If you were to make a TV show about the craft brewing business, The Montauk Brewing Company story would make one heck of a show. It is a story of entrepreneurship, friendship, surfing and blind faith in one’s owns abilities.
I remember vividly when the Montauk Brewing Company was started. It was launched on Instagram before Instagram was Instagram, and it was collaboration of people drinking beer from a keg, that was about as far as the three founders thought about it when it was first launched. No logo, no plan, just a few guys who had figured out how to make beer in college and all happened to grow up in Montauk.
One of their first ever marketing events was at Gurney’s back when Gurney’s was owned by the Monte family. The three college buddies, Vaughan Cutillo, Joseph Sullivan and Eric Moss stood around a keg on the roof deck overlooking the ocean and proudly served their home brew in plastic cups. This was in 2012, but even when it was just a keg of beer being handed out by a couple of surfers, you knew instantly that they were onto something special.
It wasn’t easy to get where they are today. The trio faced a lot of headwind. Just for a second, try to imagine the pushback one would receive trying to build a brewery in the Town of East Hampton where it did not exist before. The building that they operate in today was basically abandoned when they first started with borrowed money, and of course out came the haters who wanted to stop it. “Do we really need a ANOTHER drinking establishment?” “What about the parking? Will they have parking? Will it be too crowded?” “What about the piping plovers?!”
You think I’m kidding. I am not.
But a good idea just couldn’t be stopped. Fast forward nearly a decade and Montauk Brewing Co. is everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. The brewery is always packed, the founders are married with children, and the unapologetic positive vibe of Montauk that courses through every new can of beer lives on. “Come as you are” is what it says on their bright and colorful can. No judgements, no problems, just good times, and you can’t help but hear Kurt Cobain’s voice as you take a sip.
One of the smartest business decisions made early on was to put the beers in colorful cans. Premium craft brews were very rarely served in cans ten years ago, but the trend started to catch on and Montauk Brewing jumped on it. Each can is designed as if each specific brew is wearing war paint. A bright yellow X screams across their Driftwood Ale while a bright orange circle creeps up from the bottom of the can like a sunrise on their pumpkin ale. The different beers kept coming, and a stable of staples started to appear; Wave Chaser India Pale Ale, Summer Ale, Watermelon Session Ale…each can unmistakable. If you were at a party and were drinking a Montauk beer, everybody knew what was in your hands.
Today, it seems that new beers come out of the brewery monthly. Most recently they re-launched a Green Toucan IPA, described as “A beer is packed with tropical and citrus notes with just the right amount of haze.” They have, of course, launched a line of hard seltzers as well as the Easy Riser Belgian White to keep things interesting, and the never ending rainbow of canned beer colors will continue as long as people like them, and there is no doubt they will.
I strongly encourage you to check out the Montauk Brewing Company in Montauk. The brewery is dog friendly, assuming your dog is friendly, and the you can taste the salt air while drinking your favorite brew. Do so responsibly and enjoy.