Category Archives: United States Brewpubs

RACING CITY BREWING COMPANY

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, NEW YORK

Leaving his Sussex County home in Jersey to start successful Fort Edward-based Oliva Winery northeast of horse racing capitol, Saratoga Springs, entrepreneurial spirits venture, Tony Oliva, decided to brew professionally soon after. After moving his nine year-old winery to Saratoga’s outskirts with wife, Debreen, and son, Anthony, in tow, he hooked up with Olde Saratoga brewer, Yuri, and began crafting some of the most interesting brews in the area under the equine moniker, RACING CITY BREWING COMPANY.

Utilizing a fresh well water base, Oliva’s crew offer free-spirited, oft-times hybridized, originals that usually go one step beyond stylish conformity with uncommon herbal-spiced eccentricities.

Open for business since the night before St. Patrick’s Day, 2018, Racing City’s based in a freestanding 20,000 square foot grey-bricked warehouse. A sportsbar-related microbrewery with excellent light pub fare to go alongside a baker’s dozen tapped selections, its warm and friendly interior features a 10-stooled, wood-topped, corrugated sheet metal-sided serving station (with 3 TV’s and handsome beer menu) fronted by five community tables, several high-top bar tables and a mid-spaced sofa lounge atop an apoxy concrete-polished floor.

A beautiful 3D fiberglass horse racing mural signed by famed rider Angel Cordero (and previously hung at Saratoga’s old city center) graces the front wall.

When Oliva initially opened the joint, the only beer available was light pale ale, Break-In Maiden, a favorite amongst local dart and cornhole leaguers. By my early December 2018 noontime visit, there were fourteen diverse brews readied for draught.

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While my wife nibbled on cheesy pretzels, I consumed all but Backyard Harvest, an autumnal Cascade-Centennial-hopped English-styled IPA.

A popular summertime easygoer given year-round status, Lemon Hop Kid, an adventurous lemon ginger wheat ale, let its lemon-peeled ginger juice soak up dry cologne-spiced lemongrass, basil, fern and lime sentiments.

Similarly off-the-beaten track, mint-leafed Colt Classic Dark Cream Ale (the base beer for the bourbon-aged Kentucky Classic) brought unexpected wood-toned Chinook-Saaz hop rusticity to the maize-dried Mint Julep furlough, leaving latent chocolatey cola nuttiness upon its busy mix.

Popular centrist libation, Fishin Lager, stayed crisply clean as its musty maize-flaked earthen grains gained rotted citrus notions and distant herbal musk.

Finely hybridized autumnal moderation, Punkinhead Pumpkin Lager (with its Fishin Lager base) brought perfumed-hopped wood lacquering to squash-dried pumpkin spicing.

Sessionable pale ale, Turning Point, kept the hop bittering light and caramel malt sweetness subtle while streamlined apple, peach, orange and grapefruit tanginess may’ve provoked far-off banana liqueur illusions.

Equally sessionable Top Choice Hopped Lager, a maize-flaked cream ale blend, allowed buttery honey-dried grain malts to pick up mild floral-spiced tropical fruiting.

Reliably abstruse LSH Saison boasted ‘natural herbs’ as primary lemongrass, sumac and hibiscus adjuncts received floral lemon niceties as well as birch-barked fern, lilac and rosewood reminders.

Rounded fruitiness stimulated wholly delectable JustifIPA, a juicy India Pale Ale submitting perfume-hopped peach, clementine, tangerine and pineapple tanginess to briskly coniferous pining.

Pureed blood orange desiccation saddled King 7 IPA, a tart dry body with constrained orange peel, tangerine, mandarin orange and clementine sweetness.

A winning collaboration with local brew friends, Taylor & Sons and Northway, vibrant amber-browned Big Red Double IPA (no doubt inspired by Secretariat) regaled floral-bound orange, pineapple, tangerine, peach and clementine tanginess as well as subtle apple-pear fruiting to creamily cookie-doughed caramelized rye malting (and creamy vanilla snips).

Silkily smooth English-styled Oatmeal Stout, Dark Horse, allowed oats-sugared black chocolate syruping to ride above earthen dewiness, charred hops and subdued nuttiness.

Nutty coffee tones reminiscent of Guinness Stout silkily pervaded Black Beauty Nitro Black Lager, a dark-roasted Irish stout with casual espresso, cappuccino and Bakers chocolate asides.

