78 LONGISLANDPRESS.COM • SEPTEMBER 2019
FARM JAMESPORT FARM TO PINT
BY BERNIE KILKELLY
While dozens of vineyards have
replaced many old potato farms that
once dominated the North Fork, enterprising
hops farmers rode the farm
brewery trend to create Jamesport
Farm Brewery two years ago.
The brewery is leading the way in using
local ingredients with its Farm to
Pint approach. Co-founders Melissa
and Anthony Caggiano operate the
43-acre farm that’s also home to their
wholesale nursery, Plant Connection,
and their hop farm, L.I. Hops.
“Our farm was formerly a potato farm,
and the climate and soil are perfect for
growing amazing hops,” says Melissa.
Jamesport is one of more than 40
breweries on Long Island, where
another 10 are coming soon. Fueling
the trend is the New York State farm
brewery law passed in 2012 that mandates
that farm breweries must use
at least 60 percent of hops and other
ingredients grown in the state this
year, with that number rising to 90
percent in 2024.
L.I. Hops currently grows five types
of hops for its own use and sale to
other brewers. In 2015, Melissa and
Anthony also began planting barley
and wheat, with the goal of having
100 percent of the ingredients for
their beer produced on the farm.
The duo renovated a potato barn on
the farm to house their 10-barrel
brewhouse and tasting room, which
opened in August 2017. Anthony is the
head brewer, Christine McCormack
is assistant brewer, while Melissa
and Anthony do recipe development
with input from their staff. Flagship
beers include Hay Baler pale ale and
Ex-Wife, an English-style Extra Special
Bitter. The brewery also makes
its own hardciders made from local
apple juice grown on the Halsey Farm
On Sept. 21, it will host the 4th annual
Long Island Hop Fest featuring
wet hop beers made with freshly
picked hops added to the brew
kettle, instead of the typical
dried hops or hop pellets.
“We had about
at our first
1,000 this year.”
Fun times at the farm brewery will
continue throughout the fall, with
a Haunted Hopyard with spooky
hayrides and train rides for kids and
plenty of tasty brews for hop-loving
Jamesport Farm Brewery is located
at 5873 Sound Avenue in Riverhead.
For more information visit
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor
and publisher of
Tasting room manager
pours a brew at
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