Generally home to modern sculpture, scenic oil paintings and charcoal drawings, the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill welcomed a new medium into its mix on Friday night: beer.
More than 100 people rubbed elbows, literally, inside the museum, warming themselves up with brews from local favorites, both established and fresh on the scene, including the Southampton Publick House, Montauk Brewing Company and Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, among others.
“Oh, we’re five days old,” said Peter Chekijian, founder of newcomer Twin Forks Brewing Company, based in Riverhead. He and his brother, Dan, brewed their first batch of pale ale about a month ago, he said, topping off a small plastic cup of the beer before handing it to a couple in the crowd gathered around the table. “If you know how to cook and you’re willing to use your imagination a little, it can be really fun.”
Mr. Chekijian and his brother started experimenting about six years ago, he said, but the Parrish’s “Hop Art” event was the first time the duo debuted its 6.6-percent alcohol creation, earning the respect of industry experts.
“I think Twin Forks has been my favorite so far,” said Sebastian Wagner, former bartender at Le Chef in Southampton. “I don’t usually drink dark beer, but this is well balanced. Even though it’s got a high alcohol content, it’s pretty mellow and doesn’t have a bite to it.”
Southampton Publick House’s Oktoberfest, Mr. Wagner said, was his first runner-up in terms of favorites, calling the German brew “a classic.”
“It’s made with four German malts and two German hops,” said brewmaster Evan Addario, who is wrapping up his 10th year at the Southampton brewery. “It’s called the German purity law. You can only use four ingredients: barley, hops, water and yeast. We’ve been brewing it since ’99 and haven’t really changed the recipe.”
Greenport Harbor’s Saison beer rendered less of a one-love feel from Hop Art attendees. The taste, more along the lines of a beer-white wine hybrid, elicited a few scrunched up noses and puzzled faces after the first sip. Made with hand-crushed grapes from Nepal, the brew is “light in body, dry but strong, with a frutiness, like wine,” said Asa Davis, the company’s brewing assistant.
“It’s … interesting,” East Hampton resident Janara Soule hesitated. “It’s good, but it almost tastes more like a heavy wine. It’s not a blonde, but I’m not sure what it is. It’s somewhere in between a blonde and a wine.”
Sag Harbor-based architect Daniel Widlowski was unimpressed, despite the unique brewing technique. “I liked that zero percent,” he said matter-of-factly, pushing his circular glasses up his nose. “I appreciate that they’re trying to break the boundaries.”
He had just come from Montauk Brewing Company, its bright yellow cans a summer icon for some of those swarming the table, Mr. Widlowski included. Co-founders Eric Moss and Joe Sullivan poured samples of Driftwood Ale and Hop Blonde.
“The Driftwood is like the quintessential summer beer,” Mr. Widlowski said of the malt-based brew. “That’s basically all I drank this summer.”
The table was packed from 5 p.m. on, though the crowd died down just before 8 p.m. as the event wrapped up.
“Well, we ran out of beer,” Mr. Moss said, looking somewhat surprised that his nationally distributed brew was such a hot commodity, as he poured thirsty customers beer from the company’s display cans on top of the keg.
“There’s nothing wrong with these ones,” he laughed, pointing to the cans. “We just didn’t expect to use them.”