All posts by John Fortunato



Originally emanating from Worcester, FLYING DREAMS BREWING COMPANY landed in the quaint downtown neighborhood of Marlborough during 2018. Inside a green-shingled tan-sided professional building, Flying Dream’s wood-glossed interior is reminiscent of an intimate 1920′s speakeasy with its brown embossed tin ceiling tiles, elongated 10-seat pine bar and tulip Edison lighting.

Brewmaster Dave Richardson, a University of Vermont science major and UC-Davis grad who started at Red Hook before heading Gardner Ale House’s operations, went out on his own thereafter. Richardson’s general Flying Dreams fare never strays too far stylistically, promoting well-roundedness, balance and vigor. He’s won several US Beer Tasting awards along the way.

Tonight, on this warm June ’21 journey thru Marlborough, I enjoy nine diversified brews while taking home four more for outside consumption (also reviewed below).

Flagship New England/ West Coast IPA hybrid, Pond Jumper, brought mildly perfumed passionfruit-grapefruit-pineapple-orange tropicalia and peachy mango zesting to honeyed pale malts contrasting dank pine resin.

Mildly creamed wheated oats contrast dank pine resin underlying the orange-bruised peach sweetness and mild grapefruit bittering of The Experimental IPA #2, a dry Imperial moderation.

Worthy India Dark Ale, Nightcrawler, heaved dry cocoa-malted nuttiness at less pervasive citrus-spiced dried fruiting and dark-roast hop char.

Sour lemon-limed Himalayan sea salting and light coriander spicing provided oceanic intrigue to Straight Up Gose, scaling back its acidulated wheat malts.

Herbaceous citrus spicing guarded Dreaming Up Summer Saison, a musky barnyard-grained farmhouse ale with lemony mandarin orange tanginess and buttery Chardonnay illusions darting thru musky barnyard graining contrasting creamy caramel malts.

Even more herbalized, Just In Thyme Saison brought evergreen thyme freshener to lemony woodruff syruping, mild rosemary-basil-paprika shimmy and lead-based pencil shavings.

Honey-glazed brown chocolate dipped into sweet fig-plum-prune conflux and caramelized hazelnut-pecan notions for Dragonator Double Bock.

Easygoing Park Avenue Porter plied dark chocolate malting to sedate hazelnut coffee, walnut ice cream and cola nut illusions plus distant dried fruiting.    

Rich brown chocolate syruping drapes the mild chili burn of robust Aphrodisiac Russian Imperial Stout, letting creamily cocoa-nibbed hazelnut coffee tones as well as gentle burgundy-bourbon sweetness engage its fudgy cookie dough bottom.



Live At Tackle Box Brewing Company | Tackle Box Brewing Company, LLC,  Marlborough | May 29, 2021


Inside a cavernous Marlboro Square Shopping Mall backspace, TACKLE BOX BREWING COMPANY opened for biz, November 5, 2020. Entrepreneurial brewer Adam Krasinski, a Penn State grad, spent several years honing his craft at Strange Brew – the home brew shop concurrently occupying this Marlborough hotspot.

The high-ceilinged, pale blue-walled pub features a bark-sided serving station (with high-back chairs, four-seat tables, twin TV’s and two billiards tables), backroom red-white-blue vinyl floored game lounge, expansive brew room, separate keg-bottling section and grain mill section under a black ceiling.

Krasinski’s traditional American-styled fare stays on the mark, appealing to casual mainstream thirsts as well as seasoned aficionados.

My wife and I grab one of the six side-decked community picnic tables (with red umbrellas) to imbibe nine tasty suds this sunny Saturday afternoon, June ’21.

Efficient best-selling moderation, Gail River Trophy Amber Ale topped its toasted amber grain minerality with herb-spiced hops, fizzy lemon licks and latent wood tones.

Stylishly dryer than expected, Hefe On The Horizon leavened its tart banana-soured clove spicing with lemon-rotted herbage.

Wild blueberry pureed golden ale, Money Lure Blueberry, retained sweet-tart berry fizziness over Graham Cracker-honeyed malts.

