Now that Blue Point is riding with the Clydesdales (see note), Long Island needs a new brewery. Welcome to Barrier.
While historical records indicate Barrier Brewing was founded in 2009, our story begins at Sixpoint Craft Ales when some of the Red Hook crew migrated to Oceanside; a picture of Sixpoint circa ’09 hangs in the bathroom. Likewise, both breweries survived Hurricane Sandy to recently be operating at capacity again. Brewer Sean Redmond led our tour and confirmed what Beer and the City has always hoped: Metal is not only a sign of approval when it comes to beer but describes the magic of yeast itself. Sometimes you need Metalheads to eat-up all fermentable sugars as quickly as possible, sometimes you let Rastafarians lay back and do their thing. Finally, terms that I can understand. Sean is a man of extremes—he listens to Pantera, reads Ayn Rand—but admits that even Coldplay has a time and place when it comes to fermentation.
Barrier tends to make what they want, when and how they want it. The five barrel system is an ongoing experiment with results self-distributed. Style guidelines are challenged in the same spirit as Sixpoint and instead of committing to flagship or seasonal beers, a brewer’s dozen is offered in their taproom at any given time (along with free popcorn). Most widely recognized is Money IPA; money talks in this town, showcasing qualities of east and west. It’s enough hop character to satisfy Californians without scaring New Yorkers. Oil City is India Black Ale better than your morning coffee. In closing, I’ll leave you with a beer so Metal that it warrants the bullet belt. Meet Morticia, an imperial stout fortified with maple syrup. I’m a sucker for waxed bottles…
There’s no competition in craft beer when the beer is good, so let’s hope for Barrier/Sixpoint collaboration. Or a face-off at the taps.
Note: I don’t use footnotes.