I’m really the type of person to listen and pay attention to the signs out there. Not street signs, although I pay attention to those too, best as I’m able.
I mean an omen. A signal, telling me that I should go do something or go someplace. This is the beer drinkers’ equivalent of Harry Potter drinking the liquid luck and then going to Hagrid’s. You just have to go where you think you need to go and trust your instincts.
So, when you’re driving around your town, and you see a big fancy new sign on a building, on a stretch of road that is largely otherwise unoccupied, well, that’s a sign right there.
Especially a sign like this baby.
Turns out, as per their web site, this place has been making brews since 2016. Now there’s no way I missed a sign going up four years ago, 15 minutes from my house. No sir! Turns out, the tasting room just opened in the fall.
I finally made my way to this place the other night. They’re only open on Fridays-Sundays, for now, so it’s a bit tougher to work that into my schedule, but when you get that sign, you follow it!
The building that houses this tasting room, as per a very personable bartender named Joe, has been many different things, as it sits near a train crossing or some other notable junction. In any event, they’ve got some inventive decor and a real comfortable feel.
Let’s move on from the assfeel of those stools to talk about the merch that matters, the brewskis.
While their web site details quite a number of enticing sounding drinks, they had just four of their own beers on tap the night I was there. The bartender apologized that he didn’t have any of their wheat beers or other varieties to offer me. I started instead with their signature beer, the Hitch IPA.
This beer, ITBMCBB*, is best described as a “traditional IPA, hop forward, unfiltered.” I found it to be refreshing and hoppy. It’s a 7.2% IPA, which is a happy place for me to get my blur on.
Any local place should be putting their own best IPA forward as the first beer to start with, and the Hitch IPA gets the job done. This was despite the misgivings of my adjacent stool mate, who after a sample asked if they had “any beers that tasted like beer.” He was offered a Kolsch which I think he preferred (I thought less of him for saying so).
I moved from the IPA next to their brown ale. As per the bartender, the brewer was attempting to make her own take on a Newcastle. Now, why someone would want to do that is beyond me. Newcastle is some thin, watery slop. This self described “English style” brown ale, the “Loucastle,” was far more enjoyable. I think, after the fine Brooklyn Brewery Brown Ale, this is probably my second favorite of this type that I’ve enjoyed personally.
This place has much to offer. First, don’t underestimate the value of a friendly and engaging bartender. This guy was on his own impetus offering me samples of the guest taps he enjoyed the most, just as one beer enthusiast sharing his joys with customers. That’s a first for me.
Another thing is that their menu included eight beers from other local craft breweries, including both a couple of known favorites of mine from Buried Acorn as well as some others I had not tried prior. This is a very welcoming and open brewing community and the best places all seem to enjoy serving each others’ beers.
They also have some complimentary snacks for the drinking set – always a nice perk. As Ceetar would tell you, a hard crunchy pretzel is the perfect compliment to a cold hoppy beer.
All in all, the Freight Yard Brewery is a choice spot and I’ll be headed back there soon. I’m looking forward to their soon to be expanded hours (hopefully, later in 2020, to include Wednesdays and Thursdays), and to perhaps plan a running route nearby so that I can add this as a Run, Relax & Refresh spot to add to my list.
So if you’re in the vicinity of Clay, New York, do stop in and check this place out, and better yet, call or text me first and I will meet you there for a brown ale and an IPA.