Moustache Brewery: No Facial Hair Required January 9, 2016

http://www.moustachebrewing.com/

We almost missed the entrance!

We almost missed the entrance!

Thanks to Google Maps, we had no trouble finding Moustache Brewery, hidden away on a side street in Riverhead in an industrial area.  Once inside the industrial vibe continued, with the small tasting room open to the brewing facility and stacks of materials on open shelves.  The small size also encouraged a friendly attitude, as we got into conversations with a couple sharing our table and various individuals, some of whom had clearly stopped in for a pint.  Matthew and Lauri (as the owners are identified on the web site) are also quite friendly, and clearly passionate about their beer, and with good reason.  We liked all of the beers we tried.

Preparing our flight

Preparing our flight

The tasting flight gives you four 5-ounce pours for $8.00, so though we would have liked to try all the beers we decided to share one flight, which was more than enough.  Maybe we should go back and try the rest another day!  Their beers are also available on tap at various places around Long Island, and I wouldn’t hesitate to order them.  They also have a small selection of beer-themed gift items.  Pints are $6 and growlers (to go only) are $21-$22, depending on the beer (less if you bring your own growler bottle—even if it’s from a competing brewery).

The menu and price list

The menu and price list

While we were there two young-looking couples came in asking for flights, but when they were unable to provide proof of age they were denied and left in a huff, declaiming that they were off to Long Ireland Brewery.  Lauri quickly phoned Long Ireland to give them a heads up, which I thought was very collegial of her, and also smart.  Why jeopardize your livelihood to give someone a drink?

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  1. Everyman’s Porter  5% (alcohol, a figure provided for most of the beers, as they can vary)

The menu accurately describes this as “light bodied with chocolate and coffee notes.”  We agree that it is light for a porter, so it is good for someone who wants to start trying darker beers but is not ready for a really heavy one.  This has a pleasantly bitter flavor with a touch of citrus at the end and a bit of a tingle on the tongue.  I say that I could see sipping this in a pub, and my husband agrees, but adds that in that case it would be warmer.

  1. Sailor Mouth IPA  5%

Okay, where did this name come from?  Lauri chuckles and admits that it was named for her tendency to, um, use strong language.  “Potty mouth” would not be a good name for a beer, we all agree.  This is a good IPA, with a strongly piney taste and more lime than lemon in the citrus category.  It would go well with a summer barbeque, especially if you were having ribs with a sauce that was more on the sweet side.

Halfway through our tasting.

Halfway through our tasting.

  1. Wet Hop Harvest Saison 3%

“Local Cascade, Mt. Hood, and Pearle Hops” reads the menu, and yes, it is somewhat hoppy.  Saison means it is in the Belgian style, and we find it lighter in taste that one would expect from the dark color.  It is also pleasantly bitter, but not as interesting as we had hoped.  Still, it was fine.

  1. You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out 6%

This is described as “Rye Scotch Ale,” referring not to whiskey but to the Scottish style of brewing and to the use of fermented rye.  And indeed, this is another beer we could definitely imagine ourselves drinking in a cozy wainscoted pub somewhere in the north of the British Isles.  Although again it is not very heavy (I should mention that we both love Guinness Stout.), it has lovely notes of mocha—chocolate and coffee—and is very drinkable.

You'll Poke Your Rye Out

You’ll Shoot Your Rye Out

Reasons to Visit:  all the beers were good; you could fill a growler and enjoy some good craft beer at home; you’re in Riverhead and you would like to try a tasting somewhere new; the friendly vibe.

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Also, if you happen to find yourself in Riverhead on a Saturday you should definitely check out the Farmer’s Market.  We bought locally caught cod, shiitake mushrooms from the East End Mushroom Company, organic hydroponic greens, some delicious olive bread, a lovely soft brie-type cheese from Mecox Dairy, and delectable mini chocolate-covered red velvet cakes, and made a terrific dinner.  Next time we hope to try the quail from the Browder’s Birds stall, raised by Abra Morawiec. 

Serious conversation

Serious conversation

The view from the tasting room into the brewery.

The view from the tasting room into the brewery.

Out of the way, industrial location for Moustache Brewery.

Out of the way, industrial location for Moustache Brewery.

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A Food and Drink Miscellany

A bad cold has put me hors de combat for tasting wine, so instead here are some random notes on food and drink on the North Fork.

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Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

http://www.harborbrewing.com/

In preparation for our annual junk food feast during the Super Bowl (which I watch for the commercials), we decided to get a growler of Greenport Harbor beer.  But which one to get?  We had to do a tasting of them all, since there were several new ones on the menu.  Oh, what a burden. The new ones were Antifreeze, a great name for a winter ale; Spring Turning, a Belgian style saison; and Gobsmacked IPA, an English style IPA. We also, in the interest of completeness, sampled  Harbor Ale,  Black Duck Porter,  Otherside IPA and  Leafpile Ale.  We liked them all, but finally decided that Antifreeze would go best with our Mexican-style snacks of nachos, guacamole, and bison chili. And so it did.  (P.S.  I was amused by the Free Beer Tomorrow sign, which reminded me of a line in Alice in Wonderland about jam tomorrow and jam yesterday, but never jam today.)

Riverhead Farmers Market

As it turned out, we were not the only ones excited at the thought of a winter farmers market in Riverhead, since when we got there just at 11, when it was scheduled to open, there was already a crowd inside.  We could barely find a parking spot in the large lot behind the stores on Main Street.  We bought scallops which had just been opened that morning, bread from Blue Duck bakery, fresh pasta, and locally grown oyster mushrooms for dinner, plus eggs from Browder’s Birds for breakfast.  We could also have bought wine from a couple of wineries, beer from a local brewery, cheeses, and various desserts and other prepared foods, such as empanadas and spanakopita.  Wow.  We’ll be back.  We heard that everything was basically sold out by 2, so it pays to come early.

The raw ingredients for dinner from the Riverhead Farmers Market.

The raw ingredients for dinner from the Riverhead Farmers Market.

And the finished product, with a glass of Comtesse Therese Chardonnay.

And the finished product, with a glass of Comtesse Therese Chardonnay.

Village Cheese Shop on Love Lane

http://www.thevillagecheeseshop.com/ 

If you like good cheeses, this is the place to come.  They not only have a large selection of excellent cheese, they are quite good at giving advice.  “I’d like a creamy blue,” I said, and they knew just which of the many blues to steer me towards.  “And how about a cheese for someone who is lactose intolerant but loves good cheese?”  They had that one, too—a lactose-free well-aged cheese.  In addition to cheeses from around the world they also carry local cheeses, such as Catapano’s goat cheeses and Mecox Dairy’s excellent cheeses, plus patés, olives, and great baguettes.  In addition, they carry a small but select stock of gourmet groceries and also serve fondue and a few other cheese-based dishes for lunch.  I’ve been here frequently and never had a bad cheese.  If you want to add bread and cheese to a wine country picnic, stop in here.

Wayside Market

http://waysidemarketsouthold.com/ 

Now let’s say you want to barbeque some meat that is better than what you can get in the supermarket.  Where to go?  Wayside carries a small but top quality selection of steaks, etc., and, though their prices are not cheap, their meats are good.  I once ordered a butterflied leg of lamb from them which I then marinated.  My husband grilled it and our guests devoured it.   They also carry really good sausages, plus various interesting grocery items.  Whenever we are there, we see people coming in to get sandwiches made at their deli counter, but we haven’t tried those yet.

Okay, time for another cup of hot tea with honey and lemon.  Maybe by next week I’ll be ready to visit another winery!