Impressive black-lagered Short Stack with Maple and Hazelnut let elegant chocolate-chipped bourbon vanilla sweetness lift its Kahlua-creamed pancake battering to decadent dessert heights. It proved to be an excellent Sunday afternoon sendoff.

As a certified farm brewery (utilizing local grains and hops), Racing City is also licensed to serve distilled New York spirits for refreshingly brisk cocktails. They’ll take on distribution in January ’19.

racingcitybrewing.com

 

LONE EAGLE BREWING

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FLEMINGTON, NEW JERSEY

Just down from Flemington’s bustling Liberty Village near the railroad station at a gray 5,000 square foot building out in rural western Jersey (fifteen minutes from Princeton), LONE EAGLE BREWING began operations July ’16. The brainchild of local homebrewers Todd Becker and Bob King, Lone Eagle gained instant attention by local denizens.

A quaint spot with a fenced-in family-styled patio, its white-walled high ceiling interior features right side silver brew tanks, a wood lacquered central bar and four yellow-wooded community tables. A loft above the serving station hosts private events when not seating patrons.

Along the left wall is a beautiful Brewing Process mural with a TV hanging above.

As my wife and I visit during a rainy Friday, October ’18, we sample nearly a dozen homebrews.

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Impressive West Coast-styled flagship offering, Maiden Flight IPA, placed juicy yellow grapefruit, tangerine and pineapple tropicalia alongside lightly embittered orange rind as honeyed pale malt sweetness gained attention, leaving fusel 8% alcohol acidity upon its pine-toned black tea musk.

Equally fine yellow-hazed medium body, New England Chowdah India Pale Ale, stayed brightly refreshing as spritzy lemon zest, yellow grapefruit bittering, sour pineapple juicing and white peach tartness glazed citric hop dusting with minimal pale malt intrusion. In the recess, herbal snips, gin whims and phenol astringency reside.

Less complex Spelt Wrong IPA, a hazy New England-styled double dry-hopped brew, suited milder tastes as gentle spelt graining softened tart lemon, sour grapefruit and juicy orange subtleties above mild pine resin (and light alcohol esters).

Straightforward Local Pale Ale brought delicate orange-peach-tangerine tanginess to grassy hop astringency above frisky crystal malts.

Splendid beige-yellow hazed Return Of The Juice let lightly spiced lemondrop tartness dance on the tongue while grassy celery vegetalia provided an earthen backdrop.

Leafy autumnal foliage and sweetly soured fig led dry-spiced Marzen Oktoberfest Lager, retaining dewy Noble-hopped earthiness and navel orange rot above its baked bread bottom.

Subtle nuttiness imbued dewy Hunterdon Wet-Hop Brown Ale, a caramel-malted moderation with roasted tobacco hints and resinous hop bittering.

Sharp ashen hop-charred nuttiness and dark chocolate roast leavened Turkey Trot Porter, as its dry raw molasses bittering upended any sweet hazelnut propensity.

Stylishly thin rum barrel-aged Dowton Abbey Dubbel brought dark Belgian candi sugar to spiced rum, dry bourbon, sparkling champagne and Scotch spirits, drizzling oaken vanilla upon tertiary green grape esters and soured fig nuances.

Aged in rum-soaked oak chips, Belgian Dark Strong Ale relied on candi-sugared toffee sweetness and sweet fig-plum-prune-raisin dried fruiting to contrast its mossy earthiness.

Dryly complex English-styled Bourbon Barrel-aged Wheat Wine left whiskeyed bourbon-burgundy warmth upon gin-soaked raisin, prune and fig as well as caramelized toffee buttering and oaken vanilla sedation.      

loneeaglebrewing.com

LOOKOUT FARM BREWING COMPANY

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NATICK, MASSACHUSETTS

Just 20 miles west of Boston in the bucolic town of South Natick, Belkin Family’s LOOKOUT FARM BREWING COMPANY resides at the front building of a historic multifaceted farm. Fruit orchids, gardens, farm animals and a redwood stable selling goods are only some of the highlighted features making this reliable agricultural venue so attractive.

In 2014, the Belkin’s opened a cidery that then expanded to include a brewery by 2017. The warm A-frame tasting room (with beautiful coppertop bar and Ford tractor grill tap handles) connects to a spacious family-styled greenhouse.

