Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 120

Notes From the Tasting Room, Vol. 120

The Captain’s Log

54Scott Vaccaro headshotThe Captain is ready for his television debut—the crew from Beer Geeks was in Elmsford at the end of August, filming scenes at Captain Lawrence, speaking with owner Scott Vaccaro and watching as Scott brewed up a batch of the peach-flavored Flaming Fury sour ale. Michael Ferguson is the Beer Geeks host; if you can’t find the craft beer program in your 500-channel universe, it will appear at a date to be announced at

“It was our first foray into television,” says Scott. “They were a real good group of guys and it was a lot of fun.”

The Flaming Fury was a big hit at Sour’d in September, the sour ale shindig Captain Lawrence hosted September 13. The day-long event featured sour beers from 20 breweries—those from far away, including Ballast Point in San Diego and The Bruery of Orange County; and those in the New York area, like Great South Bay Brewing and Peekskill Brewery. After a massive crowd at the pig roast earlier this year, Captain Lawrence limited ticket sales and made sure lines were not an issue. A mid-day rainfall did not damper spirits.

[su_pullquote]Besides the Flaming Fury, Captain Lawrence poured the Italian plum-flavored Viola, the newcomer Barrel Select Pomegranate, and standards like Rosso e Marrone and Hops N’ Roses. “Sour never tasted so sweet,” says Scott.[/su_pullquote]

Scott held back some of the new sours for the tasting room, but they’re going fast, as sour ales do. Also new to the tap lineup is a Long Island Harvest Ale, a session ale wet-hopped with 250 pounds of hops picked at Condzella’s Farm out in eastern Long Island. The hops were let to soak in the brew, as opposed to being added to the boil. It makes for what Scott calls a “resin-y hop flavor.”

Scott is no stranger to hops farms—he recently returned from a jaunt to Yakima, Washington, to visit the farms there and select by hand—and by nose—the best and most distinctive hops for Captain Lawrence’s beers.

Speaking of big flavors, if you like imperial IPAs and those seasonal pumpkin ales, you might find Captain Lawrence’s Imperial Pumpkin Ale well within your flavor profile. Scott calls it a “beefed up version of pumpkin ale.” “It’s got a big, malty taste,” he says, “kind of like an imperial brown ale with pumpkin spice.”

Captain Lawrence also worked alongside its friends at Peekskill Brewery to create a beer on behalf of the local environmental group Riverkeeper. The new brew, whose name will come from a public vote, will be available for sampling at a Captain Lawrence-hosted event September 26.

–Michael Malone ([email protected]).

It’s a festive time of year in the lower Hudson Valley, especially for beer drinkers. Captain Lawrence will be poured at the Stone Barns Harvest Festival October 5, and a week later at a new event—Irvington’s first Oktoberfest.

If you can’t make it out to those events, the Captain Lawrence patio—vastly expanded and prettied up with stylish strings of overhead lights–goes great with the fall weather. “You almost feel like you’re in the Black Forest in Bavaria,” says Scott of the new decor, “trying a tasty beer in some village beer garden.”