Friday, July 2, 2010

East Coast trip (first brewery) : Albany

While waiting for a grandson to enter the world in Albany, NY (which he did, in fine shape on 07/01), I stopped by the Albany Pump Station, a grand old building with some nice brews. Their site sets out all the information about the Evans name, the "since 1786" on their labels, and the building they are housed in. But no pix, so I get to try a word picture. The building is a high brick structure with the interior dominated by two huge black chains hanging from the ceiling way up there. A bar runs the length of the first floor, with many tables running to the back. The second level is single sets of tables hugging the wall in an atrium style, so those on the first floor have a good view of the tanks and the ceiling. The site is hard by the Hudson River, with just a noisy freeway in between. Walking to the Pump Station past the historic Quackenbush Square on a cobblestone passage gives one a sense of the past. Albanians keep coming back to eat there; the kitchen has a good rep.
1786 was the year someone opened a brewery in Hudson, NY, about 30 miles downstream. As the link says, that brewery was purchased by one C.H. Evans in 1860 and operated by three generations of Evanses until prohibition closed it in 1920. A descendant of the family started the current brewery in Albany in the 1990s. They were running ten taps on the day I visited. They have the most banners up on the wall for their Kick-Ass Brown, which has collected two GABF golds and one bronze since 2000. The pint I tasted had a wonderful malty complexity; the kind where the finishing taste is something completely different from the first taste.
(Visited 06/24/10)

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