If you’ve ever wanted to wander around a ballpark, clutching a sweating beer and living out your Sandlot fantasies of pointing at the stands and knocking one out of the park, then Coney Island On Tap is the event for you. We can’t promise that there’ll be actual, you know, baseball, but you will be able to sample beers from over 60 of America’s best breweries, and walk around the diamond at the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones, MCU Park. It all goes down July 12th, so get your tickets here, and check out the 10 breweries — both local and national — that we’re most excited about seeing.
Ithaca Beer Company – Ithaca, NY
Not only is Ithaca gorges(sorry, we’ll stop), it is also home to the Ithaca Beer Company, purveyors of a wide range of sophisticated craft beers, including their fruity and flavorful Flower Power IPA. In addition to making killer beer, they’re really dedicated to giving back to the community, and participate in lots of outreach, making sure to support local charities whenever possible.
Fire Island Beer Company – Ocean Beach, NY
Yet another family-run business, this small brewery was started by two brothers and their cousin on the idyllic and pastoral playground for families and gay men alike. Starting out small, as a batch of home brew at a bar they ran, the story goes that everybody loved their beer so much that they decided to take it to the streets. We’ve had the pleasure of drinking their Fire Island Lighthouse Ale the way it should be enjoyed: digging my toes into the sand on Fire Island, but we have faith that this will taste great anywhere you drink it.
Radiant Pig Beer – New York, NY
These new kids on the block have just two offerings — The Gangster Duck American Red Ale and their session IPA, Junior IPA, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pay attention. For starters, they’re local, brewing somewhere outside of New York City, but offering their beers on draft only at bars around this great, glittering metropolis, including neighborhood favorite Mission Dolores.
Keegan Ales – Kingston, NY
The Hudson Valley is home to many things artisanal and quaint: antique shops, apple picking, the Clearwater sloop. Now, country-bound city dwellers can whet their appetites for craft brews at Keegan Ales, home of the award-winning Mother’s Milk stout, and the lesser-known but still great Hurricane Kitty IPA. There’s a nice little restaurant attached to their tap room, and there’s live music, sometimes, and really, it’s probably just a good time there, all around.
Captain Lawrence Brewing Company – Elmsford, NY
Founder Scott Vaccaro brewed his first batch of beer at age 17, and hasn’t looked back, looping in his entire family to run what turned out to be a highly successful endeavor. Their Belgian style ale, Liquid Gold, is a personal favorite, but they have many other offerings, including a sprightly IPA and a hearty smoked porter.
Founders Brewing Company – Grand Rapids, MI
These guys are best known for their All Day IPA, a delightful session IPA that tastes amazing, but won’t find you draped over the cooler in a restful slumber at the end of the night. With the lofty but admirable goal to bee beer for “a small cadre of renegades and rebels”, this brewery puts out a solid roster of interesting beers, all of which you should try at your earliest opportunity.
Bayou Teche – Arnaudville, LA
Perhaps the first entree into craft brewing from Cajun country, the Knott brothers of Bayou Teche Brewing make beer that complements the unique flavors and special lifestyle of South Louisiana. They started a farmhouse style brewery out of a railroad car, and the rest, as some might say, is history. Still very much a family business, the Knotts aim to make beers that hold their own against the complex and spicy flavors of Cajun and Creole cooking, and from what we’ve tasted, they’re doing a fantastic job. We’ve only tried their LA-31 Boucaneé, a smoked wheat beer that pairs beautifully with barbecue, but have faith that the rest of their offerings are just as tasty.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Boonville, CA
Nestled in a little town outside of Ukiah, CA, Anderson Valley has been making high-quality hand-crafted beer since 1987. The standouts include their always-stellar Anderson Valley Amber, but our personal favorite is the Summer Solstice, an easy-to-drink summer amber that’s a touch on the sweet side, but not so much to be cloying. The town has its own special language, Boontling, which has fallen out of favor with all but the oldest of the old-timers, and the mascot of the brewery is a bear with antlers on its head. What’s not to love?
Peak Organic Brewing Company – Portland, ME
These dudes from up North put out one of our favorite summer beers, the Summer Session Ale, which is like the best possible result of a summer wheat beer and a West coast pale ale’s one night stand. This is the go-to beer for my New England friends, the kind of people that’ll throw a cold one in their backpack before summit-ing a mountain in New Hampshire. They’re hyper-focused on the local and the organic, working with hops and malts all sourced from farmers in the area.
Speakeasy Ales and Lagers – San Francisco, CA
We’re excited to see this San Francisco brewery on the list, if only because of our fuzzy memories of cold Bay Area nights drinking their potent signature beer, the Prohibition Ale, a smooth drinking amber that goes down easy. If you happen to be in their neck of the woods, swing by the tap room, which is kitted out in a 2014-reclaimed-wood vision of what a speakeasy might have actually been like.