Well, the secret's out now.
has launched a club for beer lovers, dubbed the "Secret Beer Society," in which its patrons take on the task of trying 60 beers and completing other challenges.
"The requirements are world class beers that everybody should try," said Terence Daly, assistant manager at the Tavern. "It’s kind of like a notch in your belt."
Originally modeled after the "Mug Club" at Patchogue's , the Secret Beer Society evolved over the past few months, and now includes approximately 230 members, Daly said. Joining the club entails about a $500 commitment over the course of time one takes to complete the challenge, with 60 beers averaging $8 each. But eventually, he said, it will pay for itself: Those who complete the challenge receive a card that entitles them to a 10 percent discount at all of the Lessings restaurants, including the Post Office Café in Babylon, The Library in Farmingdale, Finnegan's in Huntington, and others. Participants also receive a t-shirt and a Secret Beer Society stein.
Among the must-have beers on the list: Lessing’s Local Ale, Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale, Sly Fox Raspberry Reserve, Greenport Citrus IPA, and Ommegang Rare Vos.
Food writer Dave Seel, a local resident who has joined the Secret Beer Society, said the standout brews include Hitachino Commemorative Ale, which he described as "a beautifully balanced beer from Japan," and the Mikkeller Single Hop IPA Series, "a fantastic beer that highlights different hop varietals."
"This was great for me since I'm a huge beer lover and adventurer of taste," he said. "...The Mirabelle beer list is so extensive that the beer society is a great way to discover new beers and really enjoy tasting beers from around the world."
Daly called the club a way to get out of your comfort zone when it comes to enjoying beer.
"You can’t just have your Bud or a Palm 60 times," he said.
The rollout of the Secret Beer Society reflects the upward mobility of the beer selection at a restaurant that already had a reputation for its fine wine offerings.
"In the beginning, I would say it was definitely more wine," Daly said, "but beer has started to pick up within the last two years since we upped our inventory."