CANANDAIGUA, NEW YORK
Inside a sterling white-columned tan brick building across the street from Canandaigua Lake, YOUNG LION BREWING COMPANY opened its doors, June ’17. Its multi-faceted mod Industrial rooms include a pristine windowed 16-seat pub room (with white oak block-bottomed tan slate-topped bar, 14 tap handles and blackboard draught list), a casual left side lounge and an expansive second floor lake view event space (housing a separate Edison lit, formica-topped, 10-seat bar plus a four-couch lounge area and large TV). There’s also an outdoor side deck with an old wood floor and plastic seating.
During a two-hour venture, November ’23, I hung out with associate brewer, John O’Flaherty, a former homebrewer, whose cream ale is one of his favorite recipes used as the base for variants such as an upcoming Christmastime elixir, Egg Nog Cream Ale.
Stylishly robust Czech Pilsner retained a pungent straw grained musk, oats-dried barnyard acridity and herbal tinge to contrast its honeyed cereal graining.
Crisply clean easygoer, Mexican Lager, let lightly floral-spiced fungi musk infiltrate its caramel-toasted Vienna malting – leaving wispy caraway, rye and pumpernickel snips.
Leafy hop astringency and hickory-smoked molasses saddled Vienna-malted Oktoberfest, relegating its caramelized chocolate whim.
Like a lighter tasting IPA, Hill Of Fame Pale Ale stayed briskly citrus spiced as light pine sap grazed honey-sweetened pineapple, grapefruit, orange and tangerine tanginess.
Orange-spiced grapefruit sugaring reaches cannabis-oiled hop resin as tannic grape must, mild honeydew-cantaloupe sweetness and botanical melon snips file in for Double IPA, a white bread-backed moderation.
Mildly spiced yellow grapefruit and navel orange peel entry and salted gooseberry-guava tartness pickup grassy pine-oiled white peppering for Harvest The Haze, a prim oated wheat creamed NEIPA.
Persistent Concord grape tartness and underlying green-red-yellow grape medley gain oaken cherry dalliance, lemon peel pucker and floral blood orange liming for Fall Into Grapeness Fruited Sour, leaving passive rosé wining, delicate champagne sparkle and l’il lemon icing.
Lightly tarred black malts got slightly whiskey bent for Black Lager, picking up subtle oaken burgundy-bourbon dryness in a distinctly offbeat stylistic twist.
Richly robust Barrel-Aged Hazelnut Coffee Stout plied dry bourbon vanilla tannins to hazelnut coffee tones and sweet peanut-buttered chocolate benevolence, leaving mild red grape, cinnamon bark and burgundy remnants.