“Maybe we should get some beer for this lecture,” was the half joking suggestion that sparked an annual tradition. Shortly after opening their doors six years ago, the Seatuck Environmental Association began to host monthly lectures for adults. When October came around, it only seemed fitting to make bats the topic of choice. Executive Director Enrico Nardone knew of a new local brewery, appropriately named Blind Bat, from which he could get beer and the rest was history.
The following year, the lecture was dubbed Bats and Brews and had about 70 attendees instead of the 20 they had come to expect. Additionally, a few other breweries brought along their beer for sampling. “Hey, maybe we are on to something here,” thought Nardone. In the 3rd year John Thomas was brought on and they haven’t looked back since.
Bats and Brews will be held on October 22nd and is expected to have around 300 attendees and 20 breweries. But this isn’t your average beer festival. The historic Scully Mansion serves as a slightly spooky background for the event, while guests are encouraged to explore and hangout inside as well. The tap list is carefully curated and brewers are even advised what to bring to fill in style gaps. “We don’t want to wind up with too many pumpkin beers or Oktoberfests,” says Thomas. Indeed the beer list reads like the menu at a craft beer bar rather than an environmental fundraiser.
Pioneer brewery Blind Bat will be in attendance along with Barrage, Destination Unknown, Sand City, Blue Point and more. Transmitter, Big Alice, Brooklyn Brewery, Finback, Rockaway Brewing and Sixpoint are also taking the trip in from Brooklyn and Queens to pour their latest offerings. We will be serving a couple homebrewed ciders and a sour as Beer Loves Long Island. Beer friendly food, including BBQ and a sandwich station, will be served along with a sweet finish of pumpkin spiced ice cream. And don’t worry if you’re not a beer fan—there will be a fully stocked wine bar.
Though beer has become a large part of the event, the educational aspect has not gotten lost in the shuffle. About halfway through the festivities, the music stops and guests are invited to move to a separate tent for the bat lecture. As an added perk, beer is brought in about halfway through so no one’s glass is empty for too long.
As a thank you to the brewers for donating their beer and time, there is a VIP talk before the event that will be given by Jamie Adams of Saint James Brewery. The topic this year will be the “farm to pint” movement–aka using local ingredients in beer. Last years talk was given by Tim Dougherty of The Brewers Collective, who brewed a gruit ale with native Long Island plants found on the grounds of Seatuck.
In case you needed any other incentive to attend, all proceeds go to support the Seatuck Environmental Association and their efforts to conserve Long Island’s environment and wildlife. In addition to leading the charge for a plastic bag tax in Suffolk County, they are also focused on restoring tributaries in the Great South Bay and protecting Plum Island.
Tickets are $65 for Seatuck members and $80 for non-members. However, every ticket purchase comes with a free yearly membership that entitles you to discounted lectures and members only events. And designated drivers are welcome to enjoy the live music, food and festivities for only $25.