Thursday, June 23, 2011

Quick Look Graney's Stout

Graney's Stout is across the street form Wolfs Bier Garden on Broadway.  Great old Albany building (old being relative in Albany since anything really old they raised years ago).  Any who.  The Translator and I stopped by for lunch on Monday.  This again was a quick look as I had to go back to work.  So I could only have one.  A Victory Donnybrook Stout poured on nitro. At 3.7% it’s a good beer for the lunch goer.  Very nice to see someplace pouring w/ nitro on something other than Guinness.  They are taking the Stout name thing a little far.  Most of the drafts are stouts. With a few Irish reds which need trying.  They have one guest  IPA.  Which had run out.  Hummmm.  The place is in very big and clean and the staff warm.  Lunch was good but boring.  What no Graney's Stout famous Shepard's pie?  Graney's needs a closer look.

Hop Crops: Madison County and other New York state hops are in demand for specialty beer industry

Published: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 12:49 PM     Updated: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 1:20 PM

2011_06_11_MS_HopsFarm2.JPGSteve Miller (Left), New York State's First Hop Specialist and Larry Fisher (right) a Foothill Farm hops farmer stand near a Chinook variety of hops plant at the Foothills Farm in Munnsville, NY. The crops from this farm get distributed to a variety of brewers, including Empire Brewing Company, located in Syracuse, NY.
Steve Miller wants to make hops, a key ingredient in beer, a cash crop in New York state once again.
And with the re-emergence of hops, he wants to make New York state beer as big a tourist attraction as New York state wine has become in the last 35 years.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County hired Miller as the state’s first hops specialist this year.
“My role is to work with the growers to get the information they need to produce a quality product and make money at it,” he said. “I don’t work with growers just in Madison County, I work with all of New York state.
“On the West Coast, you’re looking at 29,000 acres of hops. In New York, it’s 50 acres,” Miller added. “Less than 10 acres are in Madison County (once a nationally recognized hop center).”
The advent of refrigeration decimated the hop fields. Before refrigeration, there were hundreds of small local breweries because beer couldn’t be stored long or shipped far. By the 1950s, hops had disappeared from New York’s agriculture map.
Miller said with refrigeration and the opportunity for longer storage and wider distribution, “Bigger breweries got bigger and a lot of smaller ones disappeared. We’re going in the opposite direction now.”
Rick Pedersen re-introduced hops to the region on his Seneca Castle Farm in Ontario County in 1999, and Kate and Larry Fisher’s Foothills Farms in Munnsville followed with the first larger scale Madison County hop fields.
“There were hops in this area a long time ago, and I felt that because of all of the microbreweries in the area, there was potential for hops to be a cash crop again,” Miller said.
Hop fields are expanding gradually, side by side with the craft beer industry, which today sells 10 percent of the beer consumed in New York, he said. Craft brewers are eager to use the high-quality aromatic hops grown in New York fields, he said, but they have to be sure they can get a steady supply.
“I’m working with 100 people who have hops planted or will plant them this year or next year. At least half are not in the commercial bracket (more than 1,000 plants),” Miller said.
The rest are growing at least a half acre of the flowers, but even people who have only 100 to 200 plants “are selling to home brewers and microbrewers (who are) looking for a special product,” he said. “Microbreweries have expanded by 20 percent over the past 10 years. Some microbreweries are planting their own (hops).”
Growers get from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds of dried hops per acre, or enough to make between 5,000 and 7,500 31-gallon barrels of beer, Miller said.
“There are thousands of types of beer,” he said. “That’s part of the interest now. People are looking at beers having individual qualities and trying a lot of different varieties. We want to make New York a destination for people looking for the (beer) products.”
Farm winery legislation passed in 1976 allowed small vineyards to start selling under their own labels, creating a booming tourist industry. Legislation being considered at the state level could do the same thing for the beer industry, Miller said.
“We’re looking at setting up farm breweries across the state. That would require that a large portion of ingredients be grown in New York state,” he said.
That means hops.
By R. Patrick Corbett 
Contributing writer

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Look The Cask And Rasher

Put your boat in at the Coxsackie boat launch .  Have a lovely day of boating on the mighty Hudson.  And on your way out of town be sure to stop at the

