After Ryan Cooke decided to open his own brewery, he looked around his native Lindenhurst for awhile. When he walked in the door of the long-vacant storefront on North Wellwood Ave. — empty for a decade — he saw right through its rough looks. “It was dirty and old,” but he instantly recognized its potential.
During a subsequent year of renovation, Cooke, 29, his fiance, Melissa Bates, and family and friends unearthed remnants of previous businesses and bygone eras, some from the time this building was Benkert Meat Market in the late 1800s, and later, a butcher shop: Posters for Eisenhower-era events, tucked into the walls. A marble meat-cutting counter that they repurposed as a bar, and old shiplap siding to line the front of the bar. Pressed tin ceilings, still intact.
His new brewery, 27A Brewing Co., opened in early August with that gorgeous ceiling overhead and vintage ephemera framed in the tasting room, which has about eight seats, a bar and six taps for the beers Cooke brews on a three-barrel system out back.
There, the building’s bones as a former butchery were a boon, Cooke said — he repurposed the meat locker as a cold room, and the sloping floor and drain ease the constant cleanup that’s part of brewing process.
Cooke began home brewing eight years ago as a member of Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts. He had worked on a mobile canning line and as a brewer at Greenpoint Beer & Ale Co. in Brooklyn before taking the plunge with his own place. Along the way, he picked up a talent for hazy IPAs, but has also brewed some “lighter traditional styles” during the summer. As the weather turns, darker and seasonally flavored beers will appear, he said, such as a recent batch of pumpkin spiced latte-style ale — flavored with milk, sugar and vanilla — that kicked quickly, or a pale ale flavored with cold-brewed coffee made with beans from Muni’s Coffee Joint across the street.
27A Brewing Co., 173 N. Wellwood Ave. 631-450-4156. 27abrewing.com. Open Thursday to Sunday; check for hours. Snacks only, but customers are free to bring in food from neighboring businesses.