TROY, NEW YORK
Tucked into the industrial textile manufacturing section near Central Troy’s Historic District on Congress Street near the Hudson River’s eastern banks, RARE FORM BREWING CO. opened May 2014. A rustic, no-nonsense 5-barrel brewery, its basic essentials are clearly the well-rounded beers and ales lining the 14 tap handles at the 12-seat serving station.
A large screen TV above the front door keeps my wife amused during our friendly late morning March ’17 two-hour stopover. A small food menu included smoked Peking duck, corned beef, cheddar cheese and raw-milked manchego. Whiskey flights and wine were also available. I sampled all eleven elixirs currently available fom the tanks behind the serving station.
For starters, affable light-bodied Sabbatical Session Ale coalesced mild orange-peeled lemon zest with subtle rye, coriander and celery, gaining tangy tangerine, clementine and mandarin orange wisps at the brisk finish.
Earthen spelt graining anchored serene Steaze Spelt Saison as lemony grapefruit, orange and banana illusions picked up mild sugar spicing.
In its refined recipe, kitschy moderate body, Royal Coconut Cream Ale, allowed toasted coconut shavings to sweeten its zesty lemon bite and contrast the maize-dried cracked pepper bittering.
Hop-forward Freshy Hoppy Lager brought lemony passionfruit, guava and mango subtleties to mild raw-honeyed pilsner malting.
A limited edition fave, quaint Raw Beats IPA, let spritzy citrus zest linger over dry wood tones, raw rye malts and dainty sugar spices, leaving plentiful yellow grapefruit pit bittering along the way.
Despite its somewhat high 8.8% ABV, approachable medium body, Cascadia Double IPA, retained a charmingly perfume-spiced yellow grapefruit, lemon meringue, orange rind, nectarine and mango tang above spelt-dried grain malting.
Mildly creamed Karass Porter allowed bitter black chocolate to contrast brown-sugared almond, toffee and molasses atop dark-roasted hop char.
For Coconut Karass Porter, toasted coconut sweetened nut-charred black chocolate malting in stylish fashion.
Nutty caramel-toasted Members Only Brown Ale picked up dried cherry undertones to enhance its walnut-hazelnut-pecan conflux.
Bakers chocolate-like malts inundated Dark Day Schwarzbier as caramel-burnt coffee oiling gained mild spicing beneath the surface.
Mild Irish-styled Night Ride Dry Stout let black chocolate malts pick up subtle hop-charred nut roast.