Fill It or Spill It

Posts Tagged ‘breweries’

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.



Beer Thought: What is the worst brewery?

In Beer Thought on May 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I’m trying something new for this post.  I thought I’d take a break from reviewing beer this week and do an “editorial”.   Someone asked me an interesting question recently and I couldn’t answer it right away.  So, I thought about it and wanted to post it for everyone to read and ponder.

On twitter, @blacksheepsquad asked me what is the worst brewery?  I had never really thought about it before.  I know there are beers that I dislike and definitely styles of beers I don’t care for, but never which brewery I don’t like.  The easy answer would be the macros because those beers are awful, but it isn’t the right answer.

If you notice, on the blog I don’t have many “Spill It”s and that is almost on purpose.  The reason I don’t is: I won’t spend money on things I don’t like.  I’m not going to spend money on let’s say a sixer of lagers because I don’t particularly care for them.  Every once in a while I will try beers I don’t like to either reinforce why I don’t like them or to try a particularly special one.   Honestly, who wants to pour a beer knowing they won’t like it?  Not me.

I usually drink beer  based on the mood I’m in.  Chances are if it is 90 degrees outside, I probably won’t be drinking an imperial stout.  So, I have my favorite beers within a particular style.   I may prefer an IPA from one brewery and not like their stout or vice-versa, but does that mean it is a bad brewery?  Does that mean it is a bad beer?  Probably not.  What I dislike someone else may love.

In terms of breweries, I also have my favorites just like anyone else.  I love Dogfish because of the far out things they do with beer.  I don’t like all of their beers, but I can always appreciate the attempt to try something new.    There are plenty of breweries I have never tried and might make the greatest beer ever.  Sometimes it is more than beer that makes you like a brewery.  Maybe it is a hometown brewery or you like that the brewery is eco-friendly.  Conversely, you may dislike a brewery for reasons other than beer.   I recently had a bad experience with a brewery’s rude beer rep, which made me decide to never drink their beers.  (if you follow me on twitter you know who it is).

In this world of craft beer, I don’t think there is a worst brewery.  There are too many kinds of beer that too many people make for there to be a worst brewery.  Craft beer just by its name implies a dedication to the craft of beer making.  If a brewery made bad beer then it would probably go out of business pretty quickly.   Drinking beer is too personal an experience for me to name a “worst”.  My advice, try as many beers as possible from as many breweries as possible.