Day Drinking at Moreau Lake State Park + Bonus Ommegang Rant


Golden Harvest Peach Jack

Jon and Danielle were spending the weekend up at Moreau Lake and while I couldn’t stay the whole weekend, Elise was at a wedding shower so that means I had a free pass to head up there with Kuma to enjoy a few drinks around the fire. Jon said he ended up having a shitty night so I’m glad I didn’t stay.

The lineup for the day:

  • Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery – Peach Jack
  • Maui Brewing Co. – CoCoNut PorTer (Thanks Chris!)
  • Hoppin’ Frog Brewery – Frog’s Hollow Double Pumpkin
  • Brewery Ommegang – Scythe & Sickle
  • Avery Brewing Company – Maharaja (Birthday beers from Elise)
  • Founders Brewing Company – Dry Hopped Pale Ale

Rant time:

Jon actually grabbed this Scythe and Sickle at Ommegang well before it hit shelves in our area and we were drinking this the weekend after. If you have already read my rant about this beer on All Over Albany I apologize, but I feel this needs to be said here.

When you read the reviews for Scythe and Sickle a lot of them have the same thing to say, or at least allude to it: “You can really taste the Belgian yeast in this.” What they mean to say is “You can really taste the Ommegang yeast in this.” And that’s the biggest problem that I have with all Ommegang beers these days. If you lined 100 beers up I could easily pick out the one Ommegang beer out of them. They all have this same common flavor profile due to using this only one yeast strain in their beers and after years and years and years of drinking Ommegang (they’re really where I started getting fanatical about craft beer) it’s getting kind of boring. That’s a shame since this Scythe and Sickle deserves a 4+ rating but unfortunately I just can’t give it that rating while being that bored and uninterested in the brand in general.

I want to see Ommegang do something truly different and out of their comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be a huge risk, nationwide release or anything. I want to see them experiment, do some small batch, brewery only release or even something as small as a brewery only on tap release. I would drive out there for something like that in a heartbeat, and I’m sure there are plenty of locals who would appreciate a beer like that as well.

This dovetails into my complaint that we really don’t have much in terms of beer in the area that worth trading for. If I want to trade for something across the country, I generally have to drive up to Vermont and get some Heady Topper, Lawson’s or Hill Farmstead. The two big craft breweries of note in New York, Southern Tier and Ommegang, really only brew what they ship mostly nationally and they do nothing in terms of brewery only releases. Ithaca used to have some sours that were worth trading, but that’s still 3 hours away, one single style of beer compared to the multiple styles of beer I could acquire in VT, and since they no longer have a coolship their sour program is kind of up in the air (yes that was an open-air fermentation pun). My best chance in NY right now is to get my hands on some of the Captain Lawrence sours (congrats on the big wins at GABF this year, btw) and to hope that Peekskill starts up their barrel aging and sour programs and they start bottling some day. That’s kinda sad.


Moreau Lake State Park (link) | 605 Old Saratoga Road, Gansevoort, Saratoga, New York 12831 (map) | All Moreau Lake State Park Posts

Beer Delivery from Hawaii and Decicco’s

– My buddy Chris was in town and called me up to see if I was in for drink. When am I not?? He showed up with some goodies from his travels in Hawaii (where his fiancée resides and his future nuptials are) and some things he picked up from Decicco’s on his way up to the Capital District. I pulled out some stuff from my recent MA trip, birthday beers from Elise, and since I’ll be at Hill Farmstead this weekend for the Harvest Festival, the Everett I’ve been saving since our trip there over the summer.

A night of having a couple of beers quickly turned into an all-nighter, watching an entire season of Archer, eating an entire 10-cut pizza from Inferno, staying up until 2:30AM and showing up two hours late to work next day. Whoops. Totally worth it, though, as it’s not often I get a chance to catch up with Chris.

As for the beers that day:

  • Galaxy White IPA – Anchorage Brewing Company
  • CoCoNut PorTeR – Maui Brewing Co.
  • Everett – Hill Farmstead Brewery
  • Sobrehumano Palena ‘ole – Maui Brewing Co.
  • Slumbrew Trekker Triple – Somerville Brewing Company
  • Gandhi-Bot – New England Brewing Co.
  • Mischief – The Bruery
  • Imperial India Pale Ale – Green Flash Brewing Co.

I was actually really impressed with the stuff from Maui. I’m NOT a huge fan of most of the stuff we have available from Kona (but I’m sure their other stuff is great) so I was pretty happy the beers from Maui delivered. The porter had a tough time standing up next to Everett (one of the best porters in the world in my opinion) but it was great and not something I’m used to expecting from a can. Even the Sobrehumano had this flavor going on with it that just BEGGED to be sour, of which Jolly Pumpkin does and is fairly well rated. I gotta keep my eyes out for that. Lastly the Trekker Triple really surprised me. I’ve been pretty bored of Belgians lately (well, maybe just bored of Ommegang’s yeast strain) and I thought it was really solid. I’ve been happy with all of the beers from my haul from MA and I’m going to start making my way out there for my next couple of hauls.

Anyways, on to what you guys are really here for, beer porn!