Brewed in New York – Capital Region Full Episode

Brewed in New York – Capital Region Full Episode


– Today on Brewed in New York,
we take you to the place, where the Hudson
and the Mohawk meet, where the Thruway and
Northway intersect and where New York’s
beer history was born. This is Brewed in New
York: The Capital Region. Discover even more local
foods and beverages at Taste New York locations
throughout the state. Whether you’re at a
state park, sporting event, or stopping at one of our
New York welcome centers, it’s never been easier
to choose local and buy New York. Unalam, a family owned business
in upstate New York serving the building industry
for over a century. You can spot Unalam’s finely
crafted timber products in breweries throughout New York
State and beyond. Learn more at unalam.com 1886 Malt House proudly partnering with
New York’s finest grain growers to produce locally sourced,
high quality malt. for farm and craft breweries. The Northeast Hop Alliance Farmers, brewers,
and educators working together to
provide high quality, locally grown hops
to craft beer consumers in New York and
the Northeast. (upbeat rock music) – New York’s Capital Region
is rich with culture. – Albany, the state’s capital
and most historic city is a hub of government activity. – And the neighboring cities of Troy, Schenectady
and Saratoga each add their own unique
character to the region. – Tourists are
attracted to the area’s state parks, museums,
and entertainment. When you visit,
you wanna make sure to spend some time at
Saratoga Race Track, catch a show at the historic Proctor’s Theater
in Schenectady, get a selfie in front
of that funky Egg at the Empire State Plaza and take in the
architecture of Troy, named one of the most
perfectly preserved 19th century downtowns
in the country and the home of
the real Uncle Sam. – I did not know that. – It’s true. – As one of the country’s
earliest settlements, Albany has a vibrant history
dating back to the 1600s and that story has included
brewing beer from the start. In fact in the 19th century, Albany was the second largest
brewing town in the world next to London, England. – One of the area’s family
breweries dates back to 1786 and has been
brought back to life by a descendant of
the original owners. Maya visited C.H. Evans to learn all about their
revitalization story. (upbeat music) – I’m here at the
Albany Pump Station and this impressive building
was constructed in 1874. It’s now home to the rebooted
C.H. Evans Brewing since 1999. Come with me! – I’m Neil Evans, I’m
the proprietor here at the C.H. Evans Brewing
Company at the Albany Pump
Station. The brewing culture in Albany back around the turn
of the century in 1900, there were breweries everywhere, even in my hometown
of Hudson, New York, there were three
separate breweries, but my family did have the
largest brewery in the area. Knowing my family legacy, there was always something in
the back of my mind saying, wouldn’t it be fun to
reopen the family brewery? That’d be a fun thing to
do and as it turned out, it was much, much
more than that. – [Maya] After learning
as much as he could about the craft brewing
and brew pub business, Neil found the perfect
place for C.H. Evans 2.0, an abandoned water pumping
station in downtown Albany. I sat down for a drink
with Neil to learn more. – Here’s our beer sampler. – Oh, it looks wonderful. – It is eight of our beers,
– Okay. – and the brewers have
put them in the order of the least full body
to the most full body, so they normally
recommend that order. We do like to point out
to people our brown ale, – Okay.
– it’s an American brown, it’s won three Golds at the
Great American Beer Festival, – Oh, nice.
– and a Bronze at the World Beer Cup.
– Congratulations. – Yeah, and we do
consider it our flagship. – I’m actually gonna start
with your signature beer, if I may, it looks wonderful. Mmm, well that’s fantastic. Now I have to ask about
this gorgeous atmosphere, because it’s set up in such
a way, that’s so inviting. Tell me a little bit
more about this place, I’m looking around, I’m
seeing this massive hook right there, is that
just decorative? – [Neil] It is definitely
not decorative. – [Maya] (laughs) Okay. – That hook was actually
installed in this building in 1905 and it was
used to pick up pieces of the water pumping engines, that were in this
building at that time. – Okay. – It was used up until 1930, when this was a pumping station. When we bought the
building in 1997, you know, everybody said, “When are
you gonna take those out?” – Right.
– And I’m going, why would I want
to take those out? I mean, they’re part of the
fabric of this building. – [Maya] Also they’re amazing. – [Neil] And as it turns out, those giant bridge cranes
were totally functional, we actually use the bridge
crane in the dining room to set every single
one of our fermentors on the mezzanine level. – People must be in awe,
when they come in here. – [Neil] When somebody walks
through the front door, if they’ve never been
here before, they walk in and they look up and
their mouths open, so we know they’re new. – It’s strange, because
it has an industrial look, but at the same time,
it’s really cozy, but that’s not how
you found this place. I mean, did it, it obviously
didn’t look like this, was it love at first sight?
