When Mark Heuwetter was in college, he and his buddies purchased a kit and began brewing beer that they fermented in their dorm closet. “We couldn’t afford beer in the bars,” he said.
That first beer was the humble seed from which — a few decades, a family, an asset management career and lots of permitting later — Six Harbors Brewing Company, Huntington’s first craft brewery, has germinated. It is on New York Avenue, a few blocks north of downtown.
Four steel fermenting tanks form the backdrop for an atmospheric brewhouse-tasting room cast in beachy neutrals, with cement floors, an L-shaped bar, a community table and stone-filled indoor walls that evoke the shore. Two garage doors roll up to lend the place an open-air feel, and Centennial hops snake up lines in the parking lot. “We’re growing enough to brew 250 gallons of beer,” Heuwetter said.
Six Harbor’s brews are named for hamlets and bodies of water that dot the area, from a copper-tinged Lloyd Harbor Lite House Lager — which has more weight than a typical lager — to a cloudy Bay Hills Blues Blueberry Wheat and a Walt Whitman White XPA. There’s Centerport Pils, Duck Island Dark — you get the idea.
As Heuwetter awaited permits to open the tasting room, Six Harbors beer began appearing in cans and on tap at places such as Huntington’s Harbor Beverage, Bin 56 and Southdown Market. (Heuwetter, who lives in Huntington, is plotting wider island distribution soon).
In the tasting room, visitors can sip pints ($7) and flights ($10) and purchase growlers and cans, the latter of which are hand-filled to order, one by one, fresh from the keg. “What we want to be known for is fresh beer in a can,” Heuwetter said.
As well as lingering: Six Harbors has Wi-Fi, and Heuwetter hopes it entices people to “come in with their laptops, and sit down and relax.”
243 New York Ave., Huntington; 631-470-1560, sixharborsbrewingcompany.com