Brewer Aaron Mateychuk (formerly of defunct Walthan brewery, Watch City) designs stylishly diverse brews listed at the chalkboard along with four ciders. 4-pack cans of each draught selection are also available in the side refrigerator.

After perusing Boston’s Freedom Fest the day before, I took Freedom Leaf editor Steve Bloom and his buddy, Steve, to Lookout to enjoy a sunny Sunday afternoon, September ’18.

Sweet blue cornmeal positively affected Czex Mex Blue Corn Mexican Lager, a hybridized light body with sweet tangerine contrasting bitter grapefruit.

Salty kettle-soured guava and tangerine tartness permeated limey gose-like So Many Silos, a spritzy Seltzer-like moderation with mild cider and lemon snips.

Wood-toned citrus tones imbued Hold Your Horses Northeast IPA, underpinning its grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering with mild peach sweetness.

Off-dry tropical medium body, Dashboard Double IPA, let grapefruit, orange, pineapple and mango juicing soak up its oily piney hop bittering.

Candi-sugared Back Door Belgian Triple heaped corn syrupy caramel malts upon whiskeyed cherry tones.

Soft-tongued dark-roast coffee and charred walnut dominated First Cut American Stout, a robust full body with ancillary wood-burnt espresso, Blackstrap molasses and dark cocoa illusions.

www.lookoutfarmbrewing.com

ALVARIUM BEER COMPANY

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NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT

Yet another worthy Connecticut-based warehouse brewery, New Britain’s ALVARIUM BEER COMPANY opened June ’17. Creating the “ultra communal taproom,” Hardware City’s first microbrew is head brewer Chris De Gasero’s creation. His wide spectrum of semi-permanent and one-off beer recipes brings lots of locals to the pristine pub.

Inside its echoey chamber, Alvarium’s serving station features reclaimed red oak for its bar, 12 stainless steel draught taps and a chalk-boarded beer menu. Antique chop-blocked community tables, living room furnishings (off to the side) and several brewtank-sidled stools fill out the bustling room. Solid steel I-beams hang from the pipe-exposed aluminum ceiling.

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On our one-hour stopover on the way to Boston Common’s annual Freedom Fest, my wife and I stop by to try all ten available brews, September ’18.

Dry corn-flaked Cremo Traditional Ale, Alvarium’s original flagship, let caramelized pale malts slip past its grassy hop stead for an ultra-clean opener. 

A mild lemon spritz usurped equally moderate Kraftwerk  Hefeweizen, upending its stylish banana-clove-bubblegum sweetness, raw-honeyed wheat malting and light vanilla snips.

Sharp IPA-like fruiting welcomed hybridized Werkshop: Amarillo/Bravo-hopped Hefeweizen, where lemony orange-peeled grapefruit bitterness and musky herbal hops overrode any banana-clove semblance.

Understated White Denim Witbier let its sweet orange-peeled coriander spicing endure alongside honeyed chamomile herbage to its baked-breaded white wheat spine, picking up a soapy carbolic frisk at the timid finish.

Thickly hazed chartreuse turbidity clouded two fine India Pale Ales. Peach-pureed Craft Sorceress Session IPA gained lemon-seeded souring above grassy-hopped herbage and groaty wet graining. Meanwhile, dry Mosaic-Citra-hopped Phresh Northeast IPA provided sour lemon liming for ruby red grapefruit tanginess, mango sweetness and orange juiciness above groaty malts, becoming a colorful “rainbow sherbet experience.”

Another East Coast IPA, Treewalker, brought mossy caramelized rye malting to piney citrus-candied luster. Yet another, opaque orange-mango-hued Light Me Up IPA benefited from subtle pineapple-pureed passionfruit tartness and flaked wheat malting, gaining a briskly clean yellow grapefruit bittering at the midst. 

A bitter grapefruit bite imbibed Starman Imperial IPA, a Galaxy-Citra-hopped medium body with spritzy lemondrop tartness guarding passionfruit, guava and mango tropicalia.

Light salinity prickled oyster-shelled Shuck Nitro Stout, leaving bitter walnut-shelled black chocolate chalkiness upon charred hops.

alvariumbeer.com

GREAT FLATS BREWING

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SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK

Just minutes from Rivers Casino & Resort in the light industrial Adirondack-bound city of Schenectady, GREAT FLATS BREWING opened March 2017. The brainchild of former homebrewer, Tom Ownes, this nifty garage-doored, cement-floored pub serves a wide range of ambitious stylistic pleasantries and varied one-offs.

