Common Roots x Rare Form Beer Dinner at Henry Street Taproom

common roots x rare form beer dinner at henry street taproom | saratoga, ny

Common Roots x Rare Form Beer Dinner at Henry Street Taproom

After surviving (barely) another Saratoga Beer Week I finally have the chance to share with you guys some pictures from last Monday’s beer dinner at Henry Street Taproom featuring beer from two of my favorite local breweries, Common Roots up in South Glens Falls and Rare Form down in Troy. Ryan and Sonja McFadden, along with Chef AJ Richards teamed up with brewmasters Christian Weber and Kevin Mullen to bring some unique dishes and beer pairings to a sold out crowd Monday Night. Let’s take a look:

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More NYC

The Ides at Wythe Hotel

Took a weekend right before the holidays to head down to NYC with a few friends and like usual, explore a bit, show them some of my favorite spots, check out some new ones, and grab some good food and drink. Some of the places I’ve been to in the past so I’ve included pictures from past visits as well.

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NYC Day Trip

I’ve been doing a bunch of exploring around New York City the past year or so, but I haven’t done much posting or writing about it. With a day off on Black Friday I decided to head down to the City and check off a few places on my list with an ol’ buddy of mine, Chef Elliot Cunniff. (Capital Region readers may remember Elliot from his days at MezzaNotte and Creo, and he’s since gone on to do stints in NYC for Daniel Boulud, David Burke, and now has taken the reigns at Soho Grand Hotel.) We started our food and drink adventure in Brooklyn, followed by Queens and ended the day in Manhattan.

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B. United / OEC Brewing | Oxford, CT

B. United / OEC Brewing
“Wow.” That’s all I can say about my visit to B. United and OEC brewing this past weekend. Going from one industrial park brewery after another after another, most breweries start to look the same, even with the nicest transformation of their tasting room. B. United and OEC’s space is something truly different, and they’re going way, WAY above and beyond to bring some really unique beers and methods of brewing and fermentation to the Northeast.

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Dark Horse Beefsteak Dinner at McGreivey’s 2015 | Waterford, NY

Filet Mignon

Last week marked the second annual Dark Horse Beefsteak Dinner at McGreivey’s. This laid back beer dinner hasn’t changed much from last year’s event, which is a good thing. The seat price is an absolute steal considering the amount of food, including all you can eat filet, and beer is served at the event. I didn’t have as much freedom to move around to take as many pictures like I did last year so make sure you check out that post with a little more in depth commentary as well.

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Hudson Whiskey & Rye Beer at Henry Street Taproom | Saratoga Springs, NY

Tuesday may have kicked off Saratoga Beer Week but at that night’s Hudson Whiskey & Rye Beer event, the whiskey stole the show. Ryan and Sonja McFadden of Henry Street hosted us while Ralph Erenzo from Tuthilltown Spirits led us through a series of Hudson Whiskey spirits and Jared Kingsley from Remarkable Liquids shared a handful of beers from their portfolio all of which tied rye into the recipe.

Hudson Whiskey is an interesting brand. It started life on farm land in Gardiner, NY owned by Ralph Erenzo, and he has no qualms about telling stories of trials and tribulations of getting production off the ground. Difficulties were met while dealing with uncooperative neighbors who were against the idea of having a distillery nearby, and production issues arose when the honey-melting tank they used to mash their grain lacked a drain, attributing to their unique process of leaving the grains in during fermentation. This gives the final product its signature grainy flavor, a process they still use today.

While still produced by Tuthilltown, the Hudson Whiskey brand is now owned Scotch whisky giant William Grant & Sons, who also own recognizable brands such as Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and The Mcallan. The 375ml wax dipped bottles generate some controversy in the whiskey world as the pricepoint fetches near $80 for its 750ml equivelant, but I assure you, it’s worth the price of admission for a special occassion. Let’s take a look at the whiskies and beer we tried that night.

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Sausage Fest and Beer Raffle for Indy Likes Beer


Thank you to everyone who made both Sausage Fest and the Beer Raffle for Indy a huge success this weekend. We’ve raised over $6000 on the GoFundMe page (keep the donations coming) plus more in cash in the days prior and during the event. This will cover a big portion of Indy’s expenses, but they can still use your help, so keep those donations coming.

