Nestled on the corner of River Avenue and Division Street, the Blue Point Brewery has been a haven for beer snobs. Established in 1998, the Brewery is one of the nation's fastest-growing microbreweries. Not only does the brewery have some of the best-tasting beer around, it is home to one of Patchogue's best-kept secrets: free tastings on weekends. On one recent Saturday afternoon, I decided to cool off in the tasting room and sample some new brews.
The tasting room at the Blue Point Brewery is cozy and intimate, with dim lighting, quaint décor, and a decent-size bar. I made my way through the crowd and staked out a spot at the crowded bar. The friendly bartender came up to me and asked me what I wanted, and I told her "I want to try everything." She started me off with a Summer Ale, and thus my "power hour" began.
Summer Ale is a seasonal blend made with barley malt mix and a bit of wheat malt thrown in. This particular ale is very light and enjoyable, great for those summer barbecues. The award-winning Toasted Lager is a beer lover's dream, made from a blend of six different malts including English Pale and Belgian Caravienna. It's very smooth and the blend of different malts contributes to its unique flavor – no wonder it's one of my favorite brews.
As I was casually sipping my Toasted Lager, I surveyed my fellow beer snobs and asked them what they were drinking. An overwhelming majority said that they were fans of the Pale Blonde, which just went back into production. The Pale Blonde is a delicious Amsterdam-inspired ale made with European honey malt and cane sugar. I found it highly amusing that the tap handle was a mold of a buxom blond woman wearing a bikini.
Next up was the Pale Ale, and I first noticed that it was very fragrant. Despite the smell, the Pale Ale was delicious. I also sampled the fruity and sweet Blueberry Ale, a personal favorite. One person at the bar described it to me as "drinking a blueberry muffin".
After sampling all of these lighter brews, my barmaid brought over a sample of Oatmeal Stout. Gingerly, I took a sip, and I crossed over to the dark side. I was surprised that the Oatmeal Stout was not too rich and not too potent. Highly recommended for those who want to try something a bit different.
Not only does the tasting room offer, well, free beer, you can also purchase ½ gallon jugs (also known as "growlers") of your favorite beer.
Unfortunately, I didn't make it through my "power hour", but the tasting room was a fun way to unwind on a Saturday afternoon. Don't be afraid to go at it alone (as I did); the clientele at the Brewery are highly amicable and you may leave with a new friend or two.
The tasting room at the Blue Point Brewery is open from 3PM-7PM on Thursdays and Fridays, noon-7PM on Saturdays, and 3PM-7PM on Sundays. Be sure to get there early as it gets crowded quickly. Tours of the brewery are offered on Saturdays at 1PM and at 4PM. The Blue Point Brewery is located at 161 River Avenue in Patchogue. For more information, visit http://www.bluepointbrewery.com.
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