Beer Finder

There’s more to Coney Island than just summer beaches and rollercoasters…there’s beer! And lots of it. Eric and crew have been brewing up a storm these past few months so we decided to check in with him to see what’s hitting the tanks and taps this fall.

September saw the return of Freaktoberfest and the arrival of Super Freak. What beers can we expect for the rest of fall at the brewery?

 The fall and winter are some of the most exciting months at the brewery.  Now that the crowds of summer have died down, we’re able to take some time and do some serious brewing innovation.  This fall sees the return of our classics Warrior IRA and Russian Imperial Kvass, along with new beers, Grin and Tonic (the winning idea from our Brew York New York contest!), Hell Ride Smoked Helles Lager and Tender Curiosity.

The 2016 Warrior IRA

Let’s start with Warrior. What exactly is the difference between an IRA and an IPA?

It’s all in the malt.  IPA stands for India Pale Ale while IRA means India Red Ale.  Using a combination of black pearl, caramel and caraRed malts, this beer has a brilliant red color and a rich and full malt backbone.  

Is one hoppier than the other or does it really depend on the specific recipes?

It depends on recipes always, however our Warrior IRA and Overpass IPA have the same IBUs, 60. 

Has anything changed about this year’s brew compared to last year’s?

 This year I focused on manipulating fermentation to finish with a much more prominent malt flavor.  The real difference is in the malt, and I thought it should be highlighted.  

The Kvass is one that’s appeared on the tap list before as well. What makes this a good one for this time of year?

The Kvass was one of the first beers ever brewed here and it’s excellent for this time of year.  At almost 50% rye, this beer has an intense spicy rye characteristic, while having a pleasant full-bodied malt backbone with subtle raisin sweetness.  It is also surprisingly light at 3.9% ABV, so you can have a few of these full flavored ales.

For those not familiar with the style, what exactly is a Kvass?

A kvass is a traditional Russian drink usually made by families at home.  They would take rye bread, raisins, yeast and water and mix them all together in a jar.  The resulting drink was slightly alcoholic at 1-2% ABV and the whole family would enjoy it.  We took a little liberties with tradition and made ours “Imperial” at 3.9%.  

Why did you want to bring the Kvass one back this year?

 Coney Island has a very strong Russian community and it was very popular last year.  As with most of our beers, we continue to strive to reflect our local community, and this beer is a great example of that.

Hell Ride Smoked Helles Lager

And the newest one, Hell Ride. Where did the inspiration from this beer come from? 

This beer was inspired by the ill-fated “Hell Gate” ride in Coney Island.  In 1911 during construction a bucket of hot tar was knocked over and started a fire that would consume most of Dreamland park.  Coney Island is currently undergoing it’s own redevelopment, and I thought was a better way to rise out of the ashes than by commemorating the accident, proving that Coney Island is here to stay!

Is a smoky helles a traditional style or is it a more modern twist on the helles style?

Not exactly a modern twist, but definitely a liberty with the style.  

How would you describe the level of smokiness in this beer?

 Just right.  I was careful to make sure to keep this beer balanced.  A lot of smoked beers have a tendency to be in your face, I was looking to keep it very subtle and really shine as you finish your sip and it lingers slightly on your palate.  

When can we expect to see these on tap at the brewery?

Hell Ride and Warrior are on tap now*, with Kvass, Grin and Tonic and Tender Curiosity all hitting the taps by the second week of November. 

*As of publishing date, 10/26.

If someone walks into the brewery and leaves with a growler of each of these 3 beers, what foods would you pair with each?

Hell Ride – The smokiness is a no brainer for BBQ or other steak options.  It will really bring out these flavors.

Warrior – This beer is very versatile and can be paired with anything from salads to burgers.  My favorite, however, is pasta with any tomato based sauce.  

Kvass –  Although lighter in ABV, this beer is an excellent dessert pairing beer.  Pecan and apple pies are my favorite to pair this beer with.