A soft opening can be a mellow stretch when friends, family, and passerby drop in. Not so for Threes Brewing, which thought it was quietly opening the doors of its new Huntington bottle shop just before New Year's.
Instead, a steady stream of people walked through the door that Wednesday afternoon, some with purpose and others, wide-eyed curiosity. "What is this?" asked one woman, bundled against the cold, after happening in with a friend. She scanned the fridge stocked with brightly colored beer cans, the L-shaped tasting bar and a few tables.
Anna Selver-Kassell, Threes Brewing's vice president of hospitality, explained that this was the new satellite shop for the Brooklyn-based brewery. As she did, a 30-something man strode in with headphones on and resolutely grabbed a few four packs from the fridge, as if the place had been open for years.
It was exactly that kind of familiarity with Threes which compelled the six-year-old brewery out of its home turf of New York City and to the suburbs of Huntington. "When we started doing delivery," after COVID, Selver-Kassell said, "we found there was a demand on Long Island. We wanted to make it easier for people to get our beer."
Threes Brewing was cofounded in 2014 by Joshua Stylman, Andrew Unterberg and Justin Israelson, and quickly gained notoriety for its beers — with a high quotient of hoppy ales and saisons — and enchanting Gowanus beer garden. It opened a Greenpoint shop in 2017.
Stylman, who grew up in Melville, said that the brewery pivoted hard to direct delivery after COVID-related closures pummeled hundreds of bar and restaurant accounts in one fell swoop. "Literally one day, that all stopped," he said. Delivery "started as a way to keep our bartenders on staff," and now remains an important part of the business moving forward.
Plans for a satellite shop took flight as demand for delivery spiked on Long Island, and chief operating officer Jared Cohen spotted a former nail salon for lease in the village. A few months of renovation ensued, and the Threes Brewing team unveiled the spot in its half-finished-but-still-polished state on Dec. 30; the brewhouse, where Matt Levy works as head brewer, remains in Gowanus.
Besides selling their own beer — the flagship IPA Logical Conclusion, a hoppy Pilsner called Yclept, limited fruit-infused saisons under the banner Thought Experiment — the fridge also has ciders and beers from producers such as Allagash in Maine and Shacksbury Cider in Vermont. A few cans of White Claw were also visible; Selver-Kassell said the store will also eventually sell beers brewed on Long Island, too, such as those from Root + Branch Brewing in Copiague.
As COVID dangers and restrictions ease, a few more tables will sprout inside and outside, as will stools at the bar for on-premises glasses of beer, wine and cider and snacks such as popcorn, canned fish and crackers. In March, said Stylman, a draught system will debut and eventually more substantial in-house food will appear, though customers will be welcome to order in food from neighbors Vauxhall, NewWave Burrito Bar and others.
What the brewery might have anticipated to be an off-the-beaten-path spot is anything but, with almost more foot traffic on this block than on many parts of Main Street. "It feels like a natural audience, and Huntington is a great town," said Selver-Kassell.
Threes Brewing is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 20 Clinton Ave. in Huntington. threesbrewing.com