A family effort amongst in-laws is what’s going into a brand-new brewery that’s in the works for Bay Shore.
Brother-in-laws William Hoppe and Steve Winn are bringing their HopWin’s Brewery concept to brick-n-mortar.
When they brewed at home, the two would often start in the late-night hours and go straight into the next afternoon.
“Our wives would get mad at us because we drank beers at 9 a.m., because we started brewing at 3 a.m.,” said both Hoppe and Winn, laughing.
The two formed their company in 2015. They are now transforming 1460 N Clinton Avenue — which is next to fellow brewing company The Brewers Collective — into their home base for creating beer.
But the two spent several years home-brewing and comparing notes before deciding to go professional.
“We just kept showing each other our beers like, ‘Check this one out,'” said Winn, 41, of Bay Shore. “And the brews just got better and better and people really seemed to start liking them.”
After spending countless hours together, their wives, who are sisters, Rhiannon Hoppe and Jennifer Winn, would joke about their newfound hobby.
“They said if we are going to brew every weekend we should start making money from it,” said Hoppe, 41, of Deer Park.
And that’s exactly what they did.
The couples got an extra jolt around four years ago when they were bar hopping and landed at Tap & Barrel in Smithtown.
“The girls said this would be a great set up for a brewery,” said Winn. “And we thought the same.”
They got home that night and immediately started game-planning.
Hoppe, a sheet metal worker, and Winn, who works in telecommunications, both spent their offtime devising a business plan.
First, was finding a location.
“We thought we were going to find a spot right away but it takes time,” said Hoppe, who began looking for spots near their hometowns back in 2015.
While they shopped around for a building, HopWin’s Brewery participated in beer festivals across Long Island.
They did so until they found space near The Brewers Collective, which they now call “Brewers Row.”
HopWin’s adds more depth to Bay Shore’s craft brewing game by sharing the hamlet with The Brewers Collective, Great South Bay Brewery and Destination Unknown Beer Company.
“Bay Shore has become a destination for craft beer,” said Hoppe. “We’re glad to be part of it.”
After getting the keys to the 2,350-square-feet property last November, the two immediately began planning for construction.
According to the owners, HopWin’s tasting room will hold up to 50 patrons.
There will be several couches, tables and chairs, along with a 50-foot-long bar, video games and TVs along the back wall.
The brewery owners plan to open in early 2019 and will be open Thursdays through Sundays.
what makes them different
Over the years, HopWin’s founders say their go-to creations are a part of its split batch system, or their “Split Personality Beers,” as they like to call it.
“We’re going to have different beers with one recipe,” explained Hoppe. “It’s the same exact beer but it totally tastes different because we’ll change one little thing in fermentation, or change the yeast, or hops.”
“People are so amazed how different they taste,” said Winn.
Throughout the year, HopWin’s will roll out two to five split batches at a time for patrons to try.
Engaging with their fellow beer lovers is more than a passion for these two brewers.
That’s why they created a monthly event called Hike and Brew.
“Once a month, we pick a spot close to a brewery, we then hike and check out their beers,” said Hoppe. “We are trying to highlight local breweries while keeping fit.
“It’s guiltless beer drinking.”
To join or learn more about the Hike and Brew, click here.
Top: (L-R) Steve Winn and William Hoppe at their new brewery location in Bay Shore. (Credit: Nicholas Esposito)