Tag Archives: HONESDALE PA


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Right in the heart of Honesdale, the valleyed ‘birth place of America’s railroad,’ HERE & NOW BREWING COMPANY occupies a historic downtown red brick building. Salvaging the rustic charm of yesteryear while making well-balanced beers and fabulous stone-oven pizza (plus casual appetizers and entrees), Here & Now opened July ’17.

A pre-prohibition feel is created by the dark grey windowed frontage, exposed brick and pipe interior, old wood floors, bronze tin ceiling and moody lighting, preserving the glorious antiquity of this bucolic Northeast Pennsylvania community.

The wood furnished bar, stools, tables and chairs match the elegant countryside warmth. The left side stripped plaster wall features colorful art and the open kitchen extends to the rear.

Minion brewer, Roy Holm, works the seven-barrel steam system and one barrel experimental tank.

Alongside the worthy brews, Here & Now’s proud of its farm-to-table food from scratch and liquor-infused drinks.

This was my second visit to Here & Now, January ’20.

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Approachable flagship, Sunset Silhouettes Pale Ale, gathered IPA-like piney fruiting for its floral-herbed Columbus hop astringency. Mild orange, grapefruit, pineapple, peach and tangerine tanginess spread across light wood tones and sugary pale malting.

Serene wet-hopped saison, Solace, let tart pine-dried yellow fruit spicing prod earthen  barnyard acridity.

Crisp pilsner-malted moderation, Pitter Patter Patersbier, brought floral perfumed saison-like citrus zest to mild cider souring and leathery hay-like rusticity.

Spicily citric Imperial IPA, Unheeded Warning, caressed its lemony grapefruit and orange tanginess with floral, herbal and vegetal daubs.

Effervescent moderate-bodied New England-styled IPA, Pineapple Expressed, delivered mildly spiced pineapple juicing to sweet-tart mandarin orange, mango, papaya and tangerine undertones as well as lightly embittered yellow grapefruit zest.

Brown-breaded sour nuttiness and mossy compost soiling combined with mild herbal spiced Nugget hops for interestingly offbeat Bat Patterns Porter.

Modeled after Bat Patterns, earthen nutty Brown Ale, Paint The Town, gained a sour edge to engage its lightly charred hop roast.



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Doing small batch brewing out of a dank revitalized warehouse with locally sourced mountain spring water from a small system just a stones throw away from the original 1851 brewery, resident Honesdale proprietor, Brian Cobb, reopened IRIVING CLIFF BREW COMPANY during 2014. Current brewmaster, Gary Sadavage, coaxes casually straightforward one-offs and a few standards from his small brewing system, hitting stride with the popular berry-flavored mainstay, Rip’s Purple Magic, and Maple City Lager.

A handcrafted wood bar centers the pub area where fine spirits and twelve-plus draughts are available during my July ’18 dinnertime stopover. There’s a stone electric fireplace for warmth and 2 TV’s for sports fans.

The overhead-doored, cement-floored backroom space fits additional table seating, the brew tanks and a gold-lettered Irving Cliff Brew Company mural painting. Celebrating local macrobrew heritage, there are beer trays from Gibbons Ale, Stegmaier, Schaefer and Schmidts staring down at us while my wife and I grab a Philly Cheesesteak and Smoked Trout to go with our beer samples. Burgers, appetizers and salads were also available.

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As for the well-watered draught fare, modestly complex local favorite, Rip’s Purple Magic, allowed tart raspberry-blueberry sweetness to contrast lemon-soured lactic yogurt spurts above pilsner-malted white wheat breading.

Slight maple syruping guarded soft-toned, moderate-bodied mainstay, Maple City Lager, letting brown-breaded malts carry thru to dried fruited plum and date souring.

Dry grassy-hopped Canal Cream Ale placed mild pale malt sweetness across dried orange complacency, leaving wheat-flaked corn and rice musk at the pilsner-like finish.

Honeyed grains soaked Farmers Market Wheat, a copper-browned hefeweizen with lightly spiced banana-clove accents buried below sweet orange tartness.

Light maple sweetness fronted Maple Dunkelweizen, gaining delicate orange-soured tartness over sugared wheat malting.

Lightly spiced Ichabod’s Lost Pumpkin Ale let its sweet pumpkin-pied sugaring contrast roasted gourd earthiness and mild lemon souring.

Floral-fruited moderate-medium body, Dyberry Creek IPA brought stylish grapefruit, pineapple and orange bittering to the fore as honeyed pale malts contrasted dry Chinook hop woodiness in brisk cucumber-watered setting.

Lightly creamed Belgian Tripel countered caramel-malted banana and clove sweetness with green apple tartness to its oats-flaked buckwheat base, but lacked depth and body.

De-husked carafe malts gave St. Tikhon’s Russian Imperial Stout its dry chocolate chalking as mild anise illusions creeped towards the surface.

Aged 5 years to perfection, spirited Stock Ale provided sweet whiskey and dry bourbon warmth to wood-dried tobacco roast, light sherry wining, vinous lime-leafed green grape esters and wispy crabapple tartness.

