SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y.
In downtown Saratoga Springs on Broadway, the first DRUTHERS BREWING COMPANY opened for business in 2012. Home of Skidmore College (one of America’s best party schools) and a few miles from Saratoga Raceway, this affluent community’s picturesque landscape draws summer tourists to its lovely historic splendor. Owned in part by former Albany Pump Station brewer, George di Piro, each distinct Druthers location benefits from spacious layout design, well-realized decor, diversified craft beer and excellent food.
Initially visited during January ’16, a black archway leads to an extensive courtyard that fronts Druthers pristine yellow wood-furnished dining lodge. Upon entering, the 20-seat slate-topped bar showcases the mezzanine level glass-encased brew tanks while a separate dining area adorns the backspace. An eclectic food menu (sandwiches-salads-burgers-entrees) includes the outstanding Chili Con Carne and Roasted Vegetable Puree (with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, fried leeks and parsnips). A selection of fine wines and spirits complement the ambitious hand-crafted beers.
First up, Strong Gose may be less sour than Druthers’ standard gose, but its lactobacillus-derived salted coriander expectancy stayed firm above tart lemon liming. A similarly soured lemony orange spritz engaged Rye Saison, a Vienna-malted moderation with caramelized rye toasting and soapy sugarplum notions.
One of the most popular elixirs, assertive All In India Pale Ale placed piney Amarillo hop sharpness inside floral-spiced grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering without depleting its back-end honeyed pale malt sweetness.
Toasted Munich malts frame Fist Of Karma, a chocolate-y caramel-spiced brown ale gaining hazelnut, pecan and almond tones above maple molasses sugaring and walnut-seared hop char.
A stronger version of a traditional hefeweizen, lofty Weizen Bock circulated dried plum, fig and banana fruiting around clove-coriander spicing and wheat-grained hop astringency. Decisive Strong Porter loaded molasses-sapped brown chocolate onto roasted nut resilience.
Sweet holiday delight, Winter Warmer, dripped caramelized molasses onto fruit-caked sweetness and toasted Munich malts for a surefire cold weather treat.
During March ’17 revisit, lemony banana-clove-bubblegum expectancy guided Against The Grain Hefeweizen as mild coriander riffs reached the subtle beechwood-smoked malting.
Scottish Style 80 Shilling brought caramel-toasted malts to dewy peat, dried fig, unripe orange and earthen hops.
Easygoing Irish-styled Dry Stout planted unmalted barley inside moderate black malt bittering and subtle dark-roasted coffee, chocolate and nut remnants.