The Adirondack Pub and Brewery Via The Lake George Winter Carnival!
On a cold Saturday the first weekend in February I set out to see what the Lake George NY Winter Carnival had to offer. Opening ceremonies were to begin at noon but I chose to arrive a little later skipping the formalities of the day. The small village of Lake George was bustling with people all decked out in there Winter finest from the sheik matching snowmobile suit to pajama bottoms, boots and a sweatshirt with god knows what layers underneath. But this is not a column about fashion so I will leave that for such an expert.
A Lonely Duck!
The Amsdell Brewery via The Albany Institute of History and Art.
As you begin the journey into beer history you quickly learn that beer has been around forever. Dating back to around 10,000 BCE when the glaciers from the last of the ice age retreat, the Neolithic people from the area of what is now Kurdistan began growing and perfecting grains like wheat and barley and ultimately started brewing their own form of beer. The Babylonians and the Egyptians brewed beer. All throughout history beer has been a favored beverage for many civilizations and nationalities. This tale however is not about the complete history of beer, those interested can pursue other avenues for that, but about Albany NY in the late 1800’s.
The Albany Institute of History and Art!
East Berne NY Via The Indian Ladder Trail!
This is a story that ends somewhat differently than most. We do have to start at the beginning so you will have to wait to see why. It was a beautiful crisp fall day when I started out for Thatcher Park in the Helderberg Mountains outside of Albany NY. I was headed for a childhood favorite hike. Not a long nor a particularly hard hike but one loaded with history, fun and scenery. Thatcher Park is home to the Indian Ladder Trail. The trail was used a long time ago by the Indians of the Mohawk and Hudson valleys as a travel route to the Schoharie Valley. It was also used during the Revolutionary war by Tory’s as the caves provided hiding spots for them. As I said it is loaded with history and a very different hike because you actually traverse the escarpment.
The Brewery At The Dutch Ale House Via The Saugerties Lighthouse Trail!
Welcome to the quaint town of Saugerties NY. It is located south of Albany NY just off the New York State Thruway at exit 20. The beauty of Saugerties lies in the fact it is also a river town located on the Hudson River where the Esopus Creek meets the Hudson. What I found here was truly a historic site.
If you travel through Saugerties towards the river and watch for the signs you will find a trail that leads you out onto the the shores of the Hudson River to a very beautiful, serene area called the Esopus Estuary where stand the Saugerties Lighthouse. Just beyond the Saugerties Coast Guard station is the beginning of a half mile trail which takes you out to the lighthouse. The trail passes through freshwater tidal wetlands that does flood during high tide. The first thing you see at the entrance to the trail is a local tide clock to let you know when high tide is. I have visited the lighthouse twice in recent years and the tide had never been a problem but you may want to check into it before you go so as to not be disappointed.
A Traditional Belgian Duo!
I have been reading a lot lately about sour beers so I decided it was time to give one a try. A Gueuze is a type of Lambic beer made in Belgium. It is produced by blending together young (1 year old) and older (2-3 year old) Lambics. The beer is then bottled for a secondary fermentation. The young lambic has unfermented sugars available which allows this process to occur. The beer is made with aged hops and wild yeasts. The aged hops give the beer none of the bitterness or tastes like fresh hops. That combined with the wild yeasts produce a musty, cider like sour taste. The beer is bottled in champagne bottles and it often referred to as Brussels Champagne because of the carbonation.
A Belgian Treat!
I chose a Brouwerij Lindemans Gueuze Cuvee Rene made in Belgium to sample. It is 5.5%abv. I poured the beer into a pint glass to get a better look at it. It was a hazy orange color with yeast floating throughout. There are some nice bubbles and it produces some nice lacing on the glass. The smell has a hint of mustiness combined with sweet fruits reminiscent of grapes and some sour apricot. The carbonation gives the taste a fuzzy light bubbly feel much like champagne. I really enjoyed this beer and it was excellent paired with the Belgian sandwich I uncovered while researching the sour beers.
It amazes me the information that is just at our finger tips these days with the internet. While researching “sours” I came across a sandwich which the Belgians would typically enjoy with one of these sour beers. I decided that I should try them together so I did my best to replicate the sandwich. The ingredients are Dark Bread. I choose a pumpernickel. Cream cheese,(not exactly what they use but as close as we can come) radishes, green onion and some salt and pepper. I spread the cream cheese on the pumpernickel, sprinkled chopped green onion on the cream cheese and then put thin sliced radishes on the top. The sandwich is then sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. It is a delightful combination. The tart fruitiness of the beer combined with the hot green onion and radish makes for a great combination. The cream cheese cools everything down and you return to the earthy flavor of the pumpernickel. I really enjoy the beer and sandwich and will be having this again. Cheers and Bon appetite!
Jack’s Abby Brewing’s Hoponius Union!
