Things To Do On Long Island: Blue Point Brewery

maurice amon blue pointIf you’re taking a trip from New York City to Fire Island and find yourself passing through Patchogue, there’s a brewery you have to hit.  Blue Point Brewery is no stranger to craft beer fans in the northeast.  They produce the immensely popular Hoptical Illusion IPA and Toasted Lager, both mainstays of Long Island tap lineups and commonly seen in surrounding areas.

Like many breweries, Blue Point sports a tasting room that has evolved into something so much more than just a place to give their product a try.  The bar inside, in use for over a decade, is small…but there’s a large outdoor area with picnic tables, a food truck, plenty of shade (and people!), and even free fruit occasionally provided by the brewery as a snack.

When you walk in, you’ll be offered three free samples, each a six ounce pour.  They usually have over ten beers on tap, so you’ll be able to enjoy all of your favorite Blue Point brews or try some of their more adventurous beers.  After the free samples, beers can be purchased for much cheaper than you’ll find at bars in the area.

You’ll be surprised how small the operation is considering the prolific nature of the brewery, both in sheer quantity of beer distributed and the number of varieties they produce every year.  They’ve been doing this for a long time and must be very efficient.

Blue Point has recently been in the news after being acquired by Anheuser-Busch over the winter.  I thought at first it might have been one of their marketing pranks, but the sale was real.  Many were disappointed to hear they were acquired by a macro brewery.  I have to admit, it was a little disheartening, as it is one of my favorite Long Island breweries.  So far, however, there haven’t been any major changes to the lineup or recipes, as far as I can tell.  There also haven’t been any huge expansions…that will be needed eventually if Budweiser wants to distribute them more widely.  Of course, they could be using a contract brewer for that kind of growth.

Either way, Blue Point is still producing terrific beer, and the brewery is a must-visit.  It’s just steps away from the ferries to Fire Island and the Long Island Rail Road train station in Patchogue.  I also highly recommend the tacos from the truck outside, particularly the fish tacos, which go so well with some hot sauce and a pint of Hoptical.