Blue Point Brewing Co., maker of beers like Blue Point Toasted Lager and Armchair Nitro Stout, has signed a 15-year lease for its planned relocation to the Briarcliffe College building in Patchogue.
The brewer plans to transform the college campus, to be vacated by students this spring, into a 53,000-square-foot brewery. Blue Point will relocate to the West Main Street property from its current facility at 161 River Ave., where it has operated since the company’s 1998 founding.
Blue Point’s lease goes into effect June 1, Todd Ahsmann, the company’s president, said in a phone interview Thursday. The new property should be operating by early 2018.
“We’ve done all our due diligence so we could hit the ground running,” said Ahsmann, who joined the company as president over a year ago after its purchase in 2014 by international beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Ahsmann said construction on the site will begin as soon as the lease takes effect. “We’ve already bought most of the equipment.”
Ahsmann declined to comment on the project’s cost. Brookhaven Industrial Development Agency documents indicate that the redevelopment will cost an estimated $35 million.
The company had planned to make a formal announcement about the new construction Thursday night at the Manhattan offices of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s High End business unit, which oversees the company’s portfolio of craft brewers. Thursday’s snowstorm delayed the press event to Friday.
Briarcliffe will be moving into office space on Johnson Avenue in Bohemia, said Patchogue Mayor Paul V. Pontieri Jr. The college, which has about 60 or 70 students, will vacate the property by June 1.
Blue Point plans to begin demolition at the West Main Street building on June 2, the mayor said.
Plans call for installing large beer tanks and other manufacturing equipment on the first floor. Roughly 70 percent of the building’s second floor will be removed to accommodate the large equipment.
A catwalk for visitors will partially wrap around the brew house operation. Tours will be led by Blue Point employees.
A portion of the second floor will become a tasting room and restaurant. Two walls of the tasting room will be glass, giving views of the brewing operations and Great Patchogue Lake, Ahsmann said.
Large windows to provide views of the brewery’s operations will also be added.
The site’s roughly 485-car parking lot will be reduced to around 360 spaces to make room for a green space and outdoor beer garden along the Patchogue River, Ahsmann said.
A new sewer line will be installed, connecting to a nearby waste water facility. All zoning, permitting and environmental studies have been completed for the project, the president said.
Blue Point will continue to operate out of its River Avenue location “right up to the day” the new location is ready, Ahsmann said.
With Carl MacGowan