Category Archives: United States Brewpubs

LOST TAVERN BREWING

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HELLERTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

Not far from the Lost River Caverns in Lehigh Valley’s Saucon Valley, LOST TAVERN BREWING opened this first location in the borough of Hellertown July 1, 2016 (with a taproom outpost launched in Bethlehem 2019). Inside a red-bricked gray stucco corner building with Lost Tavern insignia above black aproned canvasses on the main thoroughfare, this metal-wood furnished pub serves a stylistic variety of beer, specializing in expressively individualistic India Pale Ales.

The Industrial brick-walled interior features a 15-seat half-octagon bar with eight taps and seating across the way and at the elongated rear dining hall. A food truck services local patrons with great pizza.

An outside front deck with slate top community seating as well as six four-seat tables and several stooled tables gets packed on my early Saturday afternoon sojourn, August 2019.

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Crisply assertive, yet easygoing softie, Main 2 Main Pilsner, placed doughy wheat next to hay-like oats to underscore its herbal lemon spritz.

Dry pale wheat ale, Grace, brought zesty orange-peeled lemon meringue tartness to mild pretzel-like doughy breading and herbal-spiced whims.

Lemon zest, bruised orange and sweet banana surged for honey-dripped Belgian Ale, Odd Fellow, leaving peppery spicing on the baked bread back end.

Easygoing sour ale, Double The Jams: Strawberry Cherry Rhubarb, retained oaken cherry bitterness, strawberry puree tartness and lactic vanilla yogurt milking.

Then came the six stylistically intriguing, wholly assured IPA’s to really brighten the sunny day.

Sessionable IPA, Drizzle, coalesced Mosaic-Citra-Amarillo hops to prompt lemon-juiced grapefruit-orange-peach-tangerine tanginess and mild wood tones.

Tropical fruited New England IPA, Party On Main, brought cherry, berry, mango and pineapple juiciness to mild oats-sugared malts.

Another NEIPA, Music In The Park, blended orange-juiced Mandarina Bavaria hops with estery grape-soured Hallertau Blanc hops and gooseberry-limed Cashmere hops atop its floral-spiced grassy bed.

Crisply ‘citrus-forward’ Imperial IPA, The Steel, utilized Mosaic-Centennial hops to fashion its lemony grapefruit-orange tang, mild piney bittering and light herbal tinge.

Brut champagne yeast guided dry-hopped Brut By The Foot: Peach, a mildly creamed peach puree-sweetened sparkling wine alternative with lightly embittered yellow grapefruit zesting and wispy green grape esters.

Vigorous milkshake IPA, Lost In The Mix: Kiwi Strawberry Daiquiri, let rummy vanilla sugaring douse its lemon-juiced strawberry and kiwi tartness as well as its tangy mango-pineapple-grapefruit tropicalia, picking up lactic yogurt souring at the finish.

Finally, ‘hearty chocolate stout,’ Silent Partner, caressed its dark mocha mass with spicy dark fruiting, dry burgundy and black licorice above its earthen bottom.

www.losttavernbrewing.com

 

FUNK BREWING

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EMMAUS, PENNSYLVANIA

Inside a bright red brick garage-doored warehouse, the seemingly inconspicuous railroad-bound taproom for FUNK BREWING packs up bright ‘n early this Sunday at noon, August ’19. Having discovered three of Funk’s liquid gems in the recent past (piney tropical fruited Silent Disco; limey fruit-juiced Tumbleweed Pale Ale; autumnal saison Falliage), I was already intrigued by their well-designed, wide-ranging fare.

The rustic brick-walled, cement-floored pub features a simple aluminum serving station with twelve stools, theatre lighting, blackboard beer list and small TV. A hidden right-walled glistening Funk sign, a few metal-stooled tables and exposed pipes at the tan ceiling fill out the small room. Large silver tanks to the left and rear carry today’s four previously untried beers (plus a half-dozen more).

Several patrons grab seats at the rear covered deck, a spacious retreat on this sunny day. A train blows its loud whistle as I down the sassy suds.

Up first, Bikes Lemon Radler loads lemonade upon salted white wheat breading and herbal citrus hop dryness, bettering similarly profiled shandy’s.

Offbeat golden treat, Slurp Rice Lager, let sweet-spiced toasted rice and soba buckwheat contrast its straw-dried leathering above mellow chestnut roast.

