Tag Archives: NANUET NY


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Since its Grand Opening, June 12, 2014, AMBULANCE BREW HOUSE has fascinated local beer geeks and curious out-of-towners. Located at a refurbished red brick ambulance facility on Main Street in the bohemian village of Nanuet, this amiable small tavern relies on fabulous rotating taps, take-out growler fills and light pub food to attract its avid followers.

Inspired by Taps Bar & Lounge (a busy beer pub near the Tampa Convention Center) during a 2011 business trip, entrepreneurial electrical contractor Denis Maher decided to start his own pub up north. A native of Ireland who came to “the land of opportunity” during the ’87 Irish recession, Maher wanted a “cold look” for his craft beer haven.

Ambulance Brew House’s charmingly vintage stone-walled interior creates a dank cave setting with its caliginous dungeon likeness and composite tile floor. On the other hand, its antique wood decor, Dutch-doored rear kitchen, arched love booth and ample serving station provide simple Country Inn rusticity.

A closed-in front deck with four tables offers a street side view while the backyard Biergarten features five picnic tables, stringed lighting, shady trees and a gray shed (with chalkboard beer list). At the kiln-dried white pine bar, twenty taps serve rare, one-off, seasonal and locally popular fare.

On my initial August ’14 afternoon jaunt, my daughter and I (with Roscoe the dog in tow) grab a table at the front deck  to consume five previously untried libations. The Rolling Stones’ maddeningly malicious “Gimme Shelter” plays in the background as I settle into a well-rounded selection including Italy’s Del Ducato Nuevo Mattina saison, Astoria, New York’s Singlecut Kim Hibiscus Sour Lager and three California offerings – Knee Deep Simtra Triple IPA and Speakeasy’s Metropolis Lager and Syndicate #2 Strong Ale (all reviews in Beer Index).

On a two-hour dinner visit two days hence, my wife and I shared vegetable quesadillas, ricotta-cheesed pizza (with pesto) and nachos while getting knocked out by six outstanding elixirs crafted by Rushing Duck – a local Chester, NY brewery celebrating its 2nd Anniversary. First up, Rushing Duck’s Bauli Saison was a soft-toned farmhouse ale with white peppercorn herbage, kaffir lime tartness, mild coriander spicing and subtle citrus zest. Next, Honey Seeker Belgian Strong Ale brought abundant honey sinew to sugary fruit juicing and gin-like alcohol burn while Kroovy’s tangy fruiting contrasted sharp juniper hop bittering and resinous pine needling. 2nd Anniversary IPA, a bold medium-full body, brought sharp piney fruiting to wafting perfumed cologne.

For dessert, outstanding Dog’s Bullocks, a bourbon barrel-aged barleywine, fortified its soft-toned honeyed fruiting with mild oaken vanilla. And the distinctively hybridized Count Koala Chocolate Quad combined fruity Belgian yeast spicing with heavy mocha profundity.  (Full reviews at Beer Index)

Mid-September ’14, traipsed over to Ambulance once again. This time, five superb bourbon barrel-aged elixirs from Massachusetts’ Jack’s Abby were really impressive as I munched down Pecan Orange Salad,  a refreshingly crisp lunchtime snack featuring goat-cheesed mesculin greens, pecan, orange, cranberry and orange ale vinaigrette.

I doubt there was any better way to celebrate the start of autumn than with Jack’s Abby Barrel-Aged Framinghammer Baltic Porter Series, which included a Four Roses bourbon-barreled ale plus enticing vanilla, coconut, coffee and peanut butter and jelly flavored offerings. Each delightful brown-bodied porter provided elegant warmth, majestic mocha succulence, bittersweet vanilla luster and lilting bourbon nuances. (Full reviews at Beer Index).

Returned late September ’14 with pal, Dennis, for Sunday lunchtime round of five sour ales and one hybridized wheat ale. Chris, the affable barman, served us worthy fare such as The Bruery Tart Of Darkness Sour Stout (aged in oak), Gun Hill Barrel Aged Void Of Light Stout, Barrier Gosilla, Mystic Table (farmhouse) Beer and Swiss-made BFM 225 Saison as well as Westbrook White Thai Belgian Wit (reviewed in beer Index).

Since then, Ambulance has become my second home and over one hundred beers have been happily consumed here.



Shopping in Nanuet: Growler & Gill and A Matter of Health - Sour   Growler & Gill (GrowlerNGill) on Twitter

Occupying an inconspicuous red brickface corner lot tucked into Route 59 East at the easternnmost part of Nanuet (just one mile off Route 287), GROWLER & GILL CRAFT BEER SHOPPE serves Rockland County as a homey country store doling out craft draughts, fine wine, mixed 6-packs and light food. Opened during 2012, its white-trimmed glass windows and etched Growler & Gill insignia welcome true beer geeks to a fascinating one-room boutique. And its kid-friendly board games will keep families busy while imbibing 4-ounce tray flights or pint-sized offerings.

On a rainy Sunday afternoon in October ’13, my friend Dennis and I grab one of the 4-seat tables to watch the Giants-Eagles football on the two TV’s sidling the back bar. Refrigerated and shelved beers are located to the right behind a few bar-stooled barrel tops. Sundry tap handles line the shelves above the blackboard beer list (along the bar walls) while exposed ducts and large wood moulding help define the cozy cafe-styled ambiance. People next to us munch on giant pretzels and barbecue wings as we settle in to catch the Giants lose their fifth straight game.

Artisanal cheese, hummus and sandwiches are available alongside today’s draughts from local (Newburgh/ Rammstein/ Captain Lawrence), national (Victory/ Ommegang/ Left Hand/ Allagash) and international brewers (Schneider/ Paulaner/ Lindemans).  Furthermore, 25-ounce bottles of eight different barrel-aged Hof Ten Dormaal Belgian strong ales pique the interest of true conniosseurs.

Dennis and I reach for pints of Newburgh Peat-Smoked Stout, a rich dry Irish stout (with low 4% alcohol volume) parlaying its coffee-burnt chocolate roast into compost-wafted peat smoke and tar-like charcoal bittering, leaving a lightly peppered hop-charred espresso finish.

On Wednesday Trivia Night during October ’13, revisited Growler & Gill with wife to try a few new Jack’s Abby brews from Massachusetts. We ate the hot spinach with artichoke spread alongside hummus and pita (with green olives and sun-dried tomato dip) before devouring the fish and chips.

For starters, Jack’s Abby Smoke & Dagger Smoked Porter liberally doused black chocolate malts, molasses-smoked hickory and hop-charred dried fruiting with rauchbier-like kiln-fired beechwood. After dinner, Jack’s Abby Copper Legend Octoberfest brought fall foliage to bright citric spicing and honeyed tea illusions (check Beer Index for full reviews).

Oodles of brewer specials, tap takeovers and Meet The Brewer nights should keep the beer hounds comin’ out for more. Whatever cannot be found at Growler & Gill may be available at nearby Bardonia’s Cable Beverage (also recommended).

A few days later on Halloween Eve, my wife and I chowed on Bavarian Soft Pretzels (with separate pilsner cheese and stone-ground honey mustard dips) while consuming three local one-off brews including Rushing Duck De Levende Doden (strong dark ale with Trappist yeast and chocolate spicing), Barrier Saazsquatch (Saaz-hopped fall seasonal with butternut squash, ginger, honey and peppercorn) and Newburgh Squashtoberfest (hybridized Belgian pale ale with butternut squash restraint and salty pumpkin seeding).