Written by Michael Ventimiglia, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 05 October 2013 00:00
Knowing your craft is very important, especially when it comes to beer.
Luckily, this is something Long Island’s own Syosset Beverage—known online as BeerCave.com—has taken to heart. Located right off of Jericho Turnpike, this beverage depot is a Mecca for all things beer, soda, and soft drinks—with an emphasis on local and specialty beers.
Upon walking in, customers will find endless shelves and refrigerators stocked to the brim with specialty and craft beers, menu boards for on tap “growler” specials, recommended brews, and a number of beer aficionados.
“We do beer classes every other month for new items that come, so my staff is able to try and experience them,” says store owner and founder Roseann Nicotra. “This way they have a better idea of how to explain it to the customer.”
Every employee has a working knowledge of beer that stretches far beyond brand names and encompasses blends, brewing techniques, and more.
“Every item has a different complexity and you need to know that,” says Nicotra. “You need to taste it to try and explain it and share it with the customer.”
And nearly every weekend they do just that. Beer tastings are held two to three times a month, when customers are able to come in and talk with brewery representatives and shop staff and sample select brews.
Saranac and Sam Addams are featured on September 27th and September 28th, respectively. The schedules can vary, and therefore, customers should check the tastings schedule posted on the website.
Though there are a number of similar establishments scattered throughout Nassau County, Syosset Beverage is distinct. As to stock, this beverage one-stop carries everything from local microbreweries to household names like Sam Adams, and everything in between.
And when local breweries banded together to create the limited-edition Surge Protector IPA, the Beer Cave was one of the few places beer connoisseurs could grab a coveted bottle of the local brew.
Though such an expansive stock might seem a bit intimidating, especially to casual beer drinkers, the shop offers a variety of purchasing options.
Customers can bring in their own growlers—a refillable half gallon bottle—to fill with tap beer from an always changing menu. For those who still can’t make up their minds, the store also allows shoppers to build custom mix-and-match packs of individual 12-ounce bottles.
A gem for the casual beer drinker, as much as the avid enthusiast, the shop offers enough of everything to appeal to the masses as much as the individual, and it is always expanding their inventory and thinking outside the box.
In fact, Nicotra spoke briefly about adding a home brewing section, complete with potential incentives and events, come October. So, all of you home brewers out there, stay tuned.
Syosset Beverage is at 1600 Jericho Turnpike in Syosset. Find them online at www.beercave.com.
A Local Brew To Try –
Wet Hop Pale Ale
Long Ireland Beer Co., and Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., along with local hop growers Wading River’s Condzella Hops and Peconic’s Wesnofske Farms, have teamed up to produce a Wet Hop Pale Ale that is Long Island through and through.
Currently most U.S. produced hops come from the northwest. Hops require a very specific climate to take hold and grow, an environment very similar to what is required for grape production.
“If we can grow grapes here, we can grow hops here,” said Justin Wesnofske, a sales representative for the Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. as well as shepherd for the hop project on his local family farm. “As a beer lover I know how important freshness is, and it doesn’t get any fresher than this.”
The hops to be used in the collaboration beer will be picked fresh the morning of the brew, and used within hours of the harvesting.
“Using fresh hops to make beer is like using fresh fruit to make a pie,” said Dan Burke, co-owner of Long Ireland Beer Co. when asked about the taste one might expect from the Wet Hop Pale Ale. “You’ll definitely get more natural flavorings from the fresh product.”
The beer, released on September 10, is sold in 22-ounce bottles and kegs at select retail stores.