20170521

Newburgh Brewing's taproom gets No.1 nod in NY online poll

The Newburgh Brewing Company taproom (photo provided)
Rankings are, as one might put it somewhat less crudely than usual, like rectal orifices. Everyone has one. The latest in New York State's beer world is a list of "best" taprooms by the influential website RateBeer.com.

The Newburgh Brewing Company was voted the "top tap room" in New York State in an online poll. As we all know by now, while online polls are popular, they are fraught with statistical inaccuracies. Nevertheless, they do offer some measure of popularity.
Christopher Basso

The brewery has been around only since 2012. Its top-selling product is a cream ale, one of its four original beers. It is made by brewmaster Christopher Basso, a graduate of both Boston University and the French Culinary Institute who began his brewing career at the Brooklyn Brewery.

The taproom is located in the brewery facility at 85 Colden Street in Newburgh, a block west of  the Hudson River. Hours: Wednesday, 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, noon to midnight. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (kitchen closes at 4 p.m.)

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170518

Update 3: 2 brewers tie for win in Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge

UPDATE 3 (5/18/17): There is no winner in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. There are two. Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown and Roscoe Beer Co. of Sullivan County tied for top honors among from among five finalists at the tasetoff Wednesday night in Manhattan. The others were the Genesee Brewing Co. of Rochester, Prison City Pub & Brewery of Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing Company of Chautauqua County.

UPDATE 2 (5/15/17): The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the top five finalists in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. The winner will be chosen Wednesday. The finalists, listed alphabetically: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown;  Genesee Brewing Company, Rochester; Prison City Pub & Brewery, Auburn;  Roscoe Beer Company, Roscoe; Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood.

UPDATE (5/13/17): Well, now we know who else will be on the judging panel for the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The first person the guv appointed was himself. On Friday, he revealed who will be joining him -- former Buffalo Bills football star Thurman Thomas, who owns a bar at the Batavia Downs horse track; celebrity chef Mario Batali; Noah Kaufman, an editor at Food and Wine magazine, and Anne Becerra, a writer and beer director for the Treadwell Park beer hall in New York City. 

(Originally published 5/3/17)

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170516

30+ makers to offer tastings at Brattleboro Brewers Festival

More than 30 brewers of beers and cider have signed up to participate in the 6th annual Brattleboro (VT) Brewers Festival set for the May 27.

In addition to more than 100 different brews for sampling, live music, various food vendors, and a line of prizes and raffles will be included.

The outdoor event will be held rain or shine at VABEC Field off Old Guilford Road in Brattleboro. Parking will be available at the Brattleboro Union High School on Fairgrounds Road, with   shuttles running all day.  The only parking at the event is for drivers with a handicap parking permit.

Early bird ticket sales, priced at $25 online only, end this Wednesday. Other ticket information is on the same site.

The participating brewers:
  • 14th Star Brewing
  • Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Amherst Brewing
  • Angry Orchard Cider
  • Brown's Brewing Co.
  • Champlain Orchards Cidery
  • Citizen Cider
  • Downeast Cider House
  • Element Brewing Co.
  • Foolproof Brewing
  • Goodwater Brewery
  • Hermit Thrush Brewery
  • Jack's Abby
  • Long Trail
  • Lord Hobo Brewing
  • Magic Hat
  • Matt & Harry's Hard Cider
  • New Belgium Brewery
  • Northshire Brewery
  • Queen City Brewery
  • Samuel Adams
  • Switchback Brewery
  • The People's Pint
  • The Traveler Beer Company
  • Trout River Brewing Co.
  • Truly Spiked & Sparkling
  • Two Roads Brewing Co.
  • Von Trapp Brewing
  • Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider
  • Woodstock Inn Brewery

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170515

Update 2: 5 Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge finalists picked

UPDATE 2 (5/15/17): The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the top five finalists in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. The winner will be chosen Wednesday. The finalists, listed alphabetically: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown;  Genesee Brewing Company, Rochester; Prison City Pub & Brewery, Auburn;  Roscoe Beer Company, Roscoe; Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood.