Circuitous West Coast IPA, Citrus, brought slightly hazed East Coast IPA spirit to the mix as sour white grape, gooseberry and guava fruiting serenaded orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess and piney hop splurge.

Dark-roast coffee beaning settled way above the dried-out lemon musk of Crumpets Coffee Blonde, leaving a crisp tobacco roast at the back end.

Nearby Elizabethtown houses the purplish Funk Brewing, a second location, in its downtown section.

 

HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY

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BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA

A tan aluminum garage-doored warehouse hosts HOP HILL BREWING COMPANY,  a worthy red brick-walled, cement-floored nanobrewery within Bethlehem’s rural southern Lehigh University radius opened February 2017.

The unassumingly spare red brick-walled pub features an aluminum-sided L-shaped 16-seat serving station with 12 aluminum tap handles, stringed light bulbs and a stucco left wall. A makeshift front patio with benches fills up during my early afternoon August ’19 stopover as I consume eight well-designed offerings.

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Hop Hill’s lightest brew, dry-bodied cream ale, Drinking Games, linked sugar-salted lemon spritz to grassy hop astringency and musty pale malting.

Sweetly tart key lime-pied Belgian Saison contrasted lemon-candied banana sweetness and coriander-clove spicing against salty barnyard acridity.

Straightforward flagship moderation, House IPA, stayed simple as lemony orange tanginess and piney hop resin settled gently above caramel malt sugaring.

Perfumed citrus hops enlightened Hop Sloth IPA, revealing navel orange, yellow grapefruit and peach juicing above herb-speckled pale malts.

Juicy-fruited Brut IPA, Hop Siren, let its sweet champagne spritz and green grape tannins absorb dry pale malting.

Milk-sugared coffee awakened Protocol Porter, a delightful toffee-spiced java-bound brunch treat with dry black licorice snips.

 

Harmonious coffee-roasted breakfast calling card, Morning Blonde, draped roasted mocha malt goodness all over its mild lemon rind bittering.

Lovely bourbon barrel-aged Morning Wood caressed its roasted coffee bean splendor with sweet butterscotch-candied bourbon wining, leaving cream-sugared marshmallow, coconut and pecan illusions in its clean vodka wake.

 

http://www.hophillbeer.com/

LIQUID STATE BREWING COMPANY

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ITHACA, NEW YORK

Inside a white brick warehouse in Ithaca’s West End District just a half mile down the street from Lucky Hare, LIQUID STATE BREWING COMPANY came to fruition October 2017. Taking the space of an old laundry facility, Liquid State’s entrepreneurial brewsters, Ben Brotman and James Tielens (former Cornell Lab biologists) craft comforting New England-styled IPA’s and Euro-styled pilsner-lagers as well as sundry stylistic one-offs at their windowed backroom brewing station.

A family friendly pub with Skee-ball plus video and board games, Liquid State’s ten bench tables recall a high school cafeteria. Its pristine 15-seat wood lacquer-topped bar features 20 draught handles and many growlers.

After swimming at Buttermilk State Park, my wife and I (with Roscoe the dog) head to the covered cement-floored back patio to consume five of the fifteen available draughts this hot July afternoon, 2019.

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First up, effervescent straw-paled moderation, Yard Lion Hefeweizen coalesced lemony clover-honeyed banana tartness with mild coriander-clove spicing and herbal lemongrass snips.

Sedate Daypack Saison cushioned its lightly soured lemony grapefruit-orange bittering with black-peppered coriander spicing and salted mango tartness above sugary pale malts.

Caramelized plum sweetness anchored rich La Trapeze Dubbel, a creamily mocha-malted medium body with dewy peat earthiness contrasting latent candied fig sugaring.

Juicy fruited Liquid Crush New England IPA, a milky beige yellow-hazed beauty, brought lightly vinous grape acidity and lactic gooseberry yogurt souring to tangy grapefruit, orange, tangerine and cantaloupe serenity.

As for the one dark ale (besides the untried light-bodied Stache Black Lager), robust Stray Dog Porter placed toffee-sugared brown chocolate sweetness alongside hop-charred coffee roast, leaving subsidiary cola, walnut and hazelnut illusions on the nutty tail end.

