SOUTH GLENS FALLS, NEW YORK
Across the Hudson River from Glens Falls and down a few blocks, COMMON ROOTS BREWING COMPANY had its soft opening December 19, 2014. A magnificent father-son operation with a well-rounded and wide-ranging craft beer lineup, the sterling brewpub takes pride in adding “artisanal boutique styles to the culinary landscape.” After buying, then gutting, the small corner building housing Common Roots, owners Bert and Christian Weber began investing time on sundry recipes.
Originally a home brewer, son Christian received a graduate degree in biology from Plymouth State and utilizes his brewery’s upstairs space for yeast propagation. Impressed by the innovative spirit and articulate nature of Dogfish Head founder, Sam Calagione, as well as the historic lambic stylings Jean-Pierre van Roy maintains for Belgium’s Cantillon Brewery and the highly prized ales defining Hill Farmstead’s award-winning Shaun Hill, he now operates a 20-barrel system as of my January ’16 Adirondack tour. And expansion of the mustard yellow-walled pub (with splendid wood- carved fish theme) seems imminent as the popularity of the Weber’s elixirs holds no boundaries.
For openers, clean mineral water provided the smooth base for Modern American Pale Ale, a Chinook-hopped, crystal malt-spiced moderation with yellow grapefruit peel bitterness extending into tropical mango-guava-passionfruit fruiting. Approachable Last Light IPA draped tangy yellow grapefruit, navel orange and pineapple juicing atop sugar-spiced sweetness. Bitterer Daylight Double IPA contrasted wood lacquered piney hops with crystal malt-sugared grapefruit, orange, mango, peach, cantaloupe and melon sweetness.
Gaining lots of local attention, Belgian Style Honey Ale let its creamy wildflower honeying inform peppery Belgian yeast funk, tingly citric crisping and mild vanilla licks. Expressive ‘citrus hops’ enlightened Burly Monk Belgian Pale Ale, as its lemon-bruised orange tang contrasted dry gin tonicity and white-peppered herbage above honey-spiced caramel malts.
Closer to a sessionable Berliner Weisse, perhaps, Farmhouse Style Ale brought coriander-salted lemon souring to brettanomyces-dried barnyard acridity and lemongrass snips.
Highly impressed with the tremendous fare already quaffed, I then dive into two fine strong ales. At 9% ABV, the monumental Coffee Cup Double Stout revealed sweet, sour and bitter coffee bean roasting to caramelized chocolate sweetness and wood-charred tobacco resin.
Not to be outdone, mellow Bourbon Barrel Dark Ale (aged 18 months in Bullitt Bourbon barrels) retained a sweet bourbon chocolate affluence above dry burgundy-port wining, burnt caramel sugaring, oaken vanilla illusions and roasted cola nuttiness.
During quick December ’18 stopover, enjoyed Snowy Night Double Stout, a richly fudged mocha sensation with lactose highlighted by rapturous vanilla-beaned dark chocolate, cold-brewed coffee and maple molasses abundance. Mild espresso, cola, hazelnut and cookie dough illusions add depth.
An absolute destination spot along the Adirondacks foothills a few miles off Route 87, Common Roots will appeal to all beer connoisseurs.