New Giveaway - Wort Monster Conical Fermenter!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Home Brewing Photo Forum > Syracuse (and Utica) Brewtour 2007 - LOTS of pics




Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-16-2007, 07:03 PM   #1
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default Syracuse (and Utica) Brewtour 2007 - LOTS of pics

So, last weekend the SWMBO (Jackie) and I, along with our best friends (another Couple – Corey and Kate), took a weekend brew-tour excursion to central NY. We got a room in Syracuse, NY for free (hooray Hilton HHonors points!) and planned to hit all the local micro-pubs and good beer bars. What follows will be a little guided picture tour of our visit, along with some comments along the way regarding what we thought of the places (even if I bash a place, I would still suggest visiting most of them). All in all, it was a great time… Probably wouldn’t go back again, but I would definitely do something similar in another location with some tightly grouped micros, etc.

Anyway, we took the day off work Friday and headed on the 3-4 hour trek to Syracuse from Central PA. Arrived there around 4PM, checked into the Doubletree, and immediately got on the road to our sites… I’ll split the sites into separate posts so its easier to follow and I can post a ton of pics.



__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:04 PM   #2
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

First stop was the Middle Ages Brewing Company in Syracuse. A few thoughts, followed by the pics:

This place was out in a pretty shabby looking part of the city. Rundown little building, etc. Wasn’t what I expected, even from a small-time brewery, but whatever. We knew there wasn’t food here, just the tasting room and souvenir shop, and they were only open until 6PM, so that is why it was destination numero uno. We got inside to a packed tasting room and me and Corey waited probably 15 minutes to get served a sample in a small plastic 2oz. Dixie cup. The place was definitely busy and was mostly people getting growlers to go, but plenty of people at the front of the lines just drinking samples for an hour on end.

We didn’t enjoy the atmosphere that much (there was like 3 goddarned cats running all over the place and I’m convinced they piss in the fermenters), the sample wasn’t that bad (although not great), and we came here to sample beer, so what did we do. We decided to hit the road, but take a stash with us to drink in the room in the evenings. We picked up 2 mixed 6 packs and 5 bombers and 2 cool imperial pint glasses for around $45. All in all, about $35 of that was wasted IMO, b/c most of the beers just were not that good. The Wailing Wench was OK, the Syracuse Pale was OK, and the Druid Fluid was OK, but nothing stellar. The Swallow Wit, the bitter, etc. were downright nasty IMO. We didn’t even get around to drinking the DragonSlayer bomber and the X anniversary Double IPA bomber, but I have them so hopefully they are better than the first offerings.

Anyway, on with the pics:

Jackie, Kate, and Corey under the MA sign

Display case showing off some of the MA offerings

MA Tasting Room

To-go Stash



__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:05 PM   #3
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

So, by now we are hungry. Let’s hit up the Syracuse Suds Factory. Wasn’t recommended by some here, but my buddy insisted it couldn’t be that bad. The atmosphere of the place was cool, but dead at 5:30PM on a Friday night when we got there. It never really did get that packed.

Each couple got a sample and drank it down. It had a bland brown, a pale ale, a stout, a porter, a black cherry lambic, and something else. Honestly none of them were that memorable. The lambic wasn’t even soured at all, it was weird… The stout was OK, but overdone on the burnt/roast taste… the rest were just bland. To put it bluntly, we all drank water only after we finished the sampler.
My food was OK. It was fish fry night and I had fresh haddock and the girls enjoyed their food, but my buddy said he had the worst Reuben he ever tasted. Probably wouldn’t go here again. The best thing I got out of it was a pretty cool looking pint glass for $4.

On with the pics:

Exterior of the Suds Factory

Interior – you see how empty it is?!

He said it was the worst food ever, but you couldn’t tell from this pic, could you?!

__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Being thoroughly disappointed with the first two stops, we walked down the street to Clark’s Ale House, about 2 blocks away. Hoping this would sway our opinion and put us on a positive note for the trip. Boy, did it!

This place was great. Nice, little, quiet type pub that served good beers and light bar fare (roast beef sandwiches on onion rolls and a few other items, but not much). I was already super impressed when I read the beer boards (written in chalk) with the 16-20 beers on tap. Lots of stuff I had never tried and lots of good stuff I have.

What even impressed me more was that the boards were broken out. One read, “Served at 52F” and another read, “Served at 42F”. I thought this was pretty sweet. Anyway, we put down a few beers and Lindemans lambics (full pint for like $5 or something) here before heading back to the hotel. I thoroughly enjoyed my 90 minutes there and we ended up going back the next evening while downtown.

