Rockaway Brewing sits a short walk from the beach in Long Island City. Amanda sits down with Ethan from the brewery to discuss interesting beer names, babysitters force feeding beers, and making beer in a raw industrial space. Prepare to goof around with your phone’s autocorrect and grab some Hawaiian pizza.
Ethan and Marcus quickly outgrew making homebrew in their respective bungalows and upped their production to what Ethan calls a “nano brewery”. This gives me the impression they first started brewing in a dilapidated tiki hut somewhere on the beach. Anyway, they ended up with lines out the door and patrons filling their arms with growlers. They were up all night trying to make enough beer to meet the demand.
Can you picture that? A large pajama party with kegs, pints, and diving off fermenters into mounds of hops? While I picture it much like Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, I imagine it was far from that.
Rockaway has since taken over additional space and put in place a system that increased their production 10 fold.
HAWAIIAN PIZZA v.4
An IPA brewed with Equinox and Nugget hops
AUTO CORRECT EXXPORT STOUT
A roasty, toasty, dry ex(x)port stoutv
^^^See what they did there?
The Rockaway Vibe
Ethan says they tried to keep the feel of the brewery simple. The space used to be an old meat packaging facility – they’ve kept the old terracotta floor with the drains exposed. If you see an eyeball lolling about in one of the drains make sure you tell the closest brewer (I heard you win a prize: being haunted by a cow for the rest of your life). Many of the stools and tap handles come from Ethan’s background as a sculptor. But overall, they’ve maintained the space’s roots as a manufacturing and commercial spot. You can find Rockaway Brewing’s beer with the handy beer finder on their website in the links below.
Travel Tip: Amanda used the Citymapper App to find her way from Transmitter Brewing to Rockaway Brewing while she was in New York. This