NASSAU, NEW YORK
A fifth generation agrarian, multifaceted entrepreneurial brewer, Matt Sanford, takes pride utilizing sustainable agricultural methods and local ingredients to craft traditional homemade fare under the familial handle, S & S FARM BREWERY. Open since spring 2016, the affable barnyard tap house deep in the rural Rensselaer County woods features a large umbrella-lined patio with two grain silos for extra seating.
Inside the cement-floored country store outpost, its wood-beamed lanterns and a few small café-styled community tables lead to the small serving station. Party lights line the entire wall.
On this pleasant Friday evening in March ’19, a tight folk-blues acoustic duo plays while my wife and I sample nine tapped beers.
Sour lemondrop-candied raspberry tartness saddled charmingly light-bodied Raspberry Wheat, picking up raw grained rusticity and dry citrus licks for extra kicks.
A tidy Irish Red Ale, Rhode Island Red provided stylish caramelized barley roast, mild fruit spicing and iced tea-like splendor, leaving polite rye, toffee and bruised apple imprints upon the dainty finish.
Dewy Old 82, an ESB-like pre-Prohibition-styled golden ale, brought leafy hop moisture and crisp barley-roasted malts to the fore as dried fig nuances wavered.
Sly sour saison, S & S Farmhouse Ale, sneaks in pear, banana and quince tones as well as wispy clove spicing to counter the more pronounced straw-dried acidulated lactose malting.
Zesty citrus stormed tropical delight, Eternal Sunshine IPA, splashing lemony grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering and sweet tangerine tanginess atop sugar-spiced pale malting.
Spackled red-orange-yellow fruits adorned Luna Red IPA, a modest rye-spiced, leafy-hopped welterweight.
Dry wood tones deepened the sharp grapefruit bittering and bright lemony orange sunshine of Lame Llama Imperial IPA, receiving a floral-herbed juniper nip to heighten its citric-pined hop pungency.
A light nut char came thru for blackened malt-induced Brown Chicken Brown Ale, contrasting its seared walnut thrash with molasses-sapped pecan, hazelnut and almond sweetener.
Treacly maple molasses draped toffee-sweet Maple Stout, contrasting its earthy hop-oiled nuttiness.