PEEKSKILL, NEW YORK
In the old industrial town of Peekskill on its hilly Main Street, BIRDSALL HOUSE is housed inside a narrow freestanding brick building with a cement-floored metal-chaired side porch. Originally an A & P market and thereafter Connelly’s Pub, the friendly neighborhood bar, opened March 2010, features 20 snazzy craft beer draughts to go alongside a medium upscale menu.
Upon entering Birdsall House on a weekday during dinnertime in October 2012, I grab a seat at the rustic left side mahogany bar right in front of the central tap handles. The cozy interior benefits from two atrium skylights, 20 wooden bar stools and 12 section-divided right side booths. Two draught-only chalkboards near the front door list such fabulous American beers as Alesmith Anvil, Founders Breakfast Stout, Great Divide Titan IPA, Nectar IPA, Three Heads Bromigo and Victory Donnybrook Irish Stout.
The dark-lit noirish ambiance fits its casual nighttime appeal. Local artists play live on certain evenings and classic movies oft-times get projected across the bar on the yellow wall. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 PM on weekdays.
At my initial two-hour stopover, I settle into the nitro-creamed Empire Cream Ale, an eggshell-headed tea-like moderation with buttery rye malts and reedy hops. Then I speak to local skateboard pro, Brian Brown, while consuming dry woody-hopped grapefruit-embittered Bronx Rye IPA. For a nightcap, I choose puree-roasted gourd seasonal Captain Lawrence Katchkie Harvest Pumpkin Ale. (All beers reviewed in Beer Index).
Recommended dishes include Grilled Lamb Sliders, Cast-Iron Seared Hanger Steak and Goat Cheese En Croute.