All posts by John Fortunato



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Spending many a summer playing ball and ridin’ Fire Island waves at the wholesome smalltown Long Island community of West Islip as a kid, I was totally readied to enjoy my sojourn to SECATOGUE BREWING COMPANY. Finally, a well-respected brewpub less than a mile from my grandparents old home on Malts Avenue just ‘cross the trax.

Named after the Native American inhabitants of yore, Secatogue landed in a newly built white-columned brick building with Classical high black ceiling expanse, large brew room and pristine pub.

West Islip-raised homebrewing enthusiast, Ken Srubinski, leads the family-backed entrepreneurial business, utilizing experienced assistant brewer, Gabe Calero (formerly of Fort Pierce, Florida’s Sailfish Brewing and a local Babylon restaurateur).

Scattered metal-wood tables fill the pub’s crystalline white-walled open space. A beautiful white-topped slate bar top with blue-tiled siding adds elegance to the 12-stooled L-shaped serving station (with a café-styled floral-designed wallpaper section bringing springtime aspirations).

Ten blue-tiled draught handles served a splendid array of crisply brisk sedations on my noontime June ’19 stopover with cousins, wife and dog in tow. We tried eight superfine suds at the small outdoor patio area. Image result for secatogue BREWING

First up, hazily opaque yellowed light-bodied flirtation, Cosmic Blonde (used as the base for the ever-popular Berry Blast), brought dry-wooded citrus bliss to creamily seduction crystal malts, herbal restraint and grassy hop astringency.

Sessionably fruitful dry-hopped moderation, OOF IPA, gained sharp grapefruit, orange and lemon bittering as well as ethanol-licked herbal daubs to contrast its peachy pineapple tanginess.

Floral-bound hibiscus, salty citrus zesting and strawberry rhubarb tartness overrode dryly resinous pining for pinkish amber rosé-inspired Pink Hibiscus IPA.

Prickly citrus sharpness led double dry-hopped medium body, The Grasshopper Lies Heavy NE IPA, retaining lightly soured mango-guava-gooseberry tropicalia and pasty Maris Otter malting.

Smoothly lupulin-powdered double dry-hopped pleasantry, Lupulin Pillows NE IPA, stayed slightly one-dimensional in good stead as juicy grapefruit peeled orange rind bittering surged over a sugary pale malt setting.

Soft-tongued tropical effervescence guided Lengthy Island Imperial NE IPA, a juicily fruited summertime treat with salt-licked lemony grapefruit zesting riding atop brisk mineral grain crisping.

Arguably the best, most rounded and juicy of the New England-styled India Pale Ale entrants, zesty tropical delight, Screaming Space Cowboy Double IPA, advanced its sunny lemon-peeled grapefruit piquancy and tangy orange-rimmed pineapple sweetness above modestly creamy sugar malts.

Nutty hop-charred black malt bittering countered barley-roasted chocolate sweetness for espresso coffee-finishing Irish Stout, The Darkest One We Have, leaving dry bourbon whiskey snips on the back end.

Below is a link to fabulous article ’bout Secatogue.


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Just off Sunrise Highway in Bayshore’s Industrial section, DESTINATION UNKNOWN BEER COMPANY opened for business May 2015. Created by head brewer Chris Candiano and Brad Finn, two local West Islip natives who began as garage-bound zymurgists, DUBCO (as it’s affectionately known) proves to be another worthy New York farmhouse brewery.

An overhead door leads to the 10-stooled serving station sparsely decorated with a side-walled Destination Unknown insignia, wooden L-shaped pew and amber-tiled floor. Wood-furnished mezzanine seating is also available at the small 2,000 square foot space. A large projection screen TV is set along the back wall.

A wide variety of ambitious liquids ranging from sundry India Pale Ales to two Belgian-styled ales to a coffee stout and sour ale pour from the tap handles as my cousins and I settle down at one of the three outside patios on a sunny Sunday afternoon in June ’19.

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Approachable flagship moderation, hopped-up pale ale, It’s A Shore Thing, retained a sedate citrus piquancy and mild woodsy dryness above mineral-grained cereal malting.

Easygoing smoothie, Sonar Saison, let lemon-bruised green grape souring gather rummy bourbon sweetness for bristling ethyl alcohol astringency.

Placing dry wood tones next to mossy dewiness and floral orange-peeled grapefruit zest, plainly monikered DUBCO IPA seemed to blend an earthen English IPA with a juicy fruited West Coast style.

One of the most popular amongst locals, tranquil dry moderation, Sore Thumb Double IPA brought limey grapefruit, pineapple and orange tanginess to resinous pine hops over its delicate caramel malt base.