– Yes. – Or was it like, was it really? – [Neil] Absolutely
love at first sight. – I would love to
know what you feel is your secret to success, because obviously you guys
survived the Great Recession. I have a theory it’s because
I can see the passion coming through. but
what else do you think? – It is passion,
– Okay. – pure and simply passion, I did not get into
this business, because I wanted to get rich.
– Right. – I got into this business, because I had a
passion for beer. – I love that. Thank you for taking the
time to talk to us today and you have a wonderful,
friendly staff, everything is so
warm and welcoming. So cheers!
– Cheers! – [Maya] Neil’s
entrepreneurial spirit is seen throughout the business. Brewing Operations
Manager, Ryan Demler prides himself on the
experimental brewing culture he’s helped establish
at C.H. Evans. – There are literally
thousands of styles of beer and then there’s
millions of ways, that you can play
with those things. The goal is constant exploration and drinking our
way around the world without having to leave Albany. – [Maya] When a Hudson
Valley beer historian initiated a project to
revive a traditional recipe, he knew C.H. Evans would
be up for the challenge. – Craig Gravina, who’s a local
beer historian and enthusiast approached us in 2013 to work
with him on this project, bringing back to
life Albany Ale, Albany Ale was a
truly indigenous style to the upper Hudson Valley. Craig and I sat down,
went over the recipe, and then tried to recreate it
as true to style as possible. So we roasted the malt in-house, we did a cereal cook of corn and we used some New York
grown six row barley, brewed it, it was really,
really dry, pretty bitter, but it was a really
nice way for us to reach back into history and do something, that
was so locally specific and we got such great support
and response from the city. Given that Albany has such, this great, long, illustrious
history of producing beer, to be able to bring it
back and talk about it and engage the public about it, we got a ton of non-beer
drinkers, that came in just from the interest
in historical aspect, which was really nice. Craft beer is more
than just an industry, it’s more than just a job, we’re not just guys
that make something. As a craft brewer,
and in particular a New York City craft brewer,
it’s very much a community, it’s a cultural, and I’m
actually getting goosebumps talking about this craft beer, it’s such an
incredible movement. I feel like I owe a lot to beer, I mean, yes thank
you beer for college, I appreciate it, it was great, but to be able to find
an industry like this, where you have a really
unique shared experience, in terms of everybody
can appreciate the challenges that we have
and the victories that we have and at the end of the day, like, we get to provide
happiness for people. (ringing bell) – [Announcer] Craft 101. – While there are hundreds
of different types of beers, they all basically fall into
two different categories, ales and lagers, so
what’s the difference? Look to the yeast, my friends. Ale yeast or in Latin,
Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeah, that one has been
around for thousands of years and originated in Europe. Ale yeast is top
fermenting yeast, it does its magic
at warm temperatures
in about seven days. The resulting beer
is generally robust and is best served not too
cool, around 50 to 55 degrees. Lager yeast is
actually a hybrid, that comes from
about as far away from the birth place
of beer as you can get, Patagonia, South America,
home to these guys. It’s a relatively new
arrival on the beer scene, hitching a ride to Europe
just 400 years ago, possibly on the backs of bees. Lager yeast, which hangs out
at the bottom of the fermentor thrives at low temperatures,
usually around 40 degrees and takes a long
time to do its work. Before the days
of refrigeration, lager was stored underground
for weeks or even months, while the fermentation
process took place. Lagers tend to be smooth, crisp, and more subtle in
taste and aroma, they’re also best served cold. In the 1880s, with the advent
of commercial refrigeration, lager started to become the
American beer of choice, because who doesn’t
love a cold brewsky, while sitting in the hot
sun watching baseball? However with the recent
resurgence of craft brewing, ales have made a strong
return to the public palate. – The geographic location
of the Capital District is what made it
such a perfect hub for the brewing
boom of the 1800s. – When the Erie
Canal opened in 1825, Albany’s position at the
intersection of the canal and the Hudson River
made it the perfect place for importing
ingredients from the West and exporting finished
brews to the city. – By the 1850s, Albany’s
Taylor Brewery alone was producing 200,000
barrels of beer a year. But Taylor wasn’t the only one, so thirsty was the
country for Albany Ale, that dozens of breweries thrived in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. – After the Civil War, the opening of the
National Railroad produced demand for beer
from the Capital Region and then of course, Prohibition brought the brewing
