Nearly 4,000 people headed to the massive new Blue Point Brewery in Patchogue Saturday for the company’s much-anticipated 20th anniversary ’90s party on the brewery grounds.
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To kick things off on West Main Street, Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri and Mark Burford, who co-founded Blue Point with friend Peter Cotter in 1998, took to the stage.
“How about this parking lot for festivals? Is this going to work for us?” Burford said to applause, minutes before making an announcement that took even Blue Point staffers by surprise.
For background, general admission tickets were $50 and each came with tabs, or token, for four complimentary beers for each festival-goer.
While reflected on 20 years of growth in Patchogue, Burford said into the mic:
“It’s really about all of you that have made any of this happen, and I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. And to you I say, nobody needs a f–cking token! All the beer is free!”
“We weren’t aware that Mark was going to make the announcement, so it was a pleasant surprise,” said Blue Point spokesperson Kristy Longman. She said an estimated 3,700 attended the festival.
The lineup saw Dinosaur Jr., Reel Big Fish and Saved by the 90s take to the main stage, with Soundswell, Lazy Bunny Ukulele Band and Jellyband on the smaller River Stage to the west.
The festival started at 4 p.m. and went to 10 p.m.
The new brewery — the first one is still open on River Avenue — is up and operating, through the tasting room and other areas might not open to the public until sometime in the winter.
Construction started in September 2017, some three years after Burford and Cotter — who started as home brewers — sold the company to Anheuser-Busch for a reported $24 million.
Blue Point’s flagship beer, Toasted Lager, is now available in all 50 states and four continents.
It was Pontieri who had asked Blue Point and Anheuser-Busch to consider the West Main Street location, instead of their initial plans of expanding the River Avenue brewery. Originally constructed for a Swezey’s department store, the building was last occupied by Briarcliffe College.
On Saturday, the mayor kicked things off with a little reminiscing about Blue Point’s start in Patchogue.
“I was at a little restaurant down the block from here, called The Oar restaurant, and here comes a clunky blue station wagon and a guy with his dog and a barrel of beer,” Pontieri said. “That was the first time I had a Blue Point, 20 years ago.”
“Blue point beer is what Patchogue is all about,” he added.” Thank you all for coming.”
Scroll down for 25 courtesy photos from Ethan Meyer of That Guy Event Photo + Design.
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