JOHNSON CITY, NEW YORK
Just across the Chenango River from Binghamton, Johnson City’s BINGHAMTON BREWING CO. opened for business during 2014. Owners Kristen Lyons and Jason Gardner, beer loving engineers inspired by esteemed Belgian-styled brewery, Ommegang, decided to open a farm brewery using locally grown ingredients and soon hired home brewing anthropologist teacher Kasey Agiser.
Due for imminent expansion, Lyons tells me the current two barrel brewing operation will be “kept as a pilot system” when they expand to 10 or 15 barrels.
A makeshift two-benched entrance patio leads to the diminutive yellow-walled pub space. A left side hearth, a few serving station seats, five small tables and a TV fill out the interior. An electronic draught board lists current homebrews available and beautiful grey-tiled draught handles release the eleven sudsy delights I’ll experience this Saturday afternoon in July ’19.
Mild soft-tongued Hoppy Pilsner let herbal lemon-oiled black tea musk engulf lightly lingered lemony grapefruit rind bittering and mild grassy astringency above delicate oats-dried pilsner malts.
Easygoing cologne-perfumed lemongrass herbage picked up lemony mandarin orange tartness, kaffir lime oiling and spicy coriander sugaring for Far East Lemongrass Wit, leaving soapy residue on its wispy apricot-fig respite.
Tea-like American Mild (Nitro) did a twist on an English styled mild with its éclair-creamed head, dewy peat mossing, reserved nutty cocoa whims and toasted baguette snip.
Dry SS Great Britain Pale Ale brought brown tea earthiness to fennel, cocoa, waddle seed, toffee and biscuit illusions as well as lemony orange desiccation.
Tart Concord grape esters gained Himalayan sea salting for Purple Rain Gose, a Sweet-tart candied dry body with lightly vinous green grape residue and puckering gooseberry-cranberry remnant.
Well-honed flagship beer, Citra Pale Ale, walked on sunshine as its bright yellow-orange-fruited tang, grassy herbal tones and spicy tingle usurped syrupy caramelized pale malts in straightforward fashion.
Soft-toned New England-styled Spa Day Pale Ale saddled perky yellow grapefruit, navel orange and pineapple juicing with earthy herbal spicing, gaining sour melon rind and sweet nectarine illusions at the gently tanged finish.
Sweet dark Belgian candi sugaring brought casual caramelized pleasantry to recessive dried fruiting for dewy-malted Belgian Strong Ale, leaving date, fig, banana and dried cherry illusions at the sweet finish.
Pine comb-honeyed Golden Nugget Wheat Wine relegated tobacco-roasted peat mossing, bruised black cherry tartness and glazed date-fig snips above its rye-like red wheat base.
Lightly spiced brown chocolate prospered for easygoing Sweet Milk Stout, a toffee-teased mocha dessert.
My absolute fave: semi-rich Mexican chocolate cake-like Xocokhan Porter let cayenne peppering seep into cinnamon-spiced vanilla bean alacrity and cocoa-dried Bakers chocolate bittering.