The days are beginning to cool and everyone’s back in town—what better way to catch up and get back in the swing of things than have your friends over for some good food and booze? Fruity, sugar-loaded drinks can be forgotten, because I have some good ol’ brews lined up for the tasting. With the variety I’ve collected for you, even that friend who swears they’ve never found a beer they like will end up sipping on an ale. Here’s the best part: they’re all local within New York State, so finding these beers shouldn’t be a problem. I picked these up from Wegmans while doing my weekly grocery shopping.
I wanted to see what my friends thought of these beers, my knowledge being rather elementary on the subject. So after pulling off the caps and passing the bottles around, we talked about each ale, and this is what we all determined.
This amber ale is slightly bitter, but smooth and a little nutty.
5.00% ABV; brewed in Syracuse
This English-style brew is good for an IPA—not super harsh but tasty all the same. It has a complex taste, and can be enjoyed by most any IPA fan.
6.5% ABV; brewed in Syracuse
Ithaca Cruiser is surprisingly fruity—almost like a cider but not as acidic. Refreshing, light, and incredibly smooth, this ale is great for anyone who isn’t a traditional beer fan but doesn’t want a sugary beverage. Even my roommate, who admits she’s not one to casually sip a beer, was a convert after tasting this brew.
4.2% ABV; brewed in Ithaca
This English brown ale is probably the most interesting out of the bunch, with a flavor reminiscent of coffee. One friend said it could be a good morning beer for this reason. It has a thicker consistency, similar to that of a Guinness.
5.4% ABV; brewed in Ithaca
My personal favorite, this American-style IPA is a little sweeter and has a better flavor than the ImPaled Ale. The bitterness of the hops, however, turned off my friends when they tried it. It has a thick head, so for those of you who prefer beers with that lasting foam at the top, this is the brew for you.
6.5% ABV; brewed in Honeoye Falls
The last beer we tasted was the Harvest Ale, which is similar to Sam Adam’s Oktoberfest beer. This ale has a spiced sort of zing to the aftertaste, and the hops are added in, resulting in a bitter bite. It’s only released in fall (starting in September), so if you’re a fan, stock up now!
6.7% ABV; brewed in Lakewood
I hope one or all of these make an appearance at your next gathering. They’re fun and seasonal—and with this variety, everyone’s bound to find something they like!