Tag Archives: PEEKSKILL NY


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Occupying a multi-functional food and entertainment event space on the Hudson River one mile South of landmark Peekskill Brewery, RIVER OUTPOST BREWING COMPANY has been operating inside the red brick high-ceilinged Factoria warehouse since February ’18. Funded by nearby Captain Lawrence, this gargantuan indoor/outdoor pub only distributes its beers onsite.

Before becoming a pilot brewer of sour ales and barrel-aged beer at Captain Lawrence, University of Vermont alumni Mc Lean Cheney proved his wares as a beverage industry consultant, earning his wings at Colorado’s Aspen Brewing before he and his chef-wife moved back to his home state of Jersey, landing a gig as head brewer for Connecticut’s Half Full – crafting their award-winning Bright Ale. It wasn’t long ’til Cheney got promoted from Captain Lawrence to man the tall glass-enclosed stainless steel tanks at independent offshoot, River Outpost.

A spacious indoor-outdoor complex, River Outpost’s rectangular tiki bar services the ample blue umbrella-shaded deck and the stage-bound bench-tabled picnic area. Inside, the all-encompassing cement-floored gallery features a wood-lacquered 12-seat bar (with eight-plus taps and 3 TV’s), spread-out wood tabled dining, a big game room, axe throwing section, billiard table and small couched lounge.

Cheney’s four IPA’s, three lagers and one sour ale stay within stylistic range, but each bring out a unique aspect just beyond the boundaries. Try the raw bar, hearth-fired pizza or sandwiches and burgers to chase down the delightful suds.

My wife and I arrived on a sunny Wednesday afternoon, late September ’21, to consume all eight homemade brews.

Crisp aluminum-yellowed light-bodied mainstay, Cool Hands Lager, let corn-dried cereal graining scour sour lemondrop dollop, vegetal celery watering and wispy herbal snips. The perfect alternative for light mainstream Bud-Coors-Miller thirsts.

Rich brown-cleared amber lager, Festbier Skill, coalesced crusty chocolate breading with earthen truffle, dewy fungi, spiced dried fruiting and leafy hop foliage, slightly furthering its stylistic flavor parameters.

Dark chocolate-roasted ice coffee tones led Uno Mano Fuerte Black Lager, bringing mild peppery heat to the backend.

Straightforward Canoe IPA brought lemony yellow grapefruit sunshine and mandarin orange zesting to herbal wood tones in crisp fashion.

Clean Norwegian Kveik yeast brightened the modest lemon-peeled grapefruit bittering and zesty orange tang of Banjo Juice Kveik IPA, a mildly piney hopped moderation.

Another smooth crystalline watered moderation, Hazy Bae NEIPA, scattered lemon zest, orange marmalade, tart passionfruit and tangy papaya alongside mild vanilla yogurt souring above an oated wheat base.

Flagship NEIPA, Skillbilly, let limey grapefruit souring, candied orange and tangy tangerine pick up salty herbal peppering and minor pine tones.

“Seductive’ Pink Lacey Sour Ale allowed lactose-milked souring to seep into salted raspberry puree and ancillary passionfruit-guava tartness over silken oats.

After Mc Lean departed for Five Dimes Brewery in Westwood, NJ, I revisited July ’22 on a sweltering Sunday to try six more River Outpost brews.

Stylishly dryer and slightly hoppier, Pop Off Wit allowed grassy herbage and barnyard funk to penetrate its subtler orange peeled coriander expectancy.

Also dryer than its usual style, Itchy Bon Saison, let acrid farmhouse leathering soak up the laidback fennel-tinged dried fruit spicing.

Placing herbal lemon musk and dry hay-like graining across the sweet fruited malt plain gave Timp Torne Maibock a balanced blend.

Salty coriander-seeded lemon lime souring engaged white peach-pureed Peg Leg Peach Gose, finishing with a slightly acidic candied peach tartness.

Sessionable Cabin Boy IPA let lemony orange tanginess plus mild mango-pear-cantaloupe snips receive grassy pine hop astringency.

Amber grain toasting fortified the Citra-hopped fruiting of High Tor Red IPA, leaving lemony orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess and spicy pineapple tartness upon sugared pale malts.



