Erin Molyneux describes Port Washington's new Craft Beer Cellar as "a place where people can come and geek out about beer," and that's pretty much the size of it.
The store, which he and his wife, Trish, opened last week, stocks more than 600 different beers.
What is "craft beer"? Molyneux defines it as beer that is produced by a small brewery using traditional methods and ingredients.
While the store stocks stemware, beer-making kits, beer books and beer-friendly snacks, most of the space is devoted to beer. Molyneux has organized his stock geographically, with sections devoted to Long Island, New York City, New York State, the United States (East Coast, West Coast and "no coast") and the rest of the world.
In addition to the hundreds of bottles and cans, Craft Beer Cellar also offers a rotating lineup of 10 beers on tap. But instead of selling the beer in 64-ounce glass "growlers," he fills up "crowlers," 32-ounce cans that are sealed with a pop-top on the premises. "Once you open a growler," said Molyneux, "you're committed to drinking 64 ounces or it's going to go flat. And a lot of places -- beaches, parks, the train -- won't let you bring glass with you." The crowler, by contrast, is smaller, lighter and welcome in more places. (Most crowlers sell for $10; you can also bring your own growler to be filled.)
Port Washington's Craft Beer Cellar is the first Long Island outpost of the Boston-based franchise operation. Molyneux said that "headquarters" provides merchandising and educational support and a computer system, but that he is in charge of choosing which beers to stock.
Craft Beer Cellar
24 Main St., Port Washington