By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor

Paul Yesterday evening, 30 or so lovers of local food and beer convened in the dining room at Luce & Hawkins for the NYCR's first-ever New York Beverage Artisan dinner featuring Paul Dlugokencky (pictured right) and his unique Blind Bat Brewery beers.

The five beers — and the menu created just for the event by Chef Keith Luce and his team — were a hit with the assembled crowd. For me, there were too many highlights to even mention. I could tell you about Paul's inaugural batch of honey-basil ale or his smoked wheat ale — smoked over oak — named "Vlad the Inhaler" but then I'd be ignoring his Hellsmoke Porter, one the best beers of its kind that I've tasted, or his Long Island Potato Stout, which is made with local, organic potatoes and at only 3.8% abv packs a pile of flavor.

Menu Maybe it would make sense to talk about the charcuterie program that Keith and his team have undertaken. We got to sample the mortadella, some smoked summer sausage and an incredible chicken gallantine.

The duck wings were succulent and just-spicy — they are always a favorite.

  Of course, I can't write this post without mentioning the bbq spice doughnuts and black garlic ice cream, which was as weird as it was delicious.

And the way that the beers and foods went together was nothing short of enlightening and inspiring.

I'd like to thank Paul, Keith and his team for an incredible evening with a great group of people. It's a pleasure to spend an evening with so many like-minded folks who are as excited as I am about eating and drinking local. To our guests, a hearty thank you as well.

We'll be announcing our next dinner soon — and don't think for a second that we'll limit ourselves to Long Island producers. We're already talking with some Finger Lakes winemakers about doing dinners here in Long Island wine country.

If you're making good beer, wine or spirits in New York states, we want to talk to you.