Surf Ave. Craft Beer Brewery Makes Waves at Coney Island

Surf Ave. Craft Beer Brewery Makes Waves at Coney Island

Cotton Candy Kölsch with added cotton candy. (©Katie Labovitz)

Beer drinkers should be familiar with Coney Island Brewing Company, as this brewery’s Hard Root Beer and Hard Orange Cream Ale, among other tasty flavors, are widely available across the country and its Mermaid Pilsner is popular among NYC pilsner lovers. But did you know that there are some flavors of their brews that are exclusive to their Coney Island brewery?

The Coney Island Brewing Company’s Innovation Brewery is enjoying its first full summer being open on Surf Ave. Here, guests can take a tour of the brewery to see where the magic happens in addition to grabbing a drink at the bar. You know how you’re supposed to avoid seeing how sausage gets made because it ruins it for you? Well, the opposite is true of the beer-brewing process—I found huge comfort in seeing exactly where Coney Island Brewing Company’s beer comes from and knowing that it’s made by people who are passionate about every single step of the process. Grain, hops, yeast and water may be the four main ingredients, but there is a beautiful science-y aspect to crafting beer and it’s interesting to witness it firsthand. For example, additional flavors—such as fruits, spices or even potato flakes—are added at certain stages of the beer making process in order to create exciting new brews.

At the end of April, I was among a handful of folks to sample one of Coney Island Brewing Company’s fun flavors for this summer that is only on tap at the brewery—Cotton Candy Kölsch (ABV 4.9%). A light and refreshing beer, this definitely was a drink meant to be enjoyed among the sights and sounds of Coney Island. I commented to the guys at the brewery that I had seen cotton candy-themed liquor drinks served over actual cotton candy. Minutes later, someone had acquired cotton candy from a nearby seller—because it’s Coney Island and there is amusement park fare mere steps away from the brewery—and we were soon watching the candy confection disintegrate into our Kölsch. Not only did the drinks turn color depending on the cotton candy used, but there was an added sweetness to an already yummy drink.

(And though I haven’t tried it yet myself, I hear adding a scoop or two of ice cream or some soft serve to the Hard Root Beer or Hard Orange Cream Ale is heavenly…)

There are always eight beers on tap at the Coney Island Brewing Company, but the line-up is ever-changing to incorporate new flavors or limited edition draughts unique to the location. Guests can buy pints to enjoy at the brewery and get growlers to go.

In addition to great beer, the brewery is also home to some fantastic events this summer. On June 11, the brewery is hosting a can release for its MerMan Imperial Pilsner. Coney Island Brewing Company will have a float in the June 18 Mermaid Parade. Live music, trivia, "tappy hour" tours and a movies and malts film series are all weekly happenings. Check the brewery’s website for the most up-to-date event schedule.

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