Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cajun Shrimp Boil for the Kismet Fire Dept!

Fire Island Beer Company once again joined forces with the Chance Beach House to support the Kismet Fire Department. We supplied a keg of Pumpkin Barrel Ale for the annual event, where members from the Kismet Sharehouse Community mingled over what Chance owner/manager John Blesso refer's to as his favorite meal:

"It's shrimp and sausage and corn and potatoes and onions and French beans all boiled together in cajun spices and then poured out over paper. No plates, no utensils, just grab whatever looks good (on the table that is) and eat."

We were happy to report that the one accoutrement necessary for this feast was a cup and this crowd of 70 proceeded to drain the keg of Pumpkin Ale while supporting Kismet's bravest. Cheers to all who attended and to the Kismet Fire Department!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Of Deer Ridin' and other Foibles...

If you’ve ever been out to Fire Island, you’ll know that the deer run the place. Mainly because they don’t have to worry about getting run over by cars (cause there aren’t any) and because there’s plenty of tasty vegetation for them to munch on. They lead remarkably chilled-out lives. In fact, there’s only one thing these indigenous deer have to worry about...

Imagine, if you will, a warm summer night out on Fire Island. A man- one of the founders of Fire Island Beer Company, in fact- is sitting out on his porch in Atlantique, kicking back some Lighthouse Ales and watching a random deer hang out. After one beer too many, a strange and unshakeable thought enters his mind:

What if I put a saddle on that deer and rode it over to Ocean Beach?!

Fortunately for the deer, the co-founder in question (who has asked that he not be identified, in accordance with the Beer Drinker’s Code) voiced his idea to his brother and cousin before acting on it. They were a few beers behind him, so reason won out and the lucky deer was spared a twenty minute walk with a drunk human being on its back.

Sometimes you can’t always get what you want. But dreams never die- they just retreat to the back of the mind, where they wait for the right moment to re-emerge. That moment came some months later when that same Fire Island Beer co-founder went to Johnny Famous Bar and Restaurant in Bayside, NY. Over there, he found himself face to face with a rather impressive and fierce-looking mechanical bull.

In that moment, he knew what had to happen, with as much certainty as he’d known anything else in his life:

I’m going to turn that mechanical bull into a mechanical deer. And then I’m going to ride the damn thing.

Unfortunately, flashes of genius never come with insurance: putting antlers on the bull would probably make it too dangerous to ride. But like it is with all endeavors, there’s always another solution. Our very talented creative team made an antlered bib for the bull to reveal its deepest secret: that this mechanical bovine wished it was a deer.

We actually think this was funnier than antlers would have ever been- not to mention the potential as a fashion accessory. (Don’t you wish you were a deer too?) Only the bull knows if it has recovered from the psychological trauma though...

With the promise of a pint of Fire Island Beer for everyone who dared to ride the deer, it was no time before people started pouring into Johnny Famous that fateful Thursday night. We were the only people in the bar when we got there at 9pm, and by midnight, there were well over 200 partygoers, watching people fall off the deer and dancing to the DJ’s slammin’ beats.

When all was said and done, 362 people walked through the saloon doors to join us for a night of fun and debauchery. Props to the bartenders for holding it down!

Thank you for all of those who showed up, cause this really was quite the special night. And if you missed out, no worries- we’ll be hosting another event at Johnny Famous in the very near future. So stay tuned and you’ll have your chance to live the dream and ride the deer too.

In fact, if you do come to the next one, find one of us- we’ll challenge you to a deer riding contest. Loser buys a beer and a nice venison steak.

Cheers, and till we meet again-

The Fire Island Beer Company Crew

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kismet July Fourth Pig Roast

For the second year in a row now, Fire Island Beer Company donated kegs of Lighthouse Ale to Kismet's annual Pig Roast to support the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. IAVA played an integral role in helping to pass the new GI Bill, and generally helps make sure that we uphold our end of the bargain to the men and women returning from those battlefields.