Crisply clean clear-yellowed kolsch, From Streams Come Dreams, engaged orange-dried lemon oiling with bubbly champagne fuzz and wispy herbs.

Lightly lingered jalapeno peppering cut thru the fizzy lemon spritz and soft wood base of Ripped Up Jalapeno IPA, leaving only a mild green pepper burn.

Lemony grapefruit bittering darted across serene juniper-smoked pine tones for Jiggin For Pigs, a semi-sharp IPA.

Flagship IPA, Colorado Fisherman, let perfumed grapefruit, orange and pineapple tanginess splash into resinous Nugget hop oiling over dry pale malts.

Dark chocolate-malted peanut buttering smeared Dock Side Peanut Butter Porter, leaving wavered black grape, walnut and granola illusions upon its mild hop-charred nutty bottom.

Sweet brown chocolate and milk-sugared coffee tones bustled inside Baltic Sea Monster, a dark-roasted Baltic Porter-derived stout with confectionary Milk Dud-candied finish.


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Up in the woodsy rural hills of Sugar Loaf three miles north of similarly rustic Drowned Lands, TIN BARN BREWING opened springtime 2020. Co-owning head brewer, Lauren Van Pamelen, whose rotating beer lineup pours from twelve-plus taps, honed her skills as a homebrewer and an apprenticeship at Long Island’s Oyster Bay Brewing Company.

Inside a spacious forest green farmhouse lodge with pitched high ceiling, exposed pipes, a cozy couched hearth section and Industrial wood-metal-plastic furnishings, Tin Barn’s mammoth stainless steel brew tanks occupy the entire left side. The food station (next to the gray ’52 Ford tractor) provides specialty gas-fired red and white pizzas.

Plus, there’s plenty of outside backyard seating as the benched wood deck and its mezzanine sidle the turf grounded open air outdoor pavilion.

I step up to the wood top bar and order a few rangy homemade brews (reviewed below) before heading outside on this warm Saturday afternoon May ’21 to watch acoustic duo, the Al’s, give a new spin to old classics while offering funny pandemic-related originals such as “Where’s My Charger?” and “Plan B.”

Sessionable hazy straw yellowed NEIPA, 1938 Farmall, let spritzy lemony grapefruit tanginess pick up mild pineapple, mandarin orange and tangerine slumber as well as piney hop resin.

Easygoing sunny yellow-glowed Oh! How I’ve Dreamt Of Taps, a lightly creamed triple IPA moderation, saddled its peppery lemon tang with oats flaked mineral grains.

Musky golden marbled NEIPA, Dank Island, retained yogurt-soured pineapple tartness, grapefruit-pitted orange rind bittering, lightly peppered lemon spritz and spiced mango salting.     

Tartly sour Tropical Tsunami brought puckered orange-juiced guava, mango, pineapple and tangerine tropicalia to the moderately acidic surface above oated white wheat dryness.

Whipped cream banana pudding received chocolate chip sugaring for richly creamed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bourbon Banana Pudding Imperial Pastry Stout, leaving fudgy molasses brownie goodness all over ancillary bourbon vanilla sweetness.  



Long Lot Farm Brewery - Chester, NY


A quaint family-owned farmhouse nanobrewery in the idyllic countryside of Orange County, Chester’s LONG LOT FARM BREWERY occupies a tin-roofed red aluminum sided converted diary barn. Open for business since early 2018, former homebrewer Curtis Johnson utilizes local ingredients to craft his rustically rangy one-offs, seasonals and semi-permanent suds.

A covered front porch with hanging Edison lights introduces patrons to the diminutive wood-floored Long Lot barroom. The spare interior setup includes a small tree top-barked serving station (with ten tap handles), a few chairs and barrels plus the small brewing operation. A grassy picnic area overlooks the hop bines and a chicken coup and cow pasture are nearby.

My wife and I visit on a hot Sunday afternoon to sample all the available fare, early June ’21.

Mild hay-dried grain musk fortified the grassy Perle-hopped herbage of Long Shot Pilsner, securing a pasty raw-honeyed whim, clean cucumber-watered dash and distant fungi remnant.

