Peconic County Brewing in Riverhead on Friday.

Peconic County Brewing in Riverhead on Friday. Credit: Joseph Sperber

Riverhead may be the craft beer capital of Long Island, but the East End town is losing one of its largest breweries. Peconic County Brewing, a sprawling 300-seat brewhouse with impressive views of the nearby Peconic River, is calling its quits after a little more than two years in business. 

"August 25 is the final day that we will be able to be open to the general public," the brewery announced on its Facebook page this week. "We can’t apologize enough for the incredibly short notice. ... Not knowing what the future will bring is extremely difficult but we continue to be optimistic that we will be back in some capacity, soon."

With its Main Street address on the ground floor of the Riverview Lofts, Peconic County Brewing had fallen into financial trouble and was engaged in a dispute with the landlord, Riverhead Apartments. Court records also show three separate legal disputes between the brewery and distribution company Sysco Foods as well as lenders Fox Capital Group and Everest Business Funding. 

The brewery's manager and financial backer, Dante Osei, who said Friday that he had parted ways with president Jeff Schaeffer over the handling of the business, was trying to hold on for his employees. But he was forced to close the doors after he was sent a letter stating the water would be shut off after Friday, he said. A representative with the managing company Georgica Property Management said it had a warrant to evict the brewery because they had not paid rent in a year. 

"It has been a nightmare, but the fight was worth fighting because the employees here have been phenomenal," Osei said. "I can’t say enough about the whole team. They have been stewards of this place and have kept it going."

Osei, who was born and raised in Ghana and isa resident of Hampton Bays, said he's open to relocating the brewery. Peconic County Brewing was one of a half-dozen breweries operating in the area, along with North Fork Brewing Company, übergeek Brewing Company and more. It was unique because it had a full pub menu in addition to their house beers like the Blowin' Raspberries fruited ale.

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