A new brewmaster follows tradition while striking out on his own.
Phil Markowski was a pivotal component of Southampton Publick House. As brewmaster for 16 years, his commitment to producing distinct, flavorful beers in an assortment of styles—with a consistent focus on Belgian and French farmhouse ales—established the produce of the longest active brewery on Long Island as must-tastes. While Markowski earned serious accolades during his tenure from 1996 to 2012, including numerous awards at the industry’s prestigious Great American Beer Festival, a new brewmaster is upholding Southampton Publick House’s pedigree: Evan Addario.
After eight years as assistant brewer, Addario took over following Markowski’s departure to open Two Roads Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut, and is applying his mentor’s influence to combine tradition and progression within every batch. Addario has revived Big Brown Ale, an assertively hoppy brown ale that has been unavailable for the past three years, and has released a new version of Espresso Stout with pre-blended gas and, subsequently, a creamier mouthfeel; he is innovative without straying from the previous system. He also plans to reintroduce Double Ice Bock, another Markowski-era favorite, and to develop a new saison for the brewery’s annual Imperial Russian Stout event in 2014. (The latter beer, a full-bodied pour of chocolate and lingering bitterness, has become a paramount release and incites throngs of thirsty devotees every January.) Donald Sullivan, owner of Southampton Publick House, is thrilled with his performance.
“Phil was a great hire and a creative and disciplined brewer who truly lived beer,” says Sullivan. “But Evan is a new set of eyes, and I am completely confident. He’s a great brewer who is pushing us forward into a new era.”
“I pretty much learned everything on the technical side of brewing from Phil,” adds Addario. “I just want to brew what people like to drink.”
Addario’s transition to brewmaster is not the only significant change for Southampton Publick House. After 13 years with Garal Wholesalers, Ltd., a West Babylon–based beverage distributor, the brewery recently joined Manhattan Beer Distributors to improve its presence in New York markets, including Long Island. (Total Beverage Solution currently handles its national distribution in 22 states.) The switch occurred following new state legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2012, which enables small breweries to sever unsatisfactory and underproducing wholesale contracts. Sullivan, who previously attempted to break ties with Garal Wholesalers and endured “legal fees that almost bankrupted us,” welcomed the new law. He is now prepared, with improved distribution and Addario’s brewing prowess, to expand Southampton Publick House on Long Island and beyond.
“Garal was too small to adequately supply our demand, and our beer was more available in Philadelphia than Long Island,” says Sullivan. “Our product has skyrocketed now, and with Evan’s energy pushing our core mission, this is a new chapter for us.”
WHAT TO DRINK
Annually, Evan Addario brews 26 beers at Southampton Publick House. He also regularly travels to two contracted facilities—Olde Saratoga Brewing Company in Saratoga Springs, New York, and Susquehanna Brewing Company in Pittston, Pennsylvania—to brew and supervise production.
DOUBLE WHITE ALE
“It’s a Belgian-style wheat beer with bigger and bolder flavors than the standard model, but still really well balanced. We started brewing it as a summer seasonal, but it got so popular we offer it year-round, and it’s become one of our flagships for the last 15 years. Hints of citrus, lemon and coriander are paired with Belgian yeast esters and a nice bit of carbonation, so it’s easy to drink all year.”
ESB (EXTRA SPECIAL BITTER)
“We haven’t brewed our ESB since 2006. It’s a nice English-style beer that’s not overly hoppy, but still with enough hops to satisfy the IPA drinker. It definitely showcases balance. We use all English hops and malts, and it has a nice dark color.”
“Phil was always the master of the American saison, and we’ve been bottling this for a long time. It’s bone-dry, crisp and effervescent. I’ve always considered it the Champagne of beers. The Saison Dupont yeast strain does wonders for it and provides some nice peppery notes, too.”
“It’s not overly spiced or too pumpkiny, and people love the balance. We use a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and this crazy Bourbon vanilla Madagascar that brings more vanilla aroma and richness than a normal extract. We’ve been using this type of vanilla for the last three years, and I definitely notice a difference in the flavor.”