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|News from Upstate New York April/May 2011|
|Written by Don Cazentre|
|Thursday, 28 April 2011 18:48|
Break out those silly red gnome hats: In Cooperstown, the latest seasonal from Brewery Ommegang is a collaboration with the Belgian brewery, Brasserie d’Achouffe.It’s a strong golden ale called Gnomegang, in honor of the mascot of the Belgian brewery. It’s been in the works since the summer of 2010, when representatives of Achouffe (brewers and/or gnomes) descended on Cooperstown to work up some pilot brews. They settled on a beer that uses Achouffe yeast in the primary fermentation and Ommegang yeast in the secondary. (Ommegang and Achouffe are siblings in the Duvel/Moortgat corporate family).
The limited edition Gnomegang will be available in 750 ml bottles and 1/6 kegs, starting in late March. The beer is 9.5%, highly carbonated, yielding a fluffy white head, with a distinctive clove-and-fruit nose and flavors of ripe fruit, caramel and malt. It’s brewed with pilsner, carapils and Special B malt, flaked oats, flaked red wheat, plus styrian golding hops, and a dose of candy sugar.
In the meantime, you’ll find a new place to drink and buy your Gnomegang, if you visit the brewery. Brewery Ommegang has a new visitors’ center and gift shop, along with a tasting room/cafe, that will allow visitors to sample the products of the brewery, and partake of a limited Belgian food menu as well. The cafe opened in early spring (official opening around March 30), according to brewery spokesman Larry Bennett, and features a 60-foot long bar.
The light cafe menu includes mussels and frites, waffles, crepes, charcuterie, bread and cheese plates, sandwiches, salads, soups, and desserts, including homemade beer ice-cream. The bar will serve all the Ommegang beers, plus 14 Belgian imports and counting. There are 10 tap lines and an extensive large format bottle service.
In Lake Placid, the Great Adirondack Brewing Co., on the village’s main street, has two early spring seasonals, according to head brewer Paul Fryman. One is an American Wheat (5%) with a healthy dose of American hops and the other is an ESB that will weigh in at about 5.5%, Fryman said.
At Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, on the end of Mirror Lake, April brings the return of Shot in the Dark IPA, which debuted in February to much success. It’s a 5.8% Dark IPA, with dark caramel malts and “a generous helping of Simcoe hops,” said brewer Kevin Litchfield.
Other April/May beers include KB’s Wee Heavy (6.7%); Oaked Ubu (7%), a version of the brewery flagship strong English ale conditioned on oak chips; and Choco Wit, a Belgian-American wheat beer, brewed with sweet orange peel and cocoa. It’s expected to come in at 5%.
Keep an eye out for Lake Placid Craft Brewing Co.’s warm-weather seasonal Honey Rye. It’s 5%, copper-colored brewed with golden honey and malted rye and hopped with Centennial and Vanguard.
Lake Placid Craft Brewing Co., meanwhile, is now distributing in Rhode Island.
On the shores of Lake Ontario, the Sackets Harbor Brewing Co. brewpub welcomes spring with the return of Feather Hammer Maibock (8.5%), brewed with German malt and hops, says brewer Andy Gersten. Also due out are new batches of Thousand Islands Pale Ale, St. Stephen’s Stout, 1812 Amber and 1812 Light (a kolsch), and Bartstool Bitters, a 4.4% American-style bitter.
Sackets Harbor is working on expansions to the kitchen, dining room and deck for the summer season.
Saranac (Matt Brewing Co. of Utica) announces its 12 Beers of Summer lineup for 2011: Saranac Pale Pale Ale; Saranac Summer Ale; Saranac Hefeweizen; Saranac Belgian White; Saranac Kolsch; Saranac IPA.
Syracuse’s Landmark Beer Co. is producing a draft Vienna Lager and a spring/summer American wheat with rye malt, and dry-hopped with Centennial. It’ll be draft and in 22 oz. bottles.
Ithaca Beer Co.’s spring seasonals include Ground Break, an American-style saison (6%), brewed with amarillo, crystal and glacier hops, plus some flaked rye. It’s fermented with a blend of Belgian and American yeasts.
In May look for Ithaca’s Partly Sunny, a spiced wheat ale, or wit. It’s 4.9%, and spiced with coriander, lemon peel and orange peel.
Now brewing out of Rochester: Three Heads Brewing Co. Partners Dan Nothnagle, Todd Dirrigl and Geoff Hale began, like many craft beer makers, as homebrewers. Also on their resume: They’ve been active in online beer communities like ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com for nearly a decade. 3HB is contracting with Custom Brewcrafters of Honeoye Falls (south of Rochester), to make its four beers, which began rolling out in January. The lineup includes: Blimey English-Style Pale Ale (6%); The Kind IPA (6.8%); Skunk Black IPA (6.5%); and Java Sutra Coffee Porter (6.5%). Look for the beers in selected Upstate markets on tap and in 22 oz bottles.
From Southern Tier Brewing Co., in Lakewood near Jamestown, expect the May release of Farmer’s Tan Imperial Pale Lager. Brewed with a combo of pilsner malt and white wheat, plus magnum, Mt Hood, santium and sterling hops, it weighs in at 8.9%.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 28 April 2011 19:26|