Coney Island, Freaks, the 4th of July and the World’s Smallest Brewery

July 6, 2010
Clare Goggin

Clare Goggin

While you and your friends were enjoying a backyard barbecue, chilling on a rooftop bar, or just hanging out inside to beat the heat on America’s birthday, the intrepid duo here at Beer Goggins was doing something much, much dumber: braving the searing-hot sun and sometimes searingly nasty skin of near-naked New Yorkers at Coney Island.

Upon arrival we realized we were only an hour removed from the end of the hot dog eating contest and the ensuing Kobayashi kerfuffle.

From there we stumbled up and down the boardwalk a bit, looking for a bathroom while dodging every weapons-grade douche missile thrown our way. You may think I’m exaggerating, but at one point I saw a couple guys wearing nothing but boxer brief-style Speedos. They found one good place to hide some, er, suspicious packages.

We finally gravitated toward Beer Island like a hot, sweaty, urine-filled-but-deathly-thirsty Flight 815 (they had a long row of port-a-johns in the back; you could say they were our button not getting pushed). Unfortunately, the island was not made of beer. They did, however, have plenty of good stuff on tap for the semi-low price of $5 for a 10 oz plastic cup.

After a beer we noticed a few people getting served food, so after eventually flagging down a waitress we asked and she, in a French accent, replied that she wasn’t a food server. Well, then. We had another beer and abandoned hope of eating in search of some freaks.


Clare Goggin

And find them we did. A few blocks away sits Freak Bar, Coney Island’s circus-y place to bag a bomber. For $10 you can get a 22 oz bottle of most of Shmaltz Coney Island’s offerings (you math majors out there can figure out which is the better deal, this one or Beer Islands’). While enjoying the heavy-but-delicious 10% Human Blockhead Lager, who should walk over to chat with the bartender but the very man depicted on the label? Tell me another bar where that can happen. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Finally, we headed right around the corner to the self-proclaimed World’s Smallest Brewery. And at a gallon at a time, who’s going to argue? They don’t have a license to sell, so all they do is make something crazy and offer samples. According to their blog, they’ve crafted such boardwalk brews as Coffee Stout, Golden Mango Ale, Candy Apple Ale and, over that weekend, Belgian Cotton Candy Wit Ale. Our timing was so bad so as to miss everything – natch – but we had a nice chat with the girl working there, and we smelled some of the ingredients and bought a souvenir.

Eventually, however, the day had to end. There was a small gathering to get to, and many detoured subway trains to ride. We had drank local beer, caught a few rays and seen several people who should think twice about taking off clothes in public.

It was a Freaky Fourth, and it was pretty damn fun.

(For all of our pics, please go here.)

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One Response to Coney Island, Freaks, the 4th of July and the World’s Smallest Brewery

  1. July 8, 2010 at 11:54 am

    Sounds like you made the best of it! We are dying to get back to Coney Island, but certainly not on a holiday.

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