Six metal tables and one community table lead to the central 12-tap serving station. Brew tanks are stored to the right and the high aluminum ceiling has exposed pipes.

An English and Belgian ale fan, Owens was partially inspired by early ’90s craft brewery’s such as Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.

During my one-hour sojourn in August ’18, tasted nine fine draught samples.

Demure German pilsner malts gave Pining For Pils its musky herbal graining while grassy hop astringency ascended beside lickety-split lemon snips.

Dry-hopped Summernight American Pale Lager developed a sour lemon wedge for pureed tangerine and tart orange illusions.

Dry wood tones saddled dewy pilsner malts for Extra Pale Crescent Ale, a mossy moderation with unripe fig notions.

Mellow pink-hued Raspberry IPA retained easygoing lactose-soured raspberry tartness that drifted into mild Cascade-hopped pink grapefruit bittering as well as slightly vinous green grapes esters and oaken cherry piquancy.

Fruitful West Coast-styled delight, Bad Manners IPA, merged tangy grapefruit, pineapple, orange, peach and mango juicing with sharp piney hop bittering and sugary pale malts.

Piney orange-peeled yellow grapefruit bittering endured for Old Dorp Double IPA, an herbal-spiced citrus-laced medium body with latent rustic hop astringency.

Peanut-shelled Brown Chicken Brown Ale brought dry walnut and sweet hazelnut together over murky mocha malts.

Electric City Roasters Coffee and brown-sugared molasses oats inundated Super Brunch Stout, an easygoing dark ale with milky espresso tones and, quite uniquely, wispy raw-sugared peach and tangerine adjuncts.

The most askew hybrid, complex Cabernet Sauvignon-barreled Smoked Belgian Amber Ale revealed peat-smoked pale malting for its phenol wine-perfumed red grape, date and fig tartness – losing much of the kiln-smoked Rauchbier likeness by the musty dried fruited finish.

www.greatflatsbrewing.com

FORT ORANGE BREWING

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ALBANY, NEW YORK

In a garage-doored red brick building at Albany’s warehouse-loaded waterfront (within walking distance of Druthers Brewing), no-frills beer haven, FORT ORANGE BREWING, opened for biz, October ’17. Local homebrewers John Westcott, Jim Eaton and Craig Johnson are the entrepreneurial spirits heading this creative venture, crafting well-balanced conventional fare for State Capitol natives and beyond.

Party string lights hang from the aluminum ceiling and the epoxy-poured marble floor adds surreal elegance to the community-tabled one room spot. The 12-stooled serving table features ten tap handles, an aquamarine-hued backdrop with blackboard beer list,  one widescreen TV and several rear brew tanks.

The black-furnished outdoor picnic area fills up on a hot Saturday afternoon, August ’18, as my wife and I enter the echoed brick wall venue to sample nine dandy selections.

Juicy-fruited flagship, Fort Orange IPA, carried wood-dried tropical hops to pasty honeyed malts, leaving lemony grapefruit, mango and orange illusions on the tongue.

Smoothly sessionable Pearl Street India Pale Ale let tangy orange, grapefruit and tangerine juiciness pick up mild wood tones above dry pale malts.

Tart blueberry pureeing saturated Blueberry Blonde, utilizing The General Blonde Ale’s pilsner-like malt base to soften the berry -soaked grapefruit-orange rind bittering.

Lemony herbal flowering gained musky earthiness over advertised tangerine-papaya-blueberry fruiting and wavered caramel malts for Mo-mentum Pale Ale.

Caramelized rye tones left a sweet mark on dewy Where’d Bob Go? Rye Pale Ale, a toffee-malted moderation lagerheads will enjoy.

Spicier and sharper than its style anticipates, brisk Whistle Stopper Red Ale contrasted piney citrus bittering with dewy fig-dried chocolate malts.

Grapefruit-forward New England-styled Stress Away Double IPA brought orange rind bittering to resinous piney hop oiling in a sticky manner.

“Lively” Nipper IPA had a resoundingly botanical tropical fruited nature as melon rind, guava, kiwi and pineapple illusions leave an understated off-dry impression.

