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LI breweries to launch Sandy-relief beer

Surge Protector, a limited release beer, will soon be sold to raise money for Long Island Cares and to rebuild Barrier Brewery Co., a microbrewery in Oceanside destroyed during superstorm Sandy. Eight Long Island craft breweries collaborated on the pale ale, which was brewed at Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue. (Jim Staubitser (Jan. 23, 2013)

A beer brewed for a cause -- to help those still recovering from superstorm Sandy -- will flow from the taps at Long Island bars next week.

The beer, an India pale ale named Surge Protector, is the result of a collaboration by eight Long Island craft breweries. All proceeds from sales of the brew will be donated to Long Island Cares and Barrier Brewing Co. -- an Oceanside microbrewery that was destroyed by Sandy.

Two bars on Long Island -- The Tap Room in Patchogue and the Black Sheep Ale House in Mineola -- will begin serving the beer at an 8 p.m. launch party next Tuesday.

On Wednesday, 22-ounce bottles of Surge Protector will go on sale at retail beverage centers for about $16.99 a bottle and be available on tap at about 40 bars across Long Island, said Barry McLaughlin, a craft-beer specialist at Clare Rose. The East Yaphank-based beer wholesaler volunteered to distribute the Sandy relief beer.

Surge Protector was brewed at Blue Point Brewing Co. in Patchogue on a rainy December day. The participating breweries -- Barrier Brewing, Blind Bat Brewery, Blue Point, Great South Bay Brewery, Greenport Harbor Brewing, Long Ireland Beer Co., Port Jeff Brewing Co. and Spider Bite Brewing Co. -- each contributed a bag of malt barley to make up the base of the brew, a symbol of the teamwork.

The result was an India pale ale with "a big burst of hop flavor right off that dissipates really quickly and doesn't leave a bitter aftertaste," said Curt Potter, a spokesman for Blue Point.

A 60-barrel batch, which yields about 100 kegs, was brewed. The beer is expected to sell out fast -- as only about 2,000 bottles are for sale, McLaughlin said.

The idea for Surge Protector emerged from a collaborative beer project the breweries had been planning for Long Island Craft Beer Week in May. But after Sandy hit, the effort changed to brewing a beer to sell for charity.

McLaughlin said only four barrels of Surge Protector will leave the Island, for launch parties in New York City next Tuesday at The Pony Bar in Manhattan, 61 Local in Brooklyn, Alewife in Queens and Bronx Ale House in the Bronx.

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