Lithology Brewing marked the fifth anniversary in July of opening its taproom on Farmingdale’s Main Street and is moving forward with plans to increase beer production at the brewery and through contract brewing.
Lithology’s cofounders – Kevin Cain, Manny Coelho, Lee Kaplan, and Marc Jackson – started brewing together in 2007 and after winning the Beer Field’s Homebrew Competition in 2014 decided to start a brewery. Two of the cofounders, Cain and Kaplan, are environmental engineers and the brewery is named after a geological term for the study of the physical characteristics of rock and sediment.
“Our name pays homage to the rocks that filter one of our key ingredients, our delicious New York water,” said Cain. “This water makes genuine New York bagels and pizza taste so great, and you can tell the difference in our beers.”
After receiving its licenses in 2015, Lithology launched operations as a tenant brewer at A Taste of Long Island, a commercial kitchen and brewery in Farmingdale that served as an incubator for several of Long Island’s craft breweries, including 1940s Brewing, The Brewer’s Collective and Po’ Boy Brewery.
When A Taste of Long Island closed in early 2016, Lithology took over the lease and officially opened its taproom in July 2016. The brewery raised more than $36,000 on Kickstarter to buy more equipment to expand production, including a brite tank and two additional fermenters. John Ardito replaced Jackson as a co-owner and Coelho took on primary responsibility as head brewer operating the 4-barrel brewing system.
Coelho usually has eight Lithology beers on tap at any one time, including mainstays like hoppy American IPA, a deliciously nutty Brown Ale and dry-hopped Designated Hitter American pale ale. “I try to maximize our brewing system by brewing full batches several times a week,” said Coelho, “so we are able to have a good variety of beers available, including our seasonals.” Seasonal favorites include citrusy Sunrise Summer Ale, crisp Pils and robust Pumpkin Porter, which will be on tap in October.
As a New York State licensed farm brewery, Lithology is currently required to use at least 60 percent of ingredients from New York. Lithology has used ingredients from Crossroads Farm at Grossman’s in Malverne for several years, including organic honey, squash and mugwort. The brewery is partnering with Crossroads to grow hops and sells its beer at the farmers market there every other week.
The brewery also uses ingredients from Restoration Farm at Old Bethpage Village, including sage, rosemary and pure honey used in its Bees Knees honey ale. Coelho said, “Restoration has been a great partner and we support their sustainable farming operations by donating the spent grain from the brewery for them to use for mulching.”
Lithology contract brews four-packs of cans at Butternuts Beer and Ale in upstate New York, including Designated Hitter, Pils and Sunrise Summer Ale. The brewery plans to add its American IPA and New England IPA to the contract brew lineup in the next few months.
The brewery also plans to brew certain beers in larger batches at Farmingdale and bring in a mobile canner to can beers for sale in the taproom and off-premises. Lithology is currently self-distributing kegs and cans on Long Island but is in talks with another brewery to expand distribution of cans in New York City and across Long Island.
Farmingdale’s downtown has boomed over the past several years and Lithology has been at the forefront of promoting community events, including the popular Music on Main summer series.
The taproom hosts a variety of fun events including bingo, barre workouts and the Writer’s Block monthly series to highlight upcoming local artists.
Over the summer Lithology brewed Pineapple Invasion, the official beer of Babylon’s STATTfest music festival, and hosted a block party in August at the brewery with live bands. The brewery named after the study of rocks and water knows how to keep the party going with rock music and great craft beer.
Lithology Brewing Co. is located at 211-A Main Street in Farmingdale. For more info visit lithologybrewing.com.
Bernie Kilkelly is the editor and publisher of LIBeerGuide.com.
For more food and drink coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink.