Richard Flynn chuckled as drivers slowed down to take in what he’s got brewing.
“The last month there’s been non-stop people showing up here,” said Flynn, owner of the soon-to-open Moriches Field Brewing Co. He said he receives countless calls from people asking if he is open yet.
He can finally answer “yes” when the microbrewery, located at 1 Wilcox Ave. in Center Moriches, opens its doors on Oct. 15 after three years of planning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
A passion he couldn’t pass up
Flynn decided to open the brewery after 20-year stint with the insurance giant American International Group.
“It was time for a change in career and this was a passion of mine,” Flynn, 52, of Bayport, said. “I’ve always been interested in the history of beer and brewing.”
Flynn bought the hangar-like property three years ago and is leaning into its aesthetic as opening day draws near. He is decorating the tasting room with propellers and other aviation artifacts he said were donated to him by friends and people in the area.
With social-distancing guidelines still in effect, the tasting room’s bar will only seat a few people. Large barrels will be spaced out across the room for temporary seating.
Most people will be seated in the parking lot on the side of the building. Flynn and his crew are still constructing picnic tables to make up for the limited indoor seating.
Flynn, a homebrewer for the past 15 years, is still adjusting to his new setup.
“Our first brew was last week and we’re still learning the system,” he said. “So the first day was extremely long. The second day was much quicker and the third time we brewed was even quicker. We want to get it down to sort of a science. Then once that happens we’ll be brewing two at a time.”
8 beers for opening day
Three of the eight beers he will offer on opening day are currently being prepared inside three-barrel fermenters.
Summer Winds, a golden, effervescent American cream ale, Flynn’s Irish Red, an Irish red with caramel and toffee notes, and Pitch and Yaw, an oatmeal stout with caramel and coffee flavors and a hint of chocolate, will be ready next week.
Moriches Field Brewing Co. will offer pints and three-beer flights for $6. Flynn said he may charge $7 for specialty and time-consuming brews.
No full kitchen, but occasional food trucks
The brewery will serve packaged bar snacks like chips and pretzels, so Flynn plans on having food trucks in the parking lot occasionally on the weekends
“It’s to have something different,” he said. “It’s basically to have interesting things here cause we’re not gonna have a kitchen.”
He will also have menus from local restaurants that offer delivery for people to enjoy food while they taste his brews. “We’re trying to support local businesses here.”
Flynn said he hoped to host charity events at the brewery, but COVID-19 quashed these plans. However, he still aims to connect with the community.
“Micro-breweries — at least small ones — are generally fixtures in the local community,” he said. “Center Moriches is a very community-oriented place, I see that with the feedback we get on Facebook and social media, and also just people stopping by.”
The approval process has been time-consuming, but Flynn said Town of Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico’s office was instrumental in helping him.
“When we weren’t getting responses they helped us get responses,” Flynn said.
Panico said he reached out to Flynn along the way. He most recently assisted Flynn by speeding up communications with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services.
Panico described Flynn as an “eager” new business owner. “Opening a brewery is not easy and we’re very appreciative that he made the investment in our town, but also our little hamlet of Center Moriches.”
‘Where people can try new things’
Flynn stresses the brewery is more than a typical bar. It is suitable for families and offers a unique experience.
“It’s a place where people can try new things, talk to the actual brewer, understand how it’s made, and it’s an opportunity to experiment, try some things you’ve never tried before. It should be a good time.”