Here are a few pics:

Clark’s Sign

Me and Jackie with her Framboise (yes, she drinks beer – even IPAs and other beers I would consider “adventurous” for the average woman) – unseen is my Great Divide Titan IPA from the cask… it was tasty.

Me, Corey, and Kaitlin – here you see my Great Divide and my buddy punking out drinking the Lindemans. I think Kate has Spaten lager.

Oh, and before I forget, I know I look young, but the stop at Clark’s made the 3rd straight location in NY that I didn’t even get carded! W00t! Anyway, in summary Clark’s is a big A+ from me…
After Clark’s we went to the mall (Carousel), grabbed some Papa Johns, and sat in the room drinking the Middle Ages and watching House and other good shows until late. We never got back out that evening, but we had another big day planned for tomorrow, so no biggy.

__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:07 PM   #5
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

The next day we were up and at em’ early. All 4 of us ready by 9AM and off to Denny’s for a power breakfast. Once we polished that off we had planned to leave for Sacket’s Harbor (brewers of 1812 Ale), spend the time in town there, eat lunch there, before returning. However, on a whim, I decided to call and ask for their hours. Luckily, I did bc they didn’t open until 4-5PM and that was NOT in the plans. So, we cancelled that shindig and headed for Utica – the Matt Brewing Company (referred to as Saranac from this point on). Best decision we made all weekend I believe?

We arrived there a little early before the brewery tour that started at 1PM, so we had an hour to waste. We found the only open pub within walking distance – rundown little ODonnells. Despite being a little less than what I would call “high-class”, it wasn’t too bad of a place. We each got a pint of Saranac Pomegranate Wheat for $2 each, so not terrible. The other stuff on tap was the normal BMC so we promptly exited after this back to the brewery tour.

Here are some pics at ODonnells:

Outside of the Pub

Me and Jackie drinking our first draft Saranac – wasn’t too bad of stuff either. The pomegranate was barely noticeable so this definitely isn’t your normal fruit beer. It was a pretty solid American wheat.

Me, Corey, and Kaitlin with the same Saranac draft.

__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:08 PM   #6
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

So, back at the Matt Brewing Company, we prepared for the tour. The brewhouse and gift shop, despite this part of Utica being an industrial looking place, was a beautiful site! The interior of the gift shop, early parts of the brewery, etc. were awesome and maintained from the late 1800s. The brewery tour would also blow us away. I wish I could have remembered all the misc. facts they threw out there, but there were too many. A few tidbits of info: it’s the 12th largest brewery in the US; they do contract brewing for Brooklyn, Sam Adams, Pete’s Wicked, etc; they survived prohibition by supposedly making some sort of near-beer/soda that specifically read on the label, “Do not add yeast and allow to ferment for 4-6 weeks or you will cause alcohol to form”; I could rattle on and on, but the place was just downright pretty cool.

After we took the tour and saw the somewhat mammoth operations – huge mash tuns, boil kettles, 1120 BBL fermenters, storage tanks, grain storage silos, etc. we received free drink vouchers and it was off to the 1822 pub upstairs. There was a reception going on for the Schultz and Dooley steins and the presidents of Matt Brewing were there, etc. The best part of this was they weren’t even taking drink tickets, so we definitely got more than our 2 drinks each. It was kind of just an open bar, dude was playing acoustic guitar, etc. It was pretty neat. Oh yeah, and they had food. Can you beat all of that for $5 per person for the tour?! Anyway, I’ll have to split these pics into the next couple posts due to the 4 per post limit.

Here they are:

Welcome to Syranac

The F.X. Matt Brewery:

Another shot of the huge Utica Club sign – a simple pils brewed here. We taste tested it in the pub and it was surprisingly good. I was thinking about getting a case, but they only had cans out and I didn’t have time to wait around for bottles to be dug out. It was pretty decent stuff though IMO.

