedt is known for his modern nods to classic spirits, always paying respects to history but putting his own spin on the flavors and concepts. Unsurprisingly, this gin won gold at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. tip of the tongue Highly aromatic and nicely dry, this one's excellent for sipping neat or enjoying as part of a kopstoot, the Dutch version of "shot and a beer. Savor the botanical flavor combination, rather than shooting this gin in one gulp! DID YOU KNOW? Gin can be infused with a wide variety of botanicals, but it MUST contain juniper berries, which are responsible for that distinct, piney, gin-y flavor.$38.00