Captain Lawrence Brewery in Elmsford, NY, has their tasting room open on Saturdays. So, after a few months of trying to coordinate dates and times, I went with the beau and some friends to check it out. I wasn’t really familiar with most of their beers, besides Liquid Gold, but who am I to turn down a chance to taste some new (to me) brews?
We took the MetroNorth to Tarrytown, a quick 40-minute ride from Grand Central (as someone that used to take the MetroNorth for 100+ minute rides at times, this jaunt was over in the blink of an eye). Our friends picked us up at the train station (thanks, friends!) and we headed to the brewery.
Our first glimpse didn’t bode well: it was in an industrial park. After a few “really? is this it? are we in the right spot” remarks, we saw a little sign and trekked on.
I won’t bore you with the nitty-gritty details, but just know this: buy a 3oz tasting glass for $2, get two pours of each of the beers on tap. Nine beers total, you do the math. Great deal, and some tasty beer.
Their offerings included the beers they send out in kegs (and, as our tour guide told us, are now bottling for retail in Brooklyn bodegas!), as well as some small-batch beers and experimental batches.
A summary of my sips:
- Ginger Man Ale – this beer is brewed especially for the Ginger Man pubs, and was probably my favorite of the day. It tasted like autumn, winter and gingerbread cookies at the same time, but wasn’t over the top with sweetness. It had a nice color and was very drinkable.
- Pumpkin Ale – I tried not having pumpkin beer too early in the season (if it’s warm enough to be drinking outside in a summer dress, pumpkin beer should not be on the menu), but now that it’s mid-September I figured it was okay. This pumpkin beer is nice and subtle, and the pumpkin flavor complements it, rather than being thrown in for the sake of being able to sell a trendy pumpkin beer.
- Last-Minute Alteration: According to our tasting notes, this beer recipe was concocted the night before it was slated to brew. Does this matter? Not really. It was a good small-batch, although the advertised “roast” flavor wasn’t as strong as I would have liked. I know it was a “pilot” batch and isn’t being shipped out, but I wouldn’t mind drinking it whilst watching a football game at my local bar.
- Kolsch – I’ve had this one at bars too, and was going to skip it altogether but my beer of choice had just kicked and I didn’t feel like waiting. Nice and crisp straight from the brewery, almost too cold, but it was a great refreshing taste to end the afternoon.
Note: I went with a friend who runs a great beer blog and, should he review our expedition as well, will be much better with descriptions and things. So you may want to watch that space.
A quick critique (because I’m objective): there was a 3PM tour of the brewery/warehouse, so with a few minutes to spare we moved to the tour queue area. We didn’t see hide nor hair of any employees until at least 3:15, at which point they said it would start in 5 minutes. Ten minutes later, we were finally on our way, but in those 25 minutes we could have been enjoying some samples in the tasting room, eating, or doing other things besides standing around. The tour was informative and educational once it started, it just started pretty late.
All in all, a really nice afternoon. It was unseasonably warm, and I love being able to escape the city for a few hours. Go check it out! Go in October or early November, when the leaves are changing colors and the Hudson River looks too beautiful to be real.