The allure of a fine beer and some perfectly prepared chicken wings will make people do things they ordinarily would avoid. Case in point...three grown men in the back seat of a Toyota Prius. Our destination you ask? Well, The Ruck - 3rd St., Troy NY. Need I say more. When it comes to The beer and The wings The Ruck is a sure thing and well worth a few moments of discomfort.
We departed Counsel's house, crammed yet undeterred, with the tasty prospect of a cask of SN Celebration awaiting us. El Presidente briefly mentioned acquiring a firkin for the club. An idea that would prove a premonition later on. We arrived at The Ruck and our door front parking spot was waiting. Just the first of an afternoon full of serendipitous happenings.
Upon entering the establishment the crowd was sparse but the beer selection was not. Turned out the rumor of the Celebration cask was true but had just been kicked. No worries, perfectly suitable alternatives were aplenty. El Presidente, El Treasuredente, and Counsel opted for a pitcher of Capt. Lawrence Liquid Gold. The missus went with a pony of Saison Dupont and I sided with Firestone's Double Jack. My selection was not misguided. Very fresh, bright, and powerful at 9.5 ABV the Double Jack furthered my admiration for the Firestone lineup. The Liquid Gold pitcher ended up being the barrel's last. Once again, though, not a problem. The trio simply selected another from the impressive list. In this case an IPA from 21st Amendment. All in all the beer we sampled was stellar. We capped the excursion off with a pitcher of the aforementioned Double Jack; a choice that made the "cozy" ride home hardly noticeable. I would be remiss if I didn't elaborate a bit on the wings. The Ruck doesn't know how to make a bad wing. A fact the has been thoroughly vetted by the members of MAS. But all in attendance agreed that they were extra special on Friday. Delicious.
Gladly, before we departed owner Dave Gardell came in. Dave's enthusiasm for beer and the business of selling beer is obvious and infectious. He's into many exciting new things and is eager to spread the good word to those eager to hear it. The conversation quickly turned to cask beer and before we knew it, MAS, with the help of Mr. Gardell, had its own firkin on order. Officially known as a pin its a five gallon plastic cask that the club can send out to be filled by any brewery willing to do so. Dave is certainly a man that makes things happen. Before we left he regaled us with the many promotions he's working on. Including a home brew competition slated for the summer and a home brew school of sorts held above The Ruck appropriately dubbed Ruck U. He also mentioned a future cask from Old Burnside's Brewery called Dirty Penny. It takes the brewery's Ten Penny brew and runs it through a cask with both espresso and vanilla beans...intriguing.
We left Dave with a promise to see him again soon and, perhaps, a commitment from him to attend an upcoming MAS meeting. The Ruck does what it does well...and it's well worth cramming into the car for.