LUCKY HARE BREWING COMPANY

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ITHACA, NEW YORK

In the newly renovated Press Bay Alley micro-retail center in downtown Ithaca, LUCKY HARE BREWING COMPANY began operations at this second location (the first is in nearby Hector) during April ’19.

A humbly pristine, white-walled, 200 square-foot tasting room with only four taps and no seats, its charming elegance lies in its immaculate petite splendor. Red plastic furnishings are set up in the cement-floored alley just outside the tap house’s overhead door for sunny day relief.

Entrepreneurial head brewer Ian Conboy, a marine scientist by trade, loves exploring the full range of beer styles and this sunny Saturday in July ’19 he had on hand one juicy IPA, a coffee-smitten Blonde Ale, a champagned IPA and a milk stout.

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Juicy tropical-fruited year round West Coast IPA, Falcon Punch, a sunshiny dry-hopped moderation, brought tangy orange-peeled grapefruit, peach and mango resilience to light pine resin above caramelized pale malting.

Dryly effervescent Brut champagne-styled IPA, Golden Pony, let green grape esters relay lightly vinous tongue-tingling sparkling wine illusions to kettle-soured citrus tones.

Roasted Ethiopian coffee mellowness engaged medium-bodied blonde ale, Blonde Moment, leaving espresso tones on its distant yellow-orange fruiting and bitter hop-charred singe.

Lactic cocoa-powdered milk stout, Milk Milk, retained dry Baker’s chocolate and black coffee tones to contrast mocha molasses sweetness at the thin finish.

www.luckyharebrewing.com

HOPSHIRE FARM & BREWERY

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FREEVILLE, NEW YORK

A few miles northeast from Ithaca in an agrarian pale green vinyl-sided farmhouse, family-owned HOPSHIRE FARM & BREWERY opened in 2013. One of New York’s first farm breweries, Hopshire’s roadside hop bines lead to its front-doored central bar. Co-owners Randy Lacey and Diane Gerhart also grow their own barley and make honey on the orchard-laden land.

The L-shaped serving station features twelve draught handles and the left-side brew tanks mingle with bench seating. A green and white right-side tent offers splendid pastoral outside seating.

A new marbleized vinyl-floored right room with A-framed Cathedral-like ceiling and seven cafeteria tables gets used for special events and music specials. On this initial July ’19 visitation, we grab a seat in this stately room to try all seven draughts available while our dog, Roscoe, plays with a friendly mutt.

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Lemon-wedged banana and clove fortified mild herb-backed Love Inn Ale Hefeweizen,  a pleasurable lightweight ‘channeling the Summer Of Love’ in winsome fashion.

Tart raspberry puree regaled Brambles Raspberry Wheat Ale, leaving mild lingered hop astringency upon the soft wheat bed.

Raw-honeyed astringency mellowly pasted Beehave Honey Ale, a treacly blonde ale with bready barley base.  

Dewy springtime moderation, Shire Scottish Ale, a nutty brown ale hybrid, brought roasted tobacco crisping and mossy peat earthiness to honeyed dark chocolate malting.

A sharp yellow grapefruit tang provoked heady beige yellow-hazed New England IPA, Haze In The Hollow, a fizzy spritzer with sunshiny citrus spunk coming from its brisk Citra-Mosaic-Galaxy hop rasp.

Another ‘hearty brown ale,’ Abbey Normale, utilized dark Belgian candi syrup to sweeten its caramelized raisin tartness and mild licorice tones against sedate peppercorn pungency.

Milk-sugared dark roast coffee serenaded blonde coffee stout, Beautiful Buzz, a Maris Otter malt-sweetened mocha dessert beer with a slight lemon twist.

THE NORTH BREWERY

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ENDICOTT, NEW YORK

Ten miles west of Binghamton, Endicott’s THE NORTH BREWERY opened in 2013, one year after Water Street Brewing became the area’s first modern brewpub. Owner Zach Pedley’s a serious stout aficionado crafting some ‘extreme ales,’ winning Best of Tap New York’s statewide competition in 2017 with heavenly richly God Complex Cerrano Pepper Mocha Hazelnut Coffee Stout.

