Long Island Brewery Adventure: Day One of My LI Beer Tour


The epic journey across Long Island begins with postponement due to bad weather. Read on, for a fantastic beer from the Spider Bite Brewing Company raises my spirits, and today I visit the Port Jeff ...

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Monday was mainly a travel day. The weather report was calling for snow later in the afternoon, and rush hour on the Long Island Expressway is a mess without the addition of precipitation. I had to get here in a bit of a hurry. This, however, did not stop me from stopping in New Paltz, New York, to visit The Gilded Otter Brewing Company for lunch and a flight of beers. I know, I know: this isn't a Long Island brewery! Trust me, it's worth it. And driving past Exit 18 on I-87 offers me an excuse to stop in every time.

With an epic view of the Shawangunk Ridge and the slowly flowing water of the Wallkill, this brewpub is one of my favorites in the state. It's right on Main Street in New Paltz, and if you find yourself up that way looking for someplace to have a good beer in a fun and unique atmosphere, do not hesitate to give it a chance. The standouts on the flight were the Catskill Mountains Black IPA and the Stone House Imperial Stout, both darker, maltier beers with higher alchohol contents. Read my full review of The Gilded Otter here, on my blog.

Now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the commencement of my Long Island Brewery Adventure. I will not disappoint. Last night, since the weather kept me close to home, I went out and purchased a four pack of a highly well-reviewed Imperial Stout from the Spider Bite Brewing Company, Boris the Spider. What a great interpretation of the style. The bottle pour was solid black with a beautiful khaki head. The eight different malts provide a rich chocolate aroma as well as a hint of coffee in the back and a slight amount of bitterness. This brew hides its 10% alcohol by volume well, and last night, as the winds howled outside, I was toasty warm by the fire with one of these bad boys. Spider Bite Brewing: Can I visit? Please? I want to thank you in person.

Today, I'm off to The Port Jeff Brewing Company, ostensibly to try their new 2013 Ryes-N-Bok, and of course all of the other beers that have been bringing the brewery a great deal of publicty as of late. I also hear a rumor that they have a Black IPA. Fear not, dear reader. I will find out the truth. After Port Jeff, I'm headed to Lake Grove to give John Harvard's Brew House a try. I hear good things. Needless to say, I'm excited.

Follow me live throughout the day on Twitter, @InTheNameOfBeer, and throw me some recommendations so I can seek them out! Check back right here at LongIsland.com to keep tabs on my #LIBrewTrip. Cheers!

Greg Back is a brewer, blogger, and beer geek visiting from the Albany area. He is currently in the midst of a long journey across New York to introduce the Original Pale Ale, a beer made with locally-sourced ingredients by the Bly Hollow Brewery, as well as to meet people all across the Empire State who share his love of beer. Follow his progress in his Long Island Brewery Adventure right here on LongIsland.com, and also visit his website, inthenameofbeer.com.