RED SHED BREWERY

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COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK

One mile north of Ommegang in a large wood-sided farmhouse, RED SHED BREWERY expanded beyond its original Cherry Valley taproom to this larger facility in 2017 (and opened a cozy English-styled pub with cask ales in Cherry Valley during 2022).

With three locations, Red Shed’s homemade small batch brews trend towards the conservative side but each conventional offering proved to be a stylistic delight.

A rustic barnyard setting gets reinforced by the reclaimed wood left wall, block wood rafters, black support beams and cement floor. Red Shed’s insignia above the dual draught boards and menu shines like a beacon. The 12-seat lacquered wood bar services two stooled community tables and a few seated tables.

A right side picnic-tabled outdoor beer garden (with bulbed Edison lights) adds further seating. During my January ’23 Friday afternoon trip, I downed all fifteen varied draughts.

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Red Shed staple, Otsego Golden Ale, lathered creamed corn sweetness and citric hop spicing atop raw-honeyed pilsner malts.

Dryly barley-hopped marzen, Oktoberfest, brought light cellared fungi to raw-honeyed fig over toasted brown breading.

Orange-oiled lemon tartness gained grassy hop herbage for Kingfischer Kolsch, using dryer pilsner malts than usual.

A bit richer stylistically, Valley Fog Hefeweizen unleashed sweet banana-clove essence, tart apple crisping and confectionery powdered sugaring upon its sturdy honeyed wheat base.

Candi-sugared plum, fig and date sweetened Barn Owl Doppelbock, soaked up by molasses breading.

Probably the most eccentric beer in this sitting, brettanomyces-soured ‘horse-blanketed barnyard funk’ and minty juniper tips gave dry Nordic farmhouse ale, Treebeerd, an offbeat profile endorsed by its tannic green grape, tart green apple and hard cider subsidiaries.

Tidy hazy pale ale, Hop Harvest, retained lightly embittered IPA-derived orange-peeled grapefruit zesting and ripe apple-pear sweetness for floral-spiced pale malting.

Caramelized rye engaged Jessica’s Red Ale, relegating its tobacco-leafed amber graining and subtle red-orange fruiting.

Best-selling Cloudy Girl Hazy NEIPA let lemony mango-papaya zesting and peachy pineapple tanginess spread across buttery pale malts for overall summery tropicalia.

Dry floral perfumed earthiness contrasted biscuity Golden Promise malts for Hay Hooked, a moderate English-styled IPA. 

Another English brew, Shepherds Hollow Pub Bitter stayed dry as lightly creamed pale malting and peaty earthiness laid low.

Dark candi-sugared date and fig sweetened Bruin Belgian Brown Ale, leaving glazed hazelnut, molasses and allspice to contrast bark-dried peppercorn dryness.

Traditional English Brown Ale, Geordie Boy, relinquished walnut, chestnut and hazelnut tones plus mild floral herbage for its buttered biscuity bottom.

Cherrywood-smoked dark chocolate regaled Cherry Valley Smoked Porter, leaving lightly creamed coffee tones on the mildly cedar-seared backend.

Nitro-injected Irish dry stout, The Bogside, retained coffee-roasted espresso tones, dark cocoa bittering and pureed black cherry snips.

 

COUNCIL ROCK BREWERY

Clinton's Cannon English Ale - Council Rock Brewery | Photos - Untappd

COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK

Three miles from downtown Cooperstown in a large red barn house, COUNCIL ROCK BREWERY opened during May 2012. Despite its roomy rear dining space, the main front barroom is a cozy low ceilinged cafe-styled bistro with an inlaid random wood bar top and a dozen draught taps. There are ten bar stools, one large front-windowed community table, a four-seat dinner table and small fireplace. Brewtanks are stationed in the back.

Red and white wines plus burgers, sandwiches, soups and salads are available alongside highly approachable home brews. Though each offering usually never got too far out stylistically, all ten basic libations went down easy.

My wife and I visited Council Rock for dinner Friday evening and mid-afternoon the next day to consume all brews available, January ’23.

Council Rock Brewery - Picture of Council Rock Brewery, Cooperstown -  Tripadvisor

Dewy fig-dried orange oiling spread thru Vienna Lager, soaking into its molasses brown breading.

Bittersweet lemon spicing got saddled by the dry grassy hop astringency of Goldenrod Cream Ale.

Dry earthen musk contrasted laidback toffee sweetness for Clinton’s Canyon English Ale, a mild Extra Special Bitter.

Candied mango tartness gained mild wheat pasting for Mango Pale Wheat, a modestly hopped moderation.

Straightforward Pumpkin Ale brought delicate cinnamon-nutmeg spicing to earthen gourd rusticity and pale lager malting.

Dry pale ale, Full Nelson, spotlighted tropical Nelson Sauvin hops, securing tannic gooseberry, guava and green grape tartness.

Steadfast easygoer, All American IPA, let perfumed spicing and white-peppered herbage engage apple-skinned pear crisping.

Tobacco-roasted cereal graining and subtle caramelized nuttiness prodded Sleeping Lion Red Ale, leaving dry hop mustiness upon mild red-orange fruiting.

