Port Jeff Craft Brewery Set to Open Within Weeks

First batch of Schooner Ale already set to be distributed to 20 accounts in Port Jefferson and the immediate area.

, which secured the 1,600-square foot village property at 22 Mill Creek Road in January for its official microbrewery site (prior to the building purchase, beer-making was stationed in founder and head brewer Michael Philbrick's personal residence), has obtained its Brewer's Notice from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), installed its custom-manufactured 7 barrel brewhouse and supplementary equipment, and is now prepared to start operations—primarily, making beer.

The first licensed, new-system batch will be brewed in "two or three weeks," estimated Philbrick, who now only awaits approval from the New York State Liquor Authority to possess all necessary licensing for both production and distribution of his hand-crafted portfolio.

"It will probably be our White's Beach Wit," said Philbrick of the initial brew day.

Port Jefferson Brewing Company's equipment, designed site-specific for the brewery's dimensions and manufactured by Premier Stainless Systems in San Diego, California, consists of one 7 barrel brewhouse (production is 31 gallons per barrel and 217 gallons per batch, equivalent to 14 kegs), two 7 barrel fermenters, two 14 barrel fermenters, and one 14 barrel brite tank.

"I got the largest system I could fit into the space," said Philbrick.

He plans to brew two or three times per week.

Within the first two months of business, Port Jefferson Brewing Company will release their Schooner Pale Ale—a crisp and citrus-noted, 6.1 percent ABV (alcohol by volume) American Pale Ale designed for sessionable consumption—to an already-secured 20 accounts in Port Jefferson and the immediate area; while additional releases (rotating seasonals and prototypes) will be available at the brewery's tasting room for samples and growler fills.

The former, which will comprise "roughly 95 percent" of Port Jefferson Brewing Company's production and be "packaged in keg form for sale to local beverage centers, bars, and restaurants," will be self-distributed.

"The capacity of our equipment doesnt really allow us to produce to a level that would be appealing to distributors," said Philbrick. "But that was actually part of the business plan."

While Philbrick hopes to "max out the brewery's system output while staying close to home at least for the first year," concrete goals following are not on his current agenda; for now, he is just pleased to launch Port Jefferson Brewing Company and commence what he hopes to do for the remainder of his professional life: brew beer.

"It is nice to finally have the equipment here and be ready to open, but man, has it been alot of obstacles." said Philbrick. "I feel some days like it may have been easier to open a nuclear power plant."

Connie Fallon August 30, 2011 at 03:46 AM
Hi Mike, Dad/Hap told me about your new enterprise, wow! I was very excited reading your website and want you to know we are very eager to try your brew! We will have to come up to New York as we live in MD. We are total craft beer drinkers, no adjuncts here! Hope the family is well and we will be looking for PJBC! Connie Fallon


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