Red Zone February 2013

The eschatological scholars predicting humanity’s violent demise on December 21, 2012 were incorrect. We are alive. Beer, too.I

Crazy Beans
(631) 403-4954, Miller Place

Opened in the former location of Beanberry Caffe in Miller Place, Crazy Beans offers a potpourri of Callie Brennan’s interests, highlighted by the owner’s appreciation of bean and beer. Says Brennan, “I decided to combine everything I loved under one roof. We’re highlighting local artists, brewers, bakers and anything else I can think of. We want to put a lot of creativity in the space.” Crazy Beans introduced a two-draft kegerator in November and has featured several beers from Rocky Point Artisan Brewers. Located only four miles away, the brewers are constantly impressing Brennan’s patrons. “I love seeing people come in and discovering a new brewery with awesome beer in their backyard,” says Brennan. Crazy Beans’ love for local business isn’t confined to beer, as Brennan recently added Tend Coffee, a Center Moriches-based roaster, to incorporate within her portfolio. She also offers vegan desserts like cream cheese-centered whoopie pies from Huntington Station’s Love Thy Baker.

(631) 462-0822, Commack

Shelby Poole remained uncertain of her establishment’s identity…until an introduction to craft beer. “I went to The Lark Pub & Grub for trivia and had a lot of fun,” says Poole, who owns Jackson’s with Harry Poole and Artie Bloom (husband and father, respectively).

Poole began Jackson’s reconstruction by tackling its bottle portfolio, adding Dogfish Head Craft Ales Chicory Stout and 14 others. She followed with a five-draft addition (eight currently) in December. Stone Brewing Company Double Bastard Ale and Green Flash Brewing Company West Coast IPA were amongst the inaugural pours. Though Poole was initially concerned about Jackson’s switch to micro-brand breweries, which are often accompanied by higher sale prices and lower customer recognition, her patrons have embraced the shift. “I’m shocked at how many people know and appreciate good beer,” says Poole.

A & R Beverage
(516) 785-2920, Seaford

Mark Sinobio opened A & R Beverage in 1985 and noticed a shift to craft “about four years ago.” He adjusted accordingly. His 1,000+ brand establishment expanded to a 24-draft system in 2010 (the largest growler station in Nassau County) and converted his original six to Long Island-only pours. He selects “beers that wouldn’t normally be available in bottles, so people can constantly have options.”

POUR THAT…with Peter Mangouranes
(The Good Life)

Beer: Delirium Tremens
Why: “I was in a bar in Boston called Bukowski Tavern and ordered my first Belgian craft beer: Delirium Tremens. It introduced me to Belgian-style beers and after three of them, I soon understood the meaning of the name. The elephant is a trademark now, too. It’s an easy sell.”

Red Zone Three-Bottle Recommends
1) The final installment within Stone Brewing Company’s twelve-year series of Belgian-inspired beers created for cellaring and side-by-side sampling, 12.12.12 Vertical Epic Ale is a dark ale brewed with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, orange peel and rosehips. Expect spice, yeasty esters and a dry finish.

2) Boris The Spider, a tar-colored stout with roast and chocolate, is Spider Bite Beer Company’s second bottle release. The brewery, which currently contracts at Butternuts Ales & Lagers in Garrattsville, New York, is constructing a facility in Holbrook.

3) Brewed for Founders Brewing Company’s fifteenth anniversary, Bolt Cutter is a 15.0% ABV barleywine with oodles of complexity. The beer is divided and fermented within different vessels (bourbon barrels, maple syrup-bourbon barrels, and standard) before reunited and bottled.

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