FORT ANN, NEW YORK
Residing in the sleepily rustic Washington County village of Fort Ann (ten miles from the Vermont border) at a brown-shingled red brick Colonial edifice on the second floor, BATTLE HILL BREWING COMPANY opened Labor Day, 2015. The pride of entrepreneurial brewer, Jim Hume, its cozy diner-like setting and fine pub food (salads/ sandwiches/ wings) go well with the well-realized handcrafted draught brews.
A blue sign with white Battle Hill Brewing lettering leads patrons up the stairs to the oak wood interior. There are ten tables fronting the 12-stool serving station (with large blackboard beer menu, Edison lights and ten tap handles). An outdoor back deck creates more seating space.
On my early December ’18 afternoon perusal, my wife and I sampled eight delectable, well-rounded concoctions served by the convivial Hume while a host of women grab tables for lunchtime imbibing. Most offerings were named after historic Revolutionary War symbols from the 1777 Battle of Fort Ann.
For starters, polite grain musk fronted semi-bold Grains Of Liberty, as maize-dried rye breading and raw-honeyed wheat malts combine with earthen herbal hop astringency.
A similar raw grain base solidified the lemon-dried watermelon rind pickling and delicate blueberry souring of Queen Berry Anne, a celery-watered fruit ale with a mildly embittered hop bed.
Mild Vienna-malted Hessian Ale maintained a mild buttery creaminess for its grain-toasted white breading.
Another grain-forward moderation was Fort Ann’s Amber, a barley-roasted pleasantry with bittersweet chocolate-coffee wisps and buttery astringency.
Delightful English-styled Burgoyne’s Red let sweet Maris Otter malts pick up honey-spiced caramelization and dewy earthen rye tones as well as tamped-down citric hop dryness.
Two approachable India Pale Ales were next. Sessionable War Whoop IPA kept its subtle piney citrus hop bittering enthused by tangy grapefruit-orange-lemon zesting and candied mango-peach sugaring, leaving crystal pale malt sweetness and dank herbal respites in its wake.
Just as easygoing (and brewed for Veteran’s Day), Hip Hip Hoorah IPA had a lighter bitterness and sweeter spiced pale malt setting as peachy grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess confronted latent herbal snips.
Many Battle Hill brews were anchored by earthen bottoms. Mocha-dried Cocoa Porter had one as well. Its murkily bittersweet cocoa-powdered dark chocolate, espresso and fudged brownie triage gained a sugared oats smidge to confront any soiled dew.
I bet English ale hounds would love the grainier beer profiles presented here.