No. 1260239. This number means everything to Mike Voight and Donavan Hall, principals of Long Island’s Rocky Point Artisan Brewers. It’s the serial number on their just-granted New York State microbrewery license.
The brewery submitted its application on Jan. 3 and five months and 20 days later, it became a realty on June 20. The project has been in the works for three years.
“It just took so long,” Hall told Corks, Caps and Taps. “They kept giving us so many problems that we thought for sure we’d never get it. It was kind of a shock when the license arrived.”
Hall added, “Now we’re trying to get some beer out the door.”
The 1.5 bbl.-brewery, built in a converted residential garage four doors down from Hall’s home, has minimal beer on hand and shipping won’t begin until the brewer’s labels get government approval, probably in about a week, Hall said. The first release is likely to be Rocky Point Pilsner, which has been part of the brewery’s repertoire and received favorable notices at beer festivals.
Rocky Point is using a system similar to that originally used by Barrier Brewing in Oceanside. “He’s been brewing twice a day to keep up with demand,” Hall said of Barrier owner Evan Klein.
Rocky Point’s fermenters hold 300 gallons, just under 10 barrels. A house fronting the brewery remains a residence, but may someday be converted into a tasting room, he noted.
Hall, a writer, and partner Mike Voigt, an electronics repairer, both from Rocky Point, met as home brewers and began brewing in Voigt’s basement in 2006. They were joined in 2009 by Yuri Janssen, a research physicist at Stony Brook University, who for now is one of the brewers.
Rocky Point, Long Island’s ninth commercial brewery, is a “nano” in size. “We’re going to stay small for a while,” Hall said. Nano brewers generally produce under 4 barrels of beer at a time.
Other breweries on Long Island (including brew pubs) are: Barrier, Black Forest Brew Haus, Blind Bat, Blue Point, Brickhouse, Port Jefferson and Spider Bite.