Throwback Thursday: Of Hops and Heroes

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Beer drinkers, rejoice. You held out for a hero on the grape-happy East End and, according to the results of our 2014 Local Hero Awards, you found three: Vaughn Cutillo, Eric Moss and Joseph Sullivan, founders of the Montauk Brewing Company. Niko Krommydas first interviewed the boys, all graduates of East Hampton High School, back in October 2012.

“After graduation,” writes Krommydas, “the trio worked as lifeguards and installed solar panels, but post-school discussions often involved only one topic: beer. Though admittedly unfamiliar with brewing, Cutillo and Sullivan bought manuals and a kit and began making beer weekly, amassing a portfolio of 50-plus recipes produced by Moss. Driftwood Ale, an amber-hued English special bitter balancing toasty malts and a subtle hop presence, was one of them.”

It was this Driftwood Ale that eventually became Montauk Brewing Company’s first release in June 2012, nearly two years before you voted MBC our Food and Beverage Artisan Local Hero of the Year. No small victory for the trio of brewers that call the barn at 62 South Erie Avenue their home.

“The 1,200-square-foot building, constructed by Cutillo’s father in 1996, was once Montauk Woodwork, a showroom for custom kitchens,” Krommydas writes. “Cutillo remains owner, but display faucets are now beer-dispensing tap handles, and custom cabinetry and countertops, a copper-plated bar.”

“My dad had no idea he was building a brewery when he started his woodworking business,” said Cutillo, a Montauk native, when asked about the building’s evolution. “With a big showroom in the front, it was a perfect fit. Property can be expensive, too, so we really lucked out.”

Want to claim your share of the luck (and bask in the eternal sunshine of the Driftwood Ale-soaked mind)? You have two options: meet me in Montauk, or read the entire article here.

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