Despite its German heritage, Saranac (Matt Brewing Co. in Utica) is turning a little Irish this spring.
In addition to its regular seasonal Irish Red Ale, Saranac is also bringing out its more occasional release of the standalone Irish Stout.
The stout is 5.5%, with 2-row barley and Goldings and Northdown hops. It has a creamy, medium body and a coffee-like flavor profile. (Saranac brews the stout for use in its bottled Black and Tan, but only rarely releases it solo). The Irish Red Ale is 4.5%, with a deep garnet color and Vanguard hops. It has caramel and toffee flavor notes.
Saranac’s spring “What Ales You” 12-pack, meanwhile, includes two each of the Irish Stout and Irish Red Ale, plus a new Saranac Amber and Saranac Brown, plus regulars Saranac Pale Ale and Saranac IPA.
From Rochester, the Dundee Brewing Co. (Genesee) made a big push across upstate (and elsewhere) with its winter seasonal release, Dundee Festive Ale. It’s a hearty and full bodied winter ale at 6.2%, mildly spiced with a combo of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and orange peel.
Ithaca Beer Co. celebrates its 12th anniversary throughout 2010 with a “Monastery Style Quadrupel” released in its Excelsior! series. The beer, called “Twelve,” is made with French malts and German hops and a Trappist yeast strain.
Brewer notes from brewmaster Jeff O’Neil say Twelve has a “burnished chestnut color, remarkable balance of fruity and spicy aromas, rich but dry flavor, and long, contemplative finish.” Ithaca’s spring seasonal (Feb. to May) is Pils, at 5%. It’s a clear, crisp golden pilsner in the German tradition, with Pilsen and Munich malts, Polish and German Hops, and an authentic lager yeast.
In the Adirondacks, the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery is catching up after a busy holiday season, reports head brewer Kevin Litchfield. In February, they’re putting on three different nitro stouts — Dr. Fogg’s Stout, Fresh Powder Milk Stout, and Sunrise Stout. All three will be also be available for Black and Tans.
Meanwhile, Twice Bitten Barleywine conditioned for three months and hit the taps at 8.5%.
March brings a lineup of Belgian beers, including a Saison and a Wit.
In Syracuse, Landmark Beer Co.’s American-style Imperial Stout, at 10%, was due out in late January. “It has lots of hop flavor and aroma,” Landmark’s Kiernan May reports. Landmark’s India Red Ale returns in bottle and draft for spring.
While business was slow in early fall, May said, it started to pick up so far in the new year.
At Syracuse’s Middle Ages Brewing Co., which specializes in British-style ales, they observe the day after Christmas each year with the release of a special, draft-only beer named for the British tradition of Boxing Day.
Although Middle Ages owner Marc Rubenstein tweaks the beer a bit each year, his Boxing Day Bitter is essentially what the British might call a “best” bitter — an amber-colored, balanced ale that is just slightly above average strength. In this case, it’s 6.3%, and bittered primarily with East Kent Goldings hops from England, with a little American Cascade hops thrown in.
Rubenstein makes just one batch — about 32 kegs — and almost all of it will be sold in growlers straight from the brewery shop with some sent to Mahar’s pub in Albany. Middle Ages has another limited-release, draft-only seasonal called Winter Wheat Ale. This a dark, malty wheat beer, at 6%, with just a hint of coriander and orange peel.
In Lakewood, near Jamestown, the Southern Tier Brewing Co. is nearing the completion of an expansion that will double current capacity. It features an expanded cellar, cold inventory storage, an expanded public area (featuring 14 draft lines and large Belgian bottle selection) and a patio.
Newly released Southern Tier beers include Gemini, a blend of Unearthly Imperial IPA, and an unfiltered version of Hoppe Imperial Extra Pale. It’s packaged in 22 oz bottles and draft.
Back Burner Barleywine is dark, strong, and hoppy. And look for Chokolat (part of Southern Tier’s Blackwater Imperial Stout series), also in 22 ouncers and draft.