John preparing the roasting box

When John Blesso, the owner and manager of Chance, a beach house that caters to hard-core foodies in Kismet, first roasted a whole pig during the July 4th weekend in 2005, he wasn't expecting to be bombarded with Kismet's entire sharehouse community. The following year he ordered a larger pig, maxing out the capacity of his Caja China, a roasting box popularized by the whole-pig roasters in the Miami Cuban community. A couple of years ago, he decided to make the most of his annual event, and began requesting a voluntary donation to IAVA. Last year, we decided that this would be a great event for Fire Island Beer Company to support.

Dinner arrives.

Ninety-one pounds of delicious oink fed one hundred people who mingled and ate and drank while supporting IAVA on the Fourth. Together they raised more than $1500 for IAVA and we were proud to be a part of it. There's nothing better than people having a great time for a great cause!

One roasted pig!

-- Special thanks to John Blesso for his help in preparing this blog post.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

FIBC @ NY BrewFest 2010

Ten thousand people, three hundred beers, one hundred brewers but just six kegs of Red Wagon IPA and Lighthouse Ale. We did it. You did it. We did it together, all ten thousand-plus of us. We poured and tasted and chugged and danced (along to live bands) and noshed (on gourmet pretzels) and laughed our way through New York Brewfest 2010. Set on Governor's Island, the most picturesque best-kept secret off the southern tip of Manhattan, we couldn't have dreamt up a better crowd or better weather. This was hands down one of the most exhilarating events we've been a part of to date. Check it out for yourself:


The lines were long, but the day was beautiful, the music was great, and the beer just wouldn’t stop flowing. All in all, a great recipe for a BrewFest.

Everyone was given a small sampling glass, but they definitely added up. By the end of it, people were more than happy to show us their beer faces.

Alas, all good things must slowly come winding down to their end. Beer-drinkers, who have an innate knack for sensing such things, were camping out by the Fire Island booth to get as much delicious beverage as they could possibly imbibe before the event shut down. Fire Island Beer Company stickers were being snatched off the tables in the dozens and stuck on the most inappropriate of places.

After all was said and done, we packed up our booth and headed for the ferry. We then ran into a human traffic jam of about a thousand people, all trying to get off the island. The combination of a day at BrewFest and the ongoing World Cup led to some very interesting chants as we waited for the ferry with nine hundred and ninety-seven other beer fans.

It took about an hour to cover the last hundred yards to the ferry, but we finally made it back to the mainland. Then came the final part of our journey: finding a taxi. In the midst of high-fiving BrewFest survivors who may or may not have recognized us from earlier in the day, we wandered through the deserted Financial District for about twenty minutes with Fire Island Beer Co. president Jeff Glassman and his friend Victor, as we tried to find a cab. Jeff was pulling around a cart loaded with all our promotional materials, included the giant wooden box you can see in the earlier photos. That's how you know you've got a cool boss.

All in all, it was quite the day, and if you didn’t make it out this year, you owe it to yourself as a beer fan to make it to the next one!

Monday, July 5, 2010

3rd Ward: Of Resonance Chambers, Furry Musicians, and Lighthouse Ales

NY-based sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist Joshua Kirsch successfully transformed the lobby of Brooklyn design center 3rd Ward into a giant musical instrument for his Sympathetic Resonance event, and Fire Island Beer Co. was on hand to provide the brews. And resonate it certainly did.

The Resonance Machine (as I took to calling it after a beer or two) looked every bit as impressive as its name suggests. The ceiling and walls were covered in a succession of 56 wall-mounted “units” connected, by means of an elaborate and arcane pulley system, to a keyboard that anyone could play around with.

Joshua Kirsch explains his interactive sculpture to the crowd.