A makeshift caged-in black metal-furnished Washington Avenue patio leads into the small two-room pub. Edison lights adorn the concrete slate-topped bar with eight red brick-walled draught handles and the white-tiled floor contrasts the raw wood furnishings and reclaimed palate wood right wall. The bronze tiled ceiling features solid mahogany columns while a few windowed tables and sundry TV’s sprawl across the front room. A crazed lunatic and black & white octopus adorn the right side and back wall.

The current 5-barrel brew system and a canning line inundate the back room.

Zach’s got the Blues on the radio while I consume six well-designed draught beers slightly stretching the experimental spectrum during July ’19.

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Soft-toned The Mexican Smoked Wit (with Lime) brought cologne-perfumed oiling and smoked Cherrywood acridity to subtle orange-peeled coriander, picking up tart lime resilience.

Lightly acidic Nelson Sauvin-hopped Taddy Mason IPA plied green grape esters and sour gooseberry tartness to floral-daubed wood tones before brisk yellow grapefruit tanginess ascends above the fray with a latent mandarin orange twist.

Milk-sugared mango and coconut perked up Bikini Tops NEIPA, leaving mild grapefruit bittering, zesty pineapple tanginess and lemondrop tartness at the bright tropical fruited finish.

Coffee-roasted nuttiness anchored hop-charred Ink Coffee Stout, inducing espresso macchiato and milk-steamed latte tones as well as tertiary black cherry, blackberry and blackcurrant wisps. In its indelible nitro version, Ink’s softer éclair-creamed mouthfeel relinquished windswept espresso, dark chocolate and mochaccino elegance.

Creamily rich ‘pastry stout,’ Lil Klouds, draped black chocolate syrup upon milk-sugared coconut, vanilla and marshmallow adjuncts with profound intensity. Its dried cocoa finish reinforced the dramatic mocha sway. Excellent nightcap!

northbrewery.com

 

WATER STREET BREWING COMPANY

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BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK

Around the corner from Galaxy Brewing in a metal-welded Industrial building with steel-doored storefront, WATER STREET BREWING COMPANY began operations in 2011 – approximately one year before nearby Galaxy and Binghamton breweries opened. Homebrewing couple John and Michele Bleichert currently run a 7 barrel system spread between glass-encased bronze tanks and a few right side silver tanks.

An intimate bistro-like pub, Water Street’s linoleum-floored wood tables are scattered along the front and left side with Edison lights lining the long wooden bar where two tap stations with eight draught handles each disperse the sassy suds. Fine homemade pub fare goes well with the rounded beer selections.

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Receding banana-clove sweetness confronted lemon-rotted mandarin orange souring and herbal whims above sugary Graham Cracker wheat malts for generic-named moderation, Hefeweizen, a slightly more adventurous stylistic changeup.

Dry English mild ale, Lucky Corbie, brought raw-honeyed grassy hop acridity, horse-blanketed hay astringency and mild herbal perfuming to toasted caramel malting.

Stylishly bold India Pale Ale, Smash And Grab, let brisk Mosaic-hopped grapefruit, orange peel, mango and peach tanginess saturate its moderate grassy pine bittering above caramelized Vienna malts.

Sour gooseberry and white grape tannins plus mild grapefruit rind bittering bumrushed Triple Trouble NEIPA, a lactic juicy fruited medium body with subtle sugar-spiced lemony orange tang.

As for the dark ales, dry hop-charred walnut bittering lightly counters sweet hazelnut-macadamia-almond triage for Hellcat Brown Ale.

Roasted chocolate and caramelized nuttiness anchored Thousand Year Porter, receiving a dewy peat mustiness at the finish.

Mildly fudged chocolate milk stout, Slugworth’s Revenge, gained vanilla, dried cocoa and brownie tones above molasses oats malting.

waterstreetbrewingco.com

BINGHAMTON BREWING CO.

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JOHNSON CITY, NEW YORK

Just across the Chenango River from Binghamton, Johnson City’s BINGHAMTON BREWING CO. opened for business during 2014. Owners Kristen Lyons and Jason Gardner, beer loving engineers inspired by esteemed Belgian-styled brewery, Ommegang, decided to open a farm brewery using locally grown ingredients and soon hired home brewing anthropologist teacher Kasey Agiser.

Due for imminent expansion, Lyons tells me the current two barrel brewing operation will be “kept as a pilot system” when they expand to 10 or 15 barrels.

