JAM ROOM BREWING CO.

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NEWFOUNDLAND, PENNSYLVANIA

Inside a beige aluminum Village RV Center with its vinyl record-like JAM ROOM BREWING CO. sign just above the door, this rural countrified Newfoundland nanobrewery has been making small batch ales from a small two-barrel system (mostly one-offs) since 2016. Recently, they began distributing to local bars and restaurants.

During July ’18, entrepreneurial co-owner Austin Lehrian poured me some worthy ales crafted by brewmaster Bill Reese while I took a seat at the 7-stool serving table around noontime. The cozy barroom also included two small front tables, multiple wall-bound brewery stickers, sundry rock and roll music paraphernalia and a beer list strewn across a large right side blackboard. The lacquered wood countertop was inlaid with Jam Room script lettering. A few outside picnic tables provided extra seating for the dedicated night crowd.

Cool V guitar-shaped serving trays contained four of the seven samplers I’d quaff.

Our favorite brew, vibrant Fade To Red Hefeweizen captivated the tongue with joyously sun-drenched mango and red raspberry tanginess as well as sweet orange-peeled peach, nectarine and tangerine sweetness. Over time, stylish banana-clove conflux, zesty lemon twist, brisk pineapple juicing and SweeTart-candied tartness enjoin summery mango-raspberry burst.

Utilizing a lactic lager yeast, Maggie’s Farmhouse Lager brought sour lemon rot, desiccated orange tartness and mild lemongrass herbage to oats-dried spelt-like graining.

Traditional Golden Ale had more body than most lighter stylistic competitors as its yellow-fruited spritz gained mineral-grained pale malting and mildly pungent hop bittering in a brisk manner.

Dry Microgroove IPA let yellow grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess take the lead as candy-spiced pale malts contrasted moderate piney hop bittering to the gentle toasted biscuit spine.

Honey-glazed liquid fruit salad, Stereophonic Double IPA, a northeast-styled medium body, regaled tangy grapefruit, orange, pineapple, mango and tangerine zest with mild lemon snips above sugary pale malts.

Moderately legume-influenced Muddy Waters Brown Ale slid peanut-shelled walnut and hazelnut illusions across dry cocoa-chocolate malts.

Recalling sweet vanilla ice cream, Winterland Vanilla Porter benefited from its rich chocolate malt setting and distant pecan smidge.

 

IRVING CLIFF BREW CO.

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HONESDALE, PENNSYLVANIA

Doing small batch brewing out of a dank revitalized warehouse with locally sourced mountain spring water from a small system just a stones throw away from the original 1851 brewery, resident Honesdale proprietor, Brian Cobb, reopened IRIVING CLIFF BREW COMPANY during 2014. Current brewmaster, Gary Sadavage, coaxes casually straightforward one-offs and a few standards from his small brewing system, hitting stride with the popular berry-flavored mainstay, Rip’s Purple Magic, and Maple City Lager.

A handcrafted wood bar centers the pub area where fine spirits and twelve-plus draughts are available during my July ’18 dinnertime stopover. There’s a stone electric fireplace for warmth and 2 TV’s for sports fans.

The overhead-doored, cement-floored backroom space fits additional table seating, the brew tanks and a gold-lettered Irving Cliff Brew Company mural painting. Celebrating local macrobrew heritage, there are beer trays from Gibbons Ale, Stegmaier, Schaefer and Schmidts staring down at us while my wife and I grab a Philly Cheesesteak and Smoked Trout to go with our beer samples. Burgers, appetizers and salads were also available.

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As for the well-watered draught fare, modestly complex local favorite, Rip’s Purple Magic, allowed tart raspberry-blueberry sweetness to contrast lemon-soured lactic yogurt spurts above pilsner-malted white wheat breading.

Dry grassy-hopped Canal Cream Ale placed mild pale malt sweetness across dried orange complacency, leaving wheat-flaked corn and rice musk at the pilsner-like finish.

Honeyed grains soaked Farmers Market Wheat, a copper-browned hefeweizen with lightly spiced banana-clove accents buried below sweet orange tartness.