16 good beers on draft and good food.  We could only stop for a short one.   They had a firkin on the bar with a little coat on it.  We will be back for a closer look.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Water Front Ale House, Brooklyn

So you are in Brooklyn and you want a craft beer with lunch.  Well its going to be the  As far as I can tell nothing else opens until 4:00

Let's start with The Water Front Ale House is not on the water.  But it is open for lunch and has a large image of Micheal Jackson on the wall. I found that comforting.  The lunch menu was short but interesting.  I had the venison burger with IPA sauteed  mushrooms and hand cut fries.  The Bride had the chicken nachos.  Both very good.  Burger was cooked to perfection.  Loose Canon IPA went well with the burger.  Wanted to have Avery's The Reverend.  Barley Wine seemed a bit much at lunch.  Man I'm getting old.  They had all the Brooklyn locals on tap.  Sixpoints, Kelso and Brooklyn EIPA.  I wasn't ready for a Brooklyn tasting by myself.  There is that old thing again.  So I had to settle on a "LAH-GOO-KNEE-TUSS" Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale.  Feel my pain.

Sierra coming East


  Stan Hieronymus at is reporting
The Blount Daily Times and other new sources in Tennessee are reporting extensively about the possibility that Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will build a brewery in the city of Alcoa.
Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson said Tuesday the brewing company is also looking at two other eastern U.S. sites in other states.
“Not just Alcoa, they’re looking at the entire region. Once they landed here, literally, they liked the community,” he said.
To enhance the city’s chances of landing the brewery, the state Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 10-0 to advance a bill establishing state guidelines for high-alcohol beer to a full floor vote. The measure would ease laws restricting the production of beer stronger than 5% by weight (6.25% by volume).
Sierra Nevada currently produces about 800,000 barrels a year and may reach capacity at its Chico, California, site within three years. Sierra Nevada Communications Coordinator Bill Manley said the company began considering a second brewery several years ago because of the environmental impact of shipping across the entire country.
“We started with a couple of hundred sites, and have narrowed it down to a handful,” Manley said.
The second brewery would brew many of the beers currently also made in California, but not necessarily all specialty beers. It would also be a hub for east coast distribution.
Representatives of Sierra Nevada recently toured potential sites in Alcoa. Manley said they were impressed by the closeness to the mountains, just like the California brewery, and an attention to environmental concerns as exemplified by the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) requirement for the Pellissippi Place business development park.
Alcoa City Manager Mark Johnson said the company wants its eastern facility to be a tourist destination, and the proximity of Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a natural fit. Other pluses include an abundant water supply and logistical issues such as interstate connections and McGhee Tyson Airport.
“Quality of life, conservation issues, being green. They’re a very environmentally conscious company,” Johnson said.

The Moan & Dove and the Dirty Truth

It was Dad’s 85th birthday and we decided to take a trip through Western Massachusetts with the
destination of Northampton in mind. We traveled along secondary roads, through small hamlets that
time had forgotten. The old architecture and great views were memorable. Finally, we came upon the
Connecticut River Valley and the hustle and bustle of our modern time returned.

We decided to take a small side trip to Amherst for a beer at the Moan and Dove. The Moan and Dove
is on the outskirts of town, in a small strip mall. It has twenty three taps. We arrived at about 3:30 PM
and the place was moderately busy. Dad had the Allagash White. I had to try the Two Headed Beast.

Next, we traveled to Northampton. Our destination was the
Dirty Truth for a beer and dinner. The Dirty Truth is in the
midst of downtown Northampton and we were there on a
Friday evening. Parking was a bit difficult and Dad, being 85,

is not much of a walker. For most people this would not have been a problem and the walk through
town is rather nice. Finding the Dirty Truth is also a bit difficult. Were it not for knowledge of the
street number, we would have walked right by it. The sign is rather small. You need to look in the
upper right corner of the building. We arrived at a good time for there was plenty of seating. I cannot
say the same for when we left. There were thirty two beers on tap. We tried the Avery IPA, Stone
Levitation, and Stone Smoked Porter. All were very good. The menu had some interesting items and
everyone inour group enjoyed their meal. Among our selections were the House Cured Lox Salad; Crawfish,
Chorizo, and Confit Gumbo; P.E.I. Mussels and Handcut Fries; Currywurst; and Pulled BBQ Duck
Breast Sliders.

