This past spring, a man boarded a bus in Montreal and got off eight hours later in front of the Southampton Publick House.
Over the course of three hours, he downed a 12-ounce glass of each of the eight beers the microbrewery had on tap—a supersize version of the Publick House’s popular sampler. “He’s nicknamed ‘The Sponge’ for a reason I now understand,” master brewer Phil Markowski said of the Canadian beer writer. The Sponge left with an additional nine liters of beer, apparently the maximum allowed by customs officials.
Bilingual barflies aside, the Publick House is expanding its reach. Following the successful launch last year of Secret Ale six-packs, the only brewery east of Riverhead is now bottling quarterly selections of its artisinal beers. The XXII Reserve Series, sold in 22-ounce bomber bottles, started the winter with the Imperial Porter and will welcome the warmer weather with the May Bock, a deep bronze lager with fruit accents brewed to celebrate the arrival of spring. The more limited and exotic 750 series will feature Belgian-style beer in 750- milliliter champagne-type bottles with the classic cork and wire cage finish. For spring, Markowski has selected the Grand Cru Strong Ale, a fruity, wine-like beer spiced with coriander and orange peel.
Suited for parties and picnics, these dinner bottles will sell at beverage stores on the East End, in addition to select locations in New York City, Philadelphia, Connecticut, New Jersey, and throughout the Northeast. Soon, even Canadians might be in luck. This year’s Mondial de la Bière in Montreal will feature Publick House brews.