Shep's Brewing Company | Auburn NY


On the corner of Genesee and Williams Street in Auburn, New York (a northern Finger Lakes town), SHEP’S BREWING COMPANY began in a humble Nolan’s Department Store basement. Becoming Auburn’s first brewery since prohibition during 2014, Shep’s is also the oldest brewery in the county. Run by hyperactive entrepreneurial brewmeister, Garrett Shepherd, the glorified nanobrewery crafts many fine one-offs, offbeat variants and distinct standards.

A glistening silver lettered SHEP’S sign leads patrons to the gray walled pub. The bark-topped, plastic tile-fronted bar features pendant lights. A few metal-seated round wood tables, two walled wood pews and an overhead doored front porch provide seating across from the 15-seat bar (with bright blue bar back wall). There are pendant lights, exposed ceiling pipes and twelve stainless steel draught handles at the central tap station. Windowed brew tanks are behind the bar.

While conversing with the animated Shepherd, I sank eleven diversified brews during an early nighttime perusal, June ’24.

Musky herbal lemon saddled grassy-hopped Cash Rulz Cream Ale, a fine light-bodied opener with wispy dried maize rusticity.

Oats-sugared sweety corn paced lemony straw-cleared moderation, Laker Lager, a classic American standard.

Closer to an IPA, Harley Quinn Pale Ale draped semi-sharp lemony grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering and dry wood flurry over sugared pale malts.

Mossy English-styled Alfie’s Pub Ale draped sweet tea herbage atop reticent rye-dried biscuit bottom.

Dewy peat sweetness, roasted tobacco crisping and mild orange rot merged for B. Shep’s Flashpoint Scotch Ale, a crystal malted wee heavy.

Zesty lemon glimmered alongside mandarin orange tartness and navel orange tanginess for Lit Wit, a mildly spiced Belgian wheat ale with gleaming Cryo hop oiling.

Glistening lemony grapefruit sugaring and brisk orange peel sweetness contrasted pine needled bittering for summertime NEIPA, There Is No Spoon, secured by vanilla-kissed oated creaming.

Luscious lactic dessert treat, Orange Creamsicle Milkshake IPA, perfectly re-created a vanilla-sweetened orange-sugared creamsicle, adding salted lemony pineapple tanginess as well as mild pine resin.

Tidy tropical cocktail, Jim Brady Pina Colada Sour, retained stylish lemon-soured coconut toasting, juicy pineapple punch and mild vanilla creaming.

Walnut bark chocolate sweetness guided Franklin Porter, gaining musty dried fruiting, musky cellared truffle scuttle and weedy soy snip.  

Though lacking peanut butter creaming, Extraterrestrial Peanut Butter and Chocolate Stout tacked dewy earthy soy earthiness onto sweet brown chocolate goodness, picking up tertiary walnut, hazelnut and Brazil nut snips.


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