Brew Review

48 Hours in the Hudson Valley and Southwest Vermont

May 26, 2018 7:12 AM

The plan is to be on the road by 7:59 AM. Let’s see how that goes.

May 26, 2018 8:16 AM

Car’s all packed up, but we’re 17 minutes behind schedule. Oh well.

May 26, 2018 10:02 AM

Quick stop for a double espresso and an iced coffee at the Paramus rest stop on the Garden State Parkway.

May 26, 2018 12:14 PM

Our first beer stop was at Hudson Ale Works in Highlands, New York where I had a flight of the following:

  • How Sweet Wit Is: Classic Belgian Wit. Lightly spiced with light, fizzy carbonation. Crisp. Clean. As it should be!
  • Gose, The Imposa: just the right amount of pucker. Lemony and refreshing.
  • Check the Technique Blueberry Sour: Like a fresh picked, just underripe blueberry. Super refreshing and not too puckering. Mrs. G-LO really liked this one too.
  • Green Tea IPA: Not super hoppy at all. Smooth and creamy with a light IPA bite and mellow green tea notes in the aftertaste.

Hudson Ale Works was well worth the stop. Cozy tasting room. Prompt, courteous service. Fresh and well crafted beers. The Gose and Blueberry Sour were definite winners. The pulled pork tacos that I ordered for lunch were just ok. Could have been hotter. But ya gotta eat when sampling beer, so they did the job.

May 26, 2018 1:28 PM

I like that you can get drinking paraphernalia in the gift shop at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park.

May 26, 2018 1:33 PM

One can amass unimaginable wealth when…

(A) There are little to no regulations and…

(B) You don’t properly pay your workers and deny them any and all benefits.

Just sayin.

May 26, 2018 3:21 PM

Really well done tour at the Vanderbilt Mansion! Our tour guide, who reminded me of Michael Stuhlbarg, was particularly memorable. And Freddie Vanderbilt didn’t sound douchey at all. For a multi-millionaire!

May 26, 2018 4:14 PM

Had the following beers at Sloop Brewing in Elizaville, New York:

  • Juice Bomb IPA: Smooth and creamy with citrus and some tropical fruit. Slightly dry finish with minimal lingering bitterness.
  • Up from Downstate Tart IPA: Starts with the citrusy hops. Ends with a lightly lemony tartness. Hides that 6.5% really well. A fine hybrid!

Love the rustic setting and the whole off the beaten path vibe at Sloop! The downside, staying too long and drinking too much could make for a long drive home on tight two lane country roads. Do they have Uber up there?

May 26, 2018 8:26 PM

Dinner at The Publyk House in Bennington, VT.

In the mood for a salad bar? This place had one! And it was prettttty prettttty good. Dig that they had super chunky and creamy Blue Cheese dressing. Dinner was a smoking hot baked New England cod with a cracker crust and a baked potato on the side. Nothing super fancy. But all quite good. Had a Watermelon Moscow Mule to wash it all down. Decent drink, i.e. not too sweet, but it could have been a bit spicier. Overall, a very nice place to have a solid and well prepared meal. Bonus points for the Mountain View and our chipper and very pleasant server named Rebecca.

May 26, 2018 8:35 PM

Interesting art work in our room at The Harwood Hill (the motel down the street from The Publyk House). The painting over our bed is called Isle of Skye. Isn’t that where Talisker is made??? Nice choice of artwork for a Single Malt lover such as myself!

May 26, 2018 8:57 PM

Wedding Crashers is on! A fine way to wind down after a long day of driving.

May 27, 2018 7:15 AM

Not a bad room for $90/night (though the bed was seriously lacking. Oh my aching back!), but I swear there isn’t a right angle in the joint. The whole room is on a downward slope and there’s this weird lip in the bathroom where I almost stubbed a toe on several occasions. They have a rain shower though, so I got that going for me! And they have some funky sculptures on the front lawn too.

May 27, 2018 10:52 AM

Breakfast at Sonny’s Blue Benn Diner. That’s Benn with two n’s. Not a typo. Ordered the Popeye Benedict. Spinach instead of Canadian Bacon. No relation to Popeye Doyle. No heroin dealing Frenchmen in this story. Though our chef looks like a graduate of the VT DOCCIA.

So how was that Popeye Bennie? A bit of a bland mess. Spinach could have used some sautéing in garlic and olive oil and maybe some crushed red pepper flakes. English muffin was soggy and under toasted. Hollandaise was runny. Eggs seemed fine, but I couldn’t tell where the poached egg yolks begin and the sauce ends. The highlight was the catch all home fries. Got extra mushrooms from that omelette? Throw em in there! Bacon bits? Go for it.

Overall, not a very memorable breakfast. But Mrs. G-LO chose better and was pleased. Happy wife, happy life! Am I right?

May 27, 2018 