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Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 101

Brews Travelers’ Year of Beer


For most everyone in the tasting room—and particularly on the patio on this don’t-forget-the-sunscreen kind of day—it is simply a perfect Sunday: A few locally brewed craft beer samples and lots of laughs with friends before the work week starts.

For Brandon Wurtz and Michael Roberts of Dallas, the work week can wait…and wait…and wait.

Visiting the Captain Lawrence tasting room on a 75 degree Sunday, the two are about a third of the way through a year spent visiting breweries around the nation, visiting all 48 continental states, sipping brew in as many breweries as they can get to, and writing about their experiences (exbeeriences?) at To date, Brandon and Michael—who look …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 100

Talkin’ Baseball…and Beer

Jefferson brosweb

It’s opening day for our national pastime, but it really doesn’t feel like it. The weekend was a wet washout, a few flakes even flew, and if you look around a bit, you can still find clumps of snow where the sun, as the saying goes, don’t shine. But when the ump calls “Play ball!” for the first time all year, hope springs eternal.

Bryan Carney of Sparkill, across the Tappan Zee, wears a Mets cap and a sheepish smile. So he’s a fan of the Metsies, yes?

“You could say that,” Bryan says with a shrug, the way Mets fans do.

He and Ally Nolan have been talking about visiting Captain Lawrence for years, and—at long …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 99

The Captain’s Log: ‘Alpha’ Dogs Needed


Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters had their acid test, and Scott Vaccaro and his Captain Lawrence boys have theirs too. Taking place at a number of better beer establishments in the region, The Captain Lawrence Acid Test offers up three pale ales of increasing hoppiness: The India Pale Ale, the Imperial IPA and the Seeking Alpha mega-monster Triple IPA.

Brewers measure a beer’s bitterness on the International Bittering Units (IBU) scale. The IPA weighs in around 65, the Imperial IPA at 90, and the Seeking Alpha—an 11% alcohol, twice dry-hopped colossus—hits the full 100 in the IBU scale. The three-beer flight allows sippers and samplers to note the escalating acidity on …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 98

Shall We Meat For a St. Pat’s Beer?


While St. Patrick’s Day has become, for better or worse, a celebration of beer, we sure do some funky things to our beloved brews in the name of the patron saint of Ireland. The purists may have scrunched their noses, but most everyone seemed to enjoy the winkingly-titled Gimmicky Green Ale, colored with algae-type-thing spirulina, in the Captain Lawrence tasting room around this time last year.

The brewery has outdone itself this year with Kevin’s Bacon Ale, made of Irish malt, oats, maple syrup and…wait for it…smell it…savor it… Hemlock Hill bacon. The latter ingredient—heck, perhaps all of them—“makes this a perfect breakfast beer,” according to the beer menu.

Ryan Kipp’s …

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 97

Sun Shines On Happy ‘Hour’


A few days before we turned our clocks forward, USA Today posited how the whole of America will “bemoan the hour we won’t get back until October.”

Which got me thinking. For starters, we get the hour back in November, not October.

And either you’re a glass-half-empty or glass-half-full type; either way, it’s a sign you should have one of the boys in the Captain Lawrence t-shirts make your glass all full and none empty.

But do we “all”, as the newspaper said, really bemoan that lost hour of sleep, or do some of us…half of us…most of us??? actually celebrate the extra hour of sunshine—particularly as we climb out of a winter that has …