Birdsall House



In the old industrial town of Peekskill on its hilly Main Street, BIRDSALL HOUSE is housed inside a narrow freestanding brick building with a cement-floored metal-chaired side porch. Originally an A & P market and thereafter Connelly’s Pub, the friendly neighborhood bar, opened March 2010, features 20 snazzy craft beer draughts to go alongside a medium upscale menu.

Upon entering Birdsall House on a weekday during dinnertime in October 2012, I grab a seat at the rustic left side mahogany bar right in front of the central tap handles. The cozy interior benefits from two atrium skylights, 20 wooden bar stools and 12 section-divided right side booths. Two draught-only chalkboards near the front door list such fabulous American beers as Alesmith Anvil, Founders Breakfast Stout, Great Divide Titan IPA, Nectar IPA,  Three Heads Bromigo and Victory Donnybrook Irish Stout.

The dark-lit noirish ambiance fits its casual nighttime appeal. Local artists play live on certain evenings and classic movies oft-times get projected across the bar on the yellow wall. Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 PM on weekdays.

At my initial two-hour stopover, I settle into the nitro-creamed Empire Cream Ale, an eggshell-headed tea-like moderation with buttery rye malts and reedy hops. Then I speak to local skateboard pro, Brian Brown, while consuming dry woody-hopped grapefruit-embittered Bronx Rye IPA. For a nightcap, I choose puree-roasted gourd seasonal Captain Lawrence Katchkie Harvest Pumpkin Ale. (All beers reviewed in Beer Index).

Recommended dishes include Grilled Lamb Sliders, Cast-Iron Seared Hanger Steak and Goat Cheese En Croute.

During April ’21 lunch trip, sat at the newly furbished metal-furnished right side deck area under the large amoeba-celled mural with wife. A cinder-grounded bench area added further outdoor seating this sunny afternoon.

Got to try Captain Lawrence Classic Lager and Southern Tier Coconut Truffle – Nitro (both reviewed in Beer Index) alongside calamari and cheesesteak.





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Across Hudson River railroad station, first visited PEEKSKILL BREWING COMPANY with wife, Valentine’s Day, 2009. A fine German-American-styled restaurant with great bottled-tapped beer selection and a few homemade elixirs, its original two front dining areas were separate from the narrow back bar (with side tables, mounted TV’s, copper tile ceiling, and jukebox). By late 2012, the brewery would move across the street to a better location.

Original brewer, Neill Acer (formerly of defunct West Side Brewery and Ramapo Brewpub), was the stabilizing force from the beginning until his departure in 2011. A veteran zymurgist, Acer split time between Peekskill and Pearl River’s Defiant Brewing (where he still reigns supreme). During ’11, experienced craftsman Jeff O’Neill was hired from Ithaca Brewery to assume the role of head brewer (until O’Neill took the post as Industrial Art’s head brewer circa 2016).

During December ’12, Peekskill Brewing began operations at its current freestanding brown-and-tan four-storey building just down the road equidistance between Peekskill Landing Park and Riverfront Green Park. A larger and more uniform Industrial setting with a roomy umbrella-tabled side deck, the ground level tap room features a luxurious bar (with Beer List, TV, dartboard, exposed black ducts and side-walled brewing methodology), stainless steel brewing vats and several wood-barreled tables along the front window. A minimalist balcony level dining area with smaller bar provides a beautiful Hudson River view. Rooftop dining will hopefully be readied by 2014.

Upon my August ’13 two-hour stopover, I gain access through the side entrance and sit at the left corner of the bar to quaff four previously untried beers and one revisited sour ale. FYI: Guest taps on this day include the increasingly popular Allagash White, Firestone Walker Double Jack, Great Divide Hoss, Lagunitas WTF, Ommegang Rare Vos and Southern Tier Live.

To start my session, dry-bodied Skills Pils crossed musky Czech-German-styled straw graining with wood-lacquered resinous herbal hop oiling and tart lemon-pitted souring for a robust pale-toned pilsner that nicely countered approachable Gose-like Berliner Weiss, Simple Sour. Its efficient wheat, corn and millet influence underlied vinous white grape esters, salty coriander spicing, tart mango-guava tropicalia and leathery oaken cherry.