Of course, this machine was situated a little bit away from the bar, so I didn’t get a good look at it until a couple hours later, when the beer ran out. At that point, I also got to chat with Joshua Kirsch. In addition to being insanely talented, he’s also a very cool dude. As it turns out, Joshua blurs the lines between sculpture and engineering- Sympathetic Resonance isn’t just a sculpture, it’s an interactive musical instrument, a playable machine that makes music- art and performance art, merged into one.

Meanwhile, I was behind the bar hooking people up with bottles of Lighthouse Ale and Red Wagon IPA, soaking in the ambience and, of course, the sweat (that perennial summertime hazard). I felt a little isolated from the music, until around 9pm, when I suddenly noticed two very interesting characters standing in front of the bar. Words can’t really do them justice:

At first I was convinced it was some kind of strange trip brought about by a combination of beer and the sympathetic resonance machine. Then I learned it was just the Xylopholks. Playing the xylophone and the double bass on a sweltering summer day, while dressed in heavy, fur-covered costumes- now THAT’S commitment to one’s art! They play some great tunes too.

All in all, it was quite the party. A little different from anything we’ve attended before, but certainly the kind of different that one could easily get to enjoy. We’ll definitely be teaming up again with 3rd Ward soon- in a couple weeks, in fact, for their annual Pig Out! event. So if you’re in the Morgan Ave area on July 18th, come on down for some crazy times and some Fire Island Brews.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fire Island Beer Company does Yelp!

We were on hand at Yelp's Golf Center event on Randall's Island last week to pour some beers. The event was an invite-only party for Yelp's Elite members, a five-hour extravaganza with music, games, food, and of course, Fire Island Beer. We were set up right next to our good friend Miki who runs Slice: The Perfect Food. Between her gourmet pizza and our beer, we had the crowd going a little bit wild. Drop by Slice Pizza on 535 Hudson for our pizza/beer pairing tomorrow night if you want a taste.

Over the course of the evening, we got to chat with some of the Yelp Elite (Yelperatti?) and they were definitely having a good time. Of course, if you can be in a giant tent full of free food, beer, and music and NOT have a good time, well then, you may need to come out to Fire Island for a couple days so we can help you get your priorities straight.

We managed to catch up with the purveyors of fine music for the evening, Roosevelt Dime, in between songs. Not only do they perform awesome music, they are well-versed in the ways of the Beer, and were happy to share a little insight or two.

We also had the opportunity to meet many a cool Yelper, and they had the opportunity to meet both our beers. By the end of the night, they had gone through a couple kegs of beer and the band, Roosevelt Dime, was in full swing. As was the party. People were dancing like there was no tomorrow. Words can't really do it justice, so we'll let FIBC President Jeff Glassman do the explaining:

All in all, it was quite the epic event. Kudos to Yelp for making it happen! Till the next time,

The guys at Fire Island Beer Company

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nature versus FIBC: A Day at Stone Barns

Road trip! Earlier this week, we took a little spin on the New York State Thruway up to the Stone Barns Center For Food & Agriculture in Tarrytown. We’re on the prowl for fresh local ingredients to include in our fall brew and couldn’t imagine a more scenic place to kick off our agricultural education. Housed on the former Rockefeller dairy farm, the impossibly elegant property was donated in memory of Peggy Rockefeller, a champion of farmland protection.

Berries, thyme, pigs, and hops, the list of possible ingredients grown at Stone Barns runs as long and deep as your love for our Lighthouse Ale. Stone Barns also plays host to Blue Hill Farm restaurant (yes, sister to the highly praised eatery in Manhattan) where the menu is dictated by the land. Mike Greenberg, the events planner, also oversees the restaurant’s beer offerings. We sat down with Mike to get sense of what’s typically available in late summer, and in what quantities. A conversation is all good and well but we couldn’t wait to commune with the earth and see the crops for ourselves. Mike gave us directions, drew a vague map in the air and set us loose.

We made ourselves at home and visited the animal pens, the greenhouses and the air-conditioned gift shop. We’ve got many ideas brewing (HA!) which means a lot to sort through before we settle on which ingredients and where to source them from.

