On tap at Poor Henry’s, tropical moderation nearly as soft and billowy as its namesake. Frothily creamed head hides subtle clementine, mandarin orange and grapefruit tang as well as tart gooseberry liming and light herbal hop bittering. Tingly spiced citrus continuance reaches gentle oats base with sweetly aired lilt.
Rustic wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale fermented in oak foedres allows mild lemon lime acidity, vinous green grape tannins and wispy herbal salting to enhance tartly citric saison yeast of dry white wine alternative.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, promising New England-styled IPA blends tropical El Dorado and Galaxy hops with floral wood-dried Amarillo hops for stylishly dryer medium body. Parched lemony grapefruit bittering contrasts milder pineapple, passionfruit and peach tanginess above sugary pale malt spine.
On tap at Seven Lakes Station, effervescent citrus gleam heightened by moderate Galaxy-Citra-Columbus hop bittering in crisp, clean, pale malt setting. Floral-dried lemony grapefruit tartness and mild orange tang land in grassy dry-wooded field.
On tap at Ambulance, refreshingly clean-watered bacterial house yeast provides mild souring for cucumber-crisped pickled dill tartness. Lightly vinous lemon licks linger alongside mustard-daubed dill tanginess.
On tap at Ambulance, sessionable Belgian pale ale (brewers’ lighter alcohol version of Burly Monk) retains crisply clean grapefruit-juiced hop-oiling above honeyed malt piquancy, but laid-back herbal hop bittering never fully suffices.
On tap at Equilibrium, bitterly black-malted medium body drapes moderately creamed dark chocolate across roasted coffee and vanilla bean sedation. Mild cola-walnut char picks up burnt toast smidge.
On tap at Ambulance, ‘delicate’ version of brewers’ Coffee Cup dispenses dry cold-brewed coffee roast upon black chocolate malts and mild wood-charred hop bittering. A splendidly easygoing coffee ale.
Delightful flagship India Pale Ale (with flavors and aromas of grapefruit and melon) truly resonates. Juicy yellow grapefruit tang ripens sweet melon, cantaloupe and honey dew syruping above caramel-crystal malt sugaring. Lively lemon zest brings sunny citric ambiance to floral fructose affluence as grassy-hopped pine resin adds proper bittering.
SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK
Across the Hudson River from Glens Falls and down a few blocks, COMMON ROOTS BREWING COMPANY had its soft opening December 19, 2014. A magnificent father-son operation with a well-rounded and wide-ranging craft beer lineup, the sterling brewpub takes pride in adding “artisanal boutique styles to the culinary landscape.” After buying, then gutting, the small corner building housing Common Roots, owners Bert and Christian Weber began investing time on sundry recipes.
Originally a home brewer, son Christian received a graduate degree in biology from Plymouth State and utilizes his brewery’s upstairs space for yeast propagation. Impressed by the innovative spirit and articulate nature of Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione, as well as the historic lambic stylings Jean-Pierre van Roy maintains for Belgium’s Cantillon Brewery and the highly prized ales defining Hill Farmstead’s award-winning Shaun Hill, he now operates a 20-barrel system as of my January ’16 Adirondack tour. And expansion of the mustard yellow-walled pub (with splendid wood- carved fish theme) seems imminent as the popularity of the Weber’s elixirs holds no boundaries.
For openers, clean mineral water provided the smooth base for Modern American Pale Ale, a Chinook-hopped, crystal malt-spiced moderation with yellow grapefruit peel bitterness extending into tropical mango-guava-passionfruit fruiting. Approachable Last Light IPA draped tangy yellow grapefruit, navel orange and pineapple juicing atop sugar-spiced sweetness. Bitterer Daylight Double IPA contrasted wood lacquered piney hops with crystal malt-sugared grapefruit, orange, mango, peach, cantaloupe and melon sweetness.
Gaining lots of local attention, Belgian Style Honey Ale let its creamy wildflower honeying inform peppery Belgian yeast funk, tingly citric crisping and mild vanilla licks. Expressive ‘citrus hops’ enlightened Burly Monk Belgian Pale Ale, as its lemon-bruised orange tang contrasted dry gin tonicity and white-peppered herbage above honey-spiced caramel malts.
Closer to a sessionable Berliner Weisse, perhaps, Farmhouse Style Ale brought coriander-salted lemon souring to brettanomyces-dried barnyard acridity and lemongrass snips.
Highly impressed with the tremendous fare already quaffed, I then dive into two fine strong ales. At 9% ABV, the monumental Coffee Cup Double Stout revealed sweet, sour and bitter coffee bean roasting to caramelized chocolate sweetness and wood-charred tobacco resin.
Not to be outdone, mellow Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (aged 18 months in Bullitt Bourbon barrels) retained a sweet bourbon chocolate affluence above dry burgundy-port wining, burnt caramel sugaring, oaken vanilla illusions and roasted cola nuttiness.
During quick December ’18 stopover, enjoyed Snowy Night Double Stout, a richly fudged mocha sensation with lactose highlighted by rapturous vanilla-beaned dark chocolate, cold-brewed coffee and maple molasses abundance. Mild espresso, cola, hazelnut and cookie dough illusions add depth.
An absolute destination spot along the Adirondacks foothills a few miles off Route 87, Common Roots will appeal to all beer connoisseurs.