For Long Island’s breweries, this past summer was about returning to life — bringing back live bands, trivia nights and group outings. This fall, brewers are keeping the party going with more music, more games, more festivals, dinners and parties to keep visitors entertained. So whether you’re celebrating the return of cooler days and longer nights, or just happy to reconvene with friends after a busy summer, we’ll drink to any and all of that. Here are six picks for where to head this season.
Oyster Bay Brewing Co.
At Oyster Bay Brewing, the year is broken into two seasons: Islanders season and offseason. Owner Ryan Schlotter is a die-hard hockey fan, and his Gold Coast brewery has supplied the NHL team’s home stadium with easy-drinking Barn Rocker ale. Catch a game with friends in the brewery’s cavernous indoor space, where all the action is imminently viewable on six big-screen TVs, or shake your boots to weekly live music. Trivia geeks can put their knowledge to the test on Wednesdays, and patio-sized games invite friendly competition whenever the doors are open.
36 Audrey Ave., Oyster Bay; 516-802-5546, open daily; oysterbaybrewing.com
Bright Eye Beer Co.
A roster of ales and lagers rotates through the draft lines in Bright Eye Beer Co.'s airy, industrial-chic taproom. When the brewery opened in Long Beach in February 2020, the plan was to create a people- and pet-friendly space where folks could gather, drink and enjoy live music. Amid the pandemic recovery, co-owners Luke Heneghan, Keira Heneghan and Molly Allare are making good on that dream, booking bands on as many nights as they’re able. An open-door takeout policy and abundant neighboring restaurants mean drinkers needn’t choose from just one menu.
50 W. Park Ave., Long Beach; 516-543-5736, closed Mondays; brighteyebeerco.com
Sand City South
Northport’s Sand City Brewing opened an expansive new brewhouse steps from the Lindenhurst LIRR station. The brewery’s connoisseur-quality IPAs will impress the most discerning of hops experts, while food trucks, live music and trivia entertain the masses. Warm up (with or without your pup) around a gas-burning fire pit in the ample outdoor space.
150 S. Wellwood Ave., Lindenhurst; 631-651-2767, open daily; sandcitybeer.com
Harbor Head Brewing Co.
Nestled among the marina shops near Northport’s Britannia Yachting Center, Harbor Head’s intimate tasting room opens to a homespun beer garden with water views. It’s the kind of place where old cable spools, tipped on their sides, play host to small groups; where boaters and landlubbers happily mix. Cozy up around a fire pit as the weather cools, or snap into a brat during the brewery’s Oct. 9 Oktoberfest. There are fresh oysters and clams on Wednesdays through the end of September, weekend barbecues into the fall, a Halloween bash, and housemade pickled eggs daily.
81 Fort Salonga Rd., Suite D, Northport; 631-815-5588, open daily; harborheadbrew.com
Jamesport Farm Brewery
Beer is an agricultural experience at Riverhead’s 43-acre farm-brewery, where fall is for harvesting the grains and hops for next year’s brews. Weekend visitors can ogle the scenery on a haywagon tour, while Saturdays are for tipping back fresh Peconic Gold oysters. There’s a grassy lawn for blanket-lounging (and friendly dogs) and impromptu corn hole tourneys, and the brewery’s Catered Fork food truck supplies pulled pork sandwiches and beer-marinated kielbasa daily. On select Sundays, reserve a seat for a meet-the-farmer supper with neighboring growers. Heading over on a weekend? Leave the kiddos at home — the brewery is for guests 21 and older on Saturdays and Sundays.
5873 Sound Ave., Riverhead; 844-532-2337, closed Tues-Wed.; jfbrewery.com
Montauk Brewing Co.
Post-Labor Day, the crowds are suddenly manageable and the weather stays beach-y well into October on the East End. Snag a picnic table at Montauk’s namesake brewery, where the vibes are relaxed — "come as you are" is the tagline. Pumpkin beer hits the tap in September, but the straw-colored pils is crisp as an autumn leaf, and the Wave Chaser IPA bridges seasons with aromas of summer fruit and wintry pine. For those with game, there are croquet balls for whacking. No seating? Grab beer to go (crowlers and growlers are there for the filling) and head for the beach after — it’s close enough to walk.
62 S. Erie Ave., Montauk; 631-668-8471, open daily; montaukbrewingco.com