After several successful years brewing beers, Mark Heuwetter is now cooking up something a little stronger.
Heuwetter, who opened Six Harbors Brewing Co. at 243 New York Ave. in Huntington four years ago, is constructing a second-story distillery he has dubbed as the Harbor Lights Stillhouse.
The Huntington resident is bringing in lifelong friend Gus Menocal as his partner and master distiller for the new venture.
“There is a lack of bar distilleries here on Long Island, particularly here in Suffolk County,” Heuwetter said. “We’ve been doing really well with the craft beer so we decided to expand our product selection.”
Heuwetter said the duo will adhere to their brewery philosophy “something for everybody” upstairs. When the partners kick things off, the new product line will boast small batched tequila, vodka, gin and rum.
“We’re going to start out with the clear spirits,” Heuwetter said. “And then we’ll get into a barrel-aged program. We’ll come out with white whisky and apple pie moonshine and slowly develop the barrel aged program with the rums, the whiskeys, the bourbons.”
A bachelors in brewing
While Heuwetter’s second career as a brewing only began recently, he “studied the craft” in college.
“Back in the early ’80s, my roommate and I couldn’t afford beer at the bars,” he said. “So we bought a beer kit… and had a catalogue send it to us. We cooked in the kitchen of our residents hall, we fermented it in our closet.”
Decades later, he picked the crafted back up as the craft beer craze became all the rage. Named for the six harbors around Huntington, his Six Harbors Brewing Co. nods local landmarks in and around Huntington and beyond.
The beer menu festures the double IPA Huntington Harbor Hoppy, the Centerport Pilsner, the Heckscher Park Helles German pale lager and the Bay Hills Blues blueberry wheat, the latter of which has been one of the brewery’s most popular offerings. Heuwetter combined the blueberry beer with another fan favorite, the Captain Blood Orange, a 4.9% ABV easy-drinking orange wheat with light wheat malt textures, to form the full-bodied Blue Bloods Fusion.
The beer menu also nods to two of Heuwetter’s three ‘brew dogs,’ with ‘Buddy’s’ Golden Lager and ‘Barley’ Dog Brown.
The youngest golden retriever pup, Brandy, has been named in honor of the forthcoming distillery.
Here are the cute doggos:
Heuwetter and Menocal are still building their new distillery. If all goes according to plan, the duo hope to serve their first spirits this November.
“We’d like to be opened up before Thanksgiving Day weekend,” Heuwetter said. “It’ll be a good weekend to open up and get ready for the holidays.”
Check back with greaterlongisland.com for updates on Harbor Lights Stillhouse.
Top: Six Harbors Brewing Co. Instagram post announcing the work on the new upstairs distillery.