A makeshift two-benched entrance patio leads to the diminutive yellow-walled pub space. A left side hearth, a few serving station seats, five small tables and a TV fill out the interior. An electronic draught board lists current homebrews available and beautiful grey-tiled draught handles release the eleven sudsy delights I’ll experience this Saturday afternoon in July ’19.

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Mild soft-tongued Hoppy Pilsner let herbal lemon-oiled black tea musk engulf lightly lingered lemony grapefruit rind bittering and mild grassy astringency above delicate oats-dried pilsner malts.

Easygoing cologne-perfumed lemongrass herbage picked up lemony mandarin orange tartness, kaffir lime oiling and spicy coriander sugaring for Far East Lemongrass Wit, leaving soapy residue on its wispy apricot-fig respite.

Tea-like American Mild (Nitro) did a twist on an English styled mild with its éclair-creamed head, dewy peat mossing, reserved nutty cocoa whims and toasted baguette snip.

Dry SS Great Britain Pale Ale brought brown tea earthiness to fennel, cocoa, waddle seed, toffee and biscuit illusions as well as lemony orange desiccation.

Tart Concord grape esters gained Himalayan sea salting for Purple Rain Gose, a Sweet-tart candied dry body with lightly vinous green grape residue and puckering gooseberry-cranberry remnant.

Well-honed flagship beer, Citra Pale Ale, walked on sunshine as its bright yellow-orange-fruited tang, grassy herbal tones and spicy tingle usurped syrupy caramelized pale malts in straightforward fashion.

Soft-toned New England-styled Spa Day Pale Ale saddled perky yellow grapefruit, navel orange and pineapple juicing with earthy herbal spicing, gaining sour melon rind and sweet nectarine illusions at the gently tanged finish.

Sweet dark Belgian candi sugaring brought casual caramelized pleasantry to recessive dried fruiting for dewy-malted Belgian Strong Ale, leaving date, fig, banana and dried cherry illusions at the sweet finish.

Pine comb-honeyed Golden Nugget Wheat Wine relegated tobacco-roasted peat mossing, bruised black cherry tartness and glazed date-fig snips above its rye-like red wheat base.

Lightly spiced brown chocolate prospered for easygoing Sweet Milk Stout, a toffee-teased mocha dessert.

My absolute fave: semi-rich Mexican chocolate cake-like Xocokhan Porter let cayenne peppering seep into cinnamon-spiced vanilla bean alacrity and cocoa-dried Bakers chocolate bittering.

bingbrew.com

www.bingbrew.com

DOGFISH HEAD WOOD-AGED MILES DAVIS BREW

Popular kiln-smoked dry stout given leathery oak-aged treatment. Raw-honeyed molasses bittering and dry bourbon-burgundy conflux determinedly influence black-malted Bakers chocolate pungency, freeze-dried coffee spunk, fungi brown tea musk and black licorice snip. Mildewed black grape esters and tarry hop char stay mellower than original ‘brew.’ A dryer version at 9% ABV.

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BELLEFONTE BREWING COMPANY

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WILMINGTON, DELAWARE

Inside a tan brick building at the light Industrial business mall, Branmar Plaza, BELLEFONTE BREWING COMPANY took the name of its north Wilmington section and celebrated its three year anniversary, May ’19. Its clean open pub space houses a backroom 4-barrel brewing system crafting a cornucopia of stylishly accomplished elixirs.

A cozy setup with six-seat mahogany bar sporting fourteen tap handles and a large brew-stickered refrigerator, the lacquer cement-floored Bellefonte’s cartoon-infested walls add a youthful touch. A semi-permanent right side red-couched TV area brings comfy elegance and two parking lot-bound bench tables under the green canvas awning provide extra seating.

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My wife and I grab one of the mid-room barreled tables to enjoy fourteen fine offerings during hot July ’19 trip.

Musky rye-oats graining and pleasant fungi earthiness stabilized 4G LTE Four Grain Lager, a pre-Prohibition-styled lightweight that may’ve bested the fresh-cut grassiness and herbal lemon respite of equally light-bodied Particle Pilsner.

Honeyed banana and clove suited pastry-malted Hefenly Brew, an approachable hefeweizen with floral-wafted herbal nuances. Meanwhile, tarter banana-clove sweetened the orange-peeled coriander niceties of Monkey’s Gotta Go, a choice witbier.

Dry spritzy champagne-like Kiamensi Kolsch brought lemon-wedged orange rot souring to Noble-hopped wood mildewing and mineral grained pilsner malting.

Lightly sour Tart Passion Saison let salty passionfruit tartness snag zesty lemon briskness to counter its sweaty cheesecloth musk. Another similarly styled offshoot, Acai Berry Tart Saison shifted the focus to sour-candied blueberry-acai tartness, leaving oaken cherry wisps at the backend.

Pasty-like cream ale, Orange Street Ale, stayed soft-toned as lightly frothed honeysuckle wheat malting picked up a mild orange spritz above mild grassy-hopped astringency.

Meanwhile, honeyed yellow fruiting fronted bold (7.3% ABV) Belgian pale ale, Bellevue Blonde, stays crisply easygoing ’til the alcohol esters consume the candi-sugared Abbey yeast profile.

Straightforward lo-cal moderation, Small Wonder IPA, packed a juicy tropical punch complemented by delicate pine resin and dry pale malts.

Easygoing soft-tongued NEIPA, Oat-face Killah let grassy-hopped grapefruit, peach, mango and orange tropicalia soak into its light white oats malting.  

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On the dark side, Lord Smokey’s Brown Ale draped bitter nuttiness upon dark chocolate malting and Band-aid-like smoked beechwood(?) astringency.

Peanut-buttered dark chocolate coated Diamond State Stout, a semi-rich dry body with black malt bittering receiving a slight earthen wood scorch.

Richest, creamiest and tastiest choice, Bean Laughing Black Coffee IPA, a black-malted Cascadian Dark Ale, maintained its treacly fudged cocoa-powdered coffee roast way above the ashen piney-hopped black grape and dried cherry pureeing. Its tertiary cola nut, molasses cookie, burgundy, raisin and grapefruit illusions filled out the robust digestif.

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bellefontebrewingco.com

BRICK WORKS BREWING

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SMYRNA, DELAWARE

Joining Blue Earl as Smyrna’s second brewery, BRICK WORKS BREWING opened in 2016 under the tutelage of nearby Milford’s Mispillion River Brewing. At Dupont Boulevard’s Commodore Commons Shopping Center in a freestanding red brick building, Brick Works’ brewmaster Ryan Maloney has created several newly designed elixirs to go alongside fine locally sourced pub fare.

Featuring a wooden fifteen-stooled slate top bar with a few four-seat tables towards the front and several scattered TV’s for sportsfans, its left side red cement-floored dining area contains the stainless-steeled open kitchen. Windowed brew tanks store the golden suds.

My wife and I grab a table in the closed-in patio (with sundry furnishings, a central slate-topped community table and rounded fire pit. I got to try eight fine homemade brews during my mid-afternoon July ’19 journey (though I missed out on the dortmunder lager and English mild ale).

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Crisply dry moderation, Tiny Brick American Lager, brought perfumed orange oiling to mild horse-blanketed barnyard acridity, mineralized cereal graining and slight asparagus snip.

Orange-peeled lemondrop tartness secured Kaleidoscopic Sun Munich Helles Lager, receiving musky wheatgrass pungency and light tobacco crisping at the dry finish.

Cologne-perfumed yellow fruiting inundated Citrus Mistress American Wheat, letting its grassy hay-like hop astringency desiccate lemony grapefruit-mango briskness and zesty lime pucker.

Easygoing Drop Towel IPA soothed the tongue with lightly embittered grapefruit rind, tartly sour lemon and dry pine tones.

Juicy grapefruit, orange, peach and mango anchored brisk medium-bodied Boujee Boy Fruit IPA, leaving mildly creamed crystal malting on the back end.

Light citrus spicing upended dry herbal musk for Nouveau Riche Belgian Pale Ale, contrasting creamy sugared malts against astringent grape-leafed hop esters.

Lactic Joose Goose Double IPA brought limey grapefruit salting to waxy white grape, pineapple, gooseberry and mango fruiting, floral-bound herbal resin and subtle pale malt dryness.

Milk chocolate-centered Dark Entries Oatmeal Stout serenaded its bittersweet mocha continuance with Blackstrap molasses, toffee and black cherry illusions.

brickworksde.com