industry to a grinding halt. – It took a long
time for this region to fall back in love
with its brewing roots. – But one visionary couple,
Gary and Kelly Brown, successfully reintroduced
the city of Troy to craft brewing
in the mid ’90s. (upbeat music) – It’s not generally
hard to find businesses, that have been opened
more than 20 years, but it is uncommon in New
York’s craft beer scene. Many of the breweries
we visit on this show opened in the last few years as part of the state’s
craft beer awakening and when the Browns opened
their tap room in 1994, brew pubs were a foreign
concept to New Yorkers. Luckily young people in the
region embraced Brown’s Brewing and flocked to this
unique Troy destination for celebrations
and first dates. Now 24 years later,
the Browns’ business has grown by leaps and bounds and their loyal customers
have grown up with them. Their recent expansion,
the Malt Room caters to those life
long patrons now looking for a more sophisticated
craft beverage experience. What do you say we go inside and see what we can
learn from the pros? – I’m Kelly Brown. – I’m Gary Brown, we’re the owners of
Brown’s Brewing Company and we’ve been in business
here for 24 years. – My first experience with
craft beer was through Gary. – I consider myself a 1980’s
home brewer, if you will, and that led to traveling
mostly out to the West coast, because this is
where the resurgence of craft brewing was happening. Experiencing what was
going on out there was important to be able
to start this project. – We found this beautiful,
old, abandoned building in Troy and he said, “I wanna do this!” And I said, okay, you
know, I’m with you. – People did think
we were crazy, I think a lot of
people didn’t think we would even get
the doors open, much less make it
in business in Troy. – It was 1990 and
no one had heard of, you know, brew pubs
here on the East coast. – We may not have realized
the extent of the risk, which I think maybe
when you’re younger, it’s kind of a blessing,
that you don’t know. Looking back, it’s
pretty impressive, what we did manage
to accomplish. – One reporter described
us as a landmark and it just hits me and
I’m so humbled by it, so proud of the growth in Troy. Troy has such a rich history, being right on the beautiful,
majestic Hudson River, that’s really important
to New York State. – Hopefully we helped
open some eyes to people, that eventually have
come here to settle, either to live or open
businesses or what have you, it’s a great place to live. There have been a
couple of beers, that we just know
we can’t do without, Oatmeal Stout is one of them and it’s great to
have a beer like that in a heavily IPA-flooded market, so it sets us apart a bit. – [Kelly] We have two tap rooms, one in Hoosick Falls
and one in Troy, we have Revolution
Hall, our event space and we have this beautiful
space, the Malt Room. – [Gary] In 2012 we decided
to build out this space and kind of work
on our relevance going into our 20th
year at that point by showing off what we can do through cask-produced beers and also fine liquors, wines,
and things of that nature. – We have more than a
handful of customers that have been with
us from day one and I love the Malt
Room for the idea, that a lot of them, you
know, the loud music that was really appealing
to the younger days, our music down here
in the Malt Room is no louder than a
conversation, so it allows people to enjoy both
spaces for various reasons. – So Gary’s gonna tell me a
little bit about cask beer. I’m sitting in front of
a full pint of Pale Ale poured out of a
carbonation-controlled,
traditional tap and Gary, you’re gonna pour
me another beer from the cask. – Okay. Right through this beer engine, drawing it from the
cask below the bar. – [Matt] How hard do you
have to pull that thing? – Oh, not too hard,
if I pull it too fast, I might put too much foam in it. – Yeah, and so you
manually pumped that up, that is not
pressured down below, you really pulled that beer up? – You’re actually drawing
it out of the cask, where this is being
pushed by carbonation, by CO2, I should say,
through the draft lines, through the faucet
and into your glass. – That is an amazing pour
and I can see in the head, that there are larger bubbles and it’s dissipating
a little more quickly. – [Gary] Right, exactly. – And the temperature’s
a little different, so this is, you know, ice
cold out of your taps. – [Gary] Yep. – And this one is cold,
– Yeah. – but not as cold. – Right, you’re looking at about a 20 degree difference
in temperature there, which is again a traditional way the beer would have been poured from the cellars
of a London pub. – Hm-mm, and even just
that few degrees warmer, I’m getting so much
aroma out of that. – Yeah. – I mean, there’s, I can tell
the flavor’s gonna be big. – Yeah, temperature in
beer have a huge impact on the aroma and
the taste notes, that you’re gonna get from it. – You know, some
bars will have a cask every once in a while,
sitting on top of the bar, but you have built in a
temperature-controlled, three-handle system.