The winners of the prizes were as follows:

  • STRETCH GOAL BOX: Ashley Davis
  • SOUR BOX: Brett Donaldson
  • D.E.N.I.S BOX: John Aramini
  • SAMMY BELGIAN BOX: James Parsons
  • CAPTAIN LAWRENCE BOX: Stephen Valliere
  • ROGUE BOX: Chad Bevers
  • BONUS BOX (St Lam + Congress St growler): Mike Segerson

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Captain Lawrence Sour’d in September

Small gallery this week but man, this was one of my favorite events of the year. This was Captain Lawrence’s first time taking on an beer festival like this and I can’t stress how well everything was ran. Beer selection was out of this world, the people were amazing, actual brewers from a lot of the breweries involved, plenty of beer to go around. Not to mention little to no lines since there were less than 400 people in attendance. I had a tough time not just hanging out at the Captain Lawrence tent and getting refills on all of the amazing beer they had for us that day. Awesome to see so many people from the Capital Region make the trip down as well, with people from The Bier Abbey, Remarkable Liquids, Craft Beer Guild, and Madison Pour House all in attendance. This was a great, intimate festival and I’m really hoping this comes back next year.

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Beer Raffle for Indy Likes Beer


Hey guys, I have a huge favor to ask of you. I’m sure you’ve seen this pooch on my Instagram before if not all over my friend Ross’s BeerAdvocate (IndyDad), TalkBeer (IndysDad), and Facebook pages. Indy has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, recently had his leg amputated to relieve some of his pain, and is currently doing bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments. Needless to say, these are tough times for Indy and his medical bills are piling up.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Michelle and Ross to help offset some of those costs. Every little bit helps. To help kickstart things ever further, I would like to donate some bottles to be raffled off, and I know there are some others in the beer community who would like to donate bottles as well. I’m going to start the first box off with two bottles from yesterday’s Sour’d in September release, Flaming Fury Batch #2 and Barrel Select Pomegranate. I’m sure between all of us going up, we’ll be able to donate bottle(s) of what they’re releasing at Hill Farmstead during Zwanze Day next weekend as well.

UPDATE 1: We’re splitting up the bottles to 6 bottle prizes to give more people the opportunity to win. Denis has graciously donated a bunch of bottles to help out with the raffle, more than enough to fill out one of the boxes on his own. Pics to follow.

UPDATE 2: Indy will be present during the raffle! Michelle will be bringing him over after work so we can draw the prizes at Sausage Fest.

UPDATE 3: Fresh delivery of goodies came in last night. Pic of the sessiness added below!

UPDATE 4: Oliver’s has donated a $50 gift card! Read below how we’re going to handle that for out of towners.

UPDATE 5: Mike G over at TalkBeer has also donated a bottle of Hill Farmstead Peleg and Westy XII. Since he’ll be shipping it from his location I’ll be tacking that onto the Hill Farmstead box!

UPDATE 6: The crew over at Westmere Beverage just added a growler/t-shirt combo. Jeremy at Westmere will be sending the box directly to the winner.

UPDATE 7: SammyJaxxxx over on BeerAdvocate has donated a nice box of Westies and Loons. Sammy will be sending the box directly to the winner.

UPDATE 8: Hill Farmstead Dorothy and Convivial in hand, thanks to Mike Smith (vonnegut21 on TB/BA). Plus New England Attempted RedRum from Ben Drinks Beer.

UPDATE 9: George from The Bier Abbey has donated a killer set of vintage Captain Lawrence bottles. George will be sending the box directly to the winner.

UPDATE 10: HUGE update this morning to the Indy Likes Beer Beer Raffle! We’re on our last couple of days before we draw and we could really use a huge push here!

First up we have the final bottle for the sour box courtesy of Aaron Wittman, Sourtooth Tiger from The Rare Barrel. I’ve also thrown in an Arthur and Florence to the Hill Farmstead Brewery box so those two boxes are now complete.

Next up, and this is REALLY cool, Jade from Rogue Ales has reached out to us to show their support and donate a couple of cool items to add as another prize. The beer they included is Big Ass Barrel Brewer’s Ale, a beer dedicated to John Maier’s dog Brewer. The prize includes the bottle, which will be signed by John Maier, and an up cycled dog collar from Cycle Dog (made out of up cycled bike tires).

