Drinking Outside The Box

Hey! It’s a beer post by a human being who’s not Ceetar!

Like many modern beer drinkers, I tend toward IPAs. But my wife and I decided to check out the new German-style Faircraft Brauhaus yesterday on the way to our weekly pub quiz night. Faircraft opened last year doing just to-go crowler and growler sales of their darker lagers and ales, and over the past few months, they’ve expanded into a full-scale operation, and we came away extremely impressed!

The menu is simple — some wursts, spaetzles, and whatnot — but was really fantastic. Even the pretzel & mustard combo, which is usually comically oversized, is a perfect side dish or appetizer. At a first glance, they’re mostly small plates, good for a snack, but we had the sausage plate, which came with half a loaf of sourdough and a scoop of the most incredible obatzda cheese spread you’ve ever had. We did *not* leave hungry.

a plate with sausage slices, cheese, and bread, next to a plate with a large pretzel, with a flight of four dark beers behind them
The sausage plate, “bretzel,” and a flight at the Brauhaus.

Nor did we leave thirsty, of course! They specialize in darker beers, so we went all in. From left to right in the photo above: Spinning Gold, a clean, easy-drinking Helles lager that my wife was bored by but I thought was good; Lucy’s Local, a Rye IPA that was heavy on the rye and light on the hops; Raven’s Ring, a fantastic Schwarzbier, and Low & Slow, their smoked porter.

Not pictured is the Bricklebock, a traditional single bock that I thought was the best of the bunch.

Faircraft is perfectly positioned in downtown Fairport in the former American Can Factory, just steps from the Erie Canal, with plenty of parking and a huge outdoor patio that will get a TON of use once the weather cooperates. They’ve got a ton of space inside as well, including a grand piano, so I’d anticipate some music nights there too. Really looking forward to seeing them continue to grow.

The five businesses in the Can Factory building — Faircraft, Compane Trattoria, Smokin Hot Chicks BBQ, Iron Smoke Distillery, and Triphammer Bierworks — make that whole space a real destination for us!

Volksfest: Drinking German Beer In The Sun

Out on Long Island, at a place called Plattduetsche Park, there are frequently German heritage festivals. One of these happened this past weekend, the 135th Plattduetsche Volksfest. There’s a parade, there’s plenty of German food, vendors, balloon animals, bounce houses, music, and of course, beer. I did mention this was a German peoples’ festival right?

 

It was hot, as per summer. Erdinger had flyers out with a special, five beers for $18 in an ice-filled bucket. I opted for that, trusting it to be fresh and clean, over something like 2017’s Oktoberfest from Hacker-Pschorr.

The Erdinger Summer Weisse is a new beer from Erdinger, I can’t say I’ve ever had strong feelings about any of their other offerings, but I did find this one a perfect fit for the environment. It comes in at a light 4.6% ABV and is still flavorful.  It’s got some mild bitterness to it, the wheat isn’t too heavy, and there are some good fruity citrus notes to it that keep it crisp and refreshing.

 

When the long tables feature a constantly refilling set of bottles and pitchers as everyone takes a beer, pours a beer, or goes to get another pitcher, it’s nice to have something that goes down so easy, and in this case was ice cold thanks to the bucket.

 

The next person to buy a pitcher got the Krombacher Pils, which is a perfectly serviceable beer, particularly for the hot summer months, but I just find pilsners a little too plain for my preference and I don’t enjoy the sulfur notes that typically accompany German ones. Another problem with beers like that is that they skunk in the hot sun way too easily. Perhaps I’m drinking too slowly, or simply become more aware of the flavor, but I could practically see the light skunking the pilsner as I was drinking it, unlike the summer weisse that I kept in the dark bottle.

photo by Ceetar
Hop oils being converted into skunk aroma.

After an enjoyable afternoon drinking beer and eating potato pancakes and bratwurst, we went home where I drank roughly three gallons of water to recover from the heat and alcohol. I got the kids to bed, and then I cracked open an IPA and enjoyed it in my comfortable climate controlled home.

 

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