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Riding the Waves: Horseshoe Crab Brewery Navigates the Beer Scene

Updated: Feb 6, 2023

On July 30th, 2023, visitors to "The Cove at Zach's Bay" were treated to a unique experience, as they encountered both Horseshoe Crabs in their natural habitat and the launch of Jones Beach Brewing Company's much-anticipated Pencil Pilsner. The beer was first sampled at various tasting events held at bays and firehouses on Long Island between 2017 and 2019. "The Pilsner takes longer to ferment than other styles, such as IPAs," says Head Brewmaster Matthew Jones. "As a start-up, we initially focused on other recipes that were easier to produce due to limitations in temperature control and sample availability. However, we now have the equipment to more efficiently scale production of this product."

Prior to March 11th, 2022, Jones Beach Brewery was a constantly evolving entity, much like the Limulus creatures they admire. To raise funds for future test batches, the brewery sold merchandise, adapting to the changing landscape of the local economy. The pandemic of 2020 posed a significant challenge, halting the company's plans for a retail location. In response, Jones Beach Brewery formed an alternating proprietorship with Lithology Brewing Company located at 211A Main Street in Farmingdale, New York to begin production. "The team at Jones Beach Brewery is driven and eager to grow the craft brewing culture," says Manny Coelho, Brewmaster of Lithology.

The process of "molting" refers to the shedding of an exoskeleton, which is often referred to as a shell. This allows the organism to grow and adapt. The brewery's website highlights its ability to "get started" even if it requires adjustments along the way. During this period of inflation, it is challenging for any business, especially a start-up, to donate. However, Jones Beach Brewery remains committed to its triple bottom line model, in line with the environmental and social values of ESG companies. Their flagship beer, Jones Inlet IPA, was the first of its kind to feature a high tide chart, raising awareness of the dredging project in the inlet and the impact it has on marine life and boater safety.

Christopher Mills, CEO and founder of Jones Beach Brewing Co., is a well-regarded volunteer in his community. He was honored in 2020 with the "Volunteer of the Year" award from Long Island Business News for his contributions to Smile Farms, a nonprofit that provides income and purpose for developmentally disabled adults. Reflecting this commitment, the brewery has developed partnerships with organizations that align with its mission, such as the Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center, Operation SPLASH, and the Jones Beach Power Squadron.

Jones Beach Brewing Co. operates without a physical brewery (for the time being), instead relying on its can releases to build its following. The company focuses on personalized interactions with its supporters and sees farmers' markets as a critical component of its business strategy.

Under the leadership of Mills and President Randolph "Randy" Pope Mills IV, Jones Beach Brewing Co. has established a strong company culture. The team, consisting of Mike, Tucker, Brian, Nick, Doug, and Sean, is deeply involved in the community and frequently participates in beach clean-ups and works at farmers' markets. They aim to make their horseshoe crab friends proud and protected.

The brewery's portfolio includes four beers: Jones Inlet IPA, Bathhouse Blonde, West End Watermelon, and the recently released Pencil Pilsner. Each beer has a unique history, which is detailed on its label and carefully crafted for a delicious taste.

For more information and updates, visit the Jones Beach Brewing Co. website at and sign up for their Inlet Newsletter.

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