Craft Beer In Saratoga Springs
By: Maureen Kelly
I began my summer of craft beers with a stop at the City Tavern on Caroline Street in Saratoga, NY. The tavern is 4 stories high and it has a selection of over 100 draft beers that includes a pretty large craft beer selection. This is not my first time with craft beers that involves visas and Brazil and lots of wrong lines and mistaken identities…definitely a story for another time.
I like things in three’s, so I figure a trio of beers for the tasting is just my style. Because I like to eat when I drink, and for the scientific integrity of this grand craft beer experiment, due to the fact that meatloaf burgers weren’t ringing my bell, I’ll be trying everything with nachos.
So of course I start with the girliest beer available, you know it, Leinenkugel Summer Shandy (fruit beer, 4.2% ABV). Delicious, fun, light, and unexpectedly not sweet. It is cloudy beer because it doesn’t really settle out so it looks like pulpy lemonade. I think I would most prefer drinking this beer while tubing on the Hudson River with a cooler tied and floating behind me. Not good with nachos.
I knew that I would like the shandy but this is not a summer of the “same old same old”, so for my next beer I go with the bartender’s pick: Bronx Pale Ale (American Pale Ale, 6.3% ABV). Now I know that the bartender suggested it to give me shock and himself a giggle because it is obviously a far cry from the girlie beer that I just finished. I know this and I slam down my first swig anyway. Shocking, bitter, but smooth. It literally felt like a shot of Patron and I liked that about it. It left me looking for salt and a lime. (Either that or the 40 of Bud light lime I am drinking from a juice glass has clouded my thinking)…But seriously, I liked the shock of it. I wouldn’t drink a pint of it but definitely and juice glass full. Good with nachos.
For the last of my first trio, the Adirondack fat Scotsman (Brown, 10% ABV) had caught my eye earlier and the bartender Derrick mentioned it while I was thinking of it. Although he tried to scud me with his beer version of the Bronx cheer, I was undaunted and ordered up a pint. It was borderline brown in color, red-headed and tasty, with a little bitter all the way through. Tastes like ex-boyfriend just like I knew it would. I’ll think about ordering it sometimes, but I won’t. And not surprisingly, both beer and ex-boyfriend… Bad with nachos.