UPDATE (5/13/17): Well, now we know who else will be on the judging panel for the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The first person the guv appointed was himself. On Friday, he revealed who will be joining him -- former Buffalo Bills football star Thurman Thomas, who owns a bar at the Batavia Downs horse track; celebrity chef Mario Batali; Noah Kaufman, an editor at Food and Wine magazine, and Anne Becerra, a writer and beer director for the Treadwell Park beer hall in New York City. 

(Originally published 5/3/17)

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170513

Update: Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge judges unveiled

UPDATE (5/13/17): Well, now we know who else will be on the judging panel for the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The first person the guv appointed was himself. On Friday, he revealed who will be joining him -- former Buffalo Bills football star Thurman Thomas, who owns a bar at the Batavia Downs horse track; celebrity chef Mario Batali; Noah Kaufman, an editor at Food and Wine magazine, and Anne Becerra, a writer and beer director for the Treadwell Park beer hall in New York City. 

(Originally published 5/3/17)

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170511

In-development Fort Orange Brewing embraces local history

Building materials arrive at the Albany renovation site. (photo provided)
It seems we're talking about a new craft brewery joining the Greater Capital Region scene on a weekly basis or even more often. (Go here to see the latest list.)

Fort Orange Brewing will open in the fall at 450 North Pearl Street in Albany's Warehouse District with a nod to local brewing history, both in its name -- the same as one from the 1800s -- and its location -- a site near where its antecedent operated during the city's 19th Century brewing heyday.

Even the logo is an acknowledgement to local history, incorporating the shape of the original Dutch settlement called Fort Orange -- which became the English settlement of Albany -- in its logo.

The original Fort Orange Brewing operated from1882 to 1888 on Broadway. The new brewery will rise in a 7,400-square-foot former warehouse not far from the Druthers brewing company's Albany facility. (Druthers' original is in Saratoga Springs.)

The new brewery is from three Castleton residents who have been brewing together and decided to go commercial. They are John Westcott, a technical support manager at KeyBank; Jim Eaton, a recruiter for Siena College, and Craig Johnson, works for the architectural/engineering firm EYP.

They have purchased a 7-barrel system and, Westcott tells me, they "are looking to have four to six of our beers on tap at all times.  We will have a taproom in the facility and offer flights, pints and growler fills. We plan to have two IPAs, a sweet/hoppy pale, and pilsner on tap for our opening.  We will also be brewing several pilot batches for opening, like a stout, red ale, and blonde." 

 
Marker shows new brewery location. (Google Earth)

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170509

Gloversville nano pads local brewery scene count

Stump City partners, from left, Casey Oare, Matt Sherman and Nick Sherman. (photo provided)
And, we have yet another small brewery in the Greater Capital Region.

The newcomer is Stump City Brewing. which just held a grand opening ceremony at its brewing and taproom facility, located at 521 West Fulton Street Extension in Gloversville. That brings to 49 the number of breweries of all sorts in the area.

The nanobrewery was created by Nick Sherman, Matt Sherman, Casey Oare and Jerry Sherman, all of Gloversville, financed in part by $13,000 raised through an IndieGoGo online funding page. It has been in soft opening mode since January, limiting its customers to those who contributed to the fund, but now will be open to the public from noon to 5 p.m. each Saturday.

The quartet explains the one-barrel brewery's name and motto "From the Ground Up" this way: "The name Stump City is a historical name of the area before it was incorporated as Gloversville. The proximity of hemlock forests to supply bark for tanning made the community a center of leather production early in its history. Prior to that Gloversville had been known as 'Stump City' because of the large number of trees that had been cut down. ...

"Our motto has a personal meaning as well as relating to the beers that we make. We put so much work into the [business] and wanted to do as much of the work ourselves. We did a large majority of the work with some help from friends and family and truly built the brewery and taproom from the ground up. The other half of it is our dedication to ingredients that we put in the beer. We source as much as possible from New York Farms allowing us to be call a farm brewery." That designation requires 90% of ingredients be produced in the state. Currently, it sources hops from Goderie’s of Johnstown and malt from Germantown.

Stump City currently sells beer on tap, or in refillable growlers, with no canned or bottled products.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170506

Labatt honoring its history with multi-purpose Buffalo facility

1939 Labatt delivery truck -- red with gold lettering. (Ken Goudy Collection)
John Kinder Labatt
Buffalo is about to get a new beer-centric attraction. Labatt USA, part of North American Breweries, has announced plans to open the John Labatt House, a facility that will include a small test brewery, a restaurant, and company headquarters.

