Bellport Brewing Company owner, Brian Baker, has tragically passed away in a motor vehicle crash in Mastic Beach.
The accident occurred Tuesday afternoon when Baker was driving his 2022 Hyundai northbound on Mastic Road, just north of Blanco Drive. According to police, Baker is believed to have suffered a medical event while driving, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The car then crossed through the southbound traffic lanes and hit a tree and a utility pole.
Baker, who was 43 years old and from Moriches, was pronounced dead at the scene by a paramedic from the Mastic Beach Ambulance Company. A 16-year-old female passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries and was released at the scene into the custody of family.
Baker was well-known in the Long Island brewing community, and his death has come as a shock to many.
He had worked towards opening his own brewery, Bellport Brewing Company, for several years, and finally opened it in 2020 after being in talks with Bellport officials to change the bylaws of the village to allow him to open.
Baker’s journey with beer began in 2013, and he quickly became involved with the Long Island Beer and Malt Enthusiasts, also known as LIBME, who are homebrewers. He then went on to start his own brewing company, which he had been working on for the past seven years.
Baker was known for his passion for brewing and was admired by many in the brewing community. He was inspired by his peers, such as Paul Dlugokencky of Blindbat Brewery, and was determined to make his dream of opening his own brewery a reality.
The Hyundai involved in the accident was impounded for a safety check, and the police are asking anyone with information on the crash to contact the Seventh Squad at 631.852.8752.
Top photo: Facebook/Bellport Brewing Company