Red Zone September 2012

imageWhat I Did On My Summer Vacation

1. Scholarly pursuits (experiments with Totino’s Pizza Rolls as biological weaponry).
2. Grow up.
3. Beer.


Tennessee Jed’s
(516) 308-3355, Wantagh

Enter Tennessee Jed’s on a Sunday afternoon and remove lime-armed sunglasses, which protect against ultraviolet radiation and enable one to resemble a member of defunct ska punk band Operation Ivy. Observe the assortment of brewery and barbecue bric-a-brac (e.g., tin signs of chubby pigs and Caucasian heads splurting beer sloganry) while consuming one bottle of Firestone Walker Brewing Company Union Jack, and discuss stuff with Francisco Gonzalez, owner, who opened Tennessee Jed’s with his wife Julie in 2008.

Gonzalez will say, “Since we only have one tap, it allows us to constantly switch beers and offer new things. Customers come in and like to estimate how much is left in our keg, and they’ll sit and finish it just to see what beer is next.”

Gonzalez will also say, “I want to offer barbecue diversity and give people a taste of everything. That’s why I serve St. Louis-style ribs and Tennessee-style beef sausage.”

Do it.

Super Neat Factoid: Though a reference to the Grateful Dead song, “Tennessee Jed,” the Wantagh-based, orange-walled restaurant is also named after Tennessee Jed Sloan, a radio cowboy portrayed by Johnny Thomas and, later, Don MacLaughlin. The serial aired from 1945 to 1947.

(516) 294-0441, Mineola

Shakers, defined by proprietor Kashmir Arnold as “an upscale dive bar that allows people the opportunity to relax,” contains throngs of leather sofas, restored trunk-tables and an eight-draft beer dispensary. The latter, a mechanism constructed from various metal things and gas regulators, pours Great South Bay Brewery Blonde Ambition Ale, a light-bodied mouth of apricot and bread, and Peak Organic Brewing Company IPA, a Portland, Maine-based citrusy ale.

“We want to support the smaller breweries and help spread the word,” says Arnold, who opened Shakers with Deanna Nauer in February 2011 after meeting in Austin, Texas.

Shakers also procures its meat, utilized by executive chef Phil Salerno, from Andy’s New Hyde Park Meats.

Note: Shakers possesses a gargantuan, redwood-resembling Jenga set. If one does not enjoy the humongoid dynamism of Giant Jenga, one can use the pieces to construct a miniature log cabin in Poultney, Vermont for miniature giants.


Croxley’s Ale House
(516) 293-7700, Farmingdale

Old Mother Croxley
Visited one of four Croxley’s
To acquire a beer for consumption;
But when she arrived
Actually, nevermind:
She consumed. She consumed a beer.

The exact beer selected by Old Mother Croxley, however, is unknown. An unidentified source possessing shag-dirt hair and impoverished attire informed Red Zone of Old Mother Croxley’s location that evening, but nothing more.

“Farmingdale,” the dirty individual, who resembled, er, Greeko Adidas said.

Opened in 2008* by Ed Davis, Joseph Mandolia, Jeff Piciullo, Joseph Rodriguez and Chris Werle, Croxley’s Ale House in Farmingdale pours 68 drafts (the largest tap selection of all Croxley establishments), including Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales Sah’tea, an ancient-reciped blend of cinnamon, clove, juniper berries and tea, and Troubadour Magma, a citrusy Belgian IPA.

“Our goal has been the same for twenty years,” said Werle. “We want to offer a great selection of craft beer, and to do that, we always need to be open to discover new and quality within the industry.”

Any information on Old Mother Croxley’s consumption is appreciated.

*Croxley’s Ale House’s first location, in Franklin Square, opened in 1992.

(631) 689-7755, Stony Brook

Despite the impossibility of bicycling to Florence from Stony Brook University*, or admiring the Tuscan expanse while carb-nourishing duckies at Avalon Park & Preserve’s pond, Lisa Cusumano, general manager of Pentimento, aspires to present la cultura d’Italia to Long Island as a local experience.

An example affirming this is Pentimento’s portfolio of beer.

Curated by Cusimano, and including LoverBeer Beerbera, an aubergine-hued, oak barrel-aged sour brewed with Barbera grapes, and Birrificio Del Ducato Verdi, a stout infused with peppers, Pentimento’s list is a broad showcase of Italy’s brew-creativity.

“People aren’t really aware of Italy’s beer culture, but there’s more being made than Peroni,” says Cusumano, who selects beer to complement Dennis Young’s menu (Young, proprietor and executive chef, opened Pentimento in 1994). “Italian brewers are cellar-aging beers and brewing with local herbs. We want to introduce those unique creations to our clientele.”

Food/Beer Matrimony: Stufato Di Manzo (Italian beef stew with potato, carrots, onion, turnips, barbera, and polenta) & LoverBeer Beerbara.

*An attempt to bicycle to Florence from Stony Brook University was thwarted by Google Maps. “Directions could not be found between these locations.” Technology impedes exploration like a banana peel underfoot.

Follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, at where you can find more craft beer on Long Island.

Photo 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.