DELMAR, NEW YORK
On the way back home from Schenectady one Saturday afternoon in December ’20, visited newly opened Delmar watering hole, WARBLER BREWERY, a friendly cafe-styled pub just outside Albany.
Along Route 443 off the New York Thruway, Warbler’s spot-on recipes gained appreciation as I imbibed each winning elixir at the small freestanding brick bar. Its wood tables and picnic benches front the pale green-walled interior of this cozy lounge. The beautiful wood floors reach the red-green tiled midsection where the green slate-topped bar featured nine glass-backed tap handles. Framed photos of namesake warbler birds line the walls as the Jets choke to the Raiders on the big-screen TV above my head at one of the picnic tables.
Local entrepreneurial brewer, Chris Schell, a highly experienced craftsman, previously worked at Cooperstown, Butternut and Robin Hood breweries. Since Schell’s shop’s only been open a few days, there are only four homemade beers readied, but each had its own steadied personality and crisp foundation.
Smoothly effervescent dry pale-malted flagship, Pale Ale, retained mildly spiced lemony orange tanginess with grassy hop astringency contrasting delicate floral whims in a stylishly moderate setting.
Another winning flagship, New England-styled IPA, Dissimulation, placated its yogurt-soured lemondrop souring with slightly bitter orange rind, grapefruit peel and pineapple tartness over dry pale malts.
Brisk Imperial IPA, Wolfjaw, let mild lemon zest brighten its tangy grapefruit, orange and pineapple tropicalia above oated wheat-flaked malts.
Madagascar vanilla beans received bittersweet coffee-burnt cocoa tones for Flurpy, a dark chocolate-y pastry stout.
Future Flurpy offshoots were promised as I depart – specifically a Peanut Butter & Jelly version as well as a S’mores knockoff.