ALBANY PUMP STATION (C.H. EVANS BREWING)

ALBANY, NEW YORK

Located in a historic red brick warehouse sited from Route 787, C.H. EVANS BREWING at Albany Pump Station’s towering ceilings, spacious bar area, immense fireplace, loft-centered brew tanks, copious dining room (with several booths-tables) and plentiful continental food fare have attracted serious beer hounds since opening in 1999. Its beautiful mirrored wood mural at the main bar holds a fine selection of spirits and several trophies decorate the top level.

Since first visiting December ’04 with family, Albany Pump Station has become a mecca for the state capitol. And long-time brewer George De Piro crafts a diverse range of beers that’ve only gotten better over time.

Approachable daintily-hopped beers such as cream-corned honey-dipped maize-dried light-bodied Scottish Light, Kolsch-styled cereal-grained oats-dried hay-dampened herbal-tinged Quackenbush Blonde, buttery banana-bubblegum-clove-centered lemon-soured Bavarian-styled Hefeweizen, and mildly tart cinnamon-ginger-spiced cider-like Apple Ale will please soft-toned thirsts.

Heartier thirsts will lean towards off-dry perfume-spiced mineral-grained grapefruit-quince-tinged Pump Station Pale Ale, woody-hopped dark-spiced nut-burnt Kick Ass Brown Ale, balmy Irish-styled milk chocolate-aided roasted coffee-finishing Dawn’s Dry Stout, and, most memorably, bold alcohol-riddled caramel malt-caressed dryly red-fruited Old Ale.

At U-shaped right bar, January ’09, ate delicious calamari over linguini (with red peppers and black olives) while draining understated fig-raisin-dried cinnamon-nutmeg-voided phenol-hopped Winter Warmer.

 

Sojourned from Brown’s (in nearby Troy) to the ‘Station’ mid-afternoon, October ’10, securing window side chair at main bar while happily munching on a cheesy jalapeno-peppered turkey sandwich and quaffing samplers.

Justifying long-time brewer George DePiro’s exquisite stylistic diversification were newfound banana-breaded chocolate-spiced fig-dried earthen-grained Munich Dunkel and beechwood-smoked chocolate-malted espresso-milked State Street Porter. While short-pantsed DePiro stopped by quickly to say hi, further proof of his creativeness came with sweet ‘n sour blueberry-pureed molasses-honeyed Blueberry Triple, a Belgian strong ale contrasting crystal-sugared fruited malts against white-peppered farmhouse yeast funk.

During a cold November ’13 afternoon, stopped by to watch Giants-Raiders football game before heading to Bleecker Field to watch nephew’s Pop Warner team win a second round playoff game. I got to imbibe three previously untried brews as well.

For a light-bodied starter, approachable Evans Wit brought sweet orange-peeled coriander spicing and lemon-candied tartness to its subtle banana bubblegum midst, picking up gentle hop astringency at the pleasant citric finish.

Emboldened Imperial Pumpkin Stout contrasted coffee-grounded dark chocolate against anise-oiled pumpkin roast while winningly incorporating unexpected peculiarities (fennel, rosemary, fern and pine nut) for a challenging hybridized autumnal dessert.

Before heading out, Revolutionary War-styled Poor Soldier Porter coaxed bittersweet malt-smoked dark chocolate and black coffee overtones as well as dry Baker’s chocolate illusions out of cane-juiced Caribbean molasses.

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