Things were going really well, ideas were flowing, inspiration was running rampant. That is until we came across the chicken coup. Their inner hunter-gatherer took over and all bets were off; it was the Glassman brothers versus the chicks. Watch the video to see who won...

Stay tuned for the next step in our farming saga!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Shadfest 2010: What You Missed

Blue skies, views of the Hudson River, Lighthouse Ale, a chance to raise awareness about the declining shad population, Red Wagon IPA. Lots of good folks came out to Shadfest 2010 in Garrison, New York to get behind the movement to protect the disappearing shads.

We had fun, we poured lots of beer, we supported an important cause, we met great people. Come to think of it, why weren’t you there? While you should definitely plan on getting tickets to the event next year, it’s not too late to donate NOW!

Regretting you didn’t go? We’ve put together a little video showing…what you missed. You're welcome!

Monday, May 10, 2010

To That Couple Whose Names We Didn't Catch...

You're welcome! We had a sneaking suspicion that wherever Fire Island Beer went, good things followed. Last week, some folks from Team Fire Island Beer Company took a sunset spin aboard the Adirondack, an 80' schooner that sails out of Chelsea Piers. We've teamed up with the organizers to do three beer & cheese pairings over the course of the summer and wanted to preview the amazing trip ourselves.

Sometime after we sailed past the Statue of Liberty, our captain announced that two of our fellow seafaring friends had just become engaged.

Was it the sunset? The perfect weather? The beer? Their undying love for one another? Perhaps. But we like to think it was the happy-go-lucky, great things are on the horizon vibe we brought aboard that did the trick.

Fire Island Beer: 1
Cupid: 0

For your chance to get engaged, or just take in amazing views of Manhattan while sampling Fire Island Lighthouse Ale and Red Wagon IPA, visit and use the promo code "Fireisland" to save $5 per ticket.

Dates are 6/15, 7/20, 8/17 with the sailboat departing at 6:45PM and returning at 8:45PM from Pier 62 on the West Side of Manhattan.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fire Island Beer Descends on TAP-NY

What do you get when you stick thirty-six New York State brewers, hundreds of aficionados and one six foot plus guy in lederhosen in a Catskills ski resort fresh out of snow? The TAP-NY Craft Beer festival, of course.

Fire Island Beer made its first appearance at TAP, and we settled on in with a bang. For two days, we poured for a line of fans that never waned. And poured. And poured. 62 gallons of Lighthouse Ale and Red Wagon IPA, to be precise. At three ounces a pour, that translates to roughly 2,600 glasses of Fire Island Beer’s finest.

We were having so much fun we quickly forgot our booth was within smelling distance of the guys hawking seafood jerkey. What? Yes, that really exists.

Festival goers didn’t just guzzle up our brews, our swag was flying off the shelves. Were you there? Did we meet you? Miss out and have a hankering for a tshirt all your own? Pick one up here so you’ll fit in at the next event!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Season’s First…Craft Beer Festival!

We kicked off a long season of festivals and fun this past weekend at the Spring Craft Beer Festival on Long Island. Blue skies, over fifty fellow brewers and hundreds of guests packed into the lower level of Nassau Coliseum to carry around a 6 oz. tasting glass and swill over a hundred different beers.

Our booth snagged a lot of repeat visitors, and we’re fairly certain they weren’t coming back for our jokes. Everyone was getting riled up about our Lighthouse Ale and Red Wagon IPA! They were going wild, really. You could hear the crowd chanting for more all the way across the Sound in Connecticut. It was a veritable mosh pit in front of our booth, and no one would step down til their glass was refilled…

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite that biblical. But between the haze of the fluorescent lights and the line by our booth, it was hard to resist imagining that this is what it must feel like on stage at Madison Square Garden.

We had a blast and we‘re looking forward to the next festival. Weren’t able to make it to Long Island? Don’t get too down on yourself. This is the start of a long and exciting summer. Up next: TAP New York in Hunter, NY. See you there!