Beer, baseball, Stanley Cup Playoffs. Monday was the perfect night to go to the Publick House in Southampton for a beer sampling. The Rangers played a thrilling Game 5 (Here’s to hoping that they’re in the Eastern Conference Finals as you’re reading this), and our waitress was kind enough to replace the evening news with the Mets vs. Phillies on the television nearest to us.
Now that the atmosphere was set, it was time for some suds. Our waitress brought over two beer samplings for my dad and me with five of the Publick House’s regular brews – Montauk Light, Southampton Double White, the Keller Pils, the Southampton Secret and the India Pale Ale – and three seasonal beers currently on tap – Maybock, Abbott 12 and the Biere de Mars.
I started by asking which beer was the most popular, and our waitress confirmed that, by volume, it was the Montauk Light. No surprise there. But, like all of the Publick House’s brews, this is a flavorful drink. It’s a light-bodied lager that is perfect for those who prefer something less filling.
Aside from the Montauk Light, next on the list of local favorites is the Southampton India Pale Ale. I consider it a great injustice that all IPAs are simply too hoppy for me. I really do wish I could appreciate the flavors and the distinct taste. But my dad was more than happy to finish off my sample, as he definitely considered it his favorite beer of the eight. Southampton Brewmaster Phil Markowski blends the styles of American IPAs – which have a bold hop character – and English IPAs – which tend to be a bit maltier. The key to this Southampton staple is the balance between the two, which is much-appreciated by hopheads from around the East End.
Next on the chain of popularity is the Southampton Double White. This is my personal favorite Publick House brew, and my go-to six pack if I’m visiting friends from out of state and want to spread the Long Island love. The Double White is an enhanced version of the classic Belgium style white ale, which is made from unmalted wheat, oats, coriander and orange peel. Markowski’s recipe calls for more orange and citrus flavors and a slightly fuller body. Again, the key is balance, and the more intense flavor has a satisfying finish.
As the weather gets warmer, the beers get lighter, and the current seasonal selection is a good mix of summer brews. Our favorite was the Abbot 12, which is a dark ale with notes of raisins, figs and caramel.
After trying the Abbott 12, my dad was in the mood for another dark Southampton favorite, the Imperial Porter. I think that the fact that it’s almost Memorial Day and hockey is still being played throws the seasons off a little bit. Though he just mentioned it in passing, our waitress surprised us with two bottles of the dark brew. With hints of chocolate, toffee and caramel, it was the perfect “dessert.”
The Publick House is participating in Long Island Craft Beer Week, which runs through May 20. Check out www.longislandcraftbeer.com for additional information on events.
Southampton Publick House, 40 Bowden Square, Southampton, 631-283-2800, www.publick.com.