Home to the first commercial steam locomotive in America, the rural village of Honesdale supports two brewpubs – Irving Cliff Brewing along the backwoods foothills and Main Street’s more prominently located HERE & NOW BREWING COMPANY.
Inside a three-story red brick corner building across from the railroad station, Here & Now celebrated its one-year anniversary May 2018. A cozy wood-floored joint with Classical white-tiled ceiling and wood furnishings, the 20-seat bar features 12-plus draught taps directly below the brewery’s chicken-scratched metal copper insignia. (see below)
An overhead door serves as the entrance and a small right side stage at the front adds extra space. A backroom off to the left provides private space for small parties. The rear kitchen serves good pub fare to go with the rangy homemade tapped beers.
Emulating a Prohibition Era speakeasy in some ways, Here & Now’s seven barrel system serves a rotating lineup of beer crafted by brewmaster Karl Schloesser (and future expansion is deemed inevitable).
I get to experience twelve previously untried brews during my one-hour July ’18 perusal.
First up were five interestingly diverse saisons. Mildly creamed Le Dale Saison plied pineapple, yellow grapefruit and mandarin orange tartness to floral-spiced niceties and herbal subtleties. Earthy rye tones deepened Rainbow Season Saison’s sublime grapefruit-peeled mandarin orange piquancy and slight lemongrass tingle. Nearly as earth-toned, Solace let delicate Cascade-hopped citrus spicing linger softly above mossy pine resin and celery-watered vegetalia.
Simple springtime session saison, In The Meantime, delivered raw-honeyed spicing to floral citrus licks and grassy hop astringency.
Boosting the hop level gave Porch Sitting Hoppy Saison its moderate grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering while floral lemon tea illusions fluttered above crackery pale malting.
Musky grain malts fortified As A Feather Helles Lager, a light-bodied German styling given floral-dabbed corn, spelt and alfalfa groating that hides its wispy yellow fruited sway.
Mustier Accidentally Prague Czech Dark Lager pasted musty chocolate chalking to earthen oats grist.
Lemony white grape sourness inundated Hue, a solvent-like hefeweizen needing stylish banana-clove sweetness. Dry peach-fuzzed citrus zest enveloped Secret Epicenter Pale Ale. Sweet orange peel serenaded brisk 7th Street Circus House IPA, a sessionable moderation with mild grapefruit, peach and tangerine illusions.
Black grape, black cherry and blackcurrant influenced Night Orchestra, a mildly wood-toned Black IPA with piney citric bittering deepening its black chocolate-y black malts.
Lastly, dry cocoa and chocolate malts eased into Bat Patterns Porter, an easy drinking dark ale with soft earthen wood tones.