As craft beer culture continues to grow nationwide, new local breweries are looking to diversify.
On an afternoon this September, Dan Acosta sat behind the bar of his recently opened craft brewery, LIC Beer Project, and peered into a microscope. He clicked away at a tally counter in his right hand, occasionally glancing up to talk to his partner, Damon Oscarson.
“What time is it?” asked Oscarson. “Not that it matters. I’m just kind of curious.”
“It’s 11:40,” said Acosta.
“Okay, good. So it’s not too early for a beer.”
While Oscarson filled a couple of glasses with a saison, a style of pale ale Belgian beer, Acosta continued to study the contents of his petri dish. He was examining yeast — the ingredient that Acosta, 35, and Oscarson, 40, said defines their beer and sets their brewery apart from the three others trying to make it in Long Island City.