Name: Great South Bay Brewery
Location: Bay Shore, NY
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: No
What you need to know: Great South Bay Brewery, located on Long Island’s Great South Bay (natch), hits all of its marks as a small, regional craft operation. A founder/fourth-generation brewmaster with experience in the beer meccas of San Diego and Colorado? Check. A head brewer with a MacGyver-esque approach to beer-making and chops honed at another Long Island powerhouse, Blue Point? Check. A laid-back, unpretentious vibe and a predilection for naming their beers after local landmarks? Check. Check. Check.
Beer #1: Massive IPA (American IPA / 6.8%)
Notes: According to the GSB site, “This whale of a brew begins with a huge grain bill, consisting of American two-row malted barley. Plenty of the finest American-grown hops are then introduced at every stage of the brewing process. Massive additions of hops in the boil kettle produce a smooth yet assertive finish. In a technique called hop-backing, the boiling wort is pumped over more fresh hops on its way to the fermenter – this lends huge hop flavor. Finally, the addition of whole cone hops into the conditioning tank imparts a hops-bursting-out-of-the-glass aroma, rounding out a complete hop sensory experience!” Reviews peg Massive as a more balanced number than the name implies.
Beer Advocate: 85 (11 reviews)
Rate Beer: 85 overall, 59 style (29 reviews)
Beer #2: Kismet Saison (Saison / 5.25%)
Notes: GSB says of Kismet, “Just like the beach bearing the same name, Kismet Saison was made for fun in the sun. You’ll be transported with one sip of this traditional Belgian Ale to the untouched Island beaches that you’ve been yearning for. Clean and crisp with a dry finish, Kismet Saison will revive your senses.” From the handful of reviews out there, it sounds like they stepped up the malted wheat, so expect a slightly thicker mouthfeel and restrained yeastiness. On a personal note, it’s great to see a saison hanging around in the neighborhood of session beers; amped up versions can be complex and super flavorful, but it’s cool when a brewery hews closer to the style’s easy-drinking roots.
Beer Advocate: N/A (not enough reviews)
Rate Beer: N/A (not enough reviews)
Summary: While neither of their SAVOR beers are gonzo – in either the double extra imperial sense or the chocolate-bacon-lemongrass-mace blade sense – Great South Bay prides itself on making drinkable beers and that’s just what they’re bringing to the party. Worth a visit for sure, if for no other reason than to talk with founder Rich Sobotka about his transition from his former career (anesthesiology) or with head brewer Greg Maisch about his inventions (Yeast Devil, Maischfuser).
This profile is a part of the DCBEER.COM SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2012 SAVOR participants.
Beer Review Disclaimer: The beer reviews found on Beer Advocate and Rate Beer do not represent the opinions of this site. We provide these in the hope that they will serve as a resource showing what some craft beer fans have thought of the beers. These reviews can be a helpful guideline, but are not the be-all end-all about a beer’s strengths or weaknesses.