Laidback rye spicing and toasty pumpernickel residue tingled peat malted moderation, Roggenbier, procuring underlaid mineral graining.

Tart pineapple-juiced Pucker Up Sour let brief lemon-salted cherry-strawberry rhubarb sharpness inside the slightly acidic backend.

Crushable Barnstormer Session IPA caressed serene grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering with grassy hop astringency contrasting dry pale malt spicing.

Oaken bourbon vanilla dryness softly embellishes Barrel Aged River Chain, a tidy Belgian strong golden ale with buttery Chardonnay, Scotch and whiskey nips.

A few days hence before dining at Goshen’s Hacienda Restaurant, bought growler of Long Lot’s Baby Cow Coffee Stout, a roughhewn full body with dark roast coffee penetrating tarry nut-charred Blackstrap molasses bittering and cocoa-nibbed black chocolate fudging over maple oats, leaving scorched earthen remnant on muddy mocha finish.     



5 Questions for Matt Curtin, Master Brewer and Co-Owner of SSKB |


Open since 2018 and straight across the street from Ossining’s courthouse half-mile from the Hudson River, SING SING KILL BREWERY crafts stylistically straightforward, well balanced, easygoing beers not just for milder tastes. A certified New York farm brewery utilizing locally sourced ingredients, SSKB occupies a downtown marble-faced red brick professional building with green awnings.

Head brewer, Matt Curtin, with long-time friend, Eric Gearity, created SSKB after the former developed his zymurgy skills in Syracuse during college in ’93. At the time, Curtin frequented local craft beer haven, Blue Tusk, and recently defunct brewery, Empire, while living upstate. A traditional brewer uninterested in “kitchen sink” aberrations, he concentrates instead on typical styles such as IPA’s, stouts and pale ales, creating a few year-round flagships and a bunch of nifty one-offs.

Taking its name from the famous local prison, Sing Sing, this family-friendly pub took over an abandoned storefront and is part of Ossining’s burgeoning revitalization. A beautiful epoxy-topped 10-seat serving station occupies the right side where four small community tables are setup. The centralized draught lines emanate from large plumbing pipes and a large refrigeration unit sidles the elongated bar. To the far left, glass doors lead to the three-barrel brew room.

My wife and I visit mid-May ’21 on a sunny afternoon with Roscoe the dog, downing nine 4-ounce samples while eating a frankfurter with mustard and sauerkraut (available on the light pub menu) at the makeshift front patio.

Image result for sing sing kill breweyr

Mild yellow-cleared flagship, Killer Cream Ale, brought maize-dried lemon bruising to mineral-grained pilsner malting, utilizing citric Cascade hops instead of standard herbal Saaz varietal.

Made from 100% New York ingredients, fellow flagship fodder, Singularity Pale Ale let musky lemony orange dryness seep into pasty pale malt spicing and wispy herbal notions.

Spritzy lemon sunshine engaged Keeper & The Kill Wheat Ale, a tidy moderation with cucumber-watered melon rind earthiness drenching any banana-clove reminder.

Brown tea-like Charlotte The ESB let waddle-seeded dewy peat moisture to sop up its dry rye breading.

Tart kettle-soured Cran-Tastic linked subtle green grape esters and sharp crabapple crisping to mildly vinous cranberry salting.

Brisk pale yellow-cleared Flaming Hoops India Pale Ale retained lightly floral-spiced grapefruit and mandarin orange serenity as well as musky cologne perfuming.

Laidback citrus-spiced Cascade hops guided Too Many Matts, an approachable Imperial IPA with perfumed orange peel sweetness, lightly embittered yellow grapefruit tanginess and resinous pine tones.

Decadent Chocolate Milk Stout burrowed fudgy cocoa goodness into soy-floured hazelnut, spiced toffee and earthen truffle illusions.

Black cherry insistence serenaded spiced chocolate sweetness and mild ancho-habanero peppering for Chocolate Cherry Chili Milk Stout, leaving teasing cinnamon snips.