First Impressions

Irish ales? Irish vibes? Long Ireland Beer Company in Riverhead, New York features all of this–and much more! Situated close to the waterfront, there’s a distinct local and community feel here. No doubt, Long Ireland welcomes beer enthusiasts new and old.

We had heard tons about this brewery, but never been ourselves. As such, it was high on our list of long-established craft breweries with a solid reputation for quality beer.

Inside we were surprised (though pleasantly) by the smaller and subtly decorated tasting room. Rather than featuring cliché and stereotypical green regalia in the “Irish” themed mold, the tones and adornments were modest and appealing. This vibe was perhaps no better related than by the banner above the fermenter tanks which simply reads: “Real beer. No bullshit.”

Much of their facility seems reserved for the beer production process, etc. But for a tasting room of this size, there still was plenty of comfortable seating–and even more out back for warmer weather seasons and their many festive events throughout the year. No doubt this place is rocking during such times. But even in the dead of winter, we enjoyed the cozy, welcoming small town feels.

But What About the Beer?

Obviously, it all comes down to the quality of brew. As a distinctly “Irish themed” brewery, we were very interested in how this identity manifests within the final product. So how do they stacked up to the competition?

Jackie’s Favorite Brew

Sometimes simpler is better, but in actuality, that doesn’t mean that something is simple to make! Such is the case with many ales like Long Ireland’s Celtic Ale. Described as their “flagship brew”, this Irish Ale is well deserving of the praise. Light and crisp at 5% ABV and 23 IBU, this beer is balanced, crisp, and refreshing for any time of year.

Don’t be fooled by thinking that ales aren’t as complicated (or as good) as the many fancy IPAs out there. Indeed, it’s very difficult to find a great ale, and Long Ireland’s Celtic Ale shines through as one of the best we’ve had in a long time. A perfect balance of malt and hops, you won’t be disappointed if you truly love a great, clean craft brew!

Joe’s Favorite Brew

While the Celtic Ale is a must-try for any beer enthusiast, equally impressive in my opinion is the Winter Ale. This is another beer that we all too often feel is overlooked by drinkers–and it most definitely should not be skipped at Long Ireland!

It’s pretty packing for a Winter Ale at 7.2% ABV, but then it’s all the more amazing how well balanced it is too. There’s a solid body to this drink, cut with just the right amount of spices to add to the experience, rather than overwhelm the taster. In terms of seasonal beers, this is one of the better ones we’ve enjoyed in quite some time as well.

Listen to our Full Thoughts (and Grade)!

So what other vibes did we feel at Long Ireland? Did we find an “A” grade bathroom? Crack a beverage of your own and join us on our podcast to hear our full review (and grade)! Click below to listen or search “A Grade” wherever you listen to podcasts!

Joe & Jackie

Joe & Jackie

A professor and a grade school teacher taste, review, and grade America’s best coffee roasters, breweries, and more. New episodes every Monday at 9am EST. Now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more!
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