GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK
In a pale green aluminum building a few blocks off Glens Falls historic downtown, COOPER’S CAVE ALE COMPANY has operated as a brewery since 1999. During 2009, the cozy backdoor brewpub opened for business serving craft beer alongside homemade sodas, locally sourced ice cream and upscale pub food. Tannish earth-toned furnishings provide a soft elegance while a private room serves business and party functions.
On my January ’16 afternoon sojourn, my wife and I sit at the 10-seat bar to share nachos with pulled pork while sampling eight mid-range brews.
A few fruit ales reach my palate first. Raspberry Wheat offered a bittersweet raspberry rasp sharpened by phenol hops and spritzy carbonation while Cooper’s Cave’s ‘fastest selling beer,’ Bluesberry Ale, went down even easier with its perfume-hopped blueberry lacquering.
Next, there were three British styled ales. Traditional English bitter, Tavern Ale, featured raw-honeyed rye, roasted caramel malts and fungi earthiness. English-styled India Pale Ale brought dewy moss and musty earth tones to mild citrus snips. Dark mild ale, Bummpo’s Brown, retained a soft-toned chocolate malt sweetness for its slick hop-roasted nuttiness.
Uniquely hybridized Fenimore Froth Winter Warmer brought medicinal alcohol astringency to honeyed oats, ginger spice, orange zest, sugared cinnamon and earthen musk without getting peculiar. Equally medicinal, ‘rocket fueled’ Strong Ale draped its ethanol burn with honeyed Maris Otter malts, blanched barley malts and dried fig illusions.
Though a bit underwhelming, dry Irish stout, Sagamore, plied oats-dried coffee roast to nutty cocoa and sweet chocolate.
In canned version, musky Brit-styled Pathfinder Porter delivers chalky black chocolate malting to bourbon-dried Muscat grape mustiness, walnut-oiled raw molasses astringency and mildewed cellar dankness.