The Coney Island Brewing Company, which relaunched a year ago after being sold to Alchemy & Science, a division of Samuel Adams, has applied for a license to open a brewery at 1904 Surf Avenue in Coney Island, sources tell ATZ. The new brewery will mark a return to Coney for the namesake brand, which under Shmaltz Brewing ownership operated the “World’s Smallest Brewery” in a tiny storefront next to the freak show. That brewery was part of Coney Island USA’s small business incubator program from 2011 until it got washed away by Sandy. The new retail space at 1904 Surf on the outside of MCU Park was formerly occupied by Danny Boy’s Pizza and is adjacent to Peggy O’Neill’s and the MCU Credit Union.
“We’re not ready to make an official announcement, there is paperwork still being processed,” Kathleen Barnes of the Coney Island Brewing Company told ATZ. According to the New York State Liquor Authority, the application was filed on September 26 and is pending. The NYSLA has no set timetable for approval, but after a brewer’s license is granted, the permittee has the option of applying for a retail license and tasting permit.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Barnes added. She said Coney Island Brewing Company is planning to have a tasting room, retail space, a community center, and tours of the brewing process. Draft beers will be sold in growlers. Retail items include Coney beer-themed tap handles, coolers, beach towels, T-shirts and trucker hats currently sold on the company’s online store. Asked if the brewery would be applying for a permit to operate a brew pub or restaurant at the location, Barnes said they were not.
Last November’s relaunch included a new look for the labels and new beers. At the time of the sale new owner Alan Newman of A & S told Brewhound, “The goal is to broaden out the brand so it represents more than just the freak show and isn’t so scary,” he said. “We want to celebrate the amusement park, the beach, the boardwalk, the hot dogs and all of the things that make Coney Island interesting.”
New beers include “Seas the Day,” an Indian pale lager with a Zoltar-like fortuneteller gracing the label and “Tunnel of Love,” described as “Watermelon Wheat” and featuring a couple seated in a romantic swan carriage on its label. A few weeks ago, the company released “The Plunge,” which is “a deep golden, slightly hazy Belgian-style ale with a big citrus aroma. This full, malty beer has a big spice character that comes to life at the first sip.” Yes, the name is a reference to Coney Island’s winter swimmers, the Polar Bears, and their New Year’s Day Plunge.
Coney Island Brewing Company’s beers are distributed in the New York metro area. In Coney Island, the brand is sold at MCU Park, Nathan’s Famous, Tom’s Restaurant, and Ruby’s Bar as well as supermarkets and delis.
Related posts on ATZ…
November 5, 2014: Your Chance to Own a Souvenir Chair from Ruby’s Bar
November 25, 2013: Coney Island Freak Show-Inspired Beer Takes A New Ride
January 31, 2012: Remnant of Under Boardwalk Bar Found in Coney Island
October 11, 2011: Photo of the Day: Butterflies & Beer Island by Bruce Handy