PORT JERVIS, NEW YORK
Located in the heart of downtown Port Jervis on Front Street, FOX N HARE BREWING COMPANY came to fruition during 2016. A renovated ground-floored public house, its 20-seat central wood bar services the left side dining area and opposing brew room (with large basement-leveled silver brew tanks peeking out).
Fox N Hare’s cavernous rusticity, exposed brick and pipes and storied brown ceiling tiles create an authentic Old World charm while a beautiful back-walled green and yellow-hued Fox N Hare mural completes the score.
Head brewer, Sean Donnelly, cut his teeth brewing at acclaimed Queens-based Singlecut Beersmiths while working in Manhattan bartending for iconoclastic beer joint, Ginger Man. He then relocated to Port Jervis to start this worthy venture.
Besides featuring a dozen tapped beers, there’s a juicer at work for Sunday brunch this snow-filled January ’20 sojourn.
Using locally sourced ingredients for its balanced brews and efficient pub fare, Fox N Hare also benefits from the town’s amazingly consistent soft-watered Delaware River minerality.
I grabbed a spot at the brewroom’s modern art-displayed side wall counter to sample seven tasty suds while watching football playoffs on the big screen TV.
Lemon-dropped banana and clove tartness secured Hillside Harvest Hefeweizen, a casual moderate body with salt-licked herbal nuances and soapy mandarin orange zesting.
Stylishly subtle New England IPA, Hop On The Bus, placed sour guava, tart pineapple, bitter grapefruit and tangy mandarin orange alongside waxy crayon soaping as well as teensy peach-tangerine-mango snips to contrast its resinous pine tones.
Moderately dry medium-bodied Hop Forward IPA brought oak-pined woodiness to its bitter grapefruit and orange pith zing as mild floral herbage sets in and tertiary clementine, peach, papaya and pear illusions flutter.
While almond-roasted dark chocolate consumed burnt-toasted Night Shadow Imperial Stout, its 2018 cellared version gained dark cocoa bittering, charred nuttiness and sour dried fruiting to envelop the musty basement mossing.
Aged on Tanzanian Peaberry coffee beans, Dark Pastures Milk Stout allowed lactic milk chocolate sweetness to spread across its espresso-dried java interior, leaving wispy cedar-chipped almond and pureed black cherry snips in its moderately rich mocha wake.