Alchemy & Science Acquires Coney Island Craft Beer Brands

Alchemy & Science, the craft brew incubation project and wholly-owned subsidiary of Boston Beer Company, today announced that it acquired all rights to the Coney Island craft beer brand for an undisclosed amount.

Alan Newman, the president of Alchemy & Science told that conversations over Coney Island, a sub-line of Shmaltz Brewing, began last year with Shmaltz founder Jeremy Cowan.

“It started over a t-shirt,” he said. “I called Jeremy because Stacey [Steinmetz] (A&S co-founder), wanted to get her dad a Father’s Day gift. Somehow the conversation got morphed.”

At the time, Newman was looking to establish a craft brand under the Alchemy & Science banner that was aimed at the New York City metro market.

“I grew up in Coney Island,” he said. “I’ve always been a fan of the brand and have thought it would be fun to get my hands on it. This takes me back to my roots and gives me something that I am very familiar with, to play around with.”

With Newman at the helm, the Coney Island brand — which accounted for less than half of Shmaltz Brewing’s 12,000 barrels of production in 2012 — will undergo a facelift. Plans will include pulling back distribution from more than 30 states to focus exclusively on the New York metro and New Jersey markets, he said. Newman also plans to re-design the brand’s imagery and will shift the brand’s packaging to include 6-packs and 12-packs.

“The goal is to broaden out the brand so it represents more than just the freak show and isn’t so scary,” he said. “We want to celebrate the amusement park, the beach, the boardwalk, the hot dogs and all of the things that make Coney Island interesting.”

Newman said he’s also hoping to build a brick and mortar facility, complete with “at least a 10-barrel brewhouse” in the Coney Island area. In the meantime, the Coney Island brand will be produced, under contract, at Shmaltz Brewing’s new brewery in Clifton Park, NY.

In addition to assisting with the brewing, Cowan will also consult for Alchemy & Science and the Coney Island brand on an independent basis.

“I get to participate in the life of this brand,” he said. “Now I get to work on the expansion of the brand in terms of local distribution. We still get to make these wonderful products.”

With the Coney Island acquisition, Alchemy & Science now owns and markets four craft beer brands, including Angel City Brewery, The Traveler Beer Co., and Just Beer. A fifth, yet-to-be-named project is slated to launch in the next three months.

“It will be built from the ground up and launch before the end of the year,” said Newman.

In a July interview with Brewbound, Newman said he was eyeing Miami as one potential site for a new brewery.