Red Zone April 2014

The Currywurst Company
(516) 665-3150, Long Beach

Opened: 2013 | Beers: 19
Atmosphere: A pint-sized, brick-interiored, full-kitchened German bierhalle

What To Know: Lothar Miller is the wurst proprietor on Long Island! Zing. A native of Stuttgart, Germany, Miller delivers a variety of currywursts (sausages draped with curry-spiced ketchup) and bratwursts including elk, alligator and boar, to Long Beach, amidst the communal vibes of Munich during Oktoberfest.

Benches? Check. A slew of Hofbräu paraphernalia? Check. Beer? CHECK! The latter is a nice-and-simple introduction to Germany’s styles, from hefeweizen to kolsch, zwickelbier to pilsner. Currywurst’s drafts are also available in four-liter boots, or Stiefel. Whoa.

What To Drink: During my entry-level years of beering, Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissebier provided escape from the monotony of another wheat-driven ale: Blue Moon. The discovery of Weihenstephaner Vitus however, confirmed my escape was permanent. Vitus, my favorite among Currywurst’s lineup of 16 bottles, is a weizenbock, or heftier version of a hefeweizen. It’s hazy-golden, cloudy, banana-y, bready, citrusy and delicious-y.

Also Try: Paulaner Brauerei’s Salvator Double Bock, a super-smooth, copper-colored doppelbock flowing with breadiness, caramel and figs. Augustiner Braü’s Maximator is
also a doppelbock.

Del Fuego
(631) 620-3700, Babylon

Opened: 2011 | Beers: 30
Atmosphere: Casual, cattle horn-decorated Tex-Mex

What To Know: Del Fuego burns with 65 varieties of tequila, but I can also ignite my tuna ceviche and beef brisket-stuffed tacos with beer—primarily beer produced on Long Island. Owned by Joseph, Jim and Leo DeNicola, Del Fuego also has a branch in St. James while another location is forthcoming in Patchogue. Babylon pours 10 drafts from Greenport Harbor Brewing, Brooklyn Brewery and Blue Point Brewing.

What To Drink: Port Jeff Brewing’s Birra DeNicola is exclusively brewed for all DeNicola-owned restaurants, which also includes La Tavola and Ruvo. It’s amberish, crisp and drinkable—a darker, rye-infused spin on Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Pale Ale. “We wanted a simple beer that anyone could knock back,” said Leo. “To keep things interesting, we asked Mike [Philbrick, owner and brewmaster of Port Jeff] to brew a new wheat beer for us for May.”

Also Try: Blue Point’s newest beer, Mosaic Session IPA, which is light, low on alcohol and tropical-citrusy. Andean Brewing brews everything, including KUKA Tripel, with maca root, a vegetable grown in the Andes Mountains.

Brew News & New Brews

Beer Profile
Peter Tripp, owner of Homebrews and Handgrenades in Baldwin
Established: 2013
(516) 223-9300,

Long Island Pulse: What is Homebrews and Handgrenades?
Peter Tripp:
A homebrewing shop—no Army equipment here—with any ingredient and piece of equipment you need to make beer. We have over 40 types of malts, for example. I also sell geeky comic book-inspired beer shirts and offer introductory classes in the store every other Sunday. I have an induction cooker in the back and we brew recipes. The last one was a pale ale with Amarillo hops. Our next classes are April 13th and 27th.

Pulse: Why did you open?
I’ve always loved beer, and I make beer at home all the time. I was originally a structural ironworker but I herniated three discs and lost feeling below my knees. I had back surgery and started to heal, but I messed it up again lifting my infant son. I was at a crossroads. I just decided to go for it.

Pulse: Where did the name come from?
It’s a play on the saying, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. I’m terrible at horseshoes…that’s why
I homebrew.

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