The project is part of the $10 million redevelopment of a five-story warehouse in the city’s Cobblestone District by Pegula Sports and Entertainment.

Plans call for the restaurant to function as a space for beer drinkers to taste, experience and even influence new beer development for Labatt by offering feedback on what they sample there. The test brewery will develop and test new products prior to introducing them to the market.

The new headquarters is projected to open in the fall of 2018, with the restaurant and brewery opening in the months to follow.

The project's name can be seen as an honorific for the Labatt Brewing Company's history of being headed by men named John. The Irish-born John Kinder Labatt (1803-1866) founded the brewery. Under his son John Labatt  (1838-1915), it grew to be Canada's largest. Then, John Sackville Labatt (1880-1952), one of his nine children, took over and ran it for decades.

Since 1995, the company has been part of a whirlwind of mergers that dominated the industry. It was purchased that year by the Belgian brewer Interbrew. In 2004, Interbrew merged with the Brazilian brewer AmBev to form InBev. In 2008, InBev merged with American brewer Anheuser-Busch to form Anheuser-Busch InBev (abbreviated AB InBev), and last year a $100 billion merger between AB InBev and SABMiller closed.

So, Labatt now is part of the ridiculously named Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, merfifully trading as the simplified designation BUD on the New York Stock Exchange.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170503

Vendor lineup unveiled for Saratoga Brewfest

Organizers today released the lineup of participating brewers for the 7th annual Saratoga Brewfest, set for May 20 at the Saratoga Race Course.

General admission tickets ($45) include three hours of craft beer sampling, live music entertainment, and a souvenir sampling glass. VIP tickets ($60) include and extra hour of sampling, a food voucher, and  commemorative hat. Both are available for online purchase.

The vendor list of breweries and cideries:

10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Bend, OR

21st Amendment Brewery
San Francisco, CA

Abbaye de Leffe
Belgium

Dinant, Namur Abita Brewing Company
Abita Springs, LA

Adirondack Brewery
Lake George, NY

Anchor Brewing Company
San Francisco, CA

Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boonville, CA

Angry Orchard Cider Company
Cincinnati, OH

Artisanal Brew Works
Saratoga Springs, NY

Avery Brewing Co.
Boulder, CO

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
San Diego, CA

Battle Hill Brewing Company
Fort Ann, NY

Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards
Lafayette, NY

Update: Argyle Brewing opens its second tasting room today

New equipment arrives at Argyle Brewing Co. (photo provided)
UPDATE  (5/3/17): Argyle Brewing Company today opened the doors and the taps to its second tasting room, located in the former train depot in Cambridge at 6 Broad Street. Hours are the same as it the brewery tasting room: 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays; 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

(Originally published 3/1/17)

Argyle Brewing Company is only three years old, but it already is in expansion mode. Not only have owners Chris Castrio, Rich Thomas, and Matt Stewart this week installed a larger brewing system in the Washington County facility, they are working on opening a new taproom in the former Cambridge railroad station in the spring. The current taproom at the brewery has remained open during the upgrade.

The new brewing system, made locally by the Fronhoffer Tool Company, is expected to reduce Argyle's brewing time from 24 hours to six, and will double the available fermenters. The operation has been of limited capacity because of its 3.5-barrel tank. The new one is 15 barrels.

Argyle Brewing, which operates under a state farm brewery license, is located at 1 Main Street in Greenwich. Phone: (518) 692-2585.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

State's Taste NY program creates craft beer challenge

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170502

Hard cider brew fest planned in Steuben County

If cider and beer are your thing, the 2nd annual Cider Creek Hard Cider Brew Fest in Steuben County may be of interest.

The event will include tastings of about 40 different ciders and brews, along with camping facilities, live music and fireworks, running from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, My 13, at the event's namesake farm venue.

Cider Creek was founded three years ago in Boston by Kevin and Melanie Collins, but they moved the operation to his family's farm shortly after.

Early bird and VIP tickets already are sold out, but general admission tickets still are available at $40, or $10 for designated drivers.

