Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fire Island: A Little Background on the “Other New York”

Just off the southern shore of Long Island is a place where people are welcoming, laid-back and casual. You never have to second guess people because they say what they mean, and when someone stops and asks you how you are doing, they’re not looking for a one word response. Maybe it’s the vast wooded areas populated by thousands of deer, maybe it’s the cool sound of the waves at night that you can hear from almost any point on the Island, and maybe its just the people themselves, but something’s different out on Fire Island, and it’s this same tranquility that Fire Island Beer Company tries to put into every beer.

Although the atmosphere of Fire Islandis miles apart from the work-a-day world of Manhattan, it’s really just a short trip from one island to the other. Visitors can take any one of three ferries from Long Island, for a quick, twenty-minute trip toFire Island. You won’t find cars out here, but don’t stress, most of the Island is only a quarter mile wide, with thirty-two miles of beautiful, unspoiled white-sand beaches just a walk away. In fact, “The Shack,” the small market and burger place where the original Fire Island Beer Company brew was conceived, is just off this beach. So it’s not surprising that hungry surfers, tourists, fisherman, and locals alike often mix together there to enjoy a frosty brew and burger while dipping their toes in the Atlantic.

Walking Fire Island is like a trip to the distant past, with majestic dunes and wooded areas boasting a wide variety of wildlife. Under the protection of the National Park Service, a forty-acre forest runs the length of the Island, inhabited by red foxes and white tailed-deer. The prominence and beauty of this deer is celebrated in the imagery on the label of Fire Island Beer Company’s Lighthouse Ale.

The other iconic image in the background of Fire Island Beer Company’s Lighthouse Aleis, of course, the historic Fire Island Lighthouse, located on thesouthern shore of Fire Island. A brick structure standing 168 feet tall with 182 winding steps, the Fire Island Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse on Long Island. During the last century this lighthouse served as an important landmark for transatlantic ships heading toward the New York Harbor, and for many European Immigrants this was the first thing they saw when coming to America.

Nowadays the lighthouse is no longer in use, but there’s still that unique and intangible “something” that guides people from all over to the unique beauty of Fire Island. It’s with this inspiration, and the memories of lazy days on the beaches, hikes through shaded glades, and good conversation with friends at The Shack, that we brew every bottle of Fire Island Lighthouse Ale. There’s something different out here, and it’s this difference that’s the flavor of each of our beers.

Fire Island Beer Company Lighthouse Ale: “Craft Beer from The Other New York.”™

An interactive satellite view of the Fire Island Lighthouse:

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