Robust Super Local Imperial Stout saddled coffee-stained black chocolate bittering with cedar-smoked sweetness and ashen cocoa-dried charcoal singe.

www.fortorangebrewing.com

TILTED BARN BREWERY

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EXETER, RHODE ISLAND

Crafting some of the finest New England-styled India Pale Ales imaginable, Exeter’s bucolic hideaway, TILTED BARN BREWERY, became Rhode Island’s first farmhouse brewery in 2016 and now thrives as a well-respected hop-head haven. Down an unpaved country road in a wood-furnished, gray-shingled, cement-floored barn (with an olden metal stove and mezzanine seating), Tilted Barn’s got a long line forming for bottled-canned fare during my initial 1-hour August ’18 sojourn.

On this sunny Friday afternoon, each IPA (and one pale ale) available featured a billowy soft-tongued gentleness and well-balanced flavor profile. Fear not dark ale lovers, they sometimes dabble in stouts.

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For starters, buoyant yellow glaze-hazed Peeptoad Pale Ale will please gentler palates with its zesty lemon punch, bittersweet peach-apricot-tangerine conflux, earthen floral herbage and mildly creamed pale malting.

Four popular IPA’s then caught my attention. Another soft-toned yellow-clouded winner, dry-hopped Milo’s Phoenix IPA allowed lemony grapefruit-clementine tanginess to saturate resinous pine, picking up juicy mango, guava, cantaloupe, honeydew and kiwi undertones above its pilsner malt base.

Effervescent citrus zest guarded amber golden-fogged Fermented #2 Double IPA (with Galaxy and Nelson hops), leaving lightly pungent pine oiling in its wake.

Resiliently soothing golden-hazed medium body, The Other One Double IPA, let mild spruce-tipped citrus hop bittering gain subtle caramel malt sugaring as its zesty mango, orange, grapefruit and pineapple tropicalia strengthens.

Arguably the best choice, masterfully designed Cactus, a bold Imperial IPA, tempered its pungent pine resin, grassy-hopped musk and peppery floral perk with orange-juiced pineapple-mango-peach-guava tropicalia, candy-glazed caramel malts and kiwi-like cactus snips.

So make the journey down the old dusty trail to Tilted Barn and take your taste buds for a whirl.

www.tiltedbarnbrewery.com

WHALERS BREWING COMPANY

WAKEFIELD, RHODE ISLAND

A fun-loving no-frills venue allowing dogs to wallow and kids to play, Wakefield-based WHALERS BREWING COMPANY features family fun games such as billiards, board games and corn hole alongside some of Rhode Island’s best suds. Inside a spacious stone-fronted, green-windowed, cement-floored warehouse complex, its friendly all-inclusive atmosphere got reinforced by the bustling community tables, wood booths, stooled barrels and couch area scattered just beyond the reclaimed wood-framed back bar.

A blackboard beer list, growler-filled refrigerator and large blue marlin don the serving station whereas the brew tanks, in a separate nearby space, get maintained by brewers’ Josh Dunlap and Wes Staschke, partners at Whalers since opening, 2011.

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My wife and I visit on a crowded Thursday evening in August 2018 while an art exhibit was going on. I quaffed six previously untried brews during my one-hour jaunt.

Locally renowned pale ale flagship, Rise, brought lemon-spiced grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess to delicate piney hop bittering and coniferous spruce tones above mildly creamed pale malt sugaring.

Tropical Berliner Weiss, Sirius, let tart passionfruit and mango ride alongside lemon-salted lactic yogurt sourness.

Salty lime-juiced raspberry sour ale, Supernova, a mouth-puckering pinkish amber moderation, retained tart raspberry resonance and vinous white wining.

A hint of cannabis resin seeps into Special Spliff, a Northeast IPA collaboration with nearby Mew’s Tavern. Its lemony grapefruit zestiness gained passionfruit-mango-pineapple tropicalia atop light crystal malting.

Approachable Imperial IPA, Lazarette, led with tangy orange juicing before serene papaya, pineapple and tangerine illusions came aboard to saddle the creamy crystal malting.

For dessert, Pretender, doused sweet blueberry and tart raspberry with dark cocoa, chocolate and coffee tones for a rich fruited stout.

whalers.com

RAVENOUS BREWING CO.

