Tag Archives: ALBANY NY


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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.



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Just down the street from historic Albany Pump Station, DRUTHERS BREWING COMPANY turned an old brick warehouse into a rustic sportsbar/ brewpub during May 2015. The second Druthers location to emerge since its original Saratoga Springs location opened in 2012, its roomy interior includes a hearth-centered waiting area separating a left side dining room from the centralized right side horseshoe bar (with plentiful table seating, high ceilings, exposed pipes and multiple TV’s).

My wife and I grab a table near the huge windowed brew room, where several large tanks contain the suds we’ll be enjoying this frigid January ’16 evening. Alongside several fine brews are well-executed food entrees (BBQ Pork Skillet; Fish In Crazy Water; Steak Tips) plus pizza, wings and burgers. The beer selection varies slightly from the Saratoga Springs pub.

I consume the innovative Kimchi Fried Rice (and egg-fried shiitake mushroom with leeks, carrots, onions and wasabi peas) while my wife shares garlic-buttered Loaded Monkey Bread (with bacon-crumbled pepperoni and mozzarella) and a huge Cobb Salad (with bleu-cheesed butternut squash, cauliflower, bacon, egg, tomato and apple cider vinaigrette).

The varied small-batch beer selections included Harvest Apple, a sharp cider-like ale utilizing fresh-pressed Mac Intosh apples and peppery Belgian yeast spicing to gain its gingery cinnamon-toasted apple pie luster. Dry kolsch-styled German pils, Golden Rules Blonde, brought soft-toned citric Cascade hop bittering and salted lemon tartness to tingly crystal malt sugaring. Subtle Brevity Wit offered ginger-spiced coriander sweetness to its fizzy lemon-orange spritz.

Modestly combining dewy Belgian yeast with toasted Vienna malts and Americanized IPA fruiting, Belgian IPA elevated its lemony orange-peeled grapefruit tang with piney hops and perfumed spices.

Hybridized Bavarian wheat ale, Against the Grain Smoked Wiezen, contrasted beechwood-smoked peat malts against sugary banana-clove sweetness.

After dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed rich Oatmeal Stout, an oats-flaked, molasses sugared mocha sensation with bittersweet black chocolate, cocoa and coffee tones abutting dried fig nuances.





Located in a historic red brick warehouse sited from Route 787, C.H. EVANS BREWING at Albany Pump Station’s towering ceilings, spacious bar area, immense fireplace, loft-centered brew tanks, copious dining room (with several booths-tables) and plentiful continental food fare have attracted serious beer hounds since opening in 1999. Its beautiful mirrored wood mural at the main bar holds a fine selection of spirits and several trophies decorate the top level.

Since first visiting December ’04 with family, Albany Pump Station has become a mecca for the state capitol. And long-time brewer George De Piro crafts a diverse range of beers that’ve only gotten better over time.

Approachable daintily-hopped beers such as cream-corned honey-dipped maize-dried light-bodied Scottish Light, Kolsch-styled cereal-grained oats-dried hay-dampened herbal-tinged Quackenbush Blonde, buttery banana-bubblegum-clove-centered lemon-soured Bavarian-styled Hefeweizen, and mildly tart cinnamon-ginger-spiced cider-like Apple Ale will please soft-toned thirsts.

Heartier thirsts will lean towards off-dry perfume-spiced mineral-grained grapefruit-quince-tinged Pump Station Pale Ale, woody-hopped dark-spiced nut-burnt Kick Ass Brown Ale, balmy Irish-styled milk chocolate-aided roasted coffee-finishing Dawn’s Dry Stout, and, most memorably, bold alcohol-riddled caramel malt-caressed dryly red-fruited Old Ale.

At U-shaped right bar, January ’09, ate delicious calamari over linguini (with red peppers and black olives) while draining understated fig-raisin-dried cinnamon-nutmeg-voided phenol-hopped Winter Warmer.


Sojourned from Brown’s (in nearby Troy) to the ‘Station’ mid-afternoon, October ’10, securing window side chair at main bar while happily munching on a cheesy jalapeno-peppered turkey sandwich and quaffing samplers.

Justifying long-time brewer George DePiro’s exquisite stylistic diversification were newfound banana-breaded chocolate-spiced fig-dried earthen-grained Munich Dunkel and beechwood-smoked chocolate-malted espresso-milked State Street Porter. While short-pantsed DePiro stopped by quickly to say hi, further proof of his creativeness came with sweet ‘n sour blueberry-pureed molasses-honeyed Blueberry Triple, a Belgian strong ale contrasting crystal-sugared fruited malts against white-peppered farmhouse yeast funk.

During a cold November ’13 afternoon, stopped by to watch Giants-Raiders football game before heading to Bleecker Field to watch nephew’s Pop Warner team win a second round playoff game. I got to imbibe three previously untried brews as well.

For a light-bodied starter, approachable Evans Wit brought sweet orange-peeled coriander spicing and lemon-candied tartness to its subtle banana bubblegum midst, picking up gentle hop astringency at the pleasant citric finish.

Emboldened Imperial Pumpkin Stout contrasted coffee-grounded dark chocolate against anise-oiled pumpkin roast while winningly incorporating unexpected peculiarities (fennel, rosemary, fern and pine nut) for a challenging hybridized autumnal dessert.

Before heading out, Revolutionary War-styled Poor Soldier Porter coaxed bittersweet malt-smoked dark chocolate and black coffee overtones as well as dry Baker’s chocolate illusions out of cane-juiced Caribbean molasses.

Once again revisited Albany Pump Station, October ’20, gulping down seven more previously untried suds.

Spritzy lemon-dried Palace Pilz placed mild Amarillo-hopped wood tones next to clay-like Saaz hop herbage and corn-flaked cereal malts.

Nutty caramel-spiced chocolate malts engaged Amber All The Way, leaving mild hop astringency upon the dewy finish.

Brisk grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering and mild pine needling spackled dry pale malts for Mosaic Pale Ale.

Soft-tongued Wheated Days Hefe brought banana breaded honey wheat sweetness to sedate lemon tartness and wispy clove spicing in a pilsner-malted Noble hop setting.

Floral citrus-bound New England-styled Ditch Digger IPA let lactic milk souring caress mild lemon-licked grapefruit, mango and orange tanginess.

Effective rauchbier-derived Helles Lager, Kissed By Smoke, allowed smoked beechwood to absorb sweet kiln-fired barleymalts, cured meat savoring and mossy Noble hop earthiness.

Black chocolate-doused dark roast coffee imbibed State O’ Your Stout, a full-bodied dark ale with espresso, burnt caramel and maple oats reminders relegating its mild hop char.