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Old 04-09-2007, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 2,103,490 times
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Yes, I said it. Beer. Beer. Beer. That's all that matters, eh?

I'm moving from Fort Collins CO, a small city boasting 4 breweries and 2 brewpubs within a 4 mile radius, to Scotia/Ballston Spa.

What are the key places to hit up? Breweries, brewpubs, beerbars? Brewpubs get an extra special amount of love.

Thanks and *burp*.

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Old 04-10-2007, 06:27 AM
 
Location: NY
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You're going to be very disappointed, I'm afraid. Maybe there is something in Albany, but Scotia....... nothing I've ever found in visits to family there over the years. Not much in the way of good eating either (Scotia, that is- Albany does have a few good restaurants). For the most part, upstate NY is a lowest-common-denominator, national-brand beer kind of place. Saranac and Ommegang are the two "local" brands I know of, though I'm pretty sure Saranac is owned by a national brand and Ommegang's best stuff is actually made in Belgium by Duvel (but it sure is good!). You do find a fair amount of Canadian brands in the markets, but they're pretty much taste just like run of the mill American brands with a little more alcohol.

Hopefully others will know of additional options that I haven't come across yet!
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:00 AM
 
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The times i've been to Albany and have gone out, most of the bars seemed to cater to the college crowds and did not seem to have much of a variety. Maybe the people I was with didn't know any better. There was one place we went to directly across the Mass border that had a selection of over 100 beers. Can't remember the name though.
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:18 AM
 
Location: amsterdam ny
155 posts, read 809,152 times
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There are actually 2 excellent brewpubs. Albany has the Pump Station- a huge, turn of the century, converted Pump Station that now serves excellent brews. Troy has Browns Brewpub right on the Hudson River. As mentioned, Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown produces some of the best belgian ales in the world and has cool seasonal events. There are a bunch of excellent new bars/lounges in downtown Albany now- a resurgence of sorts as investors are converting the old buildings. Not sure why everyone has to be so negative about upstate- its changing pretty quickly.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:28 AM
 
Location: NY
417 posts, read 1,797,950 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rug city View Post
Not sure why everyone has to be so negative about upstate- its changing pretty quickly.
Sorry, didn't mean to be so down on upstate- I LOVE upstate NY, but theres always plenty of room for progress and I'm glad to hear that there are a couple good places in Albany.

I love the Ommegang beers, but have to say that I was disapointed to read the labels closely and discover that most of their offerings are brewed in and imported from Belgium, so really aren't 'New York' beers. Still, they're delicious and priced well compared to other Belgian imports.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:41 AM
 
Location: amsterdam ny
155 posts, read 809,152 times
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Actually, Ommegang still produces most of their beers onsite. It is their flagship Abbey Ale that they had to begin producing in Belgium because they could not keep up with demand once it bested Chimay in an international competition.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 2,103,490 times
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Thanks rug! To be honest, I visited Browns once last summer while visiting Troy and I was impressed with the pale ale I ordered.

I did a quick search and I heard there is a fairly new brewpub in Latham. I heard okay things about Van **** in Schenectady.

Albany apparently has a highly rated brewpub (Pump House that you mentioned) and a place called Mahar's is rumored to have cask ale. I also read about the Gingerman (good selection of imports and regional seasonal beers from Magic Hat and Brooklyn breweries), Lionheart Blues Cafe (32 beers on tap).

Clifton Park has a place called the Old Dublin Inn which has 24 beers on tap, including a Colorado microbrew Flying Dog. Hoosick Falls has the famous Man of Kent and Glens Falls has a nice brewpub called Davidson Brothers. Saratoga has Mendocino Brewery which is supposed to be good too.

Sounds like I'll be alright...

I wasn't expecting much from Scotia or Ballston Spa since they are small communities. Cheap beer is common everywhere. Fort Collins has a Budweiser plant and it's extremely popular up there. Nebraska, where I'm originally from, Budweiser is even considered an upper class beer.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:29 AM
 
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Do these places have webites I can visit. I'd like to find out more about some of these places for when I visit the next time. My friends that live there don't seem to know too much about the area even though they've lived there for several years.
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 2,103,490 times
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Here is what I found so far:

http://www.evansale.com/
http://www.albanygingerman.com/
http://www.itsonlybeer.com/
http://www.olddublininn.com/
http://www.davidsonbrothers.com/
http://www.mendobrew.com/
http://www.partingglasspub.com/
http://www.thevandyck.com/
http://brownsbrewing.com/
http://www.trytroy.org/holmes/ (broken link)
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Old 04-10-2007, 09:49 AM
 
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i went to SUNY albany and lived in the capital for 6 years, and while it doesnt have the greatest diversity of brew pubs and such there are some great places to go.

By FAR i would recommend Mahar's. you could probobly walk right by it and not notice its there, but its amazing. Its on Madison Ave, right where madison and western meet. Its 2 doors down from Juniors a bar and grill whose sign you will spot. The bar is small but hosts the greatest selection of beers in the capital region.

your first time at the bar they take your name and enter you in their computer and print you a list of the hundreds and hundreds of beers categorized by what country they originate in. as you try them they keep track on your list, and each time you come they print an updated list of whats new, what they have what you tried etc. after a certain amount of beers drank you get a tshirt, your own mug, a plaque on the wall etc. But by far the best part is the beer. i have had some of the most amazing beers i have ever tasted there. delerium Noel is amazing, as is anything by Spaatan. go there in october and you could die of happiness from the amount of amazing octoberfest beers they import. i have tried beers with the names i couldnt even pronounce lol, that blew me away. and i have had beers from countries i didnt even know exported beer, lol. so basically i would HIGHLY recommend this place, its worth looking for. one thing to watch out for is that the beers they import can be up to 17/20% alcohol so drink a few and you are much drunker than a few bud lights will get you. but i think thats a plus not a minus when i discovered the place i have to say that i didnt go anywhere else for months, there were just too many beers i wanted to try to waste my money drinking crap anywhere else, lol.

besides that, if you are looking for a brewery, the Albany Pump Station is decent, and there is a concert hall in Troy- Revolution Hall that has some great unique beers that they brew. For a more social bar i would recommend the Lionheart, its right at where Madison and Lark meet. It has a surprisingly decent selection of good draft beers. thankfully something besides Bud and coors light lol.

I hope i helped, definitly check out Mahars! have fun
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