The road to get to South Shore Craft Brewery takes a few turns deep into the Oceanside industrial park near what's known as Oil City. The road to opening the place was even longer and curvier — at least 25 years long for co-founder Nick Cimorelli, who began home brewing as a hobby. “I probably made a lot of Sam Adams clones back in the day,” he jokes.
As Cimorelli and his partner, Hugh Howard, watched the craft brewing boom unfold, friends and family did “a lot of pushing," Cimorelli said, until the pair (both high-school engineering teachers by day) took the commercial plunge. They scoured the South Shore for a location, almost landing in Bellmore until they found a former print shop in Oceanside and began a 15-month build out. The L-shaped bar (built by them, of course) has a vibe that could be described as industrial farmhouse; tables are scattered throughout the warehouse-like space, and in one corner is a one-barrel system where they brew a few times per week — that is, until their permanent system arrives, one that’s seven times the size.
Designated as a farm brewery, Howard and Cimorelli source 60 percent of their ingredients in-state, including all of their malted grain (“There used to be three malthouses in New York, and now there are 14,” noted Howard) and some hops. “Our beers are more traditional, more to style,” Cimorelli said, characterizing the lineup, which runs from ginger-lemongrass saison to IPAs to a pale ale dubbed Liquid Perfection. One of the 16 taps pours cider (last week, a sour blueberry cider) and a few other New York-produced libations are on hand, such as mead from WA Meadwerks in Lindenhurst, wine from the Finger Lakes and a vodka distilled upstate that’s used for Bloody Maries on Sundays.
The quasi-permanent food truck Schnitz & Gigglez keeps people fed (think bratwurst, pretzels with beer cheese and pizza); until they scale up, Cimorelli and Howard do not yet fill growlers, but plan to eventually — as well as to start canning.
The brewery is open Thursday to Sunday at 3505 Hampton Rd. in Oceanside; southshorecraftbrewery.com.