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Editorial: A ‘Bully’ Welcome To OBBC And Sparkboom

As Jennifer Sappell says, Oyster Bay is a “cool” happening hamlet. She is hoping to partner with Gabe Haim and Ryan Schlotter in Sparkboom in their new Oyster Bay Brewing Company, opening by May 1, at 76 South Street.

Gabe Haim lives in Bayville and grew up in Sea Cliff (which amazingly is part of the Town of Oyster Bay.) He and Ryan Schlotter, of Centerport, are partners in the Oyster Bay Brewing Company. The two have founded a mini-brewery that will be located at 76 South Street and nestled in the former Mexican restaurant that faces the parking lot.

We chatted with Gabe, who is well spoken, a good communicator and enthusiastic about artisan beer. The brewing and retail operation will all fit into the space. “There are nine tanks that will be set up so that some are for brewing, ageing and fermenting. There is a small space for tasting and for OBCC merchandise.

“You can fill up a fresh “growler” of beer. It is also being sold in tanks to bars and restaurants. You can take a tour and learn how we brew beer. People can bring their own growlers, which we will clean out before filling, or they can buy ours. The beer will be fresh or made a week before,” he explained.

A growler is a small glass jug that holds 64 ounces of fresh beer. Artisianal beer fans often have their own growlers. The OBBC growler costs $10. The cost of the beer varies, depending on the beer, and are from $10 to $20.

Gabe explained, “The more fermenting, the more ingredients, the higher alcohol content and if there are fresh organic ingredients like fruit, which increases the complexity of the taste —  increases the cost. “The IPAs (India Pale Ales) use a lot of hops and the more hops the greater the cost, especially since the cost of hops is going up.”  

A Growler holds four or five beers so the cost is in line with the going rate of micro-brew beer. You can taste them after the New York State Liquor Authority grants them a license, hopefully by May 1.

Jennifer Sappell is excited by the possibility of it being the first Sparkboom site. Ms. Sappell, executive director of LINSHA (Long Island North Shore Heritage Area) got a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts. It too is a partnership, in this case a collaborative arts program with 12 partners and with the Huntington Arts Council as the lead agency.

Ms. Sappell said they are planning on introducing Sparkboom in Oyster Bay with an art event with special attention to young people, emerging artists.

“Gabe and Ryan are going to help us run the event. We are planning to start in Oyster Bay with art on the walls and live music in the tasting room area. Sparkboom is a program of art for arts sake. It is in its earliest stages. It is going to roll out in late spring. We are very much in the planning stages but are already planning.

“Having a brewery in Oyster Bay is a cool thing,” she added.

You will know Sappell from her work in bringing tall ships to the Oyster Festival. She and Jim Werner co-chair the committee. And that is another cool thing for Oyster Bay.

— DFK