Another bone-dry concoction, soft-watered Farmhouse-styled saison Flavor Savor, brought subtle pear and quince illusions to white-peppered herbs and wafting hibiscus, dandelion, daisy and rose pedal florality, picking up a musty earthen dewiness along the way.

Next up, PB DRye Irish Stout layered black chocolate tartness, chalky cocoa acridity and coffee bean bittering above ashen-hopped flaked rye malting for a superb mocha dessert treat.

Best bet: complex 10% alcohol-fueled Imperial Stout, Vaporizer. Its dark chocolate roast, syrupy molasses sapping, careening vanilla creaming and mild espresso whim sat atop oats-sugared maple malts and hop-charred bittering as ancillary blackberry, bourbon, brandy and licorice illusions gently recede.

By the time I left Peekskill this sunny Sunday afternoon, a local Jazz band had taken the makeshift outdoor stage to entertain the diversified patronage.


On my original February ’09 sojourn, windowed brew tanks served Paramount Pale Ale, a raw wheat-grained orange-soured prune-dried carrot-cooked lacquer-like dry body with pink grapefruit subtlety. After chili, vegetable wrap, and Caesar salad, I enjoyed hop-charred oats-seared molasses-malted Peekskill Vanilla Bourbon Stout, a robust bitter hedging creamy brown chocolate, oaken vanilla, chalky cocoa, and black cherry sweetness against charcoal-singed anise, tar, and tobacco chew illusions.

Upon hot August night in ’09, wife and I tried Yeah Peaches!, a Belgian-styled moderate body with raw-honeyed sour lemon-candied tartness overwhelming miniscule white peach tartness and peppery-hopped lemongrass spicing.

On May ’10 two-hour haunt, tried sharp hop-spiced grapefruit-soured orange-candied Peekskill Old Wagon Ale, an alcohol-burnt ‘old ale’ with minor wood tones, dainty apricot-peach illusions, and creamy caramel malting. Peekskill Sally Sweeney Oatmeal Raisin Stout placed soft-watered black chocolate creaminess above coffee-roasted hop-charred cola, hazelnut, macadamia, and walnut illusions, but latent oats-smoked raisin-pureed sourness languishes.

July, 2010, alongside pork quesadillas at happy hour, quaffed two more engaging libations. Boisterous peppery hop prickle invades novel rosemary-thyme herbage and orange-peeled lemon zest of offbeat Rosemary’s Baby Belgian Golden Ale. Sharp hop-bitten lemon-seeded orange-peeled juniper bittering overrides expectant banana souring, unripe peach-apple wisp, and herbal-spiced snip of spunky Hudson Hefeweizen.

One day prior to Peekskill Brewery’s second anniversary party, October, 2010, enjoyed two fine new-fashioned libations. IPA-like wood-lacquered fruiting consumed creamy caramel-malted Beecher’s Barleywine, a heady alcohol-astringent full body boasting ripe peach-pear-apple-raspberry bluster over chestnut-hazelnut whim to juniper-embittered backend. Nearly as good, citric-soured Dunderberg Dunkelweizen brought fig-dried date-sugared orange compote and clove-spiced banana browning to dry earthen fungi yeast panoply.

Got to hang out with friend, Dennis Flubacher, and 29-year-old Peekskill Brewery owner, Keith Berardi, Thanksgiving Eve, 2010. Enjoyed plate of nachos while consuming two undiscovered treasures, one of which is a Garam masala-spiced seasonal in its second year, and the other, a newfangled concoction named after our red-haired bartender.

Creamy brown-sugared chocolate-spiced vanilla-coarsened Cha Cha Chai Brown Ale brought green-hopped chai tea bittering to cinnamon-toasted peanut-shelled praline-walnut-hazelnut niche and floral hibiscus nuance. Saison-styled Rye’s Red yielded soft-hopped sour-fruited apple-molded clementine orange tartness to rye-breaded caraway-fennel midst.

New brewer Jeff O’Neil came aboard to replace Acer in 2012. By June, I’d resurfaced at Peekskill to try three easygoing newfangled summer ales.

