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Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 115

Ace Restaurant Reviewer Finds Good Local Beer Critical

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As Westchester Magazine’s restaurant critic, Julia Sexton knows the local dining landscape as well as anyone, and views Captain Lawrence as essential enough to that booming scene to include a profile of the brewery in her new book Hudson Valley Chef’s Table. Full of gorgeous food, chef and restaurant photos, along with profiles and recipes, the book is equally at home on a coffee table or next to the stove, splattered with grease.

Julia describes Captain Lawrence owner Scott Vaccaro delivering beer in the early days in a Volkswagen, and killing it in a fateful presentation before celebrated restaurateur Danny Meyer’s management group in Manhattan.

Shaking off a late night at …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 114

Brewery’s Beertender-Slash-Filmmaker

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Rob Catalano, Captain Lawrence’s bartender extraordinaire, threw some of his creative energies into the Knifey Moloko milk stout, which won Captain Lawrence’s clash-of-the-small-batches “Hop Bowl” back in February. The rest of it goes into his film work—including a fresh entry in the summer camp slasher flick genre titled Whispering Pines.

Shot all over Westchester County, including Pleasantville and South Salem, Rob directed and produced the feature-length film, which should be ready for public consumption in time for Halloween. It centers on a creep named Gideon who may or may not be alive—and if he is, he may be lurking in the woods, having something to do with the campers who start disappearing.

“I’m paying homage to …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 113

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The Spice of Life

The Arctic Monkeys are cranking from the tasting room speakers, but everything else is hazy, hot, and very definitely summer: samples of Captain Lawrence’s crisp wheat ale Sun Block going down way too easily, the smell of meat on the barbecue, the thwack of cornhole bags slapping the boards.

Wait. That’s not true. There’s Pumpkin Ale on the menu!

While some say it’s way too early in the season for pumpkin anything, most at the brewery believe that a good pumpkin-flavored beer can be enjoyed just about any time. Christina Triarsi of Yonkers is on the patio with friends Julissa Eliza of the Bronx and Andrea Alesso of Burlington, New Jersey. Christina was at the brewery …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 112

The Captain’s Log: Sour Power!

54Scott Vaccaro headshotNot yet three years since moving to a roomy new brewing facility in Elmsford, Captain Lawrence is expanding further. The brewery will be taking over the adjacent 4,800 square feet currently occupied by an HVAC outfit, says owner Scott Vaccaro, on top of the 19,000 square feet Captain Lawrence currently operates in. The expansion should be completed early in ’15, and will enable the Captain to produce more beer—and its beloved sour beers in particular.

The space will allow for storage of as many as 500 oak barrels and a second bottling line. Captain Lawrence’s sour ales, such as the Cuvee and the Hops N’ Roses, are currently bottled and labeled by hand. “It …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 111

And So Fourth and So On

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The holiday weekend initially looked like a washout, but Mother Nature rallied and served up a couple picture-perfect days for deserving revelers. Many of them are squeezing in some recreational activity—cornhole, bocce, beer sampling—on the Captain Lawrence patio before the long weekend comes to an end.

Brad Orr of Brooklyn and Mike and Marissa Madonia of Ardsley are enjoying a spirited game of Hong Kong Poker. “It’s similar to A**hole,” says Brad of that card game centered around getting rid of your cards–and doing humiliating things to the player still stuck with theirs. “Only nobody makes anybody drink.”

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Their pal Victoria Yang comes back with fresh samples of Sippa, a mellow summer IPA out …