Craft Beer Week kicks off with, um, lots of beer

By JIM MCCUNE //

Long Island Craft Beer Week gets a head start on the national celebration today, with special brews, charity events, brews, food, brews and music.

The Colorado-based Brewers Association launched the national event more than 10 years ago, offering beer fans the chance to celebrate the culture and fast-growing community of craft brewers. And with more than 4,269 US breweries in operation – 41 of them right here on Long Island – there’s plenty to celebrate.

Some advice for local fans: Download the LI Craft Beer Week App. Plan ahead. Get out and experience some of these fantastic local events. Pair great beer with great food. Experiment with new beer styles. Oh, and donate to the Craft Cares Cans for a Can program.

The deal? You trade two cans of food for one can of Craft Cares IPA, an exclusive, small batch, charity-collab beer. One can per person, while supplies last, and they won’t for long.

The Cans for a Can program is being run at:

1940s Brewing Co.,1337-1 Lincoln Ave., Holbrook

Anthony’s Coal Fire Pizza, 6401 Jericho Turnpike, Commack

Bellport Cold Beer & Soda, 417 Station Road, Bellport

The Black Sheep Ale House, 78 2nd St., Mineola

Blue Point Brewery, 161 River Ave., Patchogue

Bobbique, 70 W. Main St., Patchogue

BrickHouse Brewery, 67 W. Main St., Patchogue

Craft Beer Cellar, 24 Main St., Port Washington

Destination Unknown Beer Co., 1 S. Chicago Ave., Bay Shore

Homebrew & Handgrenades, 2378 Grand Ave., Baldwin

Hotel Indigo, 1830 W. Main St., Route 25, Riverhead

Lithology Brewing Co., 211 Main St., Farmingdale

Moustache Brewing Co., 400 Hallett Ave., Riverhead

Parlay Gastropub, 210 Merrick Road, Rockville Centre

Port Jeff Beverage, 5 Railroad Ave., Port Jefferson Station

Port Jeff Brewing Co., 22 Mill Creek Road, Port Jefferson

Sand City Brewing Co., 60 Main St., Northport

Spider Bite Brewery, 920 Lincoln Ave., Unit 5, Holbrook

The Tap Room, 114 W. Main St., Patchogue

You can also sign up to receive your very own commemorative 2016 Long Island Craft Beer Week Pint Glass (offer ends May 15, so go here immediately.) Then, starting Monday evening, May 16, you can pick up your free glass at the following locations:

Bobbique, 70 W. Main St., Patchogue

The Black Sheep Ale House, 78 2nd St., Mineola

Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, 6401 Jericho Turnpike, Commack

The Tap House, 114 W. Main St., Patchogue

Parlay Gastropub, 210 Merrick Road, Rockville Centre

J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern, 57 Lido Blvd., Point Lookout

The pint glass is free, but you are encouraged to support local brewers by filling it up with a refreshing craft beer.

On Saturday, May 14, watch ‪Firefighter Ray Cooney, along with head ‪brewer Stevie and Nate from Crooked Ladder Brewing Co. of Riverhead cook with their fresh, handcrafted beers on the television show, Firehouse Kitchen. Tune-in Saturday at 5:30 p.m. on WVVH Hamptons TV – Optimum (CH78), FIOS (CH14) and Over-the-Air (CH50) to check it out.

“I am super excited for LICBW, and Firehouse Kitchen,” said Stevie Czelatka, Crooked Ladder’s head brewer and production manager. “Every year the event gets larger and larger, as interest in the Long Island craft beer scene grows.”

On Tuesday, May 17, Lithology Brewing hosts a tap takeover at the Village Idiot in Patchogue from 6 to 9 p.m. plus a raffling-off of free flights at the firm’s new tasting room in Farmingdale.

“We’re excited to be able to participate in such a great cause this year,” Lithology co-owner Marc Jackson said. “It means a lot to us to be able to collaborate with such talented brewers and to give back to the community in the process.”

On Saturday, May 22, there’s music, yoga, life balance and beer from Sophia of NY Foodgasm at the BrickHouse Brewery at 67 W. Main St. in Patchogue.

Go here for the full schedule of local events. Download the app here. And if you have a question about Long Island Craft Beer Week, email the good folks here: longislandcraftbeerweek@gmail.com

McCune is director of the Craft Beverage Division of Melville-based EGC Group. Reach him via jimm@egcgroup.com or at 516-935-4944.