Long Lot brewery celebrates opening with a pizza party New Chester business offers six types of beer — plus hard cider made with apples from Roe's Orchards
Long Lot Brewery owner Curtis Johnson (left) and bartender Blayne Gibbons are at the tap filling glasses of homemade brewed beer for customers (Photo by Geri Corey)
By Geri Corey CHESTER — There’s a new brewery in the Town of Chester, located at 153 Johnson Road, right off Craigville Road, on the Goshen border. Curtis Johnson, who grows the hops and brews the beer, also owns the brewery, called Long Lot. He knows how to throw an awesome party as well. Johnson’s Long Lot grand opening celebration on Feb. 24 brought out a full-house of local and not-so-local people wanting to sample the brewery's amazing array of beer. “We have six different beers on tap that we serve by the glass, pint, taster glasses, flights and growlers,” Johnson said. For those not in the know, a flight is served on a wooden tray with cut-outs that holds four taster glasses. A growler, the equivalent of a six-pack of beer, is sold in a large glass bottle reminiscent of the way beer was packaged in the past. “Growlers can be refilled at any brewery,” said Johnson, holding up a brown bottle imprinted with the name of his own. Since Johnson grows his own or uses local ingredients for brewing, his list of beers changes with the seasons, depending on the availability of ingredients. For example, Johnson offers hard cider made with apples from Roe’s Orchard, located on Route 94 in Chester. “They grew the apples and I fermented them," said. "They’re located literally over the hill." Johnson explained that hard cider is similar to sparkling cider, but with alcohol. His most popular beer is the one called “Mad Cow,” an IPA — India pale ale — brew that has a higher-than-average hop content. IPA brew is a general style. “It moves — people like it,” said Johnson. “It doesn’t stick around very long.” An idea fermentsJohnson has been home brewing steadily for six years. His interest in fermentation began while he worked at the Brotherhood Winery in Washingtonville. “I’m not big on wine, but I have an interest in brewing,” he said. After serving six-years in the Army, Johnson was discharged in 2012. He then went more into home brewing. Three years ago he started a hop yard — growing his own hops. Two years ago, he began construction on his building, a basic pole barn that’s completely finished on the inside and includes a bar. He said friends and family, especially his dad, Gary, all pitched in. Tables, chairs, a side bar with stools complete the warm, pub-like atmosphere. Long Lot Brewery is open Fridays from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from noon to 9 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 7 p.m. Check out the website: longlotfarmbrewery.com Wood-fired pizzaA celebration at a brewery wouldn’t be complete without pizza. So Johnson asked Goshenite Chris Lamparillo, owner of Potenza, Old World Pizza, to bring his specially designed food truck — complete with a wood-fired oven — to his grand opening. Chris, his brother Greg, and their nephew Vinny DeSantis kept up with the demand for their hot-out-of-the-oven true Napolitano pizzas. “This is the old way of making pizza — it’s done with fire,” said Chris. "Only here the oven is on wheels." Chris said he uses old family recipes to make his pizzas. He learned a lot about cooking from his mother. “I’ve been making pizza since I was a kid," he said. "This is authentic. I make my own dough and mozzarella. The tomatoes are from Italy, and the rest I resource locally.” Even the wood-fired oven installed in his food truck is from Italy, with a company in Brewster assembling the unit. He started by making pizzas for pleasure at family events, and now he’s bringing his truck to fairs, festivals, breweries, distilleries, barbecues, home parties — wherever there’s a gathering that needs great-tasting food. “I’m excited for Chris, he’s wanted to do this for years,” said his brother Greg. Vinny added, “This isn’t just a business for Chris, it’s personal for him. Both Greg and Vinny agree that working with Chris making pizzas isn’t really work. It’s like a Sunday with that feeling of rest, relaxation, and time for fun." Potenza, Old World Pizza, offers a variety of catering packages, either charging by the pizza or by the total event. To learn more or to contact Chris Lamparillo, call 845-458-1655. Or go online at potenzacatering.com.