Light maple sweetness fronted Maple Dunkelweizen, gaining delicate orange-soured tartness over sugared wheat malting.

Slight maple syruping guarded moderate-bodied mainstay, Maple City Lager, letting brown-breaded malts carry thru to the dried fruited plum and date finish.

Lightly spiced Ichabod’s Lost Pumpkin Ale let its sweet pumpkin-pied sugaring contrast roasted gourd earthiness and mild lemon souring.

Floral-fruited moderate-medium body, Dyberry Creek IPA brought stylish grapefruit, pineapple and orange bittering to the fore as honeyed pale malts contrasted dry Chinook hop woodiness.

Lightly creamed Belgian Tripel countered caramel-malted banana and clove sweetness with green apple tartness to its oats-flaked buckwheat base, but lacked depth and body.

De-husked carafe malts gave St. Tikhon’s Russian Imperial Stout its dry chocolate chalking as mild anise illusions creeped towards the surface.

Aged 5 years to perfection, spirited Stock Ale provided sweet whiskey and dry bourbon warmth to wood-dried tobacco roast, light sherry wining, vinous lime-leafed green grape esters and wispy crabapple tartness.

 

 

HERE & NOW BREWING COMPANY

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HONESDALE, PENNSYLVANIA

Home to the first commercial steam locomotive in America, the rural village of Honesdale supports two brewpubs – Irving Cliff Brewing along the backwoods foothills and Main Street’s more prominently located HERE & NOW BREWING COMPANY.

Inside a three-story red brick corner building across from the railroad station, Here & Now celebrated its one-year anniversary May 2018. A cozy wood-floored joint with Classical white-tiled ceiling and wood furnishings, the 20-seat bar features 12-plus draught taps directly below the brewery’s chicken-scratched metal copper insignia. (see below)

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An overhead door serves as the entrance and a small right side stage at the front adds extra space. A backroom off to the left provides private space for small parties. The rear kitchen serves good pub fare to go with the rangy homemade tapped beers.

Emulating a Prohibition Era speakeasy in some ways, Here & Now’s seven barrel system serves a rotating lineup of beer crafted by brewmaster Karl Schloesser (and future expansion is deemed inevitable).

I get to experience twelve previously untried brews during my one-hour July ’18 perusal.

First up were five interestingly diverse saisons. Mildly creamed Le Dale Saison plied pineapple, yellow grapefruit and mandarin orange tartness to floral-spiced niceties and herbal subtleties. Earthy rye tones deepened Rainbow Season Saison’s sublime grapefruit-peeled mandarin orange piquancy and slight lemongrass tingle. Nearly as earth-toned, Solace let delicate Cascade-hopped citrus spicing linger softly above mossy pine resin and celery-watered vegetalia.

Simple springtime session saison, In The Meantime, delivered raw-honeyed spicing to floral citrus licks and grassy hop astringency.

Boosting the hop level gave Porch Sitting Hoppy Saison its moderate grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering while floral lemon tea illusions fluttered above crackery pale malting.

Musky grain malts fortified As A Feather Helles Lager, a light-bodied German styling given floral-dabbed corn, spelt and alfalfa groating that hides its wispy yellow fruited sway.

Mustier Accidentally Prague Czech Dark Lager pasted musty chocolate chalking to earthen oats grist.

Lemony white grape sourness inundated Hue, a solvent-like hefeweizen needing stylish banana-clove sweetness. Dry peach-fuzzed citrus zest enveloped Secret Epicenter Pale Ale. Sweet orange peel serenaded brisk 7th Street Circus House IPA, a sessionable moderation with mild grapefruit, peach and tangerine illusions.

Black grape, black cherry and blackcurrant influenced Night Orchestra, a mildly wood-toned Black IPA with piney citric bittering deepening its black chocolate-y black malts.

Lastly, dry cocoa and chocolate malts eased into Bat Patterns Porter, an easy drinking dark ale with soft earthen wood tones.

