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Residing at an inconspicuous Industrial styled farmhouse with insulated white roof in the vineyard-lined Steuben County village of Hammondsport, KEUKA BREWING COMPANY opened in 2008. By 2010, Mark Musso took over the brew tanks and began drifting into barrel aging, mixed fermentation and offbeat traditional beer recipes. Many of his limited edition one-offs have become Musso’s most cherished offerings while longstanding faves such as Afterburner Habanero Ale and Ghost of Rita Gose prove both experimental and highly welcoming.

A benched front deck with picnic tables and firepit welcomes patrons to the agrarian hillside pub. The overhead doored, cement-floored tasting room features a ten-seat wood-lacquered bar with wainscoting-paneled aluminum siding, pendant lights and central octagon tiled draught station. Two narrow wood benched community tables with metal pipe fit crossbars and a few barreled tables front the bar. Brew tanks are stored in the rear.

Alongside Keuka’s house beers were Southern Tier vodkas and local wines on my early December ’23 noontime journey. I took home a few brews reviewed in Beer Index.

Dry light lager, Dock Beer, spread spritzy lemon fizz atop salty pretzeled doughy pilsner malts and spicy hop smidge.

Mild habanero peppering glides thru floral-daubed mango salting and tangy pineapple juicing of brisk Tropical Afterburner Light Ale, gaining lemony respite.

Waxy floral fruiting embraced dry Keuka Pale Ale, leaving lemony grapefruit bittering and light gin-tinged juniper botanicals upon its buttered biscuit base.

Powdered sugaring and wispy vanilla maple creaming saddled the cinnamon-nutmeg-allspice autumnal seasoning of Pumpkin Cream Ale, picking up a candied apple glaze.

Bittersweet blueberry caking gains doughy wheat sugared glaze and mildly brisk lemon zesting for lactic vanilla creamed wheat ale, Blueberry Cake Donut, a fruity pastry-like dessert.

Sharply spiced lemony grapefruit spritz picked up mild floral herbage and woody Chinook hop dryness for Polymorphic #27, the latest in a series of mixed hopped NEIPA’s.

Closer to a milkshake IPA, Polymorphic #28 retained vanilla-sugared marshmallow fluff and oated wheat creaming for its zestful lemony grapefruit, orange, tangelo and guava heist.

Ice pop-derived fruited sour, Sticky Drips – Bomb Pop, had its limey cherry and blue raspberry tartness receive dry bourbon wisps, sneaky green grape tannins and lemon-dropped orange snips.

Medium roast coffee bean entry gained milk-sugared vanilla creaming and dark chocolate bittering for Local Mocha Stout, a relaxing full-bodied digestif.

Decadent lactose-aided milk stout, Cookies And Cream, let its chocolate cookie richness rise above creamy vanilla sugaring for blissful luxuriant dessert.

Barrel aged in 4 Roses bourbon for eight months, Fat Stack Maple Pecan Porter stayed smooth as thick maple syruping coats pecan pie sweetness as well as dry vanilla tannins contrasting latent whiskeyed brown chocolate, cola nut, almond and caramel illusions.


Anomalous (limited edition) 2011 Imperial Stout (from Adirondack Mountains’ Finger Lakes region) forgoes stylistic sweet mocha malting for sourer varietal. Vinous dried fruiting secures dank cocoa-powdered Baker’s chocolate bittering as sour cherry, prune, plum and raisin undertones find space next to burnt coffee remnant. Even the black currant reminder beats out any noticeable brown chocolate sweetness.