Cider Creek Hard Cider is located at 6459 Cunningham Creek Road near Canisteo, northwest of Corning. Directions are on the website.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170430

Tap NY judges spread the wealth statewide

cbwcrop.JPG
TAP New York President Bill Woodring (left presents the Governor's Cup for Best New York Craft Beer to Jeannie Alexander, Ryan Demler and Ethan Cox of Community Beer Works in  Buffalo for its The Whale Brown Ale. 

Breweries from one end of the state to the other wound up at the top of the judges' lists in major categories at the 20th annual TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Festival, held this weekend at the Hunter Mountain Ski Resort. They were:

• F.X. Matt Memorial Cup (Best Craft Beer Brewery in New York State) -- Spider Bite Brewing Co.  of Holbrook, Long Island. It also won the John Calen Memorial Award (best English style stout in New York State) for its Spider Imperial English Stout.

•  The Matthew Vassar Brewers' Cup (Best Craft Beer Brewery in the Hudson Valley) -- Chatham Brewing Co. of Columbia County.

• Governors' Cup (Best Craft Beer in New York State) -- The Whale Brown Al from Community Beer Works in Buffalo.

In addition, the medal winners in various categories were:

Wheat Beers
Gold: 12 Gates Brewing Co. (Williamsville), Cherry Vanilla Wheat
Silver: Wolf Hollow Brewing (Schenectady), Brunette"s Revenge
Bronze: New Paltz Brewing (New Paltz), Gratzer German Wheat

Light/dark/strong Lagers
Gold: Chatham Brewing (Chatham), Bock & Bock Dopplebock
Silver: Catskill Brewing (Livingston Manor), Ball Lightning Pilsner
Bronze: 12 Gates Brewing (Williamsville), Water Mill Pils

Pale Ales
Gold: Destination Unknown (Bay Shore), Mosaic Mood
Silver: Peekskill Brewing (Peekskill), Paramount Pale Ale
Bronze:Seneca Lake Brewing (Dundee), Baker Street Best Bitter

Light Ales (below 6% alcohol)
Gold: Brooklyn Brewery (Brooklyn), Naranjito
Silver: Lyonsmith Brewing (Penn Yan), Rhiannon Red Ale
Bronze: Rare Form Brewing (Troy), Raw Beets

Strong Ales (above 6% alcohol)
Gold: Crossroads (Athens), Barleywine
Silver: Willow Rock (Syracuse), Rugged Scotch Ale
Bronze: Hopshire Farm Brewery (Dryden), Shire Scotch Ale

Brown Ales
Gold: Community Beer Works (Buffalo), The Whale
Silver: Council Rock (Cooperstown), Leatherstocking Brown
Bronze: Willow Rock Brewing (Syracuse), Jim

India Pale Ale
Gold: Flagship Brewing (Staten Island), American IPA
Silver: Keegan Ales (Kingston), Fun
Bronze: Hudson Ale Works (Highland), Citra Mosaic

Strong India Pale Ale
Gold: Big Ditch (Buffalo), Deep Cut
Silver: Spider Bite Brewing (Holbrook), Open Wide
Bronze: Sloop (Poughkeepsie), Double Plus Good

Porter
Gold: The Farmhouse (Owego), Mama Maple, Etc
Silver: Broken Bow Brewery (Tuckahoe), Nick's Hazlenut Praline
Bronze: Mad Jack (Schenectady), Mont Pleasant

Irish Style Stout
Gold:The North Brewey (Endicott), Sno Clouds
Silver: Hudson Brewing (Hudson), Tainted Senorita
Bronze: Kings County Brewers Collective (Brooklyn), What We Don't See Imperial

English Style Stout
Gold: Spider Bite Beer Company (Holbrook), Boris The Spider Imperial English Stout
Silver: Spider Bite Beer Company (Holbrook),  Boris The Spider Barrel Aged Imperial English Stout Bronze: Big Ditch (Buffalo), Towpath

Belgian Ale (below 8% alcohol)
Gold: LIC Beer Project (Long Island City), Ardent Core Saison
Silver: Nedloh Brewery (Bloomfield), Flx Farmhouse Saison
Bronze: War Horse Brewing Co. (Geneva), Killer Monk Double

