Road Trip: Russ and Roger visit Hudson Brewing Company in Hudson, N.Y.
We filled the Transit, plugged in the GPS, and hit the road. It was a gorgeous day as we passed fields of veggies, apples, hay and all the bounty of upstate. I – 90, Rt. 9, 9H, 66 and then into the maze in Hudson. Have a good map or GPS. We didn’t exactly get lost, but we were a mite confused for a couple of minutes. Hudson Brewing Company (HBC) is in a warehouse at 99 S. 3rd street, Hudson, NY. When you see the weird mobile sculpture you’re close.
You have to go all the way around the building.
Russ & Joe above.
Joe, sales manager, was outside waiting for us under the umbrella. We arrived just as they were mashing their latest beer in their new equipment. HBC recently moved from the railroad station, which they are still close to.
HBC is the first brewery in Hudson since Prohibition. The Prohibition theme plays out in their warm tasting room. It accommodates 25 to 30 people. Check it out Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6PM.
We talked a bit and went around the back to see the system. Aaron was just closing u their new 15 barrel tank. HBC is a NY farm brewery. That means that they are required to use NY malt and hops. Right now 20% of the grist and hops must be from NY, and that rises to 90% by 2023. HBC has a cream ale going on soon that is all NY grain. Aaron was making a Scottish ale now.
The old system is a 3 barrel set up with a big old hot water tank for mashing. Extensions are ready to upgrade that to a 5 barrel system.
Aaron was working on the new system, below. The brewery is built out of a big warehouse. They share space with Tapped Beer, which makes some awesome commercial taps. https://www.tappedbeer.com/
Their space is built out in the warehouse. Fermenting rooms, keg and hops storage and brite tanks for the taps out front all filled with beer in various stages.
We asked Aaron about the new 15 barrel system. “I am ridiculously excited about the new system. It’s a major help as we’re maxed out.” was his answer. And they are already talking about a 30 barrel system.
For their opening they rented a canning line and canned their Diamond Street IPA. We were able to snag a 4 pack, which we sampled back at our store. Yum, big hop nose and taste. But that was a special case and to try any of their beer you have to visit them. We were a bit thirsty from talking, so we went back to the tasting room for a few samples. Ten beers are currently on tap. Check their web site for what is currently on tap when you go.
From left to right above is the Kolsch, Brown Ale and the Tainted Senorita
So many beers, so little time. I hazarded a guess that the Tainted Senorita Coffee Stout was made with Mexican coffee beans and was proved correct. The first sample, however, was a Kolsch. It was light, maltly, with low hop aroma and taste. It’s a nice session beer with a low alcohol level, 4.5% abv. It was a bit cloudier than expected, but it seemed to be just a bit of yeast as it cleared after clearing the line a bit. Russ nursed a Widow Walk IPA, and I tried a sample. Red, with a hint of brown, it had a hoppy nose and pronounced bitterness. It has all NY ingredients and uses centennial and cascade hops. The abv is 6.5%. I’d been longing for the Mexican Senorita and Joe provided a taste. It won a silver at TAP NY. Big but not too strong, it came in at 7.3% abv. They use beans from Tierra Farm, http://www.tierrafarm.com/fairtradeorganiccoffee.aspx , in Valatie, NY. (If the beans are not from NY, at least they are blended and roasted here. ) The Senorita’s nose was big, coffee predominating, but lots of roasted notes. The chewy mouth feel also included coffee and notes that lingered a long time. To clear my palate a sip of water reset my taste buds. The final brew I chose was Firkin Merkin Brown Ale. It had a lovely brown color, chocolate and roasted notes and a malty roasted taste. Hops aroma and taste were low and the abv was 6.1%.
We were done with our mission. Russ and I took our leave and headed back through the maze of Hudson. It was a gorgeous day as we passed fields of veggies, apples, hay and all the bounty of upstate now fortified with some very good beer.
For a day trip, there are some other interesting attractions in and around Hudson. We passed the Firefighting Museum fasnyfiremuseum.com, and the Pleshankov Piano Museum pleshakov.com, and the Hudson Alms House https://sites.google.com/a/galvanfoundation.org/www/our-initiatives/hudson-alms-house are in the city. A few miles south is the beautiful Olana State Historic site olana.org and the Olana cottage. And just across the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, Rt 23, is the Thomas Cole National Historic site, another of the Hudson River artists, thomascole.org.
Remember, relax, don’t worry. Have a homebrew.