New Beers Now is a series profiling the newest beers to drink now on Long Island.
BBD's/Otter Creek Saison
An intriguing interstate collaboration between Middlebury, Vermont's Otter Creek Brewery and BBD's in Rocky Point, exclusively for the latter's annual Craft Beer Dinner event this Wednesday, produced our first pick for New Beers Now: a saison made with Cascade and Chinook hops and lemon basil microgreens grown on Long Island.
It's the second consecutive year that Ralph Perrazzo, BBD's owner and chef, will host the unique 10-course, for-charity dinner at his restaurant, which assembles guest chefs to prepare dishes paired with beers from a single state. Vermont, arguably the United States' most popular craft-beer hub currently, is this year's focus; Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Zero Gravity, and Otter Creek are among the breweries participating to benefit Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson.
"I was honored that not only [Otter Creek] accepted my invitation to pour at the dinner but that also Mike [Gerhart, Otter Creek's head brewer] suggested we brew a special beer," explains Perrazzo, who traveled to the brewery last month with some of his staff and the local ingredients—lemon basil microgreens from Koppert Cress in Cutchogue, Chinook and Cascade hops from North Fork Hops in Southold—to make the one-off beer.
"I'd call it a golden summery saison brewed with some of Long Island and some of Vermont, as the recipe also has some of local wheat malt in it," says Gerhart. "When Ralph and the crew came we made an ethanol extraction with the lemon basil and we dosed that to the finished beer to give a nice lemon-citrus character. That, the citrusy flavor from the hops, and the spicy, peppery flavors from the saison yeast will go great with the crab served during our course."
Where To Drink: The beer will debut and pour exclusively at BBD's Craft Beer Dinner.
Photo: Courtesy of BBDs