 

CALLICOON BREWING COMPANY

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CALLICOON, NEW YORK

Open year-round since 2012, CALLICOON BREWING COMPANY serves as the local neighborhood watering hole for this tiny mountainside village just down the road a few miles from Bethel – site of ’69s historic Woodstock Festival.

With children playing billiards in the adjacent room and the World Cup keeping customers satisfied at the pub on a sunny July morning, my wife and I (and dog, Roscoe) take a seat at one of the four frontside patios to try three homemade bovine-named craft brews.

At the Classical red-windowed wood-toned entrance of this friendly barn-styled dive bar, a Betty Boop mannequin welcomes patrons to the rustic interior. A large liquor selection and about a dozen draughts inform the 10-seat mahogany bar. Atop the bar loft are a sled, stuffed pheasant and plastic cow while a bear carcass, longhorn steer skeleton and an American flag displayed at the right side wall match the splendor of this patriotic hunting community. A small kitchen serves pub fare.

The town of Callicoon closely resembles an old Wild West outpost and this pre-prohibition-styled Callicoon Brewing, a rustic oasis, fits the bill perfectly.

Each of the three brews available on this date proved to be straightforward and easily consumed, taking no chances beyond the stylistic norm.

Middling Cowpail Ale brought mild honeyed pale malts to the fore as gentle citrus-spiced tones emerged over time.

Slick No Bull IPA combined subtle grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering with lightly pined citric hops above sugared pale malts.

On the dark side, Brown Cow Porter draped sweet maple sugar atop murky fudged chocolate and roasted coffee tones.

 

 

WALLENPAUPACK BREWING COMPANY

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HAWLEY, PENNSYLVANIA

Residing at a large 10,000 square foot facility with a 20 barrel brewing system, WALLENPAUPACK BREWING COMPANY opened for business September 30, 2017. Along rustic Route 6 in the northeastern Pennsylvania borough of Hawley, an old coal mining community now home to many summertime activities, this pristine microbrewery certainly impressed its nearby citizenry. During my initial July 4th, 2018 sojourn, the place is packed by lunchtime with local minions readied for fine pub fare and well-crafted brews.

Inside its capacious high-ceilinged confines were an 8-stool L-shaped right side bar with ample side and back room dining. Wooden tables and metal chairs also adorn the echoey aluminum-roofed space. A left side hearth adds warmth and the wood-enclosed side patio offers extra seating.

20-plus tap handles serve homemade brews from the large silver brew tanks in a glass-encased room behind the bar. I got to try four samplers on-site and brought 4-packs of popular fare including Lake Haze Double IPA, Largemouth IPA and Paupack Cream Ale.

Engaging moderation, Smoke On The Water, let mild rauchbier-like beechwood smoke to spritzy lemon zest above brown breading.

Brisk Seeing Double Red Ale plied sharp India Pale Ale fruiting to biscuit pale malts, leaving orange-peeled grapefruit and pineapple tanginess alongside mellower apple and pear illusions.

Approachable collaboration with Bonn Place Brewing, Nattmara Black Lager, took an interesting twist blending mild molasses-sapped maple, coniferous spruce and mossy fern.    

Busy Riverbed Black & Tan regaled molasses-sapped black chocolate malting with appealing cherry snips to counter dry wood-charred hops.

 

CARTON KAFFEE UND KUCHEN IMPERIAL CREAM ALE

On tap at River Of Beer, fabulous milk-sugared coffee breakfast treat re-envisions celebrated Regular Coffee Cream Ale. Almond-pasted marzipan sweetens the load way more than unspecific cherry adjunct, delightfully embellishing German chocolate-caked cappuccino, caramel latte and vanilla latte illusions. Hard to distinguish from original, but truly a taste sensation for creamed coffee imbibers.

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PLATFORM BUCKET OF GLOVES IPA

On tap at River Of Beer, super-hazed hybridized New England-styled India Pale Ale given Belgian farmhouse yeast that allows tart lemon-peeled spicing and dank earthen rusticity of a saison to spike orange peel sweetness and grapefruit rind bittering of an IPA. Candied pineapple, sugary lemonade and tangy tangerine dangle below next to wavering grassy-hopped astringency and pale wheat malting.

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