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The Brewers Collective: 9 Brewers Unite Under One Banner

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Brewers Collective When a newly licensed nanobrewery gathers it’s owners and brewers to construct tap handles, you picture a couple people sitting around a computer with renderings of a logo imposed on virtual paddles. The Brewers Collective, however, is not your average nanobrewery. All nine members have a stake and equal say in the company that is now producing beer at A Taste of Long Island in Farmingdale. So when they asked us to join them while creating their first professional tap handles, we were not surprised that the day began outdoors with a stack of 2×4’s and ended with each hand cut handle being shaped and eventually branded with The Brewers Collective logo. And when we say branded we don’t mean stamped or printed on; there was a backyard fire and poker involved. Oh, and there may have been a bow and arrow broken out at some point for a little target practice. All in all a pretty typical day with “The Collective” if you ask the members or most who know them.

Brewers Collective Logo

Though The Brewers Collective is a new nanobrewery, you may have seen the crew and their unique beers at festivals across Long Island. This is because The Collective began as a few friends who enjoyed brewing, transitioned to a small tight knit homebrew club and as of December 2014 is a fully licensed and operational brewery. It all started back in 2006 when members Tim Dougherty, Terry Gillen, Dan Russo, Mike DePietto and Joe Vella were working together at a tech company. Joe had been homebrewing since the 90’s and would “share” his creations with those curious co-workers. At the time, craft beer was not prevalent like it is today and Dougherty recalls him brewing “pumpkin beer when it was still novel and new.” Eventually the group figured if Joe could brew beer they could too and they slowly but surely began to purchase equipment, share recipes and have joint brew days. A co-worker joked that they were approaching their new hobby in a “communist” manner and they retorted by calling themselves a collective. The name stuck, a few friends (Matt Bentivegna, Sarah Dougherty, Brad Kohles & Jason Weingarten), some of who belonged to other homebrew clubs at the time, joined in and The Brewers Collective was born.

Now an official brewery, The Collective are ready to serve their beer to the public. Useful idiot, the groups flagship IPA, along with Intercontinental Ballistic Stout were the first beers crafted at A Taste of Long Island. Though scaling up to a professional level is new for all nine brewers involved, they feel their communal approach is an advantage with Gillen saying, “That’s what’s going to set us apart. It’s not one persons idea.” Having a large cast of characters means consistency is key for The Collective and they have made sure their entire process is outlined so each member can easily produce every beer.

The Brewers Collective

The Brewers Collective beer can now be found on tap locally and they will also be pouring at the Long Island Nano Cask Festival this Saturday. Tickets are still available, so if you want to try their Sahti, Rum barrel aged stout or pale get on it. Lots of others brewers will be there (including us) and this is one of our favorite beer events of the year.

 

 

Written by A+K

January 30th, 2015 at 1:33 pm

Posted in Breweries

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