I don’t recall where the idea came from, but it was a good one! I’m lucky enough to have a fellow beer drinking friend who also loves a good road trip. We have exact opposite tastes in beer, but oddly similar tastes in travel and food. This, of course, allows us to sip and report on most any beer we encounter. Living in New York City, and so close to the Hudson Valley, home to a large number of breweries – we hit the road with an aggressive itinerary.
We made our first stop off at a Mill House Brewing Company, a microbrewery in Poughkeepsie, NY with a very small distribution range in the Hudson Valley. Seemed like a good place to start – small and local. Between our tasting flights we tried the following, none of which were truly complex or mind blowing, but worth mentioning what we had…
Mill House Brewing Company Zoe: White grape juice, sweet and smooth as a Dubble should be with a small bit of spice to it
Mill House Brewing Company Pop’s Imperial Maple Pumpkin Ale: The name and description held so much promise for a great seasonal beer, but there’s too much going on here and I can’t shake the oddly medicinal aftertaste.
Mill House Brewing Company Velvet Panda: Extremely smooth, but nothing more than a basic stout. Menu says that it’s on nitro, but doesn’t taste or look like it…
Mill House Brewing Company Kilt Spinner: Very much a Scottish ale, thick, a bit floral with elderflower, smooted out by the barrel aging. Warm and cozy
Mill House Brewing Company Alpha Chamo: Very floral with heavy chamomile notes overtaking , smooth, good in a flight but perhaps to much for a full pint
Mill House Brewing Company Alpha: Flavorful and lightly hopped, classic amber. This is the beginning of a long string of check ins on the weekend long beer trip! 3.5
After a flight and a bite to eat, we hopped back in the car to head to the home of one of my favorite relatively available bottled NY state beers – Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY. Not only were we greeted by a raucous good time in the tasting room with a local fundraiser taunting a “wheelbarrow of booze” as the prize, it was also the release night of something truly wonderful – a bourbon barrel aged version of my favorite – Mother’s Milk! And not just any old bourbon either, but Widow Jane, a distillery in my Brooklyn neighborhood packaged in a beautiful large format bottle with a gasket cap dipped in cobalt blue wax. It was obligatory, we both purchased 2 and tucked them in to the trunk of the car safely before proceeding to the bar to grab each of our perennial favorites:
Keegan Ales Wolf Beer: Hmmmm… Well, this is not for me. IPA esque but smoother, hence it’s an ale I suppose… Too hoppy for me, luckily I am tasting someone else’s beer!
Keegan Ales Joe Mama’s Milk: Ooooohhhhh a favorite! And on tap too! The coffee bitterness is so well balanced and smooth.