Candi-sugared apricot, peach and pear fruiting stayed demure for Cripple Creek Tripel, needing deeper complexity and funkier fungi musk.

Semi-rich brown chocolate sweetness anchored Leatherstocking Brown Ale, a slightly nutty, barley-roasted, hop-charred medium body.

ARGYLE BREWING COMPANY

Enjoying their brews track-side. - Picture of Argyle Brewing Company,  Cambridge - Tripadvisor

CAMBRIDGE, NEW YORK

A red brick railroad depot houses ARGYLE BREWING COMPANY in the village of Cambridge at the southeast edge of the Adirondacks. A New York farm brewery utilizing locally sourced ingredients, Argyle opened its nearby Greenwich location three years before embarking on this second taproom pub in May 2017.

A distinct 2,000 square-foot, gavel roofed main space with uniquely spiraled panel wood walls, hardwood floors and gorgeous chandelier give the railway tavern a cavernous Cathedral-like setting. A covered wood-column beer garden with community benches doubles the capacity of the friendly residential neighborhood watering hole.

The slate-topped bar serves a few proprietary draughts. A lanterned couch area adds a homey feel and the small backstage suits musical entertainment. Heritage-bound photos and pix line the walls.

On a snowy afternoon in January ’23, my wife and I enjoyed two pints while grabbing a few cans for the road to Cooperstown (reviewed in Beer Index).

Mild lemon-spiced Cute Little Blonde picked up salty Williamette-hopped herbage and wispy florality to buttress its summery sessionability (mix with lemonade to make a mellow shandy).

Bittersweetly tart raspberry-pureed dark cocoa richness commanded Argyle Raspberry Porter, leaving a maple walnut glaze upon its tertiary blackberry, boysenberry and strawberry snips.

ROOTS BREWING COMPANY

Roots Brewing Company in Oneonta - Restaurant reviews

ONEONTA, NEW YORK

Cozily quaint cafe-styled brewpub lets its ‘family-friendly atmosphere reflect the relaxed, convivial attitude’ of downtown Oneonta. Though ROOTS BREWING COMPANY only crafts a few homebrews on-site, their eighty-plus bottle and can lineup and handful of guest draughts will please varied thirsts.

A neat li’l homey red brick brewhouse with elongated left side bar, community tables, a few pews, olden wood chairs and five rear brew tanks, Root’s stylishly eclectic antiquity gets reinforced by its lavender-hued columns and scattered abstract paintings. Snacks, pizza and tacos are available alongside snazzy cocktail specials.

There’s only one homebrew on my January ’23 sojourn, but it’s a true delight.

Retaining a rummy dried fruit spicing and dewy fungi musk, Roots Inconceivable Tripel let its mild caramel creaming sweeten its raisin-plum-date conflux, subtle butternut squash nuttiness and wispy floral perfuming as oaken vanilla tannins surfaced latently.

NORTHERN BARRELL

Northern Barrell - Home

VOORHEESVILLE, NEW YORK

In the small suburban village of Voorheesville just outside of Albany, NORTHERN BARRELL was established in 2021.  A family-owned, family-friendly restaurant specializing in craft beer and cider, the amiable yellow vinyl-sided warehouse pub is situated right inside a residential neighborhood.

Northern Barrell’s bulbed front deck features rocking chairs plus general seating and its white overhead doors lead to the high ceiling interior where the right side concrete-topped 10-stool bar with plank wood siding offers twelve draughts and a rear stone hearth provides warmth. Several wood tables fill the left side and a small mezzanine sported an olden bicycle, milk jugs and antique chair. There are four TV’s above the bar for sports fans. A casual-to-upscale food menu betters most brewpub fare.

My wife and I spent an hour at Northern Barrell in January ’23 to consume three previously untried brews including Torch & Crown Tenant Pilsner, Modist Forbidden Canyons Imperial IPA and Prairie Seasick Crocoldile Sour (reviewed in Beer Index).

FOUNDERS CBS IMPERIAL STOUT (2019)

On tap at Kitchen & Beer Bar, lusciously rich Canadian breakfast stout (2019 version) aged in maple syrup bourbon barrels for three years reaches steadfastly rich mocha resonance. Maple syruping drapes dark chocolate, caramel latte, cappuccino and milk-sugared coffee pleasantries as subtle bourbon vanilla sweetness erupts. Velvety ‘imperialized Breakfast Stout’ perfect for luscious nightcap.

Canadian Breakfast Stout (CBS) (2019) - Founders Brewing Co. - Untappd

FIRESTONE WALKER XXVI ANNIVERSARY ALE

On tap at Kitchen & Beer Bar, sumptuous 26th anniversary strong ale combines fudgy milk chocolatey caramel molasses saucing with plentiful vanilla creaming and silken bourbon-cognac sedation. Milk-sugared coffee tones enrich the backload alongside toasted coconut, black cherry, blackberry, dried fig and currant illusions. Leathery oaken tannins provide mild dryness against resonating caramelized chocolate sweetness. Recommended for fireplace nightcap.

Firestone 26 (XXVI) Anniversary Ale - Firestone Walker Brewing Company -  Untappd