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Road Trip to North River Hops and Brewery (NRHB)

Russ and I went on a road trip last week. Our visit included a stop at Brewmation in Fishkill and a stop at North River Hops and Brewery (NRHB) a few miles away in Wappingers Falls. NRHB uses a 2 barrel Brewmation brewing system so we wanted to talk with them.

We got there about 2:30, but NRHB didn’t open until 3. Fortunately Mexicali Blue, a Southwest style restaurant was next door. We went in and settled at the bar. What we saw on tap wasn’t close to what they claim to offer on their web site. We saw Negra Modelo, Brooklyn IPA, Lagunitas IPA, two beers from NRHB, and Sloop Juice. Russ requested a Sloop which kicked and sputtered and spit out a milk shake of foam. The Brooklyn IPA was better, but I had water. Their chicken tortilla soup was good but the portion seemed a might meager. The burrito was hefty but so was the price. Finished, we paid and eagerly went to NRHB.

NRHB is in a strip mall, and the outside was clean with lots of glass. Open the door and it’s a warm space with lots of wood.  Walking in you could see a stainless steel tank peeking around the corner. A number of patrons happily sat at the bar, a couple of them talking together. It looked nice and cozy.

Sitting at the bar we introduced ourselves to one of the owners and head brewer, Brandin Stabell.

One reason we stopped at NRHB was they used a Brewmation system. They started with a 3 bbl system and have added a 7 bbl fermenter.

We talked a bit about his current offerings. There were 5 beers on tap.



Russ decided to try the Paddle Steamer Pale ale. It wasn’t hot enough for a Saison or Wheat for me. Normally I’d try the session amber, but their Porter had just come out that day, 4/20, so I gave that a try. We chatted while sipping. Their brew is refreshing and palatable, the owners are friendly and excited. They have two flagship ales, Tarwe and Paddle Steamer, as permanent fixtures, and rotate through 4 to 8 other ales – with an occasional lager – year round.  Tarwe means wheat in Dutch, and NRHB draws on the Dutch brewing tradition in the Hudson Valley, and the Dutch primarily brewed wheat beer.

The NRHB philosophy is to provide   “A variety of freshly brewed beers and locally crafted products displayed in a space reminiscent of a 19th century general.” They source many local products and do some interesting experimentation. For example, they have a series of brews that use various flavored teas from Harney & Sons, master tea blenders, in Millerton NY. Brandin also splits one batch into two and make two types using different yeasts. They are planning to expand sometime in the not too distant future.

You can see Brandin at 1571 Route 9, Wappingers Falls, NY, 12590. They are open Monday & Thursday 3p–8p, Friday 3p–9p, Saturday 11a–9p, and Sunday 12p–6p.


– Roger