Memorial Day Brewery Tour

Posted on 24 May 2009

On Saturday, May 23rd (2009), Colleen and I took another brewery tour, this time focusing our efforts on Oswego and Syracuse. I used it as an excuse to take a drive along Lake Ontario and, again, it was a gorgeous day for a drive. We headed out Route 96, went up north via Route 14, and then crossed over Route 104 to Ridge Road into Wolcott, getting on Route 104A to go along Lake Ontario and through Fair Haven and Sterling towards Oswego. From Oswego, we took Route 481 through Fulton to I-690 and Syracuse.

There weren’t any “great surprises” with the beer we tasted on this trip but the Syracuse Suds Factory turned out to be a terrible disappointment. Needless to say, we left with 6 empty growlers and returned with 5 full ones.

King Arthur’s Steakhouse & Brew Pub (Oswego, NY)
really not impressed but, compared to the other Oswego bars which mostly serve Bud-Miller-Coors (BMC), alright, I guess. The “Lager” is perfect for those who like Coors Lite, it’s bland and blah. I’d give the American Pale Ale highest marks but, even then, it only got 2 out of 5 stars. Colleen and I tried the Brown ale and, while it smelled like Malta Goya, she thought it tasted like cauliflower and I tasted a hint of photo developer

Middle Ages Brewing Company (Syracuse, NY)
I never would have found the place without Colleen’s help! We tried a couple of the beers, their Wit seeming a bit too light for me. I bought 2 growlers of the ImPaled Ale and we were advised to go to the Blue Tusk to try the cask-drawn Old Marcus ESB. This turned out to be very yummy and a great palate-cleanser after the visit to Syracuse Suds Factory…

Syracuse Suds Factory (Syracuse, NY)
well, Colleen knows what infected beer tastes like now! Their Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, Black Cherry Weizen/Lambic, and Stout all tasted like vinegar and yogurt. For the Lambic, this is understandable but the cherry flavor was too strong and overdone. If you’re looking for sour beers, you may enjoy what Syracuse Suds Factory has to offer but all the beers tasted similar with little subtlety of difference between each one.

Empire Brewing Company (Syracuse, NY)
what a great way to end the trip! The atmosphere is cozy, the bartenders were cheerful, the beer was yummy, and the food was terrific! We came home with a growler of the Porter, one of the Hefeweizen, and one of the IPA. For dinner I had a bowl of the Crawfish Nola and plate of Poutine. Yummy, yummy! This will be a definite destination the next time we’re in Syracuse.

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