With Brooklyn Brewery and Sixpoint taking up so much of the spotlight reserved for locally produced beer, it's easy to overlook the impressive amount of breweries doing really great work just a short train ride east, out on Long Island. They've been getting a good amount of attention lately, though, for a project that came about in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged huge portions of the Island. One of the hardest hit towns was Oceanside, where Barrier Brewing is located.
Started by former Sixpoint employees Evan Klein and Craig Frymarck, the brewery sustained over $100,000 in equipment damages and lost ingredients. As news of their predicament spread, Long Island natives Matt Furman and Niko Krommydas set out to make a mini-documentary to call attention to what had happened. Before long, though, the project turned into something else entirely: eight Long Island breweries teamed up (they each contributed one ingredient) to produce a beer called Surge Protector IPA, half of the proceeds from which will go to benefit Barrier, while the other half will go to Long Island Cares, a charity organization founded in 1980 by the late Harry Chapin. The beer, a crisp, easy-drinking IPA, is set to make its official debut this evening at release parties at five bars across Long Island and NYC. The Brooklyn event is being held at 61 Local starting at 8pm.
On the following pages, we'll look at the the most noteworthy beers from the eight participating breweries.