Thursday, April 14, 2016

Old, old Schenectady and Mad Jack Brewing

   Shortly after the Dutch got things going in Nieuw Amsterdam in the 1650s, they came up the river and got things started in Schenectady, in 1661.  While most of the city is classic rustbelt, buildings emptied by General Electric and American Locomotive, the oldest part, the Stockade, is a cool section of mostly Federalist buildings. At one end of this district is the Van Dyke Club, once a jazz venue of erstwhile repute.

The Van Dyke had fallen on lean times in the early years of this century and three cousins, all MacDonalds, bought the building in 2009 and added a brewery in the back. The 7-bbl system operates under the name of Mad Jack's and brews mostly for on-premise consumption and growler fills.
The styles here run to English ales for the most part and the names reflect Schenectady neighborhoods or Union College themes (their teams play as the Dutchmen, or Dutchwomen). They do run flavor variations on the stouts and porters; I had a peppermint stout on the last visit.
(Visited Jan.-April '16)

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