Moustache Brewing Co. opens up shop

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Lauri and Matt Spitz, co-owners of Moustache Brewing Co.
RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Lauri and Matt Spitz, co-owners of Moustache Brewing Co.

Almost two years after its owners launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to start a craft brewery, Moustache Brewing Company made its official debut last weekend. The start-up venture in Riverhead, which is owned by East Islip couple Matt and Lauri Spitz, was a vendor at the annual Long Island Nano Cask Ale Festival in Rocky Point Jan. 25 and 26. “We had an awesome response to our beers,” Ms. Spitz said. “A lot of people kept coming back to try them.”

The North Fork is also about to get a taste of what Moustache Brewing has to offer, as the Hallett Avenue business will serve up growlers of their first three brews, Everyman’s Porter , their Maiden Voyage Pale Ale, and You’ll Shoot ‘Yo Rye Out, a rye scotch ale, at the Riverhead Farmers Market on East Main Street starting on Saturday. Additionally, Ms. Spitz said, she and her husband are working to set up a small tasting room with an “industrial, rustic” feel within the 1,400-square-foot warehouse in Polish Town where they operate. They hope to open it in March.

“You’re going to be able to come in, do a flight, buy a pint and buy a growler to go,” Ms. Spitz said.

Right now, however, the couple said their primary focus is on dedicating their energies to brewing their first two batches of beer.

The porter, Ms. Spitz said, is an easy-drinking beer with notes of chocolate and coffee. The rye scotch ale is more full-bodied and has a spicy flavor.

“It’s a good wintertime beer,” Mr. Spitz added.

Presently, Ms. Spitz said, Moustache Brewing is able to make 31 gallons of beer at a time — or, one barrel — but has purchased equipment that allows them to make 62 gallons per batch.

“It’s a super-small operation,” she said. “There are not enough hours in the day.”

The couple began home brewing their first batch of beer, an Oktoberfest, from their parents’ kitchens in 2005. They later joined Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts, the largest home brewing club on Long Island, and went on to showcase their beers at Riverhead’s North Fork Craft Beer, BBQ & Wine Festival.

As they developed recipes, the couple decided to change careers — Ms. Spitz was previously employed as an administrative assistant — and begin brewing beer full time.

“I didn’t want to live in a cubicle forever,” Ms. Spitz told the Long Island Wine Press in an October article.

They launched a campaign on crowd-funding website Kickstarter in 2012 and raised $31,413 from 534 donors in about a month. That money went toward leasing their current warehouse space and purchasing equipment, Ms. Spitz said.

Last week, the couple said they’re enjoying the vibe on the North Fork and are eager to eventually move to the region. They’ll be the third brewery to open up in Riverhead within the past few years, joining Long Ireland Beer Company on Pulaski Street — which opened its doors in 2011 — and Crooked Ladder Brewing Company — which opened up shop on West Main Street last year.

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