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Horseshoe Crab Brewery Rolls with the Tide

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

On Saturday, July 30th in“The Cove at Zach’s Bay” you were likely to come in contact with Horsheoe Crabs, both in the form of anthropods enjoying the weather and Jones Beach Brewing Company launching their long-awaited Pencil Pilsner into the market. This beer was sampled last during tastings parties at bay and fire houses on Long Island from 2017-2019. “The Pilsner takes longer to ferment; as a startup, other recipes like IPA’s become a priority for home brewers because temperature control and other factors limit the number of samples for testing purposes; we’re finally able to utilize the right equipment to scale this product more frequently” explains Head Brewmaster Matthew Jones

Before March 11th, 2022, Jones Beach Brewery constantly adapted to its environment, like the Limulus creatures they admire. They would sell merch to garner funds for future test batches, while continually adjusting to the changing landscape of the local economy. A turbulent pandemic in 2020 halted their retail location efforts. Hence, as an adjustment to plans, they formed an alternating proprietorship with Lithology Brewing Company out of 211A Main Street Farmingdale NY to start production. “These guys have an incredible desire to learn and grow the culture of craft brewing,” says Manny Coelho, Brewmaster of Lithology.

The process of “molting” is the shedding of the exoskeleton (which is often called its shell), typically to let the organism grow, their website's bio talks about the ability to “get started” even if it requires adjustments along the way. This inflationary period of 2022 makes it hard for any business to donate, especially a start-up but JBBC has remained committed to its triple bottom line model. Like many ESG companies, their goal of opening a tap room is in-line with environmental priorities on water conservation and Horseshoe Crab preservation. Their flagship beer, Jones Inlet IPA was the first label of its kind to include a high tide chart, calling out the dredging project of the inlet for safe boater passage and awareness of the marine life within the channel.

CEO and founder Christopher Mills of Jones Beach Brewing Co. is no stranger to volunteering, he was awarded in 2020 by Long Island Business News as “Volunteer of the Year” for his impact with Smile Farms, a nonprofit that helps provide purpose and income to developmentally disabled adults; it makes sense that their brewery would get involved with other great organizations aligning with its mission, i.e. Jones Beach Energy and Nature Center, Operation SPLASH and Jones Beach Power Squadron to name a few. “We are so grateful for the places that truly support local, it’s critical to the story of ‘why’ we are in the market, Horseshoe crabs have 10 eyes and though the exterior is hard it’s often very sensitive to the light surrounding it; it’s how we see and anticipate the next move that’s right for us,” said Christopher.

JBBC does not have a Brewery, they rely on their Can Releases to build their following. Some places have been a challenge to book as the proper contracts are needed for any brewery to “roll in with the tide”. JBBC is solely distributing their product with no retail location and every interaction matters, it's why farmers' markets are so important to their business model, their focus on personalized interactions with their supporters is paramount in these early stages.

“Chris has developed a strong culture around our team, elements of Raynor Town (Freeport) and High Hill Beach (Jones Beach) have been in our families for generations, like the horseshoe crabs who were here before us; Mike, Tucker, Brian, Nick, Doug, and Sean are constantly out volunteering with beach clean-ups, working the markets and getting up early to make these delicious beers, we move like a spawn of horseshoe crabs ‘rum running’ like nomads, striving to make our Limulus buddies proud and protected,” says Randolph “Randy” Pope Mills IV, President of the budding establishment.

If you got a chance to try all 4 beers; Jones Inlet IPA, Bathhouse Blonde, West End Watermelon, and the newly released Pencil Pilsner, you’ll enjoy the detailed history on each label, along with the delicious taste.

For more information go to and sign up for their Inlet Newsletter for updates on more beer launches.

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