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.
(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
Peter Tripp, owner of Homebrews and Handgrenades in Baldwin
(516) 223-9300, brewgrenades.com
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?
PT: 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?
PT: It’s a play on the saying, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. I’m terrible at horseshoes…that’s why
Follow Niko Krommydas and his blog, Super Neat Beer Adventure, Yes!!, at lipulse.com where you can find more craft beer on Long Island.
Photo by Stephen Lang