By JIM MCCUNE //
Garvies Point Craft Brewery was so excited about its first-ever can release, the Glen Cove-based company decided to double down on the event by premiering both its award-winning Gold Coast Double IPA and the first of a new sour series called Sour Batch Citra.
The Double IPA runs 8 percent ABV; the Citra, a wheat ale, tops out at 5.1 percent with a pH of 3.5.
Garvies Point is the latest to join the national trend of packaging small batch beers in 16 oz. cans and selling them at wildly popular release parties. In many spots, craft beer aficionados line up outside their favorite brewery in early morning to ensure they get the latest and greatest limited-edition beer, which is typically canned fresh – usually within 48 hours of the sale – and runs $18 to $24 per 4 pack.
In operation for under a year, Garvies Point is located smack in the middle of the massive $1 billion Garvies Point Waterfront Redevelopment Project at Glen Cove, which is expected to include ferry service to New York City, 1,100 new housing units, restaurants, shops, a boat basin and an amphitheater.
“We grew up here, so this is home to us,” said brewery co-owner Mark Scoroposki, “but we’re stoked to be a part of this exciting development and hope to be a permanent fixture for years to come.”
Garvies Point beers are available on tap at the most reputable craft beer bars and restaurants throughout the NY region, but until now the company has only released its creations on draft. Brewery co-owner and head brewer Ben Kossoff said the partners saw canning as a logical next step.
“It reaffirms our commitment to the quality and sustainability of our beers,” he said. “Unlike bottles, cans are hermetically sealed so no oxygen or light enters the package. If you keep the cans cold, it locks in the freshness and flavor.”
Changing consumer misconceptions about the quality and taste of canned craft beer have sparked a sharp increase in the number of craft brewers using cans, from 600 in 2012 to more than 3,000 today. Glass-lined cans, improved can-printing options and innovative mobile canning operations have all added to the boost.
“We decided to debut with our flagship Gold Coast Double IPA, a full-flavored Double IPA assertively-hopped for bold, juicy, citrus and tropical fruit flavors, but hazy and with enough high protein malts,” Scoroposki said. “And the first of our new series, Sour Batch Citra, a sour wheat beer considerably dry-hopped with Citra hops for a tart vibrant fruitiness.”
On a recent visit, the brewery tasting room was buzzing with a steady flow of customers visiting for fresh beer in growlers and, now, cans. Many sat down to enjoy a quick beer while the Garvies Point bartenders filled their jugs or collected their cans from the cold box.
Sour beers, which originally relied on air-borne natural yeasts, are funky, tart, fruity, unique and complex. While hoppy India Pale Ales and pumpkin brews still dominate the craft market, sours are enjoying a meteoric rise in popularity among those who enjoy what is affectionately referred to as “throat tang.”
Tim, a Glen Cove local, was enjoying a Sour Batch Citra at the bar.
“Garvies Point Brewery is one of the coolest things to happen to this town in a while,” he said. “I just started enjoying sour beers, and this is light, tart and refreshing. I can see myself drinking these at the beach this summer.”
Another customer, Joe from Farmingdale, was enthralled with the Double IPA.
“I love dry-hopped DIPAs,” he said. “When I heard this had five varieties of hops I was like, I have to try this, so we headed over here for the release party. We love supporting local breweries. And we heard they have great pretzels.”
Coming soon to the sour series, a new release called Blueberry Mosaic, plus an On Point rotating Single IPA and the Wunderkind Single IPA.
Gold Coast DIPA and Sour Batch Citra cans are available with no limits, on a first come first served basis, while supplies last at Garvies Point Craft Brewery: 1 Garvies Point Road in Glen Cove. Visit garviespointbrewing.com.
McCune is director of the Craft Beverage Division of Melville-based EGC Group. Reach him via firstname.lastname@example.org or at 516-935-4944.