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The Work We Do: Dan Burke, Long Ireland Beer Company

I’m Dan Burke, I’m one of the owners of Long Ireland Beer Company.

A normal day for us starts around eight o’clock in the morning. We’re usually brewing.

It goes for about a ten or twelve hour day depending upon what we’re making.

My responsibilities typically revolve around production and keeping the tasting room open and moving forward.

Greg [Martin], the other owner, had a home brew set that he got for his birthday, probably 30 years old. And he started making beer at home.

And I said, I’m really interested in that, I’ll do that with you one night.

So we made our first batch of beer together in 2004 on my kitchen stove, and then we started doing more and more advanced things. Working for the same guy, we didn’t hate the job we hated the guy we worked for. He was just a jerk. So we kind of hatched this plan of, well, why don’t we start a brewery? That was what kind of started this. Just love of beer and hate our boss.

We sold our first keg of beer March 2009 to Village Beverage in Wading River, so to me that’s our first day of business. So next year, we’re going to have been in business for 10 years.

Back then, it wasn’t the groundswell of activity like it is now, so it seemed like a hey, “let’s land a man on the moon kind of idea.” Now, there’s quite a bit of camaraderie with the other breweries on the island.

I always get asked the question, “what’s my favorite beer here?” It’s like picking your favorite child. I don’t have a favorite, but I get on a rhythm of drinking one beer for a few weeks at a time.

One of the greatest, probably unknown things, is the camaraderie that our fans, the people that come here, have become. I’ve been invited to people’s weddings. I’ve gone to people’s funerals.

I have gone to people’s birthdays. It’s very much a family, with the people who come here and hang out here. That was one of the great unknowns I wasn’t prepared for, was how involved I would get in my customers lives.

“The Work We Do” is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers around Riverhead Town. It is made possible by Peconic Landing in Greenport. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview