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.