Inside the giftshop where we picked up about 2 cases, a case+ of sodas, and 4 pint glasses:

__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:09 PM   #7
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Some pics of their large equipment, high-tech brewing controls, etc. Makes what we do seem so simplified. I think I would still enjoy what we do more than doing something this “macro” scaled – e.g. well, I’m not really brewing I’m just pushing this button or that button to dump some grain, setting a temp on this digital hi-tech equipment, etc. I understand why they do it (quality control la la la), etc. but I just think its more enjoyable keeping it smaller scale. Still pretty cool to see this side of it though:




__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:09 PM   #8
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

More equipment – bottling line, etc. and a few pics of SWMBO, the 1822 pub, etc. Overall, the beer here was the best we had all weekend. I’m not ready to claim they make the “best” beer b/c I’ve had better by far (definitely better than their standard Pale Ale, Lager, etc. offerings, but there was still some good stuff). Most of what we tried was pretty solid - These offerings included their Pumpkin Ale (left with a case), their High-Peaks series Imperial IPA (IIPA), Imperial Stout, among others. Also, their Root beer and orange creamsicle soda RULE. We left with a case and a half I believe. Also looking forward to trying their Winter 12 pack – had a Caramel Porter, Oatmeal Stout, Winter Warmer, Belgian Ale, and others. Haven’t cracked any of them yet, but I’m hoping they are better than the Season’s Best “Nut Brown Lager” seasonal we tried there while on site:




__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:10 PM   #9
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

While in Utica I did some iPhone research and supposedly there was another brewery there although they didn’t have a website. Backstreets Brewing Company. Plugged the address in the navigation and took off. Got there to find it was out of business – and no wonder based on location. It was in the middle of nowhere and even the industrial businesses in that part of town were defunct. So, we did the next best thing and took a leak there b/c we had drank so much at Saranac:




After leaving Saranac, we returned to Syracuse to do a little more shopping for the ladies at Shoppingtown Mall, etc.We also headed into the Dinosaur BBQ per everyones recommendation. For a “dive” location (for the most part) this place has to make a TONNNNNN of money. It was packed. I bet we would have literally waited two hours to sit and eat in the crowded, 90F, restaurant, so we opted for takeout. The car smelled insanely good on the way back and we pigged out in the Doubletree. We ended up getting the Combo Meal that supposedly serves 7. Well, it served four. Hahaha… Full rack of ribs, full chickens, pounds of pulled pork, and sides. It was the best meal we had by far. Here’s everyone chowing down (except me taking the pic) – you see my friend Corey is once again stuffing his face hardcore:

__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-16-2007, 07:11 PM   #10
RoaringBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
RoaringBrewer's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster County, PA
Posts: 1,859
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

After that, it was some rest before heading out downtown for the night. We wanted to hit Empire Brewing, Blue Tusk, and a few other places down there (and as mentioned made it back to Clark’s to end in the coolest place we found).
Nothing too exciting IMO coming out of Empire. Maybe we were just stuffed with Dinosaur and sick. Some of their 8 beers I sampled were “OK” to decent, but I think their Kolsch was the best and most true to style. The rest just were not memorable and the atmosphere was more ugly hoochie land, with some bad music, b/c we got there late. Didn’t get to try the food either. I wouldn’t mind going back to try this place early in the evening sometime, but I doubt I’ll be in Syracuse anytime soon. If I went back it’d be for the Tusk and Clark’s moreso that the micros.

Blue Tusk was pretty dark cool with 50-60 taps. You name it, they probably had it on tap or bottled – we tried the Sackets Harbors brew, some Allagash, some Michigan Brewing stuff, heck I don’t remember it all, but it was a pretty good time.
Here are some of the last pics of our last evening in town – nothing too exciting as we were all too stuffed and busy drinking to take pics – not to mention it was too crowded for my taste to even enjoy the good beer to its fullest. Clark’s was great though, even at 12AM it was calm, quiet, and they still had the same great beers on tap!





__________________
Roaring Bull Brewing Co.
Est. 2006
http://www.cafepress.com/roaringbull

Currently Consuming (HB): Apfelwein on Tap Troegs Hopback on Tap; Craft Bottles
Fermenting/Conditioning: Up Next: Hop Trio American Wheat, Lake Walk Pale Ale
In Planning Stage: Farmhouse Saison and Something Oaked.
RoaringBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RIMS Build Update (lots of pics) Sawdustguy DIY Projects 11 02-08-2012 03:33 PM
Home bar finally done. Lots of pics iamopie2 DIY Projects 17 05-09-2009 07:14 AM
Latest brew day with the hybrid chiller (lots of pics) senorfartman All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 19 03-23-2008 06:50 PM
Need help hooking up regulator, lots of pics Ó Flannagáin Bottling/Kegging 36 10-05-2007 01:06 PM