ALBANY, NEW YORK
Just down the street from historic Albany Pump Station, DRUTHERS BREWING COMPANY turned an old brick warehouse into a rustic sportsbar/ brewpub during May 2015. The second Druthers location to emerge since its original Saratoga Springs location opened in 2012, its roomy interior includes a hearth-centered waiting area separating a left side dining room from the centralized right side horseshoe bar (with plentiful table seating, high ceilings, exposed pipes and multiple TV’s).
My wife and I grab a table near the huge windowed brew room, where several large tanks contain the suds we’ll be enjoying this frigid January ’16 evening. Alongside several fine brews are well-executed food entrees (BBQ Pork Skillet; Fish In Crazy Water; Steak Tips) plus pizza, wings and burgers. The beer selection varies slightly from the Saratoga Springs pub.
I consume the innovative Kimchi Fried Rice (and egg-fried shiitake mushroom with leeks, carrots, onions and wasabi peas) while my wife shares garlic-buttered Loaded Monkey Bread (with bacon-crumbled pepperoni and mozzarella) and a huge Cobb Salad (with bleu-cheesed butternut squash, cauliflower, bacon, egg, tomato and apple cider vinaigrette).
The varied small-batch beer selections included Harvest Apple, a sharp cider-like ale utilizing fresh-pressed Mac Intosh apples and peppery Belgian yeast spicing to gain its gingery cinnamon-toasted apple pie luster. Dry kolsch-styled German pils, Golden Rules Blonde, brought soft-toned citric Cascade hop bittering and salted lemon tartness to tingly crystal malt sugaring. Subtle Brevity Wit offered ginger-spiced coriander sweetness to its fizzy lemon-orange spritz.
Modestly combining dewy Belgian yeast with toasted Vienna malts and Americanized IPA fruiting, Belgian IPA elevated its lemony orange-peeled grapefruit tang with piney hops and perfumed spices.
Hybridized Bavarian wheat ale, Against the Grain Smoked Wiezen, contrasted beechwood-smoked peat malts against sugary banana-clove sweetness.
After dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed rich Oatmeal Stout, an oats-flaked, molasses sugared mocha sensation with bittersweet black chocolate, cocoa and coffee tones abutting dried fig nuances.