Straightforward “Midwest IPA” proves crisp, hoppy and floral citric by design. Mild grapefruit, mandarin orange and lemon zesting picks up resinous pine flurry and light herbal touch above bready pale malts. Distant pineapple, mango and gooseberry illusions reinforce fruity nature.
Traditional Scotch ale lets delicate wintry spicing and dewy peat moss sweeten dry rye respite, brown tea-like earthiness and moist foliage. But its phenol hop aridity may be off-putting.
On tap at Taphouse Grille – Wayne, raw-honeyed five grain breading gains dry rye influence, subtle sourdough murk and polite toasted hop musk.
SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK
Right in the heart of downtown Schenectady setback from Union Street’s main drag, CENTRE STREET PUBLIC HOUSE & GARDEN is conveniently located just down the block from Mad Jack Brewing. A friendly cement-floored roadhouse with an enormous side beer garden, Centre Street features an olden 20-seat wood bar serving right side booths and tables with gastropub fare and wood-fired pizza.
My wife, son and I grab a booth below the large glass-encased beer can collection to sample eight previously untried brews emanating from the 26 taps. Several bar-bound TV’s (and a large screen TV near the pizza oven) concentrate on college football as we eat dinner during early December ’19 trip.
Tonight’s elixirs included a fabulous array of New York suds (reviewed fully in Beer Index) including Wolf Hollow Amber Ale, Woodstock Zen of Anxiety Saison, Sloop Pixie Dust IPA, Grimm Cyber Café IPA, Thin Man War Sombrero IPA, Barrier/ Grimm Manual Wind IPA, Unified Beerworks Even More Juicy Things Imperial IPA, and Mikkeller NYC It Was Professor Plum (a sour IPA).
On tap at Plank Pizza, lovely bourbon-spiked brown chocolate spicing resonates alongside sweet vanilla creaming and chewy molasses fudging. Sweet bourbon chocolate caking receives bustling burgundy, sherry, port and brandy wining as well as cayenne-peppered curry, cumin and cardamom uprising by robust mocha finish. Tertiary coconut, marshmallow, marzipan, bruised cherry, stewed prune and anise illusions further enrich remarkable full-bodied nightcap.
On tap at Taphouse 15, decadent autumnal version of brewers’ milk stout loads toasted coconut, peanut butter and caramel to sweet-toothed chocolate candy nirvana. Syrupy chocolate glaze saturates creamily peanut-buttered coconut splendor above honeyed Graham Cracker spine. Robust dessert.
On tap at Beef Trust, rich oats-sugared brown chocolate sweetness gains wood-burnt hop roast, dry port-burgundy-sherry wining and slim cola nuttiness above vanilla-wafered Graham Cracker base.
On tap at Ambulance, ‘unique’ Velvet Merlin spinoff adds toasted coconut sweetness and honeyed Graham Cracker sugaring to original versions’ lactic mocha latte richness. Sweet milk chocolate center gains creamy vanilla splendor and frothy espresso tinge.
On tap at Taphouse 15, fulsome Imperial Stout, aged in sweet bourbon, brings molasses-coated banana breading to chocolate-dipped walnut glaze in rich fashion. Chocolate banana nut caking picks up black cherry-pureed burgundy, rum, elderberry wine and spiced brandy undertones at busy mocha-sugared finish.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, intensely pumpkin-spiced Imperial Stout drapes dark chocolate syrup upon brown-sugared cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander and clove seasoning as well as mild anise, pine nut and caraway illusions. Bittersweet dark-roast pumpkin influence holds up fine against cavernous molasses-sapped chocolate spicing of richly robust 11% ABV full body.
On tap at Plank Pizza, earthen black coffee and dark chocolate expanse given walnut-charred hop roast as well as raw molasses bittering above sedate flaked oats setting.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, dry milk stout brings silken dark chocolate creaming to cocoa-powdered espresso, coffee and anise illusions above caramel candied malt backdrop, leaving slight smoked hop char upon its bittersweet mocha mass.