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WOONSOCKET, RHODE ISLAND

Currently residing at a diminutive gray shed in a Route 7 auto shop facility, RAVENOUS BREWING CO. came to fruition in 2012 when head brewer, Dorian Rave, garnered favorable exposure for his ambitious Coffee Milk Stout. Though a move to larger space is imminent, Ravenous’ current August ’18 digs include a gorgeous granite bar top inlaid with broken beer bottles fronted by a wood-meshed American flag, six handcrafted draught taps, refrigerator with bottles-cans to go, four-stooled table and cement floor.

Each thirst-quenching brew captured its style well, starting with refreshingly crisp staple, Blackstone Pale Ale, a mild dry body with mildly herbal Chinook hop woodiness and grapefruit rind-embittered Cascade hop grassiness sugared by caramelized pale malts.

Next, brisk Seltzer-spritzed Summer Kolsch led lightly white-peppered lemon rot souring into musty white-wined grape esters and straw-grassed barnyard funk, picking up a glancing floral-daubed orange marmalade respite.

Easygoing Bienvenu French Quarter Red Ale brought sugar-caned plum, fig and date fruiting to the fore in a mild manner.

Wood-lacquered juniper bittering soaked up yellow grapefruit bitterness and melon rind phenols for Cogswell Tower IPA, a fine pale-malted dry body hopheads will likely regale.

Coffee-grounded cocoa nibs delighted Cocoa Plouffes Mocha Porter, an off-dry medium body contrasting caramelized black chocolate malts with sour-creamed yogurt milking.

Milk-sugared coffee, sweet brown chocolate and brown-sugared oats coalesced to make Coffee Milk Stout the perfect dessert (reviewed fully in Beer Index).

   www.ravenousbrew.com

LAST WAVE BREWING COMPANY

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POINT PLEASANT, NEW JERSEY

The first brewpub in Point Pleasant, LAST WAVE BREWING COMPANY, opened for business Memorial Day weekend 2017. Specializing in nicely tweaked New England-styled IPA’s, but also well-versed in standard American fare (light and dark ales), Last Wave’s sunset logo welcomes patrons to this nearly intimate glass-windowed and sage green shingled Bay Avenue one-room venue.

Families gather with avid brewheads at sunset on a muggy Friday evening in August ’18 while my wife and I survey the homemade suds. Colorful surfboards, paper lanterns, squiggly acoustic wave designs and Edison lights provide a kitschy beach setting and the ocean blue left wall features a nighttime surfer mural. Community tables and four-stool tables spew across the epoxy-floored pub while the mosaic-wooded rear wall draught handles dispense liquid goodies from the big silver brewtanks located in a separate backroom.

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On tap this weekend were a dozen hand crafted brews. I missed out on Dawn Patrol Guava Gose and A Frame Wheat IPA, but the other ten were top-notch interpretations of standard stylings.

First off, summery light body, Spot Check Golden Ale, let its subtle lemon licks receive grassy hop astringency over doughy pilsner malting.

Nearly as light-bodied,  Flatspell Belgian Wit spreads delicate orange-peeled grains of paradise across wispy coriander-spiced lemondrop tartness and mild grassy hop astringency.

Sharp IPA-like fruiting and woody hop embitterment heighten ‘classic’ copper golden medium body, Layback Pale Ale, an aggressive busker plying seltzer-like lemon spritz to tangy citrus tones, serene caramel malts and distant tea leaf notions.

As for the three rangy India Pale Ales, sunny yellow-hazed medium body, Quiver Hazy IPA, brought pine-lacquered orange rind bittering to the fore as tangy grapefruit, pineapple and mango undertones wavered.

Briskly perfume-musked Green Room Imperial IPA let its lemony yellow grapefruit bitterness and pine-sapped juniper bite overwhelm biscuity Vienna malts.

Eccentric champagne yeast-derived hybrid, Toast To The Coast Brut IPA (a collab with nearby Asbury Park’s Dark City) allowed subtle orange rind, grapefruit pith and pineapple bittering to anchor its dry brut champagne adjunct, gaining weedy hop astringency over doughy pale malts.

Tea-like Red Sky Red Ale rendered brown apple and pear fruiting for mild caramel-chocolate malts and calm citric-pined Cascade hops.

Brusque alcohol-whirred medium-full body, Bay To Bridge Imperial Red Ale, gathered a floral-spiced bouquet to enhance tangy apple, apricot, peach, pear and tangerine illusions above leafy hop oiling.

