Mark Burford was born in Rockville Center in 1962. His father was a lifelong parole officer and a poet and his mom worked for the Attorney General of New York in the Consumer Fraud Department. He’s always been interested in beer, music, politics, and friends and family.
Mark’s love for beer began when he was 14 years old and he started helping his older brother home brewing hobby. Later, when living out in California in the early 80s, he found himself in the center of the microbrew revolution. Hanging out in a microbrewery setup in a train car playing darts, whet his appetite for better and better brew. He began to help out the microbrewery to get free beer, not as an employee, literally just as a volunteer.
After spending several years in the NAVY, living in a variety of places ranging from sunny San Diego to Adak, Alaska, his love for beer became more than just a hobby. The notion of becoming a part of the emerging American microbrew movement drove him to get a part-time position at Honolulu Brewing Company and to learn as much as he could about the beer industry. When he returned home to New York, there weren’t any breweries on Long Island, so he opened up a home brew supply store where his partner Pete and his dog, Foot would become regular customers.
He later became the Brewmaster for the Long Island Brewing Company (LIBC) in Jericho and then began to work at The Cobblestone Brewery and Winery in Huntington. Not long after Pete joined him at Cobblestone, and it was from there they decided to open Long Island’s only Exclusive Microbrewery named The Blue Point Brewing Company.
Mark’s favorite aspect of working at the brewery is the opportunity to be creative. He loves to try new recipes and enjoys devising plans on how to ensure that every brew maintains the highest quality each and every time. He’s grateful to have the opportunity to create a fresh local product while also working in an industry where competitors are at peace with each other. His dream for the brewery is for everyone on Long Island to know that they too have a local brewery. He wants The Blue Point Brewing Company (BPBC) to become part of the Long Island culture and heritage.
Pete Cotter was born a “Beatles baby” in Smithtown, New York in 1963. His passion for quality beer started really early on. While the microbrew movement was in its infancy stage, he began homebrewing and soon became an active member in homebrew clubs across Long Island and served as a judge in many local competitions.
Bit by the travel bug, he began to travel a lot, all throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Amidst his adventures, such as getting stuck in East Berlin after missing a midnight curfew during the height of the Cold War to finding himself in the middle of a brawl during Oktoberfest to sharing a sixth class bunk with thousands of farm workers on a ship in Indonesia, it was Pete’s goal not only to explore each culture’s people and places, but to sample their brews along the way.
When he wasn’t traveling internationally, Pete was still on the road working as a representative for a tool company. In just over a decade, Pete traveled one million miles, literally stopping in every small own in the United States. In addition to visiting hardware stores and playing the harmonica in blues clubs, he also checked out dozens of local breweries during his travels. When he finally returned home to Long Island, he realized that Long Island was in need of a microbrewery of its own and The Blue Point Brewing Company was born.