Every day’s a beach day. Though summer is over, this slogan still rings true for Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. as they’re smack in the middle of their first October — in which case, every day’s a beer day. Founded in 2016 by pals Brian Sckipp and John Salvaggio, alongside partner Kathleen Tedesco and brewer Dave DeTurris, the brewery’s tasting room opened earlier this summer in a 4,800-square-foot space in the Hampton Business District at Francis S. Gabreski Airport. It’s been an exciting ride as a startup brewery, and in this busy season the team looks forward to continued growth.
Sckipp and Salvaggio’s entry in the brewery business comes after the pair were former partners at Sherwood House Vineyard in Jamesport. For Sckipp, entering the wine industry was somewhat of an accident as he was first researching venues to open a brewery. “The experience, however, was invaluable in that it helped me refine my palate and understanding of pairings,” he explains. “Today, I use many of the same techniques for tasting wine to discuss the nuances of our craft brews.”
The transition from winery to brewery included the usual stress that comes with opening a new business, though what was most enjoyable for the team at Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. was being able to build this business from the ground up. Sckipp and Salvaggio had been introduced to DeTurris, who was the former brewer at the now closed John Harvard’s Brewery and Ale House in Lake Grove, by long-time friend and businesswoman Tedesco. DeTurris’ start as a brewer also came by chance.
While his wife was working at a brew pub, DeTurris spoke to the head brewer about a job as there was a need for an assistant at the time. That simple meeting is how his journey into the world of beer began.
The season for Oktoberfest is here, and current brews on tap including Hampton Pumpkin, Sunrise Ale, Westhampton Beach Blonde Ale, Gurney’s Summer Ale, Jetty 4 Lager, Hurricane IPA, Gabby P-47 Ale and Irish Eyes Cream Stout. Playful names aside, DeTurris looks to create consistent brews year-round.
“Most of our ingredients come from nationwide suppliers for breweries,” DeTurris shares. “That being said I use mainly Canadian and German malt. I find they are very consistent for both color and flavor. My hops are mainly from farms in the Pacific Northwest. The hop farms sell their hops to larger processing companies which also helps keep products consistent from year to year.”
For Sckipp, his go-to style is lager for its versatility for being a great beach brew or something to enjoy while also sitting down to a meal. “Our Jetty 4 Lager has been on tap since the summer and it will soon be canned. I couldn’t be happier with it. We have made both a filtered and unfiltered version of this brew and I have a hard time deciding which one I prefer, it’s a great problem to have!”
Tedesco serves as the brewery’s CFO, however all work together to cover some of each other’s job functions. She also coordinates events. “We are planning an Oktoberfest beer and are hopeful to have a fall event,” she says. “Possibly an Oktoberfest or Halloween party. We are also looking into events such as paint night and even a comedy night.”
As to how their first summer season would go, Tedesco didn’t quite know what to expect. She predicted an earlier start to their days in terms of visitors to the tasting room, but found it was at is busiest in the afternoon around 3 p.m. coinciding when customers were just leaving the beach.
The beach and the brewery go hand-in-hand. Surfers can find web cams for Dune Road West, Davis Park, and Hither Hill beaches on the website. From the logo to swag, surfboard imagery brands the business. Having grown up on Long Island, the beach is part of the team’s DNA.
“The beach is a significant part of being a Long Islander and we want our beer to reflect that,” Salvaggio says. “’Every day’s a beach day’ is more than a tagline, it is a state of mind and way of life. It’s reminder to enjoy your surroundings. That includes family, friends, and the beaches of Long Island.”
Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. has a had a warm reception from both customers and those they have met through the industry. With hopes of one day expanding their operation, the crew is enjoying what they’re able to bring to the community, and what the community brings to them.
“The people we met through the industry have been friendly and supportive, helping us with a treasure trove of information,” Salvaggio shares. “They are just real genuine people.”
The tasting room is located at 220 Roger’s Way in Westhampton Beach and is open daily. For more information, visit westhamptonbeachbrewingco.com.