A hoppy wheat ale, Daywalker had a soft-toned light body spreading lemony grapefruit peel zest all over Band Aid-wafted white peppering and fizzy salted spicing. Approachable Eastern Standard IPA brought its mild woody hop bittering to a citric spiced easement, where orange-peeled grapefruit, apricot, pear and apple illusions reside. Less impressive, light-bodied Zeitgeist Berliner placed sour lemony orange tartness over subtle resin hop bitterness.



Sometimes a change has gotta come. The awkwardly disconnected U-shaped interior of the bygone Peekskill Brewery cannot match the new digs. So I decided to visit the original Peekskill Brewery one last time, November ’12, before the pub moved down the street to its new four-floor building.
My friend Dennis and I got there for the ever-popular Hudson Valley Restaurant Week and got served not only two fine new beers but also a delicious $29 price-fixed three-course meal that couldn’t be beat.
For a light-bodied straightforward opener, I re-tried the totally sessionable Eastern Standard. Its polite grapefruit entry received mild floral hop acridity and sweet candied malting atop a paltry white-breaded spine. Then, I got an order of 12 meaty oysters vineagrette ($12 at Happy Hour) before proceeding to a newly rendered tropical-fruited elixir.
Sourly citric Saison-like Malibu Mango gathered mango, green grape esters, guava, passion fruit, kiwi and strawberry illusions above astringent hop bittering and raw-honeyed malt buttering.
Our three-course meal then took center stage. I had the duck-fatty ground swine Pork Rillette (with grilled bread and grain mustard as an appetizer). Next, delectable Hemlock Hills Maple & Black Pepper Chicken featured a sugary glaze that moistened the roasted bird alongside sauteed kale spinach and mashed potatos. And for dessert, I enjoyed Apple Calvados with whipped cream.
Meanwhile, Dennis got the Neuske Bacon Soup (a creamy meat-chunked parsnip-tinged appetizer) and filling Pork Belly (with salsa verde, lentils and roasted carrots). For dessert, he went with the rich Chocolate Seasalt Tart (with toffee and whipped cream).
For a nightcap, we settled on Nightwalker Dark Wheat Ale. Its toasted caramel malting and dark hop spicing led the way for a simmering peppercorn-chipotle peppering enhanced by a faux Band-aid-like beechwood smoking.
On tap at Jimmy’s No. 43, found Peekskill Simple Sour. Its sour lemon-juiced carbolic spritz embraced lactic brettanomyces musk above rustic corn-dried chaffed wheat. Tertiary vinous grape, mandarin orange and lemon rind illusions received earthen hay, horseblanket and leather acridity.
In town to try some newfangled sour ales and one fine stout, July ’17, got to hang out with friend Phil at the wooden side patio.
Summery Cascade dry-hopped Hidden Track brought silken lemon zest, grapefruit pith bittering and tart green grape esters to musky earthiness with low acidity.
Pink guava-infused Pinky Up retained its dry-hopped brettanomyces souring for saison yeast-draped passionfruit and kiwi tartness plus vinous white grape pucker.
Lambic-styled spontaneous fermenter, LemPBeek conveyed mildly fungi herbal lemondrop piquancy and mustard-soured yellow grape esters.
On the dark side, relaxing medium-roast Ethiopian peaberry coffee beans and chicory define To The Moon Stout, a Brooklyn Brewery collaboration with black chocolate and dark cocoa undertones reinforcing its bittersweet java theme.
Following Albany trip in August ’18, quaffed dry pale-malted King Bee Lager (a collaboration with Poughkeepsie’s Plan Bee Farm Brewery), a raw-honeyed moderation with corn-grained herbal grassiness and mild lemon souring.
Then, charcoal-stained Cinder Imperial Stout spread molasses-sapped black chocolate syrup atop bittersweet burgundy, raisin and fig dried-fruiting as mild hop-charred bittering ensued.
During late April ’21, revisited Peekskill once more to consume two new brews.
Zestful orange-peeled grapefruit tanginess, salted pineapple souring and white peach sweetness merged for lightly creamed Consensus Reality Imperial IPA, leaving herbal residue on its sugared pale malts.
Bittersweet dark chocolate subsumed cocoa-dried coconut cadre of Un Poco Loco Coconut & Cocoa Stout, letting ancillary maple molasses, almond milk and toffee sweetness battle distant hop-charred coffee bittering.