Toasted coconut chip sweetness endeared Right Coast Coconut Porter, a robust dark ale with dark chocolate-toffee sugaring that’s perfect for dessert.

And there was no denying 5/4 Chocolate Coffee Stout, a full-bodied nightcap reigning in dark-roast coffee bitterness for espresso-milked dark chocolate malts.

www.lastwavebrewing.com             

SCREAMIN’ HILL BREWERY

 

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CREAM RIDGE, NEW JERSEY

20 miles west of the northerly Jersey shoreline, SCREAMIN’ HILL BREWERY is nestled inside a large plantation farmhouse way out in the sticks. Entrepreneurial farm brewer, Brett Bullock, opened this rustic aluminum-topped barnyard red brewpub during 2015.

Spread out to include a large outdoor section with benches and barrel seating plus a covered front and side deck, Screamin’ Hill utilizes homegrown barley, wheat, rye and fruits for its rangy beers.

Backroom silver-barreled brew tanks hold the suds served at the American-flagged lacquer wood serving station near the back of the plank-walled interior. A few community tables and a refrigerator with growlers, cans and bottles complete the one-room pub.

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On my initial August ’18 sojourn, my wife and I quaff nine homemade offerings and buy a bottle of Screamin’ Hill The Barnyard Project Batch 2 Oatmeal Stout aged in Rye Whiskey (reviewed in Beer Index).

Dewy peat mossing and honeyed tea illusions draped easygoing opener, ESB, a dainty Brit-styled sendup.

Nearly as soft-toned, Golden Gregg & The Ram Chargers, a clear-yellowed golden ale with grassy-hopped lemon rot and herbal remnants contrasting sugar-spiced pale malts.

Nifty American Amber/Irish Red Ale hybrid, Rusty Farmer, let leafy tobacco roast crisping lull into caramel-spiced apple and pear fruiting, picking up mild tea sugaring.

Subtle habanero peppering countered spritzy Calypso-hopped citrus zest for Thrill Hill Blonde Ale, leaving only mild heat on the tongue.

Rosy amber-hued softie, Black Raz Wheat, ransacked its initial candied black raspberry tartness and pallid wheat spine with zestful lemon spritz, debunking its descending berry scheme.

Lemony grapefruit paced Idaho 7-hopped Crop Rotation Single Hop Pale Ale, contrasting its heightened astringency with creamy vanilla malt sweetness.

Murkily golden amber medium body, Desperado IPA, soaked its orange rind bitterness, grapefruit tang and pineapple juicing in honeyed crystal malt sweetness.

Pine-needled yellow grapefruit and orange rind bittering frontloaded bold East Coast-styled Screamin’ Magnolia IPA, allowing zesty Cascade, Citra and Chinook hops to dominate its mild barley-roasted pale malt base.

Pepper-breaded rye spicing gave Rye Bullock IPA a welcome changeup fortified by brisk grapefruit-orange tanginess and leafy hop resin.

Too bad respectable dark ales, cocoa-nibbed Chocolate Porter, and Vanilla Stout, had just finished the day before.

www.screaminhill.com

 

WEEPING RADISH BREWERY

GRANDY, NORTH CAROLINA

Established in 1986 by Bavarian-born brewer Uli Bennewitz, WEEPING RADISH BREWERY BUTCHERY & PUB originated thirty miles south in Manteo to become North Carolina’s first microbrewery. Now thriving in their new Grandy digs since 2011, the spacious A-framed auqa blue farmhouse includes a wood-furnished pub, dog-friendly front deck, orchard-clad parking lot and gated goat area. Though their beers are staidly conservative and generically formal, the salads and German-styled meat dishes kicked ass.

Crafting mostly German-styled ales at the huge warehouse backspace, Weeping Radish serves the entire East Coast with bottles and cans. Their OBX Beer (a fair Kolsch) has received multiple plaudits (reviewed in Beer Index).

On my mid-July stopover before hitting the Outer Banks beaches, I grabbed worthy one-off, Oyster Bock. Its creamy oyster-shelled salinity added texture and richness to bittersweet black chocolate and cocoa malting as well as dried fig tartness above boggy earthen mossiness. My wife settled on a pint of Weizen, where lemony mandarin orange outdid stylish banana-clove tartness, herbal chamomile notions and lightly honeyed white wheat sweetness.