At long last, our regional nightmare is over. The New York Islanders have returned—at least for 12 games this season—to the island for which they’re named. And while the team’s return to Nassau Coliseum, now “NYCB LIVE,” has given local hockey fans and nostalgia seekers much to celebrate on its own, it’s also inspired something special and celebration-worthy at the venue’s concession stands: Long Island Love Lager.
Made in partnership with Oyster Bay Brewing Company, Long Island Love is Nassau Coliseum’s first custom beer since reopening in April 2017. It is not, however, Oyster Bay Brewing’s first gift to local hockey fans. The seven-year-old brewery unveiled its beloved Barn Rocker Ale—a sippable homage to the Islanders and the old arena they called home—three years ago.
“We debuted Barn Rocker during the Islanders’ last season at the Coliseum, when it was still the old barn,” says Gabe Haim, co-owner of Oyster Bay Brewing Company. “A lot has changed since then. The venue is beautiful now, so when NYCB LIVE reached out to us about creating something for the new space, we were really excited to launch a new product.”
So, too, was the team at Brooklyn Sports Entertainment and NYCB. During the development process, Haim hosted them all in Oyster Bay—located just 15 miles from the arena—to talk and taste beers, and be an active part of the development process.
“It was important to all of us—us and them—to come up with something that people would really love,” says Haim.
Take one sip of Long Island Love and you’ll know that they succeeded. The beer is a light, classic American lager—the sort of clean, crisp beer that you would happily drink all day, with a low enough ABV (4.6 percent) that you might just be able to. It’s refreshing on its own, but pairs well with all of the locally inspired eats you’ll find at the Coliseum’s concession stands.
“We created this beer with Oyster Bay Brewing Company as a way to celebrate the Long Island community,” says Nick Vaerewyck, NYCB LIVE’s VP of programming. “Long Island Love aims to recognize local businesses and showcase our incredible community. This joint creation is a great way to accomplish just that.”
It’s also a great way to celebrate a homecoming.
“It’s so refreshing to have the Islanders back at the Coliseum,” says Haim. “It’s nice to be able to drive to a game and still get home at a reasonable hour. And, in a way, everything has really come full circle for us. Now we can start tailgating over at the Marriott, which is basically attached to the Coliseum, where Barn Rocker is on tap. And then we can walk over and have a Long Island Love Lager during a game. How could it not be great to watch the team you love, back in the building they belong in, drinking a beer you made?”
Long Island Love Lager is available in 16-ounce cans at Nassau Coliseum and Oyster Bay Brewing Company.