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NEW BEER ALERT!!! "O G" or "Original Greenport". O G is a series of beers made at our "Original Greenport" brewery. Beer from left to right. Fork and Beans (coffee stout), Rye Guy (rye ipa), Berliner Weiss #1 (raspberry/blueberry), Berliner Weiss #2 (dry hopped with Hallertau Blanc) and Facing East (New England style ipa). On July 12th, 2009, Greenport Harbor Brewing Company opened in a very small, old fire house in the heart of Greenport, NY. Our dream was to brew the best possible beer we could. In two years, we realized that if we wanted to keep dreaming and stay in control of all of our brewing, we would need "to find a bigger boat" (See Sheriff Brody from Jaws). In the next 5 years we did just that. Finding, building, and scrapping together loose change, and finally brewing in our new larger Peconic space. End of story? Not yet. You see we couldn't get away from how ridiculously important our original brewhouse, original building, and original dreams were. It was the heart of who we were and are. For that reason, we knew what we had to do. We had to find a brewer whose primary job was to keep dreaming. Would it be barrel aging, or sours, or working with local farmers or going on hard to find hop hunting missions? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Look for O G in monthly limited kegs and small bottle releases. And if you are ever in the Greenport Brewery, say hello to our brewer Pat Alfred, but don't wake him up.
Greenport Harbor Brewing Company will unveil a new series of beers on July 16, at an event to celebrate the brewery’s seventh anniversary. The upcoming shindig will be hosted at Greenport Harbor’s location in Peconic.
While in college, John Liegey and Richard Vandenburgh often joked about starting a brewery together. “We had this idea that if we owned a brewery, we’d never have to buy another beer again,” Vandenburgh told CNBC earlier this year.
It eventually happened. The longtime friends both left established careers—Vandenburgh in law, Liegey in advertising—to launch the company in 2009, converting an old firehouse in Greenport into the North Fork’s first brewery. (The area is now home to several.)
Greenport Harbor operated solely from that small building on Carpenter Street for five years, until a 13,000-square-foot site in Peconic was added in the summer of 2014 to meet growing demand for beers like Leaf Pile Ale, Otherside IPA and Black Duck Porter.
In the two years since expanding with the second, strikingly larger facility on Main Road, the brewery has “evolved both significantly and rapidly, and on many different levels,” Liegey told me sometime in May via text message.
In a separate text conversation a few weeks ago, Vandenburgh added: “We’ve more than doubled our staff, and all of our employees are local. We’ve quadrupled production capacity and that’s set to increase with us just adding four 90-barrel fermenters. We’ve expanded [distribution] into Connecticut, and we’re already eyeing two more states to enter next. And we’ve packaged over a million bottles since adding a bottling line last spring. But that’s not even the total of it all; we’re in the process of doubling the size of Peconic’s tasting room this summer, and our on-site restaurant should be open by year’s end. We’re also thrilled with what Pat is doing at our original location.”
“Pat? Who’s Pat?” I replied.
“Pat Alfred, our new brewer,” Vandenburgh said. “He’s working on some really fun stuff for us.”
That “fun stuff” is O G, or Original Greenport, a series of beers—limited in availability, but ambitious in scope and innovative in design—to be made only at Greenport’s first location.
The series, and all brewing duties there, will be helmed by Alfred, a longtime homebrewer who previously worked at Barrier Brewing Company in Oceanside. He aims to craft exciting and experimental beers for O G, some of which will be aged in wooden barrels that previously held wine or bourbon. He also plans to incorporate the character of the East End into his recipes by using local ingredients like coffee, hops and fruit.
Greenport Harbor will pour O G’s first five beers at its upcoming anniversary party. Alfred told us about them:
Fork and Beans, 6.2%
“As a lover of coffee beers, collaborating with North Fork Roasting Co. was a top priority when I found out there was a local roaster so close to us. We used North Fork’s house blend in this bold American stout, adding it to the brite tank prior to transferring the beer to the fermenter. It’s a slower, smoother extraction this way in my opinion; there’s less acidity carried over.”
A total of 10 different malts come together in Fork and Beans, painting the palate with waves of cocoa, roast, caramelized sugars and hearty toast. It’s medium- to full-bodied, with a velvety mouthfeel. The coffee adds a dominant roasted-bean flavor and vanilla notes on the backend.
Rye Guy, 6.0%
“Not quite as bitter as an IPA but much more hop aroma and flavor than your standard pale ale, I would dub Rye Guy an “extra pale ale.” The idea here was to make a hoppy beer with a noticeable grain element that would make the hop flavors pop rather then balance them out. We use a big portion of rye in the grist to achieve this, and the result is a unique spicy-bread character that plays well as a foundation. Heavy late additions of Amarillo and Ella hops give big flavors ranging from floral to ripe peach, orange and other tropical fruits.”
Original Greenport Berliner, 4.5% – 5.5%
“This is our take on the classic Berliner weisse, which is such a great style to play around with. Traditional examples can vary in acidity, malt character and complexity. And when you introduce a variable like fruit or a wine barrel, you can really get lost in sea of possibilities of where to take it.
We designed OGB as somewhat of a true-to-style canvas beer that we’ll be doing different things to over time, and we’ll be debuting two of those things at the party. One is a dry-hopped version using Hallertau blanc, a German hop that lends floral and white grape-like notes. It really opens this beer up to a unique, complex level. And the other features both raspberries and blueberries, both of which were added toward the end of primary fermentation. They sat in the beer for around 10 days, imparting a beautiful reddish hue and jammy, juicy notes.”
Facing East, 7.3%
Facing East, like every recipe in our new O G series, represents new horizons and endeavors at Greenport Harbor. But as the first recipe I designed for O G, it also represents the start of a new chapter in my brewing life and for that this beer will always have a special place in my heart.
You can label Facing East an East Coast IPA, a New School IPA, or a New England IPA. But it’s easiest to call it a hop bomb. While there’s a supportive grain bill of pilsner, crystal, Vienna, wheat and oat malts, the hops steal the show here; varieties Citra and Kohatu pump it full of mango and other tropical-fruit notes, making it dangerously drinkable.”
Amaizing India Pale Lager, 6.0%
“I’d call this beer a clean, crushable corn lager. We used a generous amount of flaked maize in the grain bill and added a ton of hops—domestic as well as varieties from Australia and New Zealand—before fermenting it with our house lager strain. The result is a nice beer with huge tropical notes of citrus fruit, kiwi and white grape, and a light lingering bitterness that begs for another sip. As a brewer I feel it’s important to work with as many ingredients and techniques as possible. I like working with corn because it can lend smoothness to a beer without adding too much body.”