Strong Belgian Ale (above 8% alcohol)
Gold:- C.H. Evans Brewing Co. (Albany), Union Station Quad 2017
Silver: Great Adirondack Brewing (Lake Placid), Room 237 Flanders Red
Bronze: Catskill Brewing (Livingston Manor), Freak Tractor Blonde

Barrel Aged Beer
Gold: Matt Brewing Co (Utica), Basking In Bourbon
Silver: Shmaltz Brewing (Clifton Park), Funky Jewbalation
Bronze: 42 North (Buffalo), Borderland IPA

Sour Beer
Gold: Catskill Brewing (Livingston Manor), Eye Of Newt Flanders Red
Silver: Brown's Brewing (Troy), Raspberry Sour
Bronze: Keuka (Hammondsport), Ghost Of Rita Gose

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170428

Pittsfield craft brewer hospitalized with severe burns

Christopher Post
From The Berkshire Eagle
PITTSFIELD, MA -- For the second Saturday, a familiar face will be missing this weekend at Wandering Star Craft Brewery. ... Christopher Post, the 15-barrel brewery's founder and guiding light, lies in a Boston hospital recovering from a harrowing injury.

Post, 49, suffered second- and third-degree burns on both ankles on Easter while cleaning equipment at the 11 Gifford Street brewery.

This past week, Post underwent two surgeries in Massachusetts General Hospital's burn unit, after infection set in. Now, as he waits for skin grafts to take, Post offered this advice to craft brewers: "Go around and make sure all your clamps are tight. And next time, get out of the way faster."
Go here for the full story.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170425

New Brews News: Pale Sour from Ommegang

Brewery Ommegang this month will release a new year-round beer called Pale Sour. It is a 6.9% ABV mixed fermentation sour beer developed by Ommegang's brewmaster Phil Leinhart and the master blenders at its sister brewery, Liefmans, in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Pale Sour begins with a mixed culture fermentation in open copper vats then is aged over several months in stainless tanks. Blenders mix new batches with older ones until the flavor balance they're looking for is achieved.

The beer is available in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and on draft at the brewery beginning this Saturday, April 29. It also will be available from some Ommegang retailers.

Brewery Ommegang is located at 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown. Phone: (607) 544-1800.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Another brewery/brewpub on the drawing boards in Troy

Site of proposed brewery/brewpub at Congress St. and Pawling Ave. (Photo by Google Earth)
Troy may be getting yet another craft brewery operation.

A partnership seeking to convert a former church into a brewery and brewpub  has submitted a request to the City Zoning Board for a use variance/special use permit to allow for "a parking deficiency related to the creation a brewery/brewpub with an approximate occupancy load of 200 people."

Then site is 560 Congress Street, near the intersection with Route 66 (Pawling Avenue). The applicant is Louis Emory, a Troy resident, and the project is identified as Collar City Brewing.

The building, which backs up on the Poestenkill Falls on a hill above downtown, had been home to the Mt. Ida Community Baptist Church that recently closed. It is adjacent to the pocket park known as the Col. Albert Pawling Memorial Park where a statue of the city's first mayor was installed last April.

The Zoning Board is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 2, in the City Hall chambers in the Hedley Building.

Currently, the city is home to a lineup of craft breweries and/or tap rooms and beer gardens that includes Brown's Brewing Co., Rare Form Brewing Co., the recently-opened Beer Diviner, a recently-reported brewpub project in a former North Central warehouse at 669 River Street, Wolff's Biergarten downtown near the Green Island Bridge, The Hill at Muza European-style beer garden off Congress Street, and a variety of pubs offering a long list of brews including the 32-tap array at Finnbar's Pub.

Go here for a list of the craft breweries operating in the Greater Capital Region.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

A proposal for a true 'Upper Hudson Valley Beverage Trail'

A rough outline of a proposed beverage trail
When do efforts to capitalize on local pride and promotion fall short of what could be achieved by broadening one's scope? We may find out if two state lawmakers from the Greater Capital Region are successful in getting state help to promote craft beverage production in a small slice of the area.

The Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce is working with State Sen. Elizabeth Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) on just such an initiative. They would like to designate a regional craft beverage and winemaking trail for Warren and Washington counties under a state Department of Transportation (DOT) program. What it would entail is placing signs along state roadways directing motorists to craft breweries, wineries and distilleries, as well as including such a trail in the state's advertising and marketing of the craft beverage industry.

The effort is being buoyed by Travelocity and The American Distilling Institute recently putting the Glens Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area in its new index of top 10 small U.S. metro areas for craft spirits tourism.

All of which looks fine at first glance. But, at second glance the plan could be considered myopic.

The area already is covered by the Upper Hudson Valley Wine Trail, a collection of  more than a dozen wineries and tasting rooms plus affiliate businesses in Warren, Washington, Saratoga and Rensselaer counties. That existing cooperative venture could become so much more with the right vision and support.

New York State has long labored under the financially redundant and often conflicting burden of having too many school districts, stand-alone fire and police departments, hamlets-within-villages-within-towns, and on and on. Perpetuating such a failed organizational model by championing such cumbersome constructs in an alcoholic beverage industry that is undergoing a boom in all categories seems quite unwise.

Consider, around the state we already have beverage trails that bump up against each other, sometimes creating some confusion when promoting cooperative events. Do we need more of that? I suggest the lawmakers might expand the scope of their current intent. Rather than simply adding another entity to the mix, they could seek DOT and state marketing assistance to go beyond the small area now being targeted and helping the Upper Hudson Wine Trail become the Upper Hudson Beverage Trail and attracting as many wineries, breweries, distillers and cideries as  possible in the true "Upper Hudson" area.

The idea is not far-fetched. Whereas New York once had just a handful of wine trails, today it has 21 -- 15 that are wineries-only, 6 that include brewers and distillers under the "beverage trail" rubrick.

Most beverage trails have partnerships with a variety of hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, tour vehicle companies, and craft food artisans that offer enticements to tourists. Imagine the promotional clout available to a well-formed beverage trail that stretches a manageable 60-plus miles from Albany and Rensselaer counties to the south to Lake George to the north.

So, Senator Little and Assemblywoman Woerner, care to discuss?

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170422

Common Roots' new tanks triple size of its current ones

New tanks at Common Roots (photo provided)
How big are beer tanks these days? Well, in the case of Common Roots Brewing Co. in South Glens Falls, just compare the size of their new 60-barrel stainless steel tanks with the size of the truck delivering them in the photo above.

The tanks arrived Thursday from Fronhofer Design LLC of nearby Cossayuna, Washington County. They are three times the size of Common Roots' current cellar tanks. They were paid for by part of a $100,000 grant to the family-owned brewery as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council awards.

The brewery was founded by the father-son team of Bert and Christian Weber in 2013 and makes Belgian-inspired brews. It is located at 58 Saratoga Avenue. Phone: (518) 409-8248.

• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170420

City Beer Hall cooking dinner at Common Roots Brewing

Beer-and-food pairing dinners usually are held at restaurants. Here's one going in the other direction.

Common Roots Brewing in South Glens Falls will be hosting such an event, called "An Evening of Wild beers," cooked by visiting staff from Albany's City Beer Hall.

The five-course dinner, set for 6 p.m. next Tuesday, will feature food paired with Common Roots’ special sour and barrel-aged beers, some exclusive to the event. Reservations, priced at $60 including tax and tip, must be purchased in advance online.

Common Roots is located at 58 Saratoga Avenue. Phone: (518) 409-8248.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170417

Cornell planning craft beer roundtable seminar

Cornell University will host a two-day CHR Craft Beer Roundtable seminar for people involved, or who want to be involved, in the craft beer industry.

The event, scheduled for Sunday, April 30, and Monday, May 1, will include speakers and specialty panelists from Cornell's School of Hotel Management and its SC Johnson College of Business as well as other colleges, representatives of several leading craft brewing companies, the Brewers Association and the New York State Brewers Association.

Discussion topics include:
• Deepening the Customer Connection: Sharing Your "Authentic" Story
• Beer Ratings, What Does That Mean?
• What Shall We Call Our Beer?
• The Old College Try: How Can the Collegiate World and the Beer Industry Benefit From One Another?
The full agenda and list of participating speakers is available online, as is registration information.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170413

Brewers Association takes aim at classless beer names

From Food & Wine
No more Batshit ale.

