RENSSELAER, NEW YORK
Inside a small mini-mall, savvy craft brewer, Roger Savoy, creates a goodly amount of finely attuned Brit Isle-styled brews for Rensselaer’s EMPORIUM FARM BREWERY. A small nano operation soon able to expand within its mall-bound confines, Emporium started as a homebrewing and winemaking store.
Featuring three windowed tables and a pristinely yellow-pined 20-stool L-shaped serving station, the low-ceilinged one room setting resembles a family kitchen more than a genuinely reliable brewpub.
Opened August ’18, the casually intimate farm brewery endears its local community with low key elegance. On my Friday evening visit in late March ’19, I sampled eight well-defined brews.
Dewy peat malts, earthen leafy hops and truffle-like fungi guided many of these British-styled offerings, especially Wet-Hopped Harvest Ale, rye-spiced moderation with wispy apricot and fig nuances.
Mossy ESB also stayed dewy-soft and fungi-sidled, bringing a creamy cereal grained malt resilience to the fore.
Light and fluffy 80 Shilling Scottish Ale generated mild wood smoked pleasantries for raw-honeyed rye malts and mossy hop resin.
Dry earthen herbage seeped into proper English IPA, inducing a dried-fruited spicing out of the midst.
Going on hiatus from the Brit stylings, easygoing West Coast Session IPA brought desiccated grapefruit, tangerine and orange tones to wet-wooded Chinook hops and vegetal cucumber earthiness.
The other hop-centric Americanized brew, orange-dried Hoppy Amber let resinous hop oils lubricate its dry pale malt graining.
Chalky chocolate malts gained a scorched earth hop char for Chocolate Oatmeal Stout, a dryer black malted take on an oats-sugared dark ale.
My personal favourite, debonair Christmastime nightcap, Holiday Winter Warmer, blended brown-sugared Mexican chocolate with nutmeg holiday seasoning, sweet orange peel zest, fern-like evergreen minting and tingly cinnamon-cumin-clove spicing.