Coney Island Lager, owned by Sam Adams, to open large-scale brewery in Coney Island

Craft beer facility in keeping with People’s Playground’s alcoholic tradition

Brooklyn Daily
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The People’s Playground’s alcohol content is about to rise!

The company behind Coney Island Lager will soon debut a full-scale brewery in the beer’s namesake neighborhood, this paper has learned.

A source at craft-brewer Alchemy — a subsidiary of Boston Brewery, which produces Sam Adams — said that plans are underway to start mixing the barley malt and hops at an as-yet undecided spot near the world-famous amusement district. The insider said the fermenting facility should be making suds by summer, in time to quench the crowds thronging the beach and the rides.

Coney Island Lager began as an off-shoot of San Francisco’s Shmaltz Brewing Company, and operated out of Sideshows by the Seashore at the corner of W. 12th Street and Surf Avenue from 2011 to 2012. The freakshow’s owner, Dick Zigun, let the company make their micro-micro-brews by the one-gallon batch in his building rent free.

But Hurricane Sandy swamped the property, and the brewers moved out. Shmaltz sold the label to Alchemy in Aug. 2013, the company source said.

Alcohol and Coney Island have been synonymous for more than a century. Besides the famous bars on the Boardwalk, the Herman Popper Building first rose on Surf Avenue between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street in 1904 as a bottling plant. The facility supplied spirits to the neighborhood bars until Prohibition hit in 1920. Today, the Popper Building houses Popeye’s Chicken.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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