On January ’20 revisit, discovered a few more Irving Cliff brews.

Sweet ‘n sour blueberry tartness consumed light-bodied Blueberry Blonde Ale, as wispily spiced pale malts received subtle white wheat breading.

Bitter lemon acidity upstaged salted mango tartness for Jolly Prankster Mango Sour, letting tertiary oaken vanilla, hard cider and white wine illusions slip in the back end.

Dewy English-styled Imperial IPA, Crazy Train, brought corn whiskey tones to soft mineral graining and citric floral-perfumed Bravo hop intensity.

Juicy fruited Citra Wet Hopped IPA loaded lemony grapefruit zest upon orange-mango sweetness and mild guava souring above sugared pale malts.

Perfectly re-creating a chocolate mint cookie, Thin Mint Cookie Stout draped mildly creamy dark chocolate syrup onto gingerbread, green mint chocolate and mint julep illusions.

Brown-sugared cookie dough sweetness contrasted Blackstrap molasses bittering above the maple oats base of Oatmeal Cookie Stout, leaving distant hazelnut, walnut and bruised cherry illusions in its wake.

A worthy local Old Timey folk combo’s playin’ “Rocky Top” and other Americana favorites when I revisit Irving Cliff, April ’22, on a sunny Friday afternoon, to try six new brews and a reconstituted local fave.

A tarter Pez-like candy coating draped the pureed raspberry-blueberry conflux of updated flagship, Rip’s Purple Magic, picking up Muscat/Concord grape jamming.

Lemon soda fizz gave spritzy Radler-styled Dandy Lemon Shandy its sweetly sugared entry as oncoming lemonade tartness and herbal elderberry snips dallied.

Lightly salted Orange Tang knockoff, Tang Pale Ale, left light lemon juicing upon wispy parsley-cilantro herbage.

Mild candied citrus spicing and honeyed wheat guided Summer Camp Honey Ale, an aluminum clear-hued lightweight.

Dryly brined lemony pomegranate tartness couched cranberry-bogged Pomegranate Sour, a lightly acidic quencher.

Piney citrus onrush blasted juicy mango tanginess of Mango Double IPA, leaving brisk orange-peeled grapefruit zing.

Slick milk-sugared coffee and hazelnut chocolate serenaded Russian Imperial Stout, further sweetened by mild maple molasses licks.


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Home to the first commercial steam locomotive in America, the rural village of Honesdale supports two brewpubs – Irving Cliff Brewing along the backwoods foothills and Main Street’s more prominently located HERE & NOW BREWING COMPANY.

Inside a three-story red brick corner building across from the railroad station, Here & Now celebrated its one-year anniversary May 2018. A cozy wood-floored joint with Classical white-tiled ceiling and wood furnishings, the 20-seat bar features 12-plus draught taps directly below the brewery’s chicken-scratched metal copper insignia. (see below)

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An overhead door serves as the entrance and a small right side stage at the front adds extra space. A backroom off to the left provides private space for small parties. The rear kitchen serves good pub fare to go with the rangy homemade tapped beers.

Emulating a Prohibition Era speakeasy in some ways, Here & Now’s seven barrel system serves a rotating lineup of beer crafted by brewmaster Karl Schloesser (and future expansion is deemed inevitable).

I get to experience twelve previously untried brews during my one-hour July ’18 perusal.

First up were five interestingly diverse saisons. Mildly creamed Le Dale Saison plied pineapple, yellow grapefruit and mandarin orange tartness to floral-spiced niceties and herbal subtleties. Earthy rye tones deepened Rainbow Season Saison’s sublime grapefruit-peeled mandarin orange piquancy and slight lemongrass tingle. Nearly as earth-toned, Solace let delicate Cascade-hopped citrus spicing linger softly above mossy pine resin and celery-watered vegetalia.

Simple springtime session saison, In The Meantime, delivered raw-honeyed spicing to floral citrus licks and grassy hop astringency.

Boosting the hop level gave Porch Sitting Hoppy Saison its moderate grapefruit-peeled orange rind bittering while floral lemon tea illusions fluttered above crackery pale malting.

Musky grain malts fortified As A Feather Helles Lager, a light-bodied German styling given floral-dabbed corn, spelt and alfalfa groating that hides its wispy yellow fruited sway.

Mustier Accidentally Prague Czech Dark Lager pasted musty chocolate chalking to earthen oats grist.

Lemony white grape sourness inundated Hue, a solvent-like hefeweizen needing stylish banana-clove sweetness. Dry peach-fuzzed citrus zest enveloped Secret Epicenter Pale Ale. Sweet orange peel serenaded brisk 7th Street Circus House IPA, a sessionable moderation with mild grapefruit, peach and tangerine illusions.

Black grape, black cherry and blackcurrant influenced Night Orchestra, a mildly wood-toned Black IPA with piney citric bittering deepening its black chocolate-y black malts.

Lastly, dry cocoa and chocolate malts eased into Bat Patterns Porter, an easy drinking dark ale with soft earthen wood tones.