“We’ve been talking about opening a brewery for years. I can’t believe we’re standing in it.” We heard some variety of that quote from every member of The Brewers Collective at their soft opening a few weeks ago.
The Brewers Collective began organically—as a group of friends and co-workers getting together to experiment with homebrewing. As time went on and their interest level deepened, The Collective became a tight-knit brewing club that shared their beers at local events. Though a professional brewery was always in the back of their minds, the group of 9 all had day jobs so the dream remained just that.
Things changed about three years ago when A Taste of Long Island in Farmingdale began operating as an alternating proprietorship—essentially allowing multiple brewers to use the same space and equipment to make beer. That experience allowed The Brewers Collective to get their beer into local bars and restaurants and further ignited their desire for a brewery and tasting room. Of course, life sometimes gets in the way of big plans so the membership has rotated a bit over the years. Five original members of The Collective remain, with one newer addition.
As it has always been, no one person is in charge of The Brewers Collective. Even now, with a 3 barrel brewery and tasting room ready to open, the six of them all share responsibilities and focus on their strengths. There is no head brewer and no one member who writes the recipes. Sarah Dougherty has been busy working on variations of her Cawfee Stout, while her husband Tim developed his herbal gruit recipes after experimenting with locally foraged ingredients.
Even the tasting room is a product of collective effort—with everything from the bar to tasting room wall being built by the group. The tap list is made up of both year-round staples and seasonal offerings, with about 8-12 beers available at all times. Beers like Loot, an herbal ale brewed with lemon balm and hibiscus and B. Legal, a crisp, lightly hopped, refreshing pale ale, can be enjoyed in either 12-ounce pints or 5-ounce samples. Plus, the goal is to always have a non-alcoholic beverage on tap for designated drivers.
“We aim to not be just another small brewery with a taproom, but instead a destination for experiencing something different; the music, the visual aesthetic, and most importantly the beer will be unlike anything on Long Island,” says Tim Dougherty.
For those who want to take their exeperience up a notch, there’s the Skeleton Army. Members of the Skeleton Army, the exclusive Brewers Collective mug club, will have access to an off-menu tap as well as first dibs on rare bottle releases. Plus, all beers are poured in your very own 16-ounce mug.
The brewery will be open every Friday from 5-9 p.m. and Saturday from 1-9 p.m. leading up to a grand opening party on April 15th. Permanent hours will be announced after the 15th. The tasting room will be staffed by Collective members, so odds are the person who serves you your beer also had a hand in brewing it.