Food Tech

It’s always Friday for some LI microbrews

By GREGORY ZELLER // Long Islanders who appreciate small-batch craft beers can now find them on tap in the mothership of large-scale commercialization: TGI Fridays. In addition to stalwart suds like Budweiser and Coors, the Texas-based restaurant chain is now serving microbrews at several Long Island locations, part of a larger corporate effort to capitalize on the increasing popularity of regional craft beverages. While it includes beers from several Northeast locales – including the fall-flavored…


Capping off 30 great years

By GREGORY ZELLER // There’s a few things you should know about EGC 1985 IPA, the newest concoction of Riverhead’s Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. Leaning towards orange in color, the India Pale Ale is made with four varieties of West Coast hops, giving it a powerful aroma and taste. It has a stronger alcohol content than 70 West, the microbrewery’s flagship brew, and significantly more hops. Only about 20 cases of the IPA have been…


Industrial gastropub docks at Port Jeff

By JIM McCUNE // Craft brewing is helping popularize a new wave of gastropubs, where small-batch craft beer and spirits are paired with high-level cuisine. Long Island is home to more than 30 of them, with the latest, Brewology295, recently joining the bustling Port Jefferson bar scene. The concept of a restaurant within a bar reinvigorated London’s pub and dining culture in the early 1990s and then slowly made its way to the United States….


A little more help for craft beverages

New York has made life a little easier for craft beverage companies. Three new laws signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo ease burdens on microbreweries, farm distilleries and retail enterprises engaged in the craft-beverage business. Under the retail-focused law, retail outlets that sell beer, cider and liquor are now authorized to conduct tastings without the manufacturer or wholesaler being present, overturning previous laws requiring the participation of a representative of the craft-beverage-maker. State Sen. Carl Marcellino…


Cuomo touts boost to NY distillers

Bottoms up, New York. Not only does the state – and Long Island in particular – house a growing craft-beer scene, but liquor-, cider- and wine-producing distilleries are also pouring in, thanks in no small part to cost-savings policies implemented specifically to help these spirits-makers thrive. Policy changes since 2012 have saved New York distillers over $450,000 in labeling and licensing fees, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, and helped increase the number of statewide…


Jim McCune: Pouring it on in Port Jefferson

By JIMMY MCCUNE // Port Jefferson’s LI Pour House is the first Long Island establishment to deploy iPourIt, an RFID-controlled tap system that allows customers to sample their favorite brews without help from a waitress or bartender. “You pour what you want, and pay for what you pour,” noted co-owner and manager Anthony Pallino. “No bartender, no wait.” The system was developed by a pair of California entrepreneurs – beer drinkers, of course – after…


Keren Gilbert’s incredible rise from overwhelmed mom to diet celeb and bagel queen

By GREGORY ZELLER // With a popular diet plan, a new book and a line of beneficial bagels – plus an extensive TV résumé flipping from the “Today” show to “Access Hollywood” – dietician Keren Gilbert is poised for Atkins-level stardom. Six years ago, she’d have laughed at the notion. Her husband and business partner, investment banker Jonathan Gilbert, would not have laughed. “I knew,” he said. “I always believed it. Keren is just too…


Where success requires a little shelf examination

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s one thing for a food startup to conquer the weekend farmer’s market circuit, something much more to break into retail, where the average grocery store offers customers more than 40,000 items, with 20,000 new ones introduced nationally every year. Of which 80 percent fail. How to win over the big boys and keep them coming back for more? There’s an incubator for that. Welcome Spring to Market, a new initiative…


Steve Gold

And yes, you can have fries with this

BY GREGORY ZELLER // Cluck ’n Moo, an innovative substitute for the classic beef patty that introduces lean poultry to the mix, is ready to take wing. Inventor Steve Gold says the resulting beef-and-chicken hybrid lowers the fat and calorie content without skimping on taste or texture, and with Cluck ’n Moo already gracing supermarkets across New York, he’s on the hunt for $750,000 in venture capital to spread the word. Some members of the…


Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo orders minimum wage panel

Attention food startups: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered up a state wage board to study the food sector in New York and make recommendations on the minimum wage workers should be paid. Cuomo was rebuffed by lawmakers during the budget process on a proposal to raise the minimum wage for all workers to $11.50 in New York City and $10.50 in the rest of the state. His latest effort, which sidesteps legislators, relies on an…


Irwin Simon, Hain Celestial

Hain Celestial posts record quarterly sales

Lake Success-based Hain Celestial Group reported record third-quarter numbers led by surging sales of its organic products and the boost of new acquisitions, despite the impact of a strong U.S. dollar overseas. Hain, which owns Celestial Seasonings, Earth’s Best and the improbably popular Terra chips brands, posted quarterly sales of $662.7 million, an almost 19 percent increase over the same quarter a year ago. Without foreign currency swings, sales would have leapt almost 25 percent….


Cooking With Chef Michelle

In gluten-free baking, still room for innovation

BY GREGORY ZELLER // Bakers are no longer known primarily for innovation. Television contests may demand interesting new shapes for cookies and cakes, but in the early 21st century, virtually every combination of eggs, butter and flour has been tried. The difference between a 350 or 375 degree oven has been well-documented. There are no baking worlds left to conquer. Save perhaps one. In an increasingly gluten-free world, many baked products prepared without traditional wheat-,…