Fill It or Spill It

Suarez Family Brewery

In breweries on July 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm

I love getting the chance to visit new breweries.  It’s great to see a brewery at the very beginning and then follow their progression.  The newest brewery on my list is Suarez Family Brewery.  The new brewery is the creation of Dan and Taylor Suarez.  I first learned about SFB from: “A Beer With Dan Suarez from Suarez Family Brewing “.    Dan was a brewer at the world famous Hill Farmstead Brewery, so his credentials speak for themselves.  I’m lucky to see that brewers tree grow branches into NY because it’s a lot closer than VT for me.


The taproom at SFB looked great.  It looked like you walked into your buddy’s house who has some delicious beer on tap.  The area outside the brewery makes you forget your in New York.  The brewery is in an ideal location to sit and relax with great beer.


Dan and Tay were kind enough to spare some time to talk to me and let me into their world as they run the brewery.  Dan took me around the brewery and showed me some of the barrels he has filled with deliciousness.   He plans to make beers with locally grown ingredients like sour cherries, sumac (if you’ve been following the SFB Instagram), and other locally grown goodies.  There will be beers with different variants including different fruits, different blends and beers with varying time in barrels.  Not to mention brewing beers with ingredients not a lot of people brew with like buckwheat.  Needless to say, he’s got some beers everybody should be excited to try.


It was awesome talking to Dan because he’s a true aficionado.  He was telling me about doing a beer with sour cherries and then he explained how using cherries with pits adds more complexity to the flavor.  I never thought about how much flavor a cherry pit could add to a beer.  He schooled me on why he enjoyed Drie Fonteinen Kriek because of details like that.  Coincidentally, I had drank a 3F Kriek a few days before my conversation with Dan, so the beer was fresh in my mind.  He gave me a new appreciation for the flavors in the beer.  A few minutes with him show he’s got the chops to make world class beer because he’s paying attention to things other people probably aren’t even thinking about.

I was also fortunate enough to meet Tay, her dad and her sister who poured beers, filled growlers, and entertained patrons like me.   Tay told me they want to keep six beers on tap at the brewery.  I saw five on tap during my visit and got try three of them:

Hecto – Dry hopped pale ale.  My favorite of the beers I got to try.  It had an aroma that was lemony, bright and clean.  The hoppiness in this beer had a citrus-lime bitterness, which was refreshing and accompanied by some cracked wheat notes.  I want to drink this beer all the time.


Crispy Little – Pale wheat ale.  This beer lived up to the name.  It has a soft hoppiness upfront with a clean tasting wheat backbone.  It’s the perfect beer when you need a hop fix, but aren’t looking for a hop bomb.


Walk, Don’t Run – Dry-hopped blonde ale with Mouteka and Nelson hops.  Another beer to kick up your feet and stare at the clouds.  Nelson hops are one of my favorite hops, so their bright, grassy presence was a win for me.  There was a little sweetness in the beer that paired well with the hops.  I should’ve gotten a growler of this too, but alas I didn’t.

(Unfortunately, I crushed this one without a pic.  If it’s any consolation, it would’ve filled this empty glass.)


Verdict: Obviously, FILL IT!  Fill as many glasses and growlers as you can with beers for the Suarez Family Brewery.  They have a clear vision for their brewery and are already making beer worth seeking out.   I have no doubts that it will be one of the best breweries in NY in the near future.  The taproom is cool, the beer is great, and the family is wonderful.  If you can, visit Dan and Tay and try some of their delicious beers.  I know I will.



Did Social Media Kill Beer Blogs?

In Beer Thought, Uncategorized on June 22, 2016 at 2:25 pm


Are beer blogs dead?  I’m not one for sensationalist headlines.  In fact, they annoy the hell out of me because it always seems like desperation.  However, this is a sincere question and an seemingly odd one coming from a beer blogger.

I stopped blogging for a while for a lot of reasons, but one reason was I really started using social media.  Like much of the world, I started getting updates, news, and mindless entertainment on apps like Twitter.  The apps, as silly as they seemed, became useful for more than inane information.

It was easy to comment on beer I was drinking on Twitter,  Untappd, or in a beer forum.  I was commenting on beer as I was enjoying it.  Even though my comments were shorter, they felt more accurate.  After doing that, it didn’t seem necessary to sit and blog about the beer.

The world we live in has a short attention span. It’s much easier for you to see me give a beer 3.25 stars on an app than read a blog post.  Who has time for that?   Do you want to hear pretentious comments about a beer or its head retention? Maybe.  Actually, I sure hope so.

The truth is there are plenty of blogs (beer related and otherwise) that are worth reading. The abbreviated outlets social media offer are cool, but they are just snacks.  A really good beer blog is more like a good sandwich.  You can always count on it to satisfy your craving.

I think social media is great, but there’s going to be something inherently missing from a tweet, sneep, bloop or whatever.  Beer blogs aren’t dead.   Read it all and enjoy it all (especially this one).

Guess Who’s Back?

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2016 at 11:32 pm

It feels like I just walked in to an old apartment.  My stuff is exactly where I left it.  It feels different, but it feels familiar.

A lot of stuff has happened since my last post.  A lot of beers have been consumed,  many places have been visited, and other non-beer related things have happened.  Life (mostly) has kept me from actively posting these last few years.  I’ve always thought about creating new posts, but never got around to it.  I don’t know why.  Maybe I didn’t feel like it would be good enough.  Maybe my heart wasn’t in it any more.  Who knows.

I’m a writer at heart, so the allure of sharing my opinions on beer related things pulled me back in. So, I’m back.  I’m not the same dude who started the blog.  Many of you following this blog from the start aren’t the same readers.

I’m not exactly sure what that means for the blog going forward.  I’m here to try to figure it out.  Hopefully, you’ll stick around to see what comes next.  At a minimum, whatever it is should be mildly amusing.