Blue Point Toasted Lager

“A certain warrior returned home from several years’ service in Osaka and reported to the administration office speaking in the dialect of Osaka… After a time, one is by nature affected by the spirit of a place and may begin to look down on his own customs as course or vulgar…

One should always be proud of his home. To move to another area and try to take on their mannerisms and then to look down on your own home is foolish and cowardly…”

-The Hagakure

Our palates evolve. The thing you loved a month ago may evoke a lukewarm response today. You may fiend for certain types of beers depending on the season: pumpkins in the fall, old ales, barley wines and stouts in the winter, Kölsch or Hefeweizens during the hot, languid summer months. As craft beer geeks we grow and we’re often not the same folks we were when we first started down the rabbit hole.

But we all started somewhere. And we would all do well to remember and, in fact, honor our roots.

For me, Blue Point Brewing Company was where the seed was planted and was my gateway into the local craft beer scene.

Founded in 1998, Blue Point rapidly dominated a wasteland devoid of good beer.  Boasting a formidable lineup (Rastafarye, Blueberry Ale, Old Howling Bastard, Hoptical Illusion, to name a few) Toasted Lager was the point man in the phalanx.

It pours a clear copper with a large, pillowy head.  Biscuit and fig or raisin dominates the nose with a weird, bubblegum scent as well (or, maybe, there’s still residual detergent in my glass). It has an incredibly smooth finish which I had long forgotten about.  Nutty and slightly perfumey, crisp and clean, it’s no wonder this is Blue Point’s flagship brew.

Not simple, but subtle, this is a versatile brew that will go well with grilled brats, a BrickHouse marinated burger or fish and chips (with malt vinegar, of course). It’s a beer I had long forgotten, long turned my back on in favor of bolder West Coast IPAs, Belgians and hard-to-find “white whales.” Shame on me.

Never mind that Blue Point now flies under the dubious banner of Anheuser-Busch.

Put that in your back pocket for now.  Just realize that for a long time, they were our champions; the biggest Little Guy on the block. Remember that for a lot of us, they were the ones who got us out of the kiddie pool and into the deep end of things.

One should always be proud of his home.

BJ Gamboa is a craft beer aficionado who lives in Patchogue and does his best to drink Main Street dry. See more of his writing at