– Yeah. – I mean, someone
could come here to historic Troy, New
York, come to the Malt Room and have an authentic
beer poured in the way it would have been
poured 100 years ago. – You’re correct, I
mean, Brown’s Brewery is the 22nd brewery to
operate in the city of Troy. – Hm. – You know, we were
the first brewery to operate in 40 years, when
we came on board in 1993. – Wow, Gary, thank you so
much for the information and the experience
of getting to drink ale right out of the cask. – Yeah, thank you for coming, it’s a pleasure to be
able to show this off and it’s what makes it worth
coming to work in the morning. Offering cask, to me is just
another adventure in brewing and it allows our brewers
to expand their horizons and we present that
to our customer. – We surround ourselves with
the best, positive group of people that we can
surround ourselves with and try to do the
best that we can do and at the end of the
day, if you’ve done the best you can do for your
customer, your employee, you know, just pick up a
pint and celebrate that. – Cheers.
– Cheers. – At Brewed in New York, we really appreciate
finely crafted beverages, but please remember to
always drink responsibly. Here’s a tip, many bars
offer small glasses for sampling different types
of beers in moderation. When you visit a brewery,
appoint a designated driver, or use public transportation,
never drink and drive. – You know, Maya, one
of the greatest things about the Capital Region is
the diversity of the downtowns. – That’s true, Broadway
in quaint Saratoga Springs has a completely different feel from Broadway in Albany’s
Warehouse District. – And yet there’s one brewery
that operates on both, Druthers Brewing Company
started by three brothers working in law,
finance, and marketing each had unique skills they knew would go well together
in a family business. – And what better
business to take on, than one they’d rather
be doing, brewing beer. (upbeat music) – We’re standing outside
Druthers Broadway location in Albany’s newly revitalized
Warehouse District. Right over my
shoulder, you can see the city’s beloved
28-foot dog, Nipper, sitting on top of the
former RCA building. Throughout the 1900s,
Nipper and a gramophone served as a logo for a number
of audio recording brands. He’s a handsome pup and
definitely worth a picture, but these days people come
to the Warehouse District for the burgeoning bar
and restaurant scene. Let’s go into the
Druthers Brewing Company and take a taste for ourselves. You’d probably never
know by looking at it, but this gorgeous brew pub was once a plumbing
supply warehouse. Brothers, Brian, Chris
and Scott Martell opened their first location on
Broadway in Saratoga Springs in 2012, but it wasn’t easy. – In 2007, my
brother, Brian and I came up with the idea
to launch a brewery, I just loved the
concept of a brew pub, I love the feel of it, the handcrafted food paired
with the handcrafted beer, so here we are in
2007, my brother’s
working on Wall Street, you know, everything’s
starting to go downhill and I said, why don’t
we do something we love, you know, something that
we really enjoy doing and at the time, we
had been home brewing for about five or six years. We were talking about
location, you know, I’d love to put it in Saratoga, there’s no brew pub right
there, we grew up here, but I do need it to
be on Broadway and
I need an open space and he kind of said, you know,
“No, that doesn’t exist.” Two days later, I’m
walking down Broadway and there’s a guy
on a big ladder and he’s nailing a For Sale sign onto this building on Broadway and right next to the building
is this little white gate, I look over the gate and it
was completely overgrown, but all I needed was
grass at that point, something that I could envision
turning into a beer garden. The property was twice
what we could pay, as we were walking out,
my wife said to me, “Alright, well, we can
cross this off the list,” and I looked at her
and I said, you know, this is it, I mean,
we’re gonna do it here. – [Matt] But in
2009, the US economy was in the depths of
the Great Recession and securing a loan
was nearly impossible. – I had one bank, I mean, in
the 12 that turned us down actually say to me, “So
what would this be good as, “if it wasn’t a restaurant? “When you fail, like, what
could we sell this as?” – [Matt] The brothers
invested everything they had into the business
and their passion convinced other backers
to come along as well. That choice to keep
pursuing their dream, despite the risk is reflected
in the company name. – The Druthers name
came from the choice to go out and do this,
you’re quitting your jobs, you’re putting in
your retirement funds, everything that you
