My favorite part of the summer is decompressing on weekends at the beach with friends. Our beach game is strong, there are flash tats, some amazing eats including my favorite shrimp, mango and avocado salad, a private beach and matching blankets. While I flew a bit under the radar last summer as the new girl in the house, this year I brought my beer game to compliment the typical “rosé fest” that the east end of Long Island becomes every year.
The Hamptons certainly love Montauk Brewing – the typical Summer Ale, IPA and Driftwood Ale are ubiquitous and synonymous with summer. It’s no surprise that my Instagram feed was filled with pictures of these iconic cans with us in the pool, on blow up swans, watching the sunset, eating lobster rolls… but it took a post tropical storm with surf that put the entire beach under water to get us off off our blankets and in the car heading to the source. I had heard rumours that Montauk had brews other than the standard 3 – no time like the present to investigate and learn more! After spending about 10 minutes mesmerized by the crowler sealing machine I was pleasantly surprised to find a watermelon session ale that, although it wasn’t nearly as fruit forward as 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon, but refreshing none the less! I was also surprised to find a satisfyingly malty porter – an unexpected surprise on a hot summer day and exactly what we needed after a long night out the night before.
We spent much of the summer on a mission to get the perfect photo to honor our Hamptons jam, Cake by the Ocean, but couldn’t find the perfect slice! Plenty of pies, cupcakes, doughnuts, coffee cake… nothing was fully realizing our vision. Then, one fateful afternoon in early July while sipping a celebratory brew with Theodora and Liz at Arts and Crafts Beer Parlor, inspiration struck! With a small change in the lyrics, we would be drinking cake by the ocean! $35 later *ouch* we had a large format of Westbrook Mexican Cake to go (and some additional Delta skymiles… drinking our way to Australia!) and were already plotting our photo op! Drinking cake by the ocean easily one of my favorite memories from the summer. Somehow it worked – hot and sunny beach day with a rich and heavy imperial stout, I’ve told you about this one before… Perhaps it was the hint of chili at the end that kept it refreshing, or maybe just being in my happy place with some of my favorite people.
Beach weekends would not be complete without a trip to Clam Bar the quintessential seafood shack, on the side of the road with plastic tables and chairs situated in a gravel lot. Somehow seafood just tastes better when it’s served that way! Atmosphere is everything I suppose. I decided to try something other than my typical Montauk Summer, and opted instead for a beer from Port Jefferson Brewing across the bay on the North Fork of Long Island. Yep, I went light for the second time this weekend. Don’t want to overwhelm the lobster though! Cold beer and a lobster roll on a toasty bun – perfect cap to a great day before heading back to the house and getting ready for a night of shenanigans in Amagansett.
Montauk Brewing Company Watermelon Session Ale: Crisp and refreshing, super light on the watermelon notes very little evidence of this being an IPA and I don’t mind that at all. The minimal hop bitterness is counteracted by the mellow watermelon.
Montauk Brewing Company Guardsman Stout: Dark and roasty, no real caramel or sweetness here which makes it smooth and entirely drink-able on a hot day.
Port Jeff Brewing Company Beach Beer: Smells like wheat and grains, but tastes like citrus peel and coriander – almost IPA-esque and a bit thin for my taste.