Having a hoppin’ good time

Nautical Mile Brew Fest welcomes beer lovers


Tropix on the Mile closed its summer season with a Craft Brew Fest last Saturday, spotlighting more than 30 breweries and welcoming over 1,000 beer enthusiasts.

The event was started and promoted by Evan Berman, 30, of Dix Hills. Berman said that the festival, now in its third year, connects beer enthusiasts with beer makers in a fun, light-hearted environment. “The focus has been to give this event a really [intimate] and local feel,” Berman said.

The particpating breweries included Freeport’s own BrewSA; Collective Arts Brewery in Hamilton, Ontario; Coney Island Brewery, in Brooklyn; Great South Bay Brewery, in Bay Shore; Oyster Bay Brewery; and Founders Brewing, in Grand Rapids, Mich. According to Berman, Long Island has seen a craft beer boom in recent years, which has given beer snobs more options than ever. A dozen Long Island communities, including Freeport, Glen Cove, Northport and Oyster Bay, have become craft beer destinations, with several breweries open to the public for tastings and tours.

The event included live music and food, and Berman described it as a party that combines elements of a beer garden, but with a greater choice of beers. The day included two sessions — 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. In a span of two and a half hours, attendees danced, drank, ate and even played Jumbo Jenga and Connect Four, while a DJ played live tunes.

Freddy Zaccheo, of Levittown, attended the evening session with his best friend, Rob O’Neill, from Lindenhurst. Zaccheo said he likes to attend the festival to discover new beer blends.

“I love beer,” Zaccheo said, “but this is a great experience in trying flavors I normally wouldn’t. I think it’s great to have a chance to ask the brewers questions and learn more about how beer is made.”