In the heart of the city down the hill from Syracuse University lies SYRACUSE SUDS FACTORY, visited July ’05. The first brewery in this college town since 1962 (others were forced to close due to after-effects of prohibition), this spacious saloon is situated in a rustic brick building.

Green-walled interior featured brew tanks at frontage, an outdoor side patio, leftside dining area, billiards section, and central bar (with multiple televisions and pastel saloon murals). Wood chairs, tables, and cozy booths line the bar zone where deli sandwiches, soup, salad, and championship gumbo are served alongside Norman Soine’s sturdy brew selection.

The most expressive brews included two contrasting fruit-based winners, the deeply embittered, currant-berry-fronted, orange peel-sharpened, birch-pined Pale Ale and mellow, oak-dried, cherry-soured, white grapeskin-toned Black Cherry Lambic.

Fizzy-hopped buttery popcorn-like Honey Light Ale will appease amateurs, but syrupy honey-soured dry-spiced wheat-husked Irish Red, maple-sapped walnut-dried apple-soured Brown Ale, and dry coffee-beaned, chocolate-powdered, cherry-dabbed Sweet Stout should please more informed thirsts.

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