Red Zone June 2012

imageWham-O, creators of Slip ‘N Slide, introduce Slip ‘N Slide: Craft Beer Hydro-Jovial Edition, a new, homemade variation for the artisan aficionado!

No assembly required!


1. Examine components of Slip ‘N Slide: Craft Beer Extreme Hydro-Jovial Edition—one shower curtain, one pint of generic ale/lager and one craft beer in appropriate glassware—while subtly furrowing brow.

2. Pour generic ale/lager on shower curtain.

3. Discard shower curtain and generic ale/lager using emphatic act of strength.

4. Consume craft beer in appropriate glassware.


Effin Gruven
(516) 409-1415, Bellmore

Joseph Dantona does not delineate the ethos of Effin Gruven with a definitive word or aesthetic phrase, enabling his establishment to securely fit within any specific conception.

Dantona views Effin Gruven as an evolving entity.

“We are constantly progressing,” says Dantona. “Some people know us as a hippie bar or a craft beer bar, but I just want to provide a chill environment that offers quality and a good time.”

Established in January of 2000, when “customers believed a bar without Bud Light would go out of business in two months,” Effin Gruven promotes quality choice via 18 drafts, 102 bottles and myriad single-evening brewery showcases (e.g., Brooklyn Brewery’s multiple-draft, local eats event on April 26 to release Brooklyn Gold Standard, an unfiltered spring lager).

Gruven also possesses the best Facebook status updates.

Snaps American Bistro
(516) 221-0029, Wantagh

Pop. Crackle. Snaps.

Though Scott Bradley, former executive chef of La Coquille and Mirepoix, opposed hamburgers within Snaps American Bistro’s initial presentation, which included eight-course taste menus and an “eclectic vibe often found in New York, not Wantagh,” a gradual infusion of artisanal-charmed comfort items has produced success without compromising vision.

“I can create upscale burgers, and they’re still affordable,” says Bradley, who has also had culinary stints at Daniel and Oceana. “We still have our core dining entrées, which was my initial vision, but customers have more options now.”

Established in February 2004, Snaps American Bistro currently serves 12+ hamburger variations (e.g., Truffle: truffle aioli, truffle cheese, truffle mushroom, caramelized onions and an option for seared foie gras), which can be consumed from banquette or a compact six-draft bar operated by Bradley’s father, a retired fireman.

Food/Beer Matrimony: Five-Spiced Tuna Steak w/Pineapple Rice, Soy Ginger-Lemongrass Sauce and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company Ruthless Rye IPA.


The Cortland
(631) 260-2220, Bay Shore

Ben and Bobby Gulinello, broprietors* of The Cortland, agree on craft beer’s increased presence on Long Island since opening their Bay Shore-based establishment in October 2010, but continued growth is crucial for the development of a prosperous culture.

“We’re still in our infancy and there is so much room to expand, whether opening more breweries or serving good beer in bars,” says Bobby, who returned to Long Island following a nine-year stint in Philadelphia, managing “Irish pubs with no creative soul.”

The Cortland, named after The New Cortland House (once located on Main Street in Bay Shore, the hotel ceased operations in 1940), assists aforementioned development with three New York-only drafts, weekly events with proximate businesses and a rotating small-plate menu from adjacent restaurant, The Eatery at Tullulah’s. Recent pours include Port Jeff Brewing Company Ghost Cat Brown Ale, a collaboration with an East Islip homebrew duo and Spider Bite Beer Company Robert’s Spider Wee Heavy, a smoke-malted scotch ale.

*Broprietors = Brothers + Proprietors

T.J. Finley’s
(631) 647-4856, Bay Shore

“As quality beer continues to expand on Long Island, the distinction between specialty bar and bar is gradually narrowing,” says Drew Dvorkin, who opened T.J. Finley’s with Mike McElwee in September 2006. “We strive to not only be the best beer bar, but the best bar, as well.”

To maintain this self-imposed standard, Dvorkin and McElwee created Private Pub, an individualized, pay-per-ounce bar system connecting each patron booth to T.J. Finley’s 26 drafts. Following server activation, customers are able to pour their beer without employee assistance.

“There has always been a physical separation between bartender and patron,” says Dvorkin, who also owns Bronx Ale House and George Keeley (Bronx and Manhattan, respectively). “We’re trying to make our experience more interactive, and hopefully more fun for the customer, too.”

Click here to follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, where you can find more on the Long Island craft beer culture.

Photo of The Cortland by Stephen Lang

niko krommydas

Niko Krommydas has written for Tasting Table, BeerAdvocate, Munchies, and First We Feast. He is editor of Craft Beer New York, an app for the iPhone, and a columnist for Yankee Brew News. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.