Drinkers Who Geek

One of your friendly Barley Prose bloggers has joined the ranks of Geeks Who Drink quizmasters! I finished my last training quiz last night at WhichCraft Brews in Webster, NY, and I’m hoping to get a regular weekly gig soon.

One of our roles is to write up our quizzes, and you can read last night’s rundown here.

a beer, mixing board and microphone, stack of free beer tokens, and a laptop on a table
A beer, mixing board and microphone, stack of free beer tokens, and a laptop on a table, awaiting the start of my first quiz hosting night.

WhichCraft not only produces their own beers, but has a really fantastic rotating list of local and national favorites both on tap and in cans and bottles. They also have an indoor food truck, which is exceptional. Massive points to Other Half, whose Double Dry Hopped Oh… was tapped yesterday and made for a fantastic quizmaster’s quaff last night.

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Beer Ice Cream in Brockport

Decided to take the team out for a team builder/happy hour, and to do that, what’s better than a darts tournament? We discovered a relatively new brewery/winery in town, just south of the Brockport campus: RG Brewery and Five Sons Winery.

The setting was fantastic; a small tasting room with a porch overlooking a large yard. (Hard to set the outdoor scene, as we were in the middle of a snowstorm at the time. Also, bonus: we were greeted at the door by a couple of friendly dogs.) The tasting room has a back door, which leads through the kitchen into the production facility, which features a wall of dartboards and made for a nice relaxed office outing.

The list of beers is small, but complete and varied enough; I tried their Dragon’s Breath Stout, which had a little more heat than I like in my beer. I’ve tried a few “hot” beers now, and as much as I like my food spicy, I don’t want that stuff in my drinks.

Their Hopperhead IPA and All America DIPA however, were much better. The Hopperhead actually had a little more bite than I expected – it’s listed at 125 IBUs.  The All America a little less, and it was definitely smoother.

Food is available as well. They have what can really be described as typical pub fare; burgers and quesadillas and whatnot, all fresh-made in their small kitchen in the back.

But what caught my eye was their ice cream! They use their own wine and beer to make fresh ice cream. And yes, it was snowing, but there was no way I was passing this up.

four single-serving cups of ice cream on a "beer flight" board
Beer ice cream from RG Brewery/Five Sons Winery

I tried a flight of four: the Scotch ale, an Apple Pie torte (which I believe was one of their wine offerings), a porter, and the Hopperhead. As anticipated, the apple one was the most traditional flavor. The porter didn’t seem to have much kick at all, and the bitterness of the Hopperhead overpowered any sweetness in the ice cream. But the Scotch ale ice cream was outstanding. Just enough kick, just enough sweetness.

All in all, a solid visit from me. Worth making a special trip? Probably if the weather is nice, yes, to sit outside on the porch. Looks like they’ve got some events planned, including an oyster night and a chocolate pairing night, coming in the next few weeks, so I’d anticipate keeping an eye on their site for future things that might make it worth a special trip.

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A Nocturnal Storm for the Longest Night

I’m not usually a dark beer drinker – I like my beer hoppy – but on The Longest Night for the winter solstice, well, you have to put old feelings aside and try something new.

A beer in a fluted glass sits on a coffee table in front of a lit Christmas tree
Nocturnal Storm, a vanilla porter from Rising Storm in Avon, NY

Rising Storm is a fantastic new brewery just off Exit 9 on Route 390 in Avon, NY. It’s a quick half hour ride from downtown Rochester, and only a few minutes from Mortalis, another new local place that’s quickly developing a rabid following.

The brainchild of Bill Blake and Jeff Reidl, fraternity brothers from our college days at Geneseo (although I’ve got a good eight or so years on them), Rising Storm simply brews good beer. They’re not trying to reinvent the wheel; no crazy flavors, no gimmicks. Just a good variety of styles done right. (Their first NEIPA, called The What, earned my first 5 on Untappd.)

The rest of the Barley Prose team challenged me to blog a dark beer, though, so I figured this was the way to go. Nocturnal Storm is a vanilla porter that tastes pretty much exactly what I expected a vanilla porter to taste like: a little tinge of vanilla and coffee, but very smooth and very drinkable. I’ve downed an entire crowler this evening and I’ve enjoyed every sip. It’s only 5.8% ABV, so it’s not overwhelming either, but has enough kick to count.

Bill and Jeff are adding live music in the next couple of weeks, and they’ve worked hard to develop a strong local following. Keep an eye on this little place in Livingston County that’s going to make some noise in 2019. (Tell Sully or Doupe at the bar that Chris sent you.)

 

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Live from Rochester, NY!

Hey there, it’s the new guy here at Barley Prose, coming to you from the third-largest city in the greatest state in the union, Rochester, New York. Rochester, like many cities, is in the middle of a pretty significant beer resurgence right now, and I’m happy to lend my drinking and writing talents to this fantastic team of Mets fans from around the country.

I’m a relatively recent beer drinker, having only really taken up the habit in the last several years. That means I missed the drink-crappy-beer-in-college phase, which I’m quite happy about. But what that *does* mean is that I’ve gone straight from zero to beer snob.

And I’m *that* kind of beer snob, too – an IPA drinker. Thankfully, we have lots of fantastic options here in the ROC, so I’m in good shape. (Providing that “round” counts as a shape.)

I’m going to spend the first couple of posts here introducing you to some of my favorites locally, and then I’ll work on stretching beyond the 585 area code.

A can of Ellsworth IPA from Stoneyard, poured into a Rochester Red Wings "Hop Bitters" pint glass.
A can of Ellsworth IPA from Stoneyard, poured into a Rochester Red Wings “Hop Bitters” pint glass.

Look for reviews and thoughts in the next few days about Rising Storm and Stoneyard, two of my local favorites. And if you’ve got feedback, drop me a line in the comments and let me know, or find me on Twitter, where I wax poetic in 280 characters on baseball and the Mets, hair metal music, higher education, game shows, and like all good tweeters, general silliness and snark.

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