Greetings, thirsty readers!

To recap: this column is about interesting and flavorful beer and related fun which is an intentionally broad topic—limitless, one might say.  Let’s continue the journey.

Happy Brew Year! (Sorry. I had to do it). I hope the holidays treated you well and you found time to explore some new beer styles.

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Field Trip

Who’s up for a field trip? I can certainly recommend visiting Captain Lawrence Brewery (444 Saw Mill River Road, Elmsford, captainlawrencebrewing.com) as an excellent destination for an afternoon or evening. It’s a nondescript warehouse from the front, but don’t let that fool you. Once inside, you’ll find a warm welcoming beer hall with 12 rotating taps—some of which you can only get at the brewery—lots of seating, and a very good creative food menu to satisfy appetites while imbibing. They have indoor cornhole courts, sometimes live music, and are also kid-friendly. During warmer months, that fun is doubled with a large outdoor area including an outdoor bar, picnic tables, and games. It’s an especially great daytime hang on Saturdays. Take the brewery tour to see how this precious liquid ends up in your bottle or on tap to possibly become curious how you can craft your own—more on that in next column. Check out the Captain!

Recommendations

In the last column, we discussed winter beer styles that are usually malty (sweeter, but not overly so), fuller flavored, often with various spices added at the brewer’s discretion, and served in a snifter style beer glass to warm it slightly and bring out the full spectrum of flavors. I’ve worked tirelessly since then researching other winter beer brands in that cozy, slow-sipping category:

Samuel Adams: Winter Lager (5.6% ABV). At a reasonable ABV (alcohol by volume), I’d recommend this as a good “starter winter beer.” It has all the malt and spice characteristics mentioned above and is a good way to see if you like the style enough to venture onto other versions such as the ones below.

Platform Beer Company: Holiday Donut Cookie (7% ABV). This literally tastes just as the name implies—in a good way. I’d suggest you bakers out there give this one a try.

Barrier Brewing Company: Half & Half Imperial Milk Stout (8.8% ABV). Rich, creamy, slightly sweet with chocolate and caramel flavors. Note: Imperial means strong!

Central Waters Brewing Company: Satin Solitude Imperial Stout (8.5% ABV). A uniquely named beer with smooth, creamy, coffee flavor. Excellent!

Huyghe Brewery: Delirium Noel/Christmas (10% ABV). Super classic winter ale. Packs a punch but in a lovely subtle sweet and smooth way.

Gather a few of these up as mandatory provisions for stuck-in-the-house snowstorms that we are likely to encounter this winter. All these can be found and Brew & Co. on Route 117 in Bedford Hills.

Some other styles

The dizzying amount of beer styles and flavors can cause BTP (Beer Tap Paralysis) when it’s time to choose one, so here’s a rundown of a few more styles to arm you with more knowledge. I’ve highlighted these because they’re quite different than the aforementioned winter ales—Belgium, Farmhouse, and Saison

All these related ale styles are often lighter in color, typically quite effervescent (almost like champagne), low bitterness and sometimes give off hints of fruit and spice. Many good choices here:

Belgium—Try New York’s own Ommegang brewery and their extensive line up of Belgium-style brews. Their Three Philosophers (9.7%) with perfectly balanced cherry flavor will have you philosophizing the whole day through. Check out their Rare Vos (6.5%) amber/red ale with hints of coriander, orange peel, and other mellow spices.

Saison—Try both of these fruity-spicy saisons: Stillwater Artisanal Stateside Saison (6.8%) and Goose Island’s Sofie (6.5%). Fun fact: many yeasts used in saisons give off a “bubblegum” nose.  Give one a sniff and harken back to the Bubblicious Gum days of (some of) our youth. 

Farmhouse—I can very heartily recommend Boulevard Brewing Co. Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale (8.5%), fruity aroma with a light smooth taste.

Restaurant / Bar

The Whitlock Restaurant (17 Katonah Ave., Katonah has an inviting bar scene and their three taps typically include something from Peekskill Brewery, which was one of the original breweries in our area and makes great suds. Currently, they have Peekskill Eastern Standard IPA (6.8%), Long Island’s Bluepoint Winter Ale (7.7%), and our own local Captain Lawrence Kolsch (5%). They also a nice selection of bottled beer with unique beers highlighted on the chalkboard. Pair all of that with fantastic food and friendly staff and it’s a terrific all-around experience.

That’s all for this episode. Please continue to explore!

Cheers!

Feel free to contact at TheKatonahBeerMan@gmail.com.