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.
Another approachable medium body, Belgian-styled dubbel, Zoe, plied white-peppered citrus spicing to creamy yeast sugaring, delicate pilsner malts and subtle butternut-walnut conflux.
Velvety oak-chipped Scottish Ale, Kilt Spinner, retained light caramelized carafa roast, piquant vanilla sweetness and soft citric fruitiness.
Award winning stout, Velvet Panda, draped treacly black chocolate richness above bitter oats-flaked Black Patent malts and dried-fruited black cherry, raisin and fig cluster.
Spirited wintry digestif, Dos Cien Cerezas, ‘laced’ sour Morello cherries (the fermented fruit in kriek lambics) through brown chocolate-y cacao nibs sweetness, rum-spiced whiskey warmth and soothingly medicinal 8.5% ethanol burn for an exceptional indulgence.
This place is a must for any and all brew hounds.