Inside ‘The World’s Smallest Brewery’

On Saturday we went to Coney Island to check out the Coney Island Brewing Company (an outpost of Shmaltz Brewing). Upon getting out of the subway with crowds of people into the blistering heat, we began to rethink our decision to venture to Coney on a Saturday in the summer… but we were there. Heat and crowds be damned.

After a Nathan’s hot dog (obligatory) and a stroll on the boardwalk (also obligatory), we found the brewery in a small storefront next to the Freak Show and chatted with brewer Eby Harvey about the operation. Shmaltz beers are brewed upstate, but this brewery – which opened last year – is for small batches. And by small, we mean one gallon, for fun, to experiment and be inspired by the neighborhood (Candy Apple Ale, Belgian Cotton Candy Wit Ale).

Brewer Eby

Some of the beers they've brewed

They’ve got a sweet three-pot brewing system: the top pot is for bringing water up to mashing temperature, the middle pot is for the mash and the bottom pot is for the boil. You can see a good picture of it on their blog here.

The cool thing about this brewery is that you can homebrew there. When we stopped by, Aidan Collins and Adam Jernejec were brewing a Korndog Kolsch. Aidan (who lives a few blocks away from us!) told us that they created this recipe in response to a Twitter challenge that no one had attempted to brew a beer with hot dogs. They actually baked hot dogs and were going to add them to the boil for a couple of minutes. They worked out the recipe with the guys from Bitter and Esters.

Aidan and Adam brewing

The three-pot system in use

Next week (August 10) Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz will celebrate the “Official Opening” of the brewery, with the brewing of a Cheesecake Ale and the “World’s Smallest Ribbon Cutting.”

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