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 Owens, 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.