On tap at Ambulance, easygoing, lightly amber-hazed, New England-styled IPA brings candied orange-pineapple-papaya tartness and zesty grapefruit misting to honeyed oats spine, retaining dry template.
On tap at Rhodes North Tavern, refreshingly crisp cucumber adjunct briskly affects lemony grapefruit-orange tang, lacquered pine tones and herbal respite. A divergent clean-watered IPA with no negative off-putting qualities.
On tap at The Oath, politely oak-aged wee heavy brings dewy Scotch sweetness to mild molasses sapping, mildewed earthen hop dankness and charcoal nuttiness. Ancillary cocoa, black grape and fig illusions fluctuate beneath.
On tap at Ambulance, smoothly penetrable stout (despite heady 11% ABV) offers dry Blackstrap molasses adjunct to brown chocolate, anisette and cocoa tones above moderate barley-flaked oats spine.
POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK
Right in the heart of historic Poughkeepsie, highly ambitious MILL HOUSE BREWING COMPANY opened for business November 2013. Housed in a lovely multi-sectional landmark building elegantly designed with exquisite rusticity, Mill House is easily one of Hudson Valley’s best brewpubs and expansion for a separate draught distribution center will soon do contract canning.
Proprietary brewmasters Larry Stock and Jamie Bishop, long-time friends “creating locally inspired beer with world class flavor,” started out many years ago making incipiently bad brews with a Mr. Beer Kit. But over time, Bishop received a masters degree from American Brewers Guild and decided to make his hobby a full-time pursuit, convincingly concocting traditional fare while being unafraid to experiment. The results have been fabulous as each quality brew Bishop and Stock crafted at Mill House has its own unique style to recommend.
Industrial wood, metal and plastic furnishings bedeck Mill House’s ground floor while an outdoor terrace, cozy second floor parlor (with patio), and third floor room for private parties consume the rest of this arch-laden colonial chalet. A red brick U-shaped bar with centralized archway, 20 stools and Edison lighting connects two distinct dining areas while the left side brew tanks service the main space.
A wood-fired hearth serves pizzas and the creative menu also includes lunchtime primers, ‘Bar Bites’ and eclectic burgers, sandwiches and entrees. Several homemade bar specialties and various wines and spirits complement the distinguished beer menu.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon, January ’16, my wife and I thoroughly enjoy succulent best-selling Fig & Pig Pizza (with ham-like duck bacon, smoked mozzarella, black mission figs and arugula) alongside sessionable citric-hopped PK Pale Ale, a red wheat-toasted moderation hardened hop-heads won’t dismiss.
After lunch, cruised thru eight more diverse brews. Briskly mineral-watered Kold One, a classic kolsch with crisp pilsner-Vienna malting, mildly astringent Noble hop bittering, sweetly soured lemon twist and light creaming may’ve bettered any similarly styled ale marketed. Equally delightful and wholly eccentric, dry vegetal lawnmower beer, Queen City Cucumber Cream Ale, provided a strong celery-watered cucumber influence to sugared rice, corn and barley as well as a light citric spritz.
‘Behemoth’ West Coast-styled IPA, Northwest Territory, placed honey-spiced peach, pear and apple fruiting alongside its stylishly emphatic grapefruit-peeled orange, pineapple and lemon tang while the mild cereal-grained Maris Otter malt base sweetened the load by helping to contrast the unobtrusive 9% ABV burn.
Soft-toned Imperial IPA, Hubar, brought tangy lemon-peeled grapefruit buoyancy to the fore as crystal malt sugaring countered light piney hop bittering and radish-y celery remnant.