have is going into this and it was a John Wayne quote, it was, “If I had my Druthers,” and it’s a conjugation of
I’d rather, it’s druthers. If I had my druthers,
I’d be doing exactly what I’m
right doing now. – [Matt] When Druthers finally
did open on August 1st, 2012, it became an overnight success, the location gamble
had paid off. – Our gate in the front
of Druthers, Saratoga, it says Druthers across the top and a lot of people walk by
and have no idea what it is, but they just see the
entire patio is packed and then they come in and
most of ’em become regulars. – [Matt] Their beer
became so popular, that demand quickly
outstripped supply. The brothers opened their
second location in 2015 in the Warehouse
District in Albany, both to serve a new crowd and to increase the scale
of their brewing operations. But it’s not just
about the beer, the owners take great pride
in their menu as well, which features a wide
variety of hearty fare from wood-fired pizza to
award-winning mac and cheese. – Mac and cheese and beer just kind of pair themselves
together, in my opinion, it’s probably the best you
can get in the entire world, I’m gonna go world,
worldwide on it, it’s phenomenal, it really is and our chefs spent
a lot of time, tried to come up
with the recipe, we changed it multiple times
to get to where we are now and I just think it’s perfect. – And how is the beer, you ask? Well, chemist turned brewer
and co-owner, George DiPiro has already won a Gold Medal for a particular kind of
sour beer called a gose, this one is named the Dare. I caught up with George to talk about the sour beer
craze sweeping the region and to discuss the company’s
plans for the future. So this is the Double Dare Gose, this is the double version
of one of your flagships, which is the Dare Gose?
– Right, the Double Dare Gose is a German
style sour ale with a twist and this particular
keg has two twists, the first twist is
that it’s almost twice as strong
as a normal gose, goses are normally 4.5 to 5% all and this is 8.5 – 9%. The next twist is
that we dry hopped a bunch of kegs individually, so this keg is dry hopped
with Citra and Amarillo and it gives it a
really, it accentuates the already citrus
characters of this beer, – Yeah. – and gives it a real
grapefruit kind of thing. – Yeah, I mean, there’s
like a lemon presence in there, because
of the tartness, but then the grapefruit
is delicious. – Right, most people haven’t
tasted a sour beer before, – [Matt] Right. – and they need to be warned that your first sip of
this is going to be wacky, I think it’s really critical to keep the sourness at
a nice, reasonable level in balance with the other
flavors in the beer, you should never be
drinking salad dressing, this is all lactic
acid that’s doing this, the bacteria I use
to make lactic acid, the same acid that’s in yogurt, – Right.
– it’s a much gentler sourness on your palate, it
doesn’t burn your throat and that allows the malt
flavors to come through also. – The sourness is actually
very refreshing and crisp, it’s not just to drink,
you know, a sour bomb, it’s,
– Right. – yeah, I mean, it’s
a great summer beer. This is a really big space,
– Yeah. – [Matt] But it looks like
there’s space for more? – Yes.
– Part of the vision is growth here?
– Right, yeah, we have room in here to
put in a bunch more tanks and hopefully a bottling line. – That’s great, and so this
supplies both locations to some degree of beer,
– Right. – and then you’re also sending
beer to bars in the region? – [George] Right,
my salesman told me that last month we
sold 156 accounts. – That’s fantastic.
– Yeah, I’m really pleased. – Yeah.
– We’re more successful, than our business
plan said we would be. – That’s a good place to be. – It is,
– Yeah. – it’s a much
better place to be, than discussing who’s gonna
represent you in bankruptcy. (laughing) So that’s, so we’re happy.
– Yeah, that’s great. George, thank you very much for inviting us into
your brewery today. – Thank you for coming. (upbeat music) – I’m jealous, that
gose looked delicious. – So good. – There are so many
beautiful brew pubs in the Capital region. – And we’ve barely
scratched the surface, I could hang out here a while. – Or you can just
come up for the day, it’s a short train ride
from New York City. – And very scenic. Now if you visit our website
at BrewedInNewYorkShow.com, you can learn more
about the places we’ve visited in this episode, as well as other
popular breweries in the Albany-Saratoga region. – There, you’ll
also find resources about tourism throughout
New York State, as well as full episodes
as they roll out, follow us on social media and
we’ll keep you in the loop. – Thanks so much for joining us. – We’ll see you next time
on Brewed in New York. (upbeat music)

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