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Montauk Brewing Co.: Founder Vaughan Cutillo Toasts The Town

Vaughan Cutilllo of Montauk Brewing Co. founded the brewery in 2012 with two friends. (Photo: Joe Strand)

Vaughan Cutillo (Head of Marketing), along with co-founders Eric Moss (Brewmaster) and Joe Sullivan (Head of Development) had an idea, why not open a local brewery serving quality beer in a town known as "A quaint drinking village with a fishing problem" - so that is just what these lifelong friends did - and the Montauk Brewing Co. (MBC) was established in 2012.

Cutillo attended Villanova University where he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, while pursuing his natural adventurous spirit. As an explorer, surfer, writer, and organizer who is constantly motivated and in motion, Cutillo and gang recently launched the MBC brand in New York City. With at least three different brews available in more than half a dozen locales, Cutillo himself has described the expansion as "We built New York State's easternmost brewery to celebrate our fans and give back to the community. We now share that story in one of the biggest markets in the world, and we will always remain true to our roots."

Cutillo in the MBC brewery. The first brews were created in a basement in 2009, a mile from the existing brewery. (Photo: Joe Strand)

An intimate, no frills, child and dog friendly venue with some interior tables and bar stools, along with a large outdoor space of picnic tables where you can bring your own food, culminates in a relaxing and pleasant environment where one can explore their desire for the most delectable brew.

Offering a rotating list of thirst quenching brews such as Driftwood Ale, Montauk Session IPA, Watermelon Session Ale, Montauk Summer Ale, Double IPA, and Guardsman Stout in various tasting options with flights at $12 for six - served one at a time and you get to keep the glass - assures that there is a beer to satisfy all tastes.

Montauk Brewing Co. offers a large assortment of tasty brews to choose from. (Photo: Courtesy MBC)

Describing the where, why and for whom of establishing MBC, Cutillo has written, "We built this brewery to honor the community and highlight the craftsman spirit that's abundant in the individuals that make up the town. First brewed in a basement in 2009, a mile from the existing brewery, we crafted the first few gallons of beer and shared it with friends. The goal was to celebrate properly, and often. We design our beers to compliment food, enhance the flavors and never mask the abundant beauty that the local ingredients have to offer."

Guests can even have a beer (Crowler, 32 oz.) canned in front of them denoting the name and date. Easy to get to from a train, car or on foot, with ample parking available, a visit to MBC assures that the only choice one has to worry about is what brews to choose and when to visit as this popular spot can get crowded. There are also quality t-shirts and other items available for sale.

Cutillo has further written, "The craft beer industry is growing at a staggering rate and people are more conscious about quality, ingredients, and the story behind a brand. It's what I like to call the soul of Montauk Brewing Company that makes it appealing. We are able to now tell our story of brewing beer in a basement in Montauk and sharing that beer with old and new friends. We are an adventure lover's brand, with our lifestyles revolving around the outdoors. Montauk shaped who we are and this bleeds through to the way we run our company and the way we brew our beer."

"We built New York State's easternmost brewery to celebrate our fans and give back to the community," says Cutillo, behind the bar with a smiling and happy staff. (Photo: Joe Strand)

Catching up with Cutillo may not always be easy, remember, he is in constant motion, however, he did take some time to answer a few questions for Hamptons.com:

Congratulations on your success with MBC. What was the impetus or incentive to open a brewery versus exploring some other entrepreneurial endeavor?

VC: We realized early on in our home brew days that there was an opportunity to start New York State's easternmost brewery. We are incredibly proud of the quality of our beer and we knew that if we stayed true to our roots, we would have the chance to be successful.

MBC offers an intimate, no frills, child and dog friendly venue with some interior tables and bar stools, along with a large outdoor space of picnic tables for visitors to sit, enjoy and relax. (Photo: Joe Strand)

What business skills did you pursue and develop, other than just hard work, that you feel most aided you in launching a new business such as a brewery in such a competitive market?

VC: I had a mentor early on who had experience in the alcohol industry. He instilled some great habits that I use every single day. This industry is all about honoring our fans and simply showing up. I do my best to make sure all of our accounts feel the love and have everything they need to sell the most beer!

How is the introduction or development of a new brew arrived at, and can you explain some of the process of the actual process to produce that new brew?

VC: We owe A LOT to Eric Moss, my business partner and brewmaster. He has great instinct and vision, so we let him use his expertise to select and craft beers true to his style. We will taste his creations and make certain observations and he will come back with certain tweaks based on our, and our fans', response. Beer quality is our #1 concern and he does a tremendous job.

Among the extensive brews offered at MBC, do you have a particular favorite and why?

VC: I'm really loving the Montauk Session IPA available in six-pack cartons. It has a great citrus and tropical aroma when you crack the can. I'm always amazed at Eric's creations and the brewery exclusive beers have been out of this world.

Given the expansion into NYC, what are your hopes and plans for MBC in the next few years?

VC: Right now our biggest challenge is not running out of beer. It is a testament to our fans and they are absolutely loving the brand and beer! We want to develop the brand over time and not rush anything. It is easy to get carried away with momentum and we just want to make sure we are doing the little things as well as we can - blocking and tackling is our focus.

"Right now our biggest challenge is not running out of beer," says Cutillo. (Photo: Joe Strand)

Anything you would like guests to know about a visit to MBC that they might not be aware of?

VC: Be ready to not watch TV. People seem a little surprised that we don't offer that basic amenity. However, we want to cultivate a friendly camaraderie in the taproom. People quickly start communicating and talking to each other rather than staring at a screen. I love that about the brewery, it truly is a red surf-barn by the ocean.

Cutillo describes a perfect Montauk evening the best when he wrote: "I recommend setting up an outdoor table right around sunset, cracking open some Montauk Brews and digging into a meal with fresh, locally harvested fish and vegetables. Enjoy every moment of it."

So catch some friends, waves, fish, sunsets and memories by enjoying Montauk Brewing Company - New York's easternmost brewery, just steps from the surf, and toasting Cutillo and MBC, and each other, in that quaint drinking village.

Montauk Brewing Co. is located at 62 South Erie Avenue in Montauk. For more information, call 631-668-8471 or visit www.montaukbrewingco.com.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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