HUDSON VALLEY, NEW YORK
PREFIX: Perhaps the greatest bottled beer selection in America resides in Poughkeepsie, a rocky terrace town off the Hudson River sixty miles north of Manhattan. Even after sucking down 2,500 different beers by July ’03, I found 50 more (including new local selections by Wagner Valley, Middle Ages, Southern Tier, and Cooperstown) at spectacular HALF TIME, then 25 more, August ’04, another 22, October ’04, and 18 more, September ’07.
Up North ten miles from Half Time on Route 9W lies HYDE PARK BREWING, a cozy farmhouse sports bar with brew tanks both above the central wooden bar and to the right upon entering. Located in Franklin Roosevelt’s hometown, this New Hyde Park brewpub, across the street from Marist College, has dartboards, arcade games, and a fabulous antique beer can collection, visited October ’04, then September ‘07.
From lightest to heaviest, its fair-to-middling brews included lemony hop-embittered, wheat-strawed, corn-starched, Munich-styled Helles, Big Easy Blonde; softly carbonated metallic-rimmed maize-dried Saaz-hopped earthen-backed Bohemian-styled Winkle Lager; tart orange-peeled banana-dried Barrel 9; and cola-nutty, cherry-orange-tart, tobacco-sweet, wheat-biscuit-y Rough Rider Red Lager.
Prickly-hopped, Band-aid-scented, dried-fruited, diacetyl-laden S.O.B; cocoa-nutty fig-soured coffee-oiled Schwarzbier-styled Von Schtupp’s Dark Lager; soft mocha-dried Mary P.’s Porter; and creamy espresso relaxant Chaos Dry Stout were only slightly weightier.