Just across the Delaware River off Route 80 west of Jersey, DOWNRIVER BREWING CO. opened in November 2019, becoming Stroudsburg’s first brewery since 1937. Situated downtown near the Sherman Theatre in the back of Main Street Plaza, Downriver retains a rustic bohemian charm.
Its embossed silver ceiling tiles recall pre-Prohibition times while the lacquered wood top 10-stool bar (with antiquated aluminum siding) matches the panel floor’s unrefined splendor. There are also patio-benched community tables. Local art displays cover the front walls and live entertainment rocks the house on weekends. A gaming room back space keeps kids entertained.
Owner Steven Brancato claims brewer Matt Dussor’s beer recipes put him ‘over the edge’ and when the opportunity came to begin brewing operations, the two were readily energized.
The left side open space contains the brewing area where several cool local beer bottles dot the wall.
On my one-hour January ’20 stopover, I consume six homemade brews alongside corn-sugared, tonic-watered hard seltzer, Fizzy Fellow, a lemon-limed malt liquor with herbal respite.
Downriver’s lightest offering, Sweet Mitosis Cream Ale, spread corn-flaked Maris Otter toasting, dry maize crisping and mild hay-like Fuggle-hopped herbage across spritzy lemon zest.
Bettering Killians and Blue Moon, amber ale/ witbier mix, That’s That Red Wit brought lemon-pitted orange tanginess, tingly coriander spicing and floral-perfumed herbal hops to sweet cereal graining.
Sweet caramel-malted fig spicing and mildly creamed vanilla snips contrasted lemon-soured fungi cellaring for amiable moderate-medium-bodied Fingerhakein Weizenbock.
Effervescent orange, grapefruit, peach and tangerine tanginess contrasted less dramatic guava-gooseberry souring and tart lemon custard illusions while Vienna-malted honeyed oats consumed Johnny Wood Boy Imperial IPA.
Lovely coffee roasted bitterness gained black-malted dark chocolate tones for Masters Of Nothing Coffee Oatmeal Breakfast Stout, a robust dark ale.
Milk-sugared coffee creaming and white chocolate sweetness gathered alongside wheat-flaked biscuit malts to validate luscious dessert-like holiday stout, I Don’t Have A Log, probably my fave this lovely winter afternoon.