January 27, 2011

{Cheers} Local NY breweries - Captain Lawrence and The Defiant

On a recent Saturday afternoon, we left NYC to visit two local breweries with a couple of friends.  The first stop was Captain Lawrence Brewing up in Westchester County (in Pleasantville, NY) and then a trip over to The Defiant Brewing Co. in Pearl River, NY.

This was my first visit to Captain Lawrence since last summer (and my wife's first visit ever).  I've previously been there to taste samples of some of their excellent rotation of beers and to pick up growlers for parties.  The brewery makes several all year-round brews, including the Liquid Gold, Xtra Gold (a personal favorite), Freschester Pale Ale, Smoked Porter and Imperial IPA.  This time they also had one of their seasonals, the smooth, roasty Espresso Stout.  Visitors to the brewery can sample them all (sometimes they have cask beer) and the pricing on the growler fills to go will make you want to visit more often.

The brewery recently released their new batch of Golden Delicious, their Belgian-style Tripel aged in apple brandy barrels (an expensive treat but it's a dessert in itself) and Nor'Easter, a bourbon-barrel aged winter ale brewed with elderberries.  I'll be back for these along with stopping by for the release of one of their rare wild ales (which sell out fast).
When we finally got to Defiant Brewing later in the afternoon, we were in time for their weekend barbecue.  We ordered the sampler platter to pair with their various beers -- Porter, Medusa IPA, The Horseman's Ale, and Long Shadow Stout (this appears to be new).

  We had no problem finishing the platter of BBQ ($22) in the photo above -- after all, there were four of us.  The sampler included brisket (our favorite), juicy pulled pork, ribs, rich Porter baked beans, homemade pickles, pasta salad, and cornbread.

However, the highlight of the trip to Defiant was the corked and caged bottle of Resolution #3 ($9), an aged Belgian-style ale brewed with Champagne yeast and described as having white wine notes like a Pinot Grigio.  Although some of the carbonation seemed to dissipate quickly, it was a refreshing beer to end the day.

Captain Lawrence Brewing is located in Pleasantville, NY.  Defiant Brewing Co. is located in Rockland County in the hamlet of Pearl River.  The breweries are both located within walking distance of Metro North and Jersey Transit stops, respectively.

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