The Craft Microbrewhouse at A Taste of Long Island
211-A Main St., Farmingdale, 516-694-2859, atasteoflongislandny.com
Back in the '90s, Jim Thompson was an occasional home brewer. "Four or five times a year," he said, "I'd commandeer the kitchen for six hours on a Saturday and make a 5-gallon batch of beer."
Thompson and his daughter Courtney Citko are owners of A Taste of Long Island, the 2 1/2-year-old Farmingdale business that comprises a rent-by-the-hour commercial kitchen and a storefront selling locally made foodstuffs. About a year after they opened, Thompson was brainstorming about how to get more use out of the commercial kitchen. The solution hit him in the shower: "I'll rent out the space to home brewers."
Thompson spent months getting all the appropriate equipment and licenses to brew. When he began to promote the kitchen, he found it was the most advanced home brewers -- people who wanted to start selling their beer -- who were interested in the venture. So far, three local nanobreweries have set up shop in Farmingdale: 1940s Brewing Company, The Brewers Collective and Po'boy Brewery.
Of course, Thompson is also brewing his own beers. Farmingdale Natural Blonde Ale, Honey Harvest Ale (made with pumpkin pie spices), Sour Honey Blonde Ale (made with spices and raw honey), Ginger Beer and Ginger Green Tea beer are all sold under the "A Taste of Long Island Craft Brewery" label.
You can sample or purchase any of the beers brewed by Thompson and his tenant brewers at A Taste of Long Island. Pints are $7, freshly filled 64-ounce growlers are $15, 22-ounce bombers are $9.