Tag Archives: SCHENECTADY NY

FROG ALLEY BREWING CO.

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SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK

The centerpiece of downtown Schenectady’s refurbished and redesigned Mill Artisan District, FROG ALLEY BREWING COMPANY is a behemoth multifaceted pub and eatery established in 2018 and still under construction during my early Saturday afternoon jaunt, March ’19.

Though we quaff suds in a quaint white-walled backspace taproom, by the end of summer Frog Alley will be operating at full capacity. Expected to distribute 14,000 barrels of beer per year, its massive square footage will allow for a 40-draught U-shaped central bar with an overhead door extending its perimeter to a large outside deck when weather’s warm. There will be a viewable brew pit below the gargantuan bar-restaurant area where a beautiful warehoused keg room, canning line, pilot batch room and state-of-the-art quality lab exist.

Reclaimed wood furnishings and several large community tables will decorate the urethane-floored main bar. Plus, five plastic kiosks and a back classroom promote brewing and distilling for interested Schenectady Community College students.

Two veteran brewmasters were tapped to head Frog Alley’s zymurgy chores. Rich Michaels, a historic figure originally Founders Brewing’s first employee, worked at a Disney World brewery and Saranac before hooking up with Drew Schmidt (formerly of NYC’s defunct Zip City, Baltimore’s Oxford Brewing, and most recently, Van Dyck Lounge’s Mad Jack).

After Mr. Michaels takes me on a tour of the soon-completed facility, I get to sample eight prized jewels as the place fills up with local brethren.

For openers, stylishly robust Kikkey German Pilsner let lemondrop hops and oaty pilsner malts pick up mild herbal restraint at its lemon-candied finish.

Another Bavarian brew, tidy pre-Prohibition-styled 1903 Vienna Lager took raw-honeyed fig and apricot desiccation to leafy hop astringency, dewy fungi musk and sweet Vienna malting.

Honeyed caramel spicing and roasted chocolate malts lingered for Mc Carthy’s Red Tag Ale, leaving tingly orange-red fruit spicing on the tongue.

Engagingly sweet-tart cherry lusciousness gained grenadine syruping, floral niceties and sour lemon piquancy for cheerily fruitful Cherry Hweat, a sugary springtime sensation.

Straightforward Refresh IPA let lemony grapefruit-orange tanginess glide above piney hop earthiness, fennel herbage and juniper bittering.

Cedar-like Chinook hop dryness crowded FINA West Coast IPA alongside orange-peeled tangerine tang and earthen compost soiling, resulting in a bitter citrus-pined finish.

Juicy grapefruit tang brightened Mohop #5 – Mosaic New England IPA, leaving dry wood tones upon sweet peach-mango-orange subsidy.

Named after the ancient local Frog Alley baseball team captain, Captain Ellis Porter aligned black-malted dark chocolate bittering with Blackstrap molasses and day-old coffee tones.

frogalleybrewing.com

GREAT FLATS BREWING

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SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK

Just minutes from Rivers Casino & Resort in the light industrial Adirondack-bound city of Schenectady, GREAT FLATS BREWING opened March 2017. The brainchild of former homebrewer, Tom Ownes, this nifty garage-doored, cement-floored pub serves a wide range of ambitious stylistic pleasantries and varied one-offs.

Six metal tables and one community table lead to the central 12-tap serving station. Brew tanks are stored to the right and the high aluminum ceiling has exposed pipes.

An English and Belgian ale fan, Owens was partially inspired by early ’90s craft brewery’s such as Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.

During my one-hour sojourn in August ’18, tasted nine fine draught samples.

Demure German pilsner malts gave Pining For Pils its musky herbal graining while grassy hop astringency ascended beside lickety-split lemon snips.

Dry-hopped Summernight American Pale Lager developed a sour lemon wedge for pureed tangerine and tart orange illusions.

Dry wood tones saddled dewy pilsner malts for Extra Pale Crescent Ale, a mossy moderation with unripe fig notions.

Mellow pink-hued Raspberry IPA retained easygoing lactose-soured raspberry tartness that drifted into mild Cascade-hopped pink grapefruit bittering as well as slightly vinous green grapes esters and oaken cherry piquancy.

Fruitful West Coast-styled delight, Bad Manners IPA, merged tangy grapefruit, pineapple, orange, peach and mango juicing with sharp piney hop bittering and sugary pale malts.

Piney orange-peeled yellow grapefruit bittering endured for Old Dorp Double IPA, an herbal-spiced citrus-laced medium body with latent rustic hop astringency.

Peanut-shelled Brown Chicken Brown Ale brought dry walnut and sweet hazelnut together over murky mocha malts.

Electric City Roasters Coffee and brown-sugared molasses oats inundated Super Brunch Stout, an easygoing dark ale with milky espresso tones and, quite uniquely, wispy raw-sugared peach and tangerine adjuncts.

The most askew hybrid, complex Cabernet Sauvignon-barreled Smoked Belgian Amber Ale revealed peat-smoked pale malting for its phenol wine-perfumed red grape, date and fig tartness – losing much of the kiln-smoked Rauchbier likeness by the musty dried fruited finish.

www.greatflatsbrewing.com

MAD JACK BREWING CO. @ THE VAN DYCK

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SCHENECTADY, NEW YORK

Inside Van Dyck Lounge at an infamously historic haunted brothel inconspicuously hidden among a residential Schenectady neighborhood, MAD JACK BREWING COMPANY re-established a former local brewery in 2011.

With the appearance of a low-ceiling upscale English pub, Mad Jack’s rounded beer selection benefits from Van Dyck’s great pizza, fine entrees and signature cocktails. A black canopy welcomes patrons to a separate right side dining area fronting the 20-seat bar area featuring walnut furnishings, booze-lined mirrors, a few tables and 2 TV’s.

A prominent carpeted dining area with tiled hearth opposes the left bar while a brick and windowed brew room adorns the rear nearing the back deck.

Keeping with its antiquated brothel setting, curtained front windows and dim lighting complete the score during my March 2017 mid-afternoon sojourn.

First up, light German-styled Pinhead Pilsner brought dank pilsner malting and mild grassy hop astringency to laidback lemony licks.

Nonchalant Washed Out Belgian White plied tingly sugar spicing to sweet orange-peeled banana and clove expectancy as well as distant lemony grapefruit bittering.

Musty earthen peat and dewy pale malts anchored dry-bodied moderation, Irish Red, a crisply barley-roasted delight.

Locally popular flagship, Fightin’ Irwin IPA, put apple, pear and peach fruiting on par with stylish grapefruit-peeled orange tang and spruce-pined hops above mild crystal malting.

Raisin, plum and black cherry pureeing pervaded Dunkel-Weizenbock, a sweet caramel malted medium body (with well-hidden 8.5% ABV).

“Intense coffee and chocolate” flavoring secures smoothly Vienna-malted Mount Pleasant Porter, a milky mocha delight with plenty of caramel sweetness.

Before heading to Saratoga, dark-roasted barley crisping deepened Stockade Stout’s mild coffee tones and chalky cocoa dryness.

www.vandycklounge.com/mad-jack