In my search to find something new and different this week I visited my local beverage center to see what they might have to sample. When I got there I searched the isles looking for a few bottles but the growler station actually caught my eye. In perusing the list there were several selections I have had and enjoyed but after all I was looking for something new. It was the Jack Abbey Brewing Hoponius Union that caught my eye.
Jack Abbey Brewing Hoponius Union!
Jack Abbey is a brewery located in Framingham Massachusetts. The brewery was founded by three brothers, Jack, Eric and Sam Hendler. They source ingredients for some of their beers from a family farm including ingredients for their Mom and Pop Harvest series. The Mom and Pop’s Wet Hop Lager is made with hops from the family farm.
I proceeded to have my growler filled and went home to give the Hoponius Union a try. The beer is made using Lager yeast and West coast IPA hops which yields an India Style Pale Lager. It is cold fermented and then aged for an extended period. The beer poured with a nice thick creamy head as you can see. There was excellent lacing on the glass. It smelled somewhat sweet with a nice citrus aroma. The taste is very hoppy and bitter as it should be. It finished crisp and tasty with that lasting bitterness that IPA fans enjoy. The ABV is at 6.7%. I found this to be very tasty India Style Pale lager. It is noted that hops from the family farm were also included in the brewing of the Hoponius Union. I think we are going to have to visit Framingham and give these guys a try. Cheers!
Brown’s Malt Room Via River Street!
Once again I am bringing you an adventure that does not have a particular exercise event attached but certainly has the merit to be discussed. Recently Brown’s Brewing Company located in downtown Troy NY opened a new drinking establishment. These purveyors of food, beer and spirits have decided to expand their repertoire with yet another place to consume a delightful beverage. Down below street level, north beyond the back door to the brewery has opened Brown’s Malt Room. This is a speakeasy type establishment fashionable designed from using the natural features of the building, reclaimed wood from local buildings, and special touches like a bar built from spent oak bourbon barrels with a copper top.
He’brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale!
As we continue on this beer journey I am going to update you on some of the beers I run across that are worthwhile. I have been asked recently what my favorite pumpkin ale is this year? This segment of The Beer Wanderer is to address those questions and allow me to publish some good beers while I await a visit to the brewery or to mention beers that I can not necessarily get to the brewery as it is out of my region.
He’brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale!
On a recent stop at a favorite watering hole I had the occasion to try He’brew Messiah Nut Brown Ale. I am always looking to sample something different and when I saw this bottle in the line up I decided why not. It is brewed by the Shmaltz Brewing Company which has recently opened a new location in Clifton Park NY. I plan on a visit so I decided this was a good beer to sample. As you can see the beer is a rich dark brown color. It poured with a nice creamy head which laced on the glass very nicely.
Malts used in brewing this beer are specialty two row, carapils, dark crystal, chocolate, caramunich 60, and kiln amber. Warrior, cascade and liberty are the hops. The taste is very strong and complex. I found the finish to be wonderful with tastes of toffee, coffee and chocolate. This was truly a very tasty beer. Prior to the onset of the craft beer revolution I would often have occasion to drink a Samuel Smiths Nut Brown Ale. This Smaltz brew is far superior to that in my opinion and comes very highly recommended by me, “The Beer Wanderer”.
Until next time. Cheers!
Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery Via A Sunday Columbia County Drive!
On occasion The Beer Wanderer discovers things that may be of interest to the audience that are not beer related. I feel it is my duty to report these to you if I feel they have merit. This is one of those times. I took a drive in Northern Columbia County in NY this week and came across a true gem. The Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery is located on route 9 behind the Golden Harvest Farm Stand. This is a double win for the Fall. You can gather your Fall produce, apples, pears, squash and other vegetables and also taste and purchase a nice bottle of local vodka, brandy or applejack.
It was a great day for a fall ride, a little early for leaf peeping but a nice warm sunny fall day when I happened upon the farm stand and distillery. I took a look at the offerings of fruit and vegetables, a peek at the local honey and other products, and quickly snuck around the right side of the stand to the entrance to Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery. This is still a rarity in this part of the country. After all we are not that close to Kentucky.
The Entrance To The Distillery!
On a late summer morning I set off on another hiking-beer adventure. It was a beautiful August day and I was following two of my passions at once. It is pretty evident I like beer. Not just beer but good craft beer. I decided to pay a visit to a place that I have stopped frequently over the years. On the way why not get a look at a fire tower. One thing that is a given when you talk fire towers is there is usually a climb involved. I have done some tough ones over the years so I felt I was up for the challenge. Located just off route 22 as you approach Austerlitz NY is a nice short climb that leads to a very nice fire tower with the added benefit of being able to climb and access the tower. To the right of the beginning of the trail is a scenic pond which is definitely worth a look.