When stuck at an airport, one of the many things to do is sit in an airport lounge and watch the slow action on the tarmac or gaze out to the horizon. At Westhampton Beach Brewing Co., which opened this summer in an airport industrial park, you can nab those sky views without waiting on a plane — and with better beer in hand, including one of the first of the season's pumpkin ales.
Floor-to-ceiling windows drench WBBC's tasting room in light, and the beers and ales brewed by David DeTurris — the longtime head brewer at now-closed John Harvard’s Ale House in Lake Grove — traverse summer to fall, from a citrusy blonde ale to Sunrise Ale, a coppery ale with caramel notes and easygoing bitterness from two kinds of hops. "It's what an IPA used to be," said co-owner Brian Sckipp, before that style became more intensely bittered. (Sckipp's co-owners are Kate Tedesco and John Salvaggio, and they've signed a 10-year lease on the space at Francis S. Gabreski Airport). That pumpkin ale, released in mid-September, is the malty, sessionable Hampton Pumpkin, laced with cool-weather spices cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Though they’re pretty subtle, you can take your pint with a cinnamon-sugar rim, to up the autumn quotient.
Even more fitting for the season, though, is the outstanding, toasty, cocoa-like cream stout called Irish Eyes that is richer than Guinness and could double as a dessert. And on its heels, in mid-October, WBBC will release their Oktoberfest beer. "We're slightly behind on it, because our tanks have been filled with pumpkin ale," Sckipp said.
WBBC’s tasting room has plenty of communal seating and a few lounge-like nooks, plenty of reclaimed wood and surfboard accents — plus a full-on view of drifting clouds. The tasting room is open seven days a week, starting at noon; pints are $7, growlers $22, and a tasting flight of four beers is $12. Westhampton Beach Blonde and Hurricane IPA can come in cans, with the pumpkin ale and Irish Eyes to soon follow.
Westhampton Beach Brewing Co., 220 Roger’s Way, Suite I (at Francis S. Gabreski Airport), Westhampton Beach; 631-998-0800, westhamptonbeachbrewing.com