Long Beard eyes move to Riverhead, the craft beer ‘hub’

Craig Waltz of Long Beard and others in the Long Island beer scene look to Riverhead as the beer ‘hub.’ For more photos

Over the years, Riverhead has sought to be a lot of things.
But a hub for craft beer?
That’s what one prospective brewer says it’s becoming, and it’s what’s drawing his company to the area.
Long Beard Brewing Co. is an up-and-coming craft beer brewer that’s looking for a home in Riverhead, said a co-owner, Paul Carlin.
“We are in the process of getting an offering and getting investments on board and the goal is to be in Riverhead,” Mr. Carlin said in an interview Friday. “Riverhead, the way we look at it right now, and the way a lot of other breweries look at it, is turning into a hub.”
Riverhead already has three craft brewing companies:  Long Ireland Brewing on Pulaski Street, Crooked Ladder Brewery on West Main Street and Moustache Brewing Company on Hallet Avenue in Polish Town.
“It’s going to be a main destination for craft beer,” Mr. Carlin said. “You’re going to get a lot of foot traffic and you’re going to get a lot of bus tours coming in. And for us, it just makes sense.”
He feels Riverhead, in general, is “picking up.”
“They kind of want to be like Patchogue,” he said.
Long Beard is looking for a location that’s near downtown Main Street.
He confirmed, when asked, that the Second Street firehouse is one location they’ve considered.
Town Board members are currently looking to sell that building to Suffolk Theater owner Bob Castaldi, and Mr. Calstaldi confirmed in an interview with the Riverhead News-Review that he’s considering leasing the building to a brewer, although he declined to identify the brewer.
There is no formal deal in place, he noted.
“We’re still waiting to see what happens,” Mr. Carlin said.
Mr. Carlin, who is from Rocky Point, said he’s been brewing for about five or six years. He and Craig Waltz of Shoreham started the Long Beard Brewing Company in 2012.
“Right now, we are in the middle of an offering and we have a lot of meetings set up with prospective investors, and hopefully by the holidays, will be fully funded and ready to go,” Mr. Carlin said. “It would be nice to have a building by the holidays. It’s a lofty goal but I think it’s attainable. We want to be opened and in production by the summer of next year.”
They need to put together about $200,000 total to get up and running, he said.
While they have some equipment, they need more.
“We’ve already laid out about $25,000 out of our pockets between the two of us,” he said.

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