Jamesport Farm Brewery, Riverhead, NY

I stopped at Jamesport Farm Brewery in Riverhead, New York.  The bartender helped me through local favorites in a flight.  Although all were delicious, the most noteworthy to me was Wicked Little Sister, double IPA.  I almost got a t-shirt for my wife’s sister.  Great taste on the beer hoppy and strong.  Only had time for a brief stop on my long drive from Orient Point to LaGuardia.  But at least I had some tasty beer right along the way and how could I not stop – the brewery was right on the road.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company, Greenport, New York

I stopped in at Greenport Harbor Brewing Company in their Peconic location.  I got there pretty late but in enough time to get in an order of fish tacos (wish I had made it two orders because they were delicious!).  And I enjoyed them with Maibock and Kettle Cookies.  I really enjoyed the beers and wish I had time for more but barely got these in before last call.  Maibock was strong.  Kettle Cookies was a perfect dessert for the evening.

Blue Point Brewing Company, Patchogue, NY

I stopped in at Blue Point Brewing Company in Patchogue, New York.  The stop was a great relief from a drive from LaGuardia Airport to Greenport.  Traffic was heavy and the stop was a blessing.  I wish I had more time to relax at Blue Point than I did.  I had to reach Greenport in time to check in to a boutique hotel whose front desk was closing early.  There was so much to enjoy, including live music, great food, and awesome beer.

The trouble with not writing this sooner is I forget details.  Of the six beers I tried, the Coconator was clearly my favorite.  Their oysters and warm kale salad were also delicious.  Each of the beers was delightful along with their great kitchen fresh food.  Coconator was a yummy sweet malty coconutty delight.

I greatly enjoyed a sign they had on the wall.  “In heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here” is a line from a polka song I’ve heard my father-in-law play many times and I’ve never seen it in print at a brewery before.  I love it.  Not sure of the theology behind it but it’s fun.

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I bought a few stickers and a t-shirt on my way out.  My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to sit back, relax and enjoy.

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Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn, NY

I stopped at Brooklyn Brewery in, you guessed it, Brooklyn, New York. Getting here from lower Manhattan was actually easier and quicker than I thought. I only had brief walks on each end, and short subway rides on green and gray lines. The trip only cost a few bucks. And I was here in roughly 45 minutes.

Unsure what direction to go, and always up for trying various beers, I chose the OG Flight. Not paying attention, I started with beer 3, Defender IPA. So, this is crisp and refreshing. It’s not especially hoppy, at least not in my opinion. So, if you’re looking for an understated IPA this may be for you. Now I’m paying attention and I’m back to beer 1, Brooklyn Lager. This is a fresh lager. It’s crisp and clean. It’s not an amber in my opinion. When I think amber I think maltier than this. It’s amber in color but more bitter than most ambers I’ve enjoyed. Beer 2, Brown Ale is smooth and caramelly and sweet with slight bitterness. I think this may be my personal favorite so far. And I’m also enjoying beer 4, Bel Air Sour. It’s dry and refreshing. Yes, its sour but sours are all the rage these days. Every brewery has one and this is pretty good.

The brewery and tap room and operations are in a pretty cool industrial space in Brooklyn. I’m not especially well versed in Brooklyn history. The neighborhood now seems full of restaurants and residential spaces. The tap room is spacious but I bet it gets full on busy nights and weekends. I’m here midweek.

I had to try Come All You Weary, English Dark Mild style. I read about this style in my Cicerone British and Irish Beer Styles course. This is a tasty beer and also low alcohol. Only 3.4%. This beer is smooth, has a biscuity flavor and slightly both caramelly and chocolatey taste. I could drink this all evening long. Not many domestic breweries make this style. Tally Ho to Brooklyn Brewery!

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Irish Stout. I went with my son, a newly minted 21 year old, to the Guinness Brewery in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Many would say theirs is the gold standard Irish Stouts. I’d put Brooklyn Brewery Black Light Irish Stout right up there with Guinness. And at only 2.2% ABV I could enjoy this all day every day.

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If I had more time and if I’d planned in advance I would have registered for a tour. I’ve toured many breweries from Sierra Nevada to Stone to Allagash to Boulevard. Missed this one. Maybe on the next trip to New York if I get my act together. I heard the tour leader starting in with the 5pm group and it sounded informative, fun and engaging.

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Full disclosure. I came to the brewery yesterday and hadn’t checked social media or the website and wouldn’t ya know they were closed for a private event. Personally, it gave me some good exercise because I took the opportunity to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Note to self, check brewery websites and social media before stopping in.

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K is for Kriek and KO is for Knockout which is what this will do to you if not careful. Clocking in at 10.1% this is pretty heavy duty. But a beer aged in bourbon barrels I can’t resist. This is strong, boozy, cherry taste from the cherries it’s aged with; delicious. A veritable substitute for dessert or for an after dinner drink.

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I also had to stop at the swag store before leaving. No beer glasses. The kitchen cabinets are full of them already. No t-shirts, the closet is full of them already. Socks, why yes! We can sneak in a pair of socks. Stickers, yes, need one for the sticker collection at home and one for the sticker collection at work. Also bought a single bottle of Brooklyn Brown Ale which I’m enjoying right now as I edit. And, I’ll place the bottle cap onto the US map beer bottle cap frame I’ve got; one closer to filling it.

Flying Bison Brewing Company, Buffalo, NY

I stopped in at Flying Bison Brewing Company in Buffalo, New York.  The bartender recommended Bisonfest, which is their version of Oktoberfest, and I found too be delicious.  It is malty with complexity and familiarity  with several types of malts.  And the hops are just enough to balance out the malts and keep it from being sweet.   I also tried Rusty Chain which  is also delicious.  Again , a complex malt bill with enough hops to keep it from being sweet.  Great beers!

Pearl Street Grill and Brewery, Buffalo, NY

I stopped in at Pearl Street Grill and Brewery after a long walk in Buffalo New York and wasn’t sure what to try.  The bartender gave me a few samples and I landed on the Lighthouse Golden Ale.  LIGHT BEER?  YES!  LIGHT BEER!  And FABULOUS LIGHT BEER at that.  I could drink this all day and I never drink light beer.  And I’m sure my waistline thanks me for this too.  I enjoyed every drop while watching the Buffalo Sabres win last night.  Great beer and great spot to enjoy a beer.

12 Gates Brewing Company, Williamsville, NY

I stopped in 12 Gates Brewing Company in Williamsville, New York to try their beers.  After consulting with the bartender I learned that their West Coast IPA is their flagship.  Despite being somewhat bored with IPAs I gave it a try.  I’m glad I did.  It was really good.  And, if I were going to have an IPA this is one I’d want to have.  Thoroughly enjoyable.  Wonderfully hoppy but not overboard.  And, not resiny like some IPAs.  Delicious!

Buffalo Brewpub, Williamsville, NY

I stopped in at the Buffalo Brewpub in Williamsville, New York for lunch.  Their Buffalo Chicken Salad was the best I’ve ever had.  Surprise, Surprise.  Buffalo Chicken in Buffalo.  And I can see why their Amber Ale is their flagship.  Its delicious. Many Amber Ales can tend to be blah.  This has flavor.  It is malty and a little hoppy.  Perfect balance.  Just a bit of additional spice flavor to give it some backbone.  I loved it.