By Danielle Hall
The 1940s Brewing Company opened its taproom doors this Sunday and became an addition to the 38A� breweries on Long Island with either Micro Brewery or Farm Brewery licenses as of July 2016.
Since July of 2015, nine breweries in either Nassau or Suffolk counties obtained licenses over a year long period. Since 2011 the number of microbreweries in the nation has more than doubled and New York ranks fourth in the nation for economic impact.
a�?Long Island is a perfect opportunity for (microbreweries), ita��s a dense market for it,a�? Jon Brengel, co-founder of 1940s Brewing company, said. a�?It follows a very similar pattern of the vineyard tasting room approach. Most of our customers are first time customers and want to come to a tasting room and drink beer where ita��s made.a�?
The recent increase in demand for craft beer is a combination of expendable cash after the great recession and a cultural shift driven by millennials wanting personal and customizable products in every facet of their lives.
a�?That accelerated the growth of entrepreneurial ventures,a�? Larry Gottlieb, President and CEO of Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, said.
New York has been especially accommodating to local microbreweries through a series of changes to the Alcohol and Beverages Control Law made by Governor Andrew Cuomo.The bill passed last month allows the sale of by the glass alcohol at festivals off site from the production facility.
a�?We were treating in NY state the sale and production of alcohol as though we were still in prohibition days,a�? Gottlieb said. a�?Once you unleash entrepreneurs and remove those regulations from them, they can increase their business literally overnight.a�?
Montauk Brewing Company was started by three friends in 2012 who grew up in Montauk and wanted to create year-round jobs in their seasonal hometown.
a�?Now the companya��s growing enough where we are reinvesting and making more beer,a�? Vaughen Cutillo, founder and head of marketing for the company, said.A�a�?Our growth rate is pretty phenomenal.a�?
Other businesses, like LI BrewBus, are beginning to capitalize on the popularity of craft beer tasting. The company began in 2014 to provide a safe means of transportation for beer enthusiasts wishing to visit multiple breweries in one day. For 70 dollars a ticket a person visits six tasting room and enjoys beer lectures and karaoke on the bus ride in between.
a�?We are insane busy in the fall through the spring,a�? Kieran Pardias, brew guide for the company, said.
Over the next few months beer business on Long Island will continue to grow. In Riverhead the Long Beard Brewing company is scheduled to open their tasting room in the Second Street Firehouse in the next few months. Other people are only amidst the planning stages.
a�?I know of people in my homebrew club who are thinking about opening up breweries,a�? Michelle Pagano, General Manager of LI Brew Bus, said. a�?As the community continues to grow our services will be needed.A�We added a new tour called the mid island tour. Before this we were just in Suffolk.a�?
October marks a busy month for craft brewers. This Thursday is the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, the largest craft beer festival in the country. Five Long Island Breweries, including 1940s, will be attending.