When owners Kevin Cain, Lee Kaplan, Marc Jackson and Manny Coelho of Lithology Brewing Co. finished refurbishing the brewery’s tasting room in July, it was a moment nearly a decade in the making. The group began brewing together in 2007, became a tenant brewery at a Taste of Long Island in 2015 and took over the lease at the Farmingdale location in March 2016. The spot is now built for tasting the hops of the group’s labor.
“We renovated the tasting room to make it our own and make it a more inviting bar space,” Cain said. “Previously it was set up as more of a retail market.”
It takes only a few moments to taste, but Cain, Kaplan, Jackson and Coelho put days, months and sometimes years into perfecting their beers. Since banding together about 10 years ago, Cain, Kaplan, Jackson and Coelho have been able to combine their scientific backgrounds and love of beer into the brewing process.
“We are very detail orientated when it comes to the techniques that we use and quality control,” Cain said. “If things don’t turn out as they should, we keep detailed records so we know what we can do to go back and make the changes; making sure we are getting the best product out there.”
Visitors can savor the high-quality beer in the renovated tasting room that expresses a rustic feel with varied wooden touches and whisky barrels. There are currently 11 beers on tap and typically at least 8 active lines. The brewery still maintains tenant space for local brewers such as Fine Belgium and Tweaking Frog, which sell their beer from kegs at Lithology.
Since Lithology Brewing Co. has a New York State farm brewery license, they are also allowed to serve other NY labeled beer, wine and liquor.
“We are looking to develop beer cocktails…mixed drinks with liquor and beer.”
An expanded bar is still in the planning stages, but Lithology Brewing Co. already serves wine from Channing Daughters Winery and OR Chardonnay on the East End.
As far as brews go, the brewery’s most popular is the Lithology Brown Ale, an English Brown Ale with chocolate, caramel, nutty and toasty notes from the Chocolate, Marris Otter and Victory malts. Turns out, critics and consumers are on the same page—it won the silver medal at 2016 New York International Craft Beer Competition.
Another fan-favorite is the Designated Hitter, with a strong malty backbone and notes of citrus. Right now, Cain, Kaplan, Jackson and Coelho are finishing up the Magia Nera (black magic in Italian), a coffee stout made with coffee from neighborhood shop Flux Coffee.
“We hope to expand our product line. We are going to be getting more into cans and will continue to make our own beer better while developing more unique recipes.”