Part of DUBCO’s “Milkshake Series,” Science Of Selling Mango Milkshakes IPA overwhelmed its lemony mango tartness with lactic vanilla yogurt souring and zestful orange-grapefruit-pineapple punch.

Lactose-sugared sour yogurt milking pervaded the juicy orange-peeled pineapple tropicalia of fruitful Water Taxi Triple New England IPA, gaining tart green grape, gooseberry and guava goodness.

Tartly white-wined Sour Science IPA retained lemon-soured green grape tannins and relegated straw-dried barnyard musk.

As for the two Belgians, wood-dried rusticity contrasted the dark candi-sugared citrus persuasion of off-dry Dubbel Rainbow. Pleasantly elegant Tripel Rainbow imbued its dried fruited candy sugaring with tea-like earthen dew, leaving sweet fig-date-raisin illusions to fade lightly.

Soft-toned milked coffee, hop-charred nuttiness and buttered molasses breading saddled Red Eye Breakfast Stout, finishing like a mild espresso.


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Smack dab in the middle of downtown Farmingdale with a bright blue awning and glass-front window, LITHOLOGY BREWING CO. opened during 2015. A tiny two-room nanaobrewery with small silver metal three-barrel system, Lithology’s whimsical one-off ales are usually delicately persuasive soft-toned liquids for easygoing semi-conventional tastes.

The front bar room features a modern Industrial setup with cozy L-shaped serving station, tan floor tiles, Classical white ceiling tiles, one central TV and prestigious side-walled wood insignia.

The twelve Industrial metal tap handles serve New York farmhouse brews and there are several state-crafted liquor selections as well.

Behind the kitchen-designed brew room lies a small outdoor patio beer garden with metal furnishings. During my June ’19 stopover, I tried nine homemade suds.

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Soft-toned Jay Walker Cream Ale – Nitro retained grassy hop astringency and celery-watered crisping for its maize-dried finish.

Dry lemony grapefruit piquancy fronted Sunrise Summer Ale, leaving its subtle citric spicing upon the simple pale wheat malting.

Understated The White, a Belgian witbier, let coriander-spiced orange tartness subtly sink into wheat-dried lemongrass herbage and zesty lemon snips.

Tea-like moderation, Lithology Red Ale, imbued dry amber-grained chocolate malting with murky orange fruiting.

Dainty mango soaping welcomed summertime moderation, Magothy Mango, a buttery wheat ale with subtle tropical fruiting.

Pallid Watermelon Blonde’s cucumber-laden watermelon tease and melon rind earthiness gained mild lemony hop bittering and dry pale malting.   

Waxy citrus tones brought mild bitterness to herbal-tinged Local Gold, a watered-down West Coast-styled IPA.

Black chocolate and dark toffee picked up earthen leathering for mildly nutty Brown Ale.

Minty chai tea illusions seeped into dark chocolate and licorice tones for nitrogenated Chai-Lo Ren Latte Stout, relegating its delicate spiced black tea notion.


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Inside a pristine white warehouse across from regional Republic Airport and just a mile from Black Forest Brew Haus, BARRAGE BREWING COMPANY opened January ’14.

Its small yellow-walled taproom features a metal-fronted serving station with bright Barrage insignia, eight draught handles, five stooled black tables and vinyl black floor.

Silver tanked brew barrels are located in the rear and store a veritable cornucopia of beers quaffed on my highly pleasurable two-hour June ’19 journey.

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First up, delightfully IPA-fruited Nerd Girl Hoppy Pilsner raised zesty Mosaic-Citra-hopped grapefruit, tangerine, orange and pineapple tanginess above grassy earthiness, picking up tart gooseberry, melon rind and lemon custard illusions at the finish.

Soft-tongued New England-styled IPA hybrid, It’s Got Hops In It Pale Wheat, spread juicy lemony grapefruit zest across herbaceous floral hops and white wheat malts.

In the same NEIPA league, tropical I’m Still The Best Galaxy, brought subtle orange-grapefruit-pineapple-peach tanginess to dry pale malts and fennel-celery vegetalia.

A collaboration with nearby Spider Bite, Collaborator Doppelbock left dewy sweetness upon dark-spiced fig, date and apricot illusions as well as wispy toffee notions.

Not unlike a Snickers candy bar, Yada Yada Yada Brown Ale loaded caramelized peanut butter alongside dark chocolate, bitter coffee and coconut illusions, leaving a trace of oily hop bittering.

Salted caramel indulged Assault N Fudgery, an offbeat Imperial Porter with sour black cherry notions.

Pina Colada-bound Tribal Cow Toasted Coconut Milk Stout layered coconut-milked pineapple zesting above its mossy bottom.

A mellow milked coffee tone embellished Café De Leche, a divergent Imperial Stout with black chocolate and coconut illusions intercepted by mild charred hop bittering.