NORTHPORT, NEW YORK
Hidden behind Chase Bank just off Main Street in the historic Long Island Sound maritime village of Northport, alley-bound SAND CITY BREWING COMPANY makes some of the finest draught beer in Nassau County.
A low-ceiling sea chanty with a nautical theme, several barreled tables, three community tables and standing room only, Sand City Brewing’s old wood-top bar was packed to the hilt during Memorial Day weekend 2017.
Dozens of local denizens buy growlers-to-go and many others bring their dogs to quaff onsite, promptly scaring the hell out of my small puggle, Roscoe, who sticks by my wife’s leg to escape from the barking hounds.
A furnished front patio creates extra space for the overflowing crowd. The brew tanks are stationed in the back end of the diminutive pale blue brewery. And wonderful IPA’s and Belgian styled ales lead the way for this cozy dive.
Soft-toned saison, Tafel Beir, a serene dry-bodied Belgian-styled table beer, plied lemony orange spritz and honeysuckled floral accents to its biscuit wheat spine.
Next, lightweight Maggie O Belgian Blonde coalesced white-peppered banana and clove sweetness with lemony herbal salting, white peach spicing and light vodka snips.
Another easygoing delight, Handsome Maniac Belgian Tripel, contrasted vanilla-sweetened banana and clove pleasantries as well as dextrose-sugared pineapple, orange and tangerine tanginess against mild white-peppered hop bittering.
Dry-hopped tripel, American Psycho, let lightly pungent Amarillo hops enhance Handsome Maniac’s bitterer aspects as candi-sugared mango, peach and pineapple resilience got countered by wood-dried astringency, gaining banana-clove-bubblegum illusions and a tingly sugar spicing beneath the surface.
Then came the superbly divergent India Pale Ales.
Sunnily floral-fruited Day Drifter Session IPA permitted its sweet orange-peeled grapefruit, lemon and peach tang to spread across mildly creamed oats-sugared pale malting and moderate piney hop bittering.
Delicate Oops I Nelsoned My Pants IPA brought delicate Nelson Sauvin hop tropicalia to the fore as wispy peach, grapefruit, lemon, white grape and passionfruit illusions climbed above creamier-than-expected caramel malting.
Durable Putting Out Fires IPA doused lemony grapefruit bittering upon sugar-spiced pale malts and resinous piney hops as mild mango, pineapple, guava and papaya tropicalia sweetened the back end.
Plush Burning Down The House Imperial IPA, dry-hopped with Citra and Mosaic varieties, allowed tangy lemon-squeezed orange and grapefruit juiciness to receive a dank hemp-oiled bitterness contrasted by lightly creamed crystal malts.
On the other end of the spectrum, rich dark chocolate syruping crowded mild Southdown roasted coffee beaning for Southdown Breakfast Stout, a full-bodied morning elixir with a chewy molasses oats spine that’s also perfect for dessert.