Lastly, and this is the BIG one, we’re putting together one last HUGE stretch goal box that we’ll raffle off if we hit $6000 tomorrow. This will include Black Tuesday, Vera Mae, Damon, Batch 1 E., Frog Run, Peche and Brett, and Attempted RedRum. And to top it off, HotMetal (James R. Clark) has generously donated the biggest, baddest bottle opener to end all bottle openers. It’s a completely custom, one-off Battle Axe Bottle Opener AKA Badass Motherfucker (Ross’s words, not mine, haha). This puppy is valued at $300 alone, so this is one hell of a grand prize. We’ll ONLY be offering up this prize if we reach the stretch goal of $6000 dollars tomorrow, so please, buy more tickets, share it on social media, get your friends on it.

UPDATE 11: Winners were drawn at SausageFest on 9/27. I’ve added the winners names here but a full post on the night and winners is forthcoming.

The current list of prizes:


  • Custom, one-off Battle Axe Bottle Opener AKA Badass Motherfucker from HotMetal
  • Hill Farmstead Vera Mae
  • Hill Farmstead Damon
  • FiddleHead Frog Run Sap Beer
  • New England Brewing Company Attempted RedRum
  • Bullfrog The Jaspers (not pictured)
  • Hill Farmstead E. Batch #1 (not pictured)
  • Peche and Brett (not pictured)
  • The Bruery Black Tuesday (not pictured)

SOUR BOX – WINNER: Brett Donaldson
Indy Likes Beer

  • Captain Lawrence Flaming Fury Batch #2
  • Captain Lawrence Barrel Select Pomegranate
  • Cascade Vlad the Impaler 2011
  • Sang Royal 2009
  • Upland Viola
  • The Rare Barrel – Sourtooth Tiger

D.E.N.I.S BOX – WINNER: John Aramini
Indy Likes Beer

  • Sang Noir 2012
  • Keegan Ales Super Kitty 11/28/10 #214 of 500
  • Dark Lord 2011
  • Pelican Mother of all Storms 2010
  • Pelican Mother of all Storms 2013
  • Big Sky Ivan the Terrible 2012 #2541 of 4200
  • (Vlad and Sang Noir from this picture have been moved to the Sour Box to keep each box at 6 bottles)

Indy Likes Beer

  • Convivial
  • Dorothy
  • BroSo
  • Florence
  • Arthur
  • Peleg / Westy XII
  • EXTRA: Heady Topper X 2

Indy Likes Beer

  • Westy 12
  • Westy 8
  • Westy Blonde
  • Lambickx (2012)
  • Cantillon Iris
  • Cantillon Gueuze 100% Lambic-Bio
  • De Ranke Noir De Dottignies

Indy Likes Beer

  • Cuvee de Castleton Batch 3
  • Brett Infected Golden Delicious
  • Rosso E. Marron Batch 3
  • Rosso E. Marron Batch 4
  • Smoke from the Oak Apple Brandy Barrel Aged
  • Hops and Roses 2012

Indy Likes Beer

  • Big Ass Barrel Brewer’s Ale, signed by John Maier
  • Up cycled dog collar from Cycle Dog (made out of up cycled bike tires)


  • $50 OLIVER’S GIFT CARD – If the winner is local, you will get the gift card directly and you can spend it how you choose.
  • OR – If the winner is not from the area, then Ross and I will reach out to you and see what types of beers you like and availability of beers to you and your area. We’ll then head down to Oliver’s and put together a box which the Oliver’s crew will send out.
  • Westmere is donating a branded swing top growler filled with beer of the winner’s choice. Check their growler page for the latest updates.
  • Westmere T-Shirt x 2

For every $10 you donate to Indy’s Fund, you’ll get an entry into the raffle. Shoot me an email at after you’ve donated with your amount. Please make sure when you donate you do not do so anonymously so I can double check things. We’ll be drawing the raffle at Sausage Fest on the 27th (the winner does not have to be present).

You know as a fellow beer lover and dog lover this kind of thing would devastate me if something like this happened to Kuma, and like Ross and Michelle I’d be doing everything in my power to make things better for my pooch. If you are a like-minded beer geek and dog lover, make sure you donate. And if you are an individual, brewer, bar owner, bottle shop owner or distributor and have other bottles you’d like to contribute, please reach out to me at Thank you all!