A nice ride in the country followed by some great beer and food. What more can you ask for?

Moan and Dove:

The Dirty Truth:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Will DeCrescente ever Get It?

Table Hopping

Table Hopping

Eat, drink and be candid
By Steve Barnes | E-mail | About Table Hopping

DeCrescente expands beer website, hosting party at Jillian’s

DeCrescente Distributing, the Mechanicville-based firm that is the leading beer supplier in upstate New York, has turned one of its websites,, into what the company says is “the ultimate mobile phone and internet search engine, designed to meet the newest needs of today’s beer consumer.”
The site includes an events calendar, information on more than 200 beers — from Affligem, a Belgian blond ale, to Yuengling porter — and a “beer finder” feature that lists bars, restaurants and retail shops that stock each of the beers DeCrescente distributes. Should you have a hankering for McSorley’s Irish ale, for instance, GotBeer runs down eight places near Albany to get it (but, weirdly, not the new Stout, where I had McSorley’s on Monday).
To promote the site, DeCrescente is throwing a free party from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday (6/9) at Jillian’s, 59 North Pearl St., Albany. There will be beer specials ($2.50 bottles/$3 16-ounce cans of Coors Light and Miller Lite), live music, a chance to try out the site on iPads and roving DeCrescente reps handing out free tickets into the VIP room, where there will be food, beer and the chance to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.
DeCrescente annually distributes 8.9 million cases of beer and “new age beverages” (Snapple, Arizona teas, etc.) across 11 upstate counties

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ommegang Disappoints. The Blue Mingo does not.

Last Friday the Tower and I drove out to Ommegang for lunch and to review the new Ommegang restaurant we have been hearing so much about. Well the restaurant was closed. Besides us, at least 17 other people were turned away--something about a concert that night and the musicians needing the restaurant to get loaded before the show. Before you drive all the way to Cooperstown check the Ommegang website for the hours for the restaurant. Oh yeah, you will also have to call. (607) 286 4090. What is this 2009? The site says nothing about a restaurant. Maybe it was just wishful thinking on the part of Landman and Council. Maybe there isn’t any restaurant.

Well dam it. The Tower was faint with hunger and we were in Cooperstown. What to do?

The Blue Mingo. One mile before you get to Cooperstown on Rt. 28 is The Blue Mingo. Lovely old timey charm, great food and you can get Ommegang beers served to you while dining on the shores of Otsego Lake.

BPA served in a BPA glass. Fish tacos and Sriacha-lime-cilantro French fries. The Blue Mingo saves the day

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brown's is 33rd and some interest numbers from Steve Barnes

Table Hopping

Table Hopping

Eat, drink and be candid
By Steve Barnes | E-mail | About Table Hopping

Brown’s Brewing 33rd biggest brewpub in U.S.

Brown’s Brewing Co. in Troy in 2010 was the nation’s 33rd largest brewpub by volume of beer brewed, according to statistics on approximately 950 such businesses that are compiled by New Brewer magazine for its annual review. (The charts are not online.) How the locals ranked:
  • 33: Brown’s, Troy: 2,338 barrels (one barrel is 31 gallons).
  • 180: Davidson Brothers., Glens Falls: 1,100 barrels.
  • 241: Albany Pump Station, Albany: 960 barrels.
  • 391: Adirondack Pub & Brewery, Lake George: 704 barrels.
According to Brown’s:
The 2,338 barrel mark represented a 12% increase from the previous year which outpaced the brewpub segment’s growth of 6.9%. Overall, the craft brewing category enjoyed 11% growth in 2010 while the major domestic category, which includes Budweiser, Coors and Miller, was down 1.6%.
For the purposes of the survey, a brewpub is defined as a restaurant-brewery selling at least 25 percent of its beer on site and permitted sell beer to go and/or distribute to outside accounts.
Brown’s is located at 417 River St., Troy