Well hello there. Man oh man is it tough to sit at a computer when the weather is nice and the agenda is full. Plus, the toddler is on the brink of running so ummmm yeah I’ve been chasing him around during most waking hours.
A couple of weeks ago when I was home in New York, I was given the opportunity to visit a few local breweries. Not only did I visit them, but I received a private tour AND tastings at each! Not too shabby of a way to spend my 30th birthday if you ask me.
First off, I have to thank Christian at Common Roots Brewing for setting this up for me. He and I had a really nice chat about his brewery (and exciting things to come for them!). I am in LOVE with their Burly Monk BPA and I revisited the brewery just before leaving to test out their weekly cask of farmhouse ale & pineapple. It was SO good.
In addition to sipping on brews at their facility, I was also sent home with a few crowlers and a bottle of their coffee cup stout. I could have enjoyed it at my parent’s house, but I opted to bring it back to Calgary with me so that Tyler could experience some Upstate NY brews as well.
To sum these up: Burly Monk is amazing, Last Light and Modern America are a bit too hoppy for our liking and made us feel super tipsy (haha), and Coffee Cup is seriously just like a cup of coffee. Except with 9% alcohol.
Back to my little birthday tour….
The first place I headed to was Rare Form Brewing Company in Troy, NY. I met with Kevin the owner and head brewer, and he gave me a quick run down on their equipment and establishment. It’s a nice small spot with a cute (is it ok to say ‘cute’ about a manly brewery? Whatever, I just did it) bar. I love that you could go in and have a pint and actually see where your pint was made.
After a bit of small talk, poured me some tasters. I was honestly only expecting maybe 2-3 to try, but was surprised with EIGHT!
As I sipped each one, Kevin would tell me the ingredients they used, how it was brewed and any other interesting tidbit about it. I really enjoyed learning about their creative process (plus the artwork they have on the walls and on their labels is pretty awesome!), but my favorite of the day was the coconut cream ale. It was a perfect balance of a nice, easy drinking cream ale with the beautiful nutty coconut finish that wasn’t overpowering, but would make you want to sip for more. PERFECT. I would have taken some of this home but no cans were left! Kevin, if you’re reading this- please send me some! wink wink
Kevin generously sent me home with a bottle of their limited edition Red White and Raw (which tasted hoppy but grapefruity to me..in a good way) and I was off to my next stop.
Overall: I HIGHLY recommend checking this place out if you’re ever in the area. OR- if you see any of their brews on tap, give it a try! All of them are full of flavor and I really enjoyed.
The trip to my next stop was super quick since it was in the same town. I stopped at Brown’s Brewing Co. where I met with Lee Maccrea, one of the brewers. He took me downstairs to their brewery (they have another brewing location, but I was told the one in Troy had a little more creative room for sours and seasonal).
It was a huge contrast from where I had just been at Rare Form- where they had newer equipment and a remodelled facility- to an older building with a ton of history and a HOT brick basement.
We mostly chatted about their new sour program since it’s becoming quite the popular style of beer lately. They were open-barrel aging which is a bit of a different process and always neat to see. Of course, this made me want to try the few sours they had on tap once I went back upstairs…
If I have to completely honest, I didn’t care for their sours. BUT, I was a fan of some of the other beer they offered on tap! I was most interested to see the different styles each brewery had to offer and to learn about their story. (Beer is best with a story, right???)
Overall: I didn’t LOVE the sours, but this would be a great place to grab a meal- I’ve heard the food is great- and maybe a tasting flight since they offer so much! Plus, they patio is right on the river..
My last stop of the trip was to Schmaltz Brewing Company in Clifton Park, NY. Compared to the other two, they operated on a considerably larger scale- while still being considered a small craft brewery. Again- so interesting to see how all these places operate!
I met with Richie, the lead brewer (so weird, we went to high school together!) and we mostly chatted about Schmaltz’s production, distribution and some seasonal/limited edition brews they offer. They too are getting into a barrel aging program and I was able to see where they stored all of that in their warehouse.
I tried their Pale Ale and a couple of IPAs before leaving with a couple to take home. One of the bottles I did bring back with me was their Funky Jewbelation barrel aged sour. It was a gold medal winner at the World Beer Championship so I knew I’d love it. And when Tyler and I did finally open it this past weekend, it did not disappoint.
It has a sour front note with a smooth yet strong barrel aftertaste. To anyone that’s never had a barrel aged sour before, that might sound less than appealing but trust me it is a fantastic flavor combination!
Overall: I really liked the creativity in their beers. Plus, the tasting room is a place where you could hang out for a while. There are even trivia nights! I highly recommend if you’re looking to step outside of the box from your standard run-of-the-mill beer varieties.
Ok, SO congratulations if you’re still reading this because I have something pretty cool to share——>
I am giving away TWO SipCaddys!!!!
SipCaddy™ is the only portable cup holder in the world that also holds wine glasses! Attach it to nearly any smooth surface to conveniently hold beer cans, bottles, cups, and many other household items. A favorite in the bath and shower!
SipCaddy™ is made of strong, durable, recyclable ABS plastic, cleans easily and is dishwasher safe.
SipCaddy™ includes the highest quality suction cup available, American made, and rated at 7 lbs strength when applied correctly to most glossy, nonporous surfaces, including plastic, ceramic, metal, glass and mirror.
I mean, umm HELLO how’s this for one of the best inventions ever? I have taken plenty of beer showers in my day *cough cough COLLEGE* but now showers and baths (not so many of those while it’s hot out!) are so much more fun with a SipCaddy! It can hold just about anything and can stick to any smooth surface which makes for perfect placement on a shower door or right in the tub.
Thank goodness I have a clean bathroom. Otherwise this photo? Wouldn’t happen.
PS: I should probably get back into wine soon. I feel like I’ve been neglecting it.
Want to win one of these nifty gadgets? Here’s how to enter:
- Visit the SipCaddy website and comment below which color you’d want and what drink you’d use it for first.
- Extra entry if you follow both SipCaddy and nutcaseinpoint on Instagram and leave a SEPARATE comment saying you did so!
Giveaway is open until midnight MST on Thursday, July 28th. Good luck!!!