Drinking a couple brews is known to lower people’s inhibitions, but when it comes to naming beers, the Brewers Association (BA) wants its members to keep their wits about them. This week, the trade group for small and independent brewers announced it no longer would allow beers with offensive or sexist names to be marketed using the association’s intellectual property.

Importantly, the Brewers Association runs two of the world’s most prestigious beer competitions, the Great American Beer Festival and the World Beer Cup.

The BA’s new policy effectively prevents offensively named beers from displaying any medals won at these competitions in their marketing materials. Additionally, though the BA says these beers can still be entered in its competitions, if one happened to win, the victory will not be publically acknowledged. “If a brewery with an offensive name or label were to win an award, we would not read that name from the stage,” said Bob Pease, BA president and CEO.
Go here for the full story.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170410

Beer Diviner tops the field in IPA tasting event

The Beer Diviner, a Rensselaer County nanobrewery, won a taste-off among 10 India Pale Ales brewed in the Capital Region that was part of the 6th annual Hudson Valley Hops Festival.

The Saturday event, held at the Albany Institute of History & Art, was judged by a trio of  Albany professionals -- Dimitrios Menagias of The City Beer Hall, Tess Colins of McGeary's, and Kevin Tighe of the in-development Bistro Americain. They gave owner/brewmaster Jonathan Post's IPA 80 of a possible 90 points.

Finishing in second and third places, respectively, were Chatham Brewing (74) and Adirondack Brewery (71).

Other IPAs were entered by S&S, Brown's, Shmaltz, C.H. Evans/Albany Pump Station, Clemson Bros., Green Wolf, and Rip Van Winkle.

The Beer Diviner has a taproom and market at 461 Broadway in Troy (518-729-0200) and a brewery and taproom at 243 Bly Hollow Road in Petersburgh (518) 210-6196.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170408

Raindancer renovation embraces demand for tap craft beers

Raindancer expands bar seating. (photo provided)
From the Amsterdam Recorder
AMSTERDAM -- With 37 different beers on draft, it doesn’t matter if someone prefers dark and roasted over fruity and sour flavors when stopping for a drink at he Raindancer. They can even check the BeerMenus app before headed in to see every style available on the menu that night.

Walter Porath, operations manager, said... “We were dabbling before and now we are full fledged in" the craft beer scene. “It’s definitely worked, we’ve had tremendous feedback from the customers. They love it just as much as we do.”

Porath said renovation ... nearly doubled the size of the bar [adding] 23 seats to the bar area. He said the customer size in the bar has increased. “It was seats that we would only fill when it was a banquet and when it was a banquet large enough to fill that room,” Porath said. “We had that opportunity to fill that seat every day or several times a week.”
Go here for the full story on changes at the 37-year-old restaurant.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170406

New World, Rare Form teaming up for pairing dinner

Chef Ric Orlando prides himself on using as many local ingredients as possible in his meals at New World Bistro Bar in Albany. So, why not go local for the accompanying beverages?

He will host a multi-course dinner featuring beer from Rare Form Brewing of Troy at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 17. Reservations, which are required and may be made by calling New World, are $65 pr person.

New World Bistro Bar is located at 300 Delaware Avenue. Phone: (518) 694-0520.

The menu:


• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

20170405

Davidson Brothers successor supports 'Wild Whisker' contest

The initial event for the new Lake George Beer Hub picks up on one its predecessor, the Davidson Brothers Brewery, had championed.

On April 8, the company will host the 3rd annual "Wild Whiskers Beard Contest," a fundraiser for the Chapman Historical Society in Glens Falls. Given the current beard mania, plenty of entries are expected.

The public event will have a live radio broadcast via WEQX, barbers and tattoo artists on site, a food truck, and plenty of beards. The $5 door fee will be donated to the Chapman and cover the first beer. Contestants for the contest may register in advance or at the door for a $20 fee.  Full contest details are available online.

The Lake George Beer Hub is located at 1043 State Route 9 in Queensbury. Phone: (518) 223-0372.
• Go here for Notes On Napkins
• Go here for Dowd On Drinks
• Go here for Dowd's New York Wines Notebook