Rick Sobotka

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I am the owner, founder and brewmaster of Great South Bay Brewing Co. in Bay Shore, N.Y. We officially launched our beer on 9/11/10 and are doing quite well. Demand has surely squeezed us dry as we are working hard to keep up with the supply side.

What’s new at Great South Bay?

GSB will be releasing Hoppocratic Oath, an Imperial IPA, at the end of October. The Hoppocratic Oath: “I swear to you, Hoppocrates, with beer gods Mitchell, Jackson and Maytag as our witness, that all of the beer crafted by this brewer is innovative, authentic and true to form and style.  As a symbol of our essence, we promise to ethically practice the art of hop brewing, and to loyally adhere to its universal craft principles. ” Symbolic of all of our beer, Oath is brewed with choice pale malts and select ingredients. Added to its nobility are tremendous amounts of six different hops. We put all of our energy, ambition, passion, and skill into the Oath and we promise not an ounce less.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

I have had a passion for brewing since I was a kid, brewing with my father. The craft brewing community feels like a family to me, where I am able to create and design my craft brews for the family to enjoy.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

I am blessed to have two wonderful children, six-year-old Marris, whose ambition inspired the GSB beer Blonde Ambition, and three-year-old James, to whom I hope to hand over the reins of brewmaster of the GSB when he grows up. We boat on the Great South Bay during the summer and spend a lot of time on the summer community of Fire Island. In the winter we all ski and snowboard in the Northeast.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

GSB Massive IPA with fresh ginger habañero salsa swordfish.

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

Anesthesia Resident and Teacher of Year, 2006 SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

Brasserie Dupont Moinette Blonde and Green Flash Brewing Co. Le Freak.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo. I toured Avery with my friends from the Long Island Beer & Malt Enthusiasts, ending up in the serene Avery barrel room for hours, drinking their barrel-aged sours.

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