Coney Island On Tap

This weekend, beer fanatics and Veritasty flocked to Coney Island's MCU Park for Coney Island On Tap Craft Beer Festival!  Dozens of nearby and faraway breweries served up more than 100 craft beers.  Each guest gets a 5oz glass to proffer to the volunteers pulling the oft-decorated taps, built into blue plastic coolers (still trying to figure out how those worked).  Although neither of us are huge beer fanatics, we definitely appreciate a cold one now and then, and I know I definitely learned a lot about beer and what types of beer I prefer at Coney Island On Tap!

Preface: we are not beer experts, but we dabbled at our homemade beer tasting and this discussion of SixPoint beer by my friend Charlie.  I think I shall divide this post into three categories: beer, cider, and other.  Also...while I tried to take notes on the checklist they provided, it got harder and harder to annotate after five, ten, fifteen different here are the highlights!


Let's start with Schmaltz Brewery, as you must begin any round of drinking with a hearty toast and "L'CHAIM!": besides being hilariously Jewish-themed, I found the Hop Manna IPA to be very fragrantly scented of lavender.

We found an old familiar face in Ommegang of Cooperstown, NY, with their Chocolate Indulgence, a Belgian Dark Ale.  It was extremely bitter (hoppy?) and looked and tasted like espresso.  Not for everyday frequent drinking, but it'll definitely give you a little kick in the pants!

Alex had tried Abita's Purple Haze before and recommended it to me. As the server poured it out, I saw a rose colored liquid flow into my glass.  Yum, a lager with real raspberry juice added after filtration! Personally, my taste for beer does veer into the fruity end of the spectrum so this was just right for me.

Our friend Harry's favorite beer is Magic Hat's #9: a "not quite Pale Ale" according to Magic Hat.  I remember it to be quite citrusy and fresh.  Why #9?  Why indeed....  {Shout-out to HH!}


*rubs hands together* Yessssss, we do love hard cider.  These are alcoholic beverages made from fermenting apple juice typically, but can be made of other fruits too.  I don't have much of a palate for bitter hoppy beer, so I will almost always pick a cider over a beer (sorry, beer fans!)

My go-to hard cider is by Angry Orchard.  One day last summer, I decided to walk home from work (about 3 miles) and I wanted to treat myself at the grocery store on the way.  So I picked up a six-pack of Angry Orchard bottles from Food Dynasty - I couldn't resist that angry apple tree! - and the rest is history.  I love the mouth-puckering tang, and importantly, there is a lot of apple flavor.

Another lovely cider company is Woodchuck, who offered Hopped Apple and Granny Smith.  The Hopped Apple is much sweeter than the tangy Granny Smith, though I found both to be less flavorful than Angry Orchard.  Woodchuck does a great pear cider, too, and my coworker swears by their seasonal spiced flavors.

Bad Seed had a well-decorated booth with real apples in wood crates and dry cider on ice in aluminum tubs.  The dry cider was indeed dry.  The apple flavor was subtle and there was definitely a mouth-pucker factor going on there.

We tried Doc's Draft Hopped Cider and Sour Cherry Cider.  The Hopped Cider interestingly enough tasted like the Asian fruit dragon eyes, much more herbal and grassy than I expected from an apple hard cider. Alex fell in love with the Sour Cherry, which tasted like a cherry pie in beer form.

One of the sexiest displays was for Original Sin.  The hard cider brewers used pin up models in old 50s style advertisements to flaunt their wares.  I had the Cherry Tree cider, which was good, but would have been better if colder.

OUR HANDS-DOWN FAVORITE BEER OF THE DAY!  The award goes to Crabbie's Ginger Beer and Spiced Orange Beer!  I was extremely hesitant to even try ginger beer.  In Bermuda, we had non-alcoholic ginger beer and it was good, but I expected real ginger beer to taste too spicy and gingery.  Boy was I wrong! Crabbie's took the best aspects of ginger ale and ginger beer and made a stunning beer out of it.  Not too spicy, not too overpowering, quite sweet, and extremely addictive!  The orange one was even better!  After we made a round sampling all that we could possibly drink, I came back for an extra glass of Crabbie's: I have been won over.

...and thus concludes the tale of Veritasty and Coney Island On Tap.  I am actually grateful for the opportunity to try so many vastly different beers, and I know I have found some that I will be enjoying more of in the future.  Thank you to all the sponsors and event organizers for making this happen!