Beverages

LI vineyards sparkle in NY wine awards

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Island can claim bragging rights to New York State’s 2017 Winery of the Year. At least, half of them. Southold’s Sparkling Pointe Vineyards has earned highest marks in the 2017 New York Wine & Food Classic, sharing the Winery of the Year crown with CK Cellars/Torrey Ridge Winery of the Finger Lakes region. The New York Wine & Food Classic, marking its 32nd year, is a nationally recognized competition that…

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Craft brewers take another giant hop

Craft brewers expanded their market share by 13 percent in 2015, cooking up 24.5 million barrels worth $22.3 billion, the Colorado-based Brewers Association announced this week. The dollar value now represents more than a fifth of all U.S. beer sales, an increase of 16 percent year over year. “For the past decade, craft brewers have charged into the market, seeing double digit growth for eight of those years,” said Bart Watson, the association’s chief economist….


Suffolk IDA takes a shine to incubator project

To give spirits-focused startups a chance to properly ferment, two East End entrepreneurs have launched a “distillery incubator” – and the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency is picking up the first round. The Suffolk IDA has approved a 10-year, $120,860 tax break for the Matchbook Distilling Co., the brainchild of East Enders Leslie Merinoff and Brian Kwasnieski. Their plan: help regional beverage-makers break into the small-batch market through with a complete farm-to-bottle distillery incubator. “We…


Wading once more into the crowd that loves them

By GREGORY ZELLER // Consider it a home-brewed version of Kickstarter. Riverhead’s Moustache Brewing Co., which launched following a successful 2012 campaign on the group-funding site, is once again appealing to its growing fan base – this time, to help fund new fermenting tanks essential to the microbrewery’s expansion plans. Building on their successful Growler of the Month Club, owners Lauri and Matthew Spitz have created The Moustache Brewing Co. Society for Fine Liquid Provisions,…


Collaboration that goes well beyond the pale

By JIMMY MCCUNE // Several years after opening A Taste of Long Island, a shared commercial kitchen and local-specialty food market, home brewer and foodpreneur Jim Thompson and his daughter Courtney have launched New York State’s first co-working brewery, an incubator located on Main Street in downtown Farmingdale. The brewing incubator is accessible to all aspiring brewers and fosters the development of local craft breweries by providing a pilot brewing facility, business consultation, storage, tap…


Paumanok scores big at Wine Advocate

Mark Squires, a former Philadelphia attorney turned full-time wine obsessive, is taking his new assignment on Wine Advocate’s Long Island watch seriously. Beginning in June, when he released some of the best reviews ever of local vintages, Squires has shown a clear thirst for Long Island wines, with a second round of reviews just released and more coming in December. In all, 26 wines scored 90 or above, with Paumanok Vineyards the big winner with…


Add a little amber to the orange and blue

The Blue Point Brewing Co. is going to the World Series. A pint (or six) of the Patchogue craft brewery’s flagship Toasted Lager is on the line – along with other spoils from across the Empire State – as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s World Series bet with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. In addition to wearing the other team’s jersey to work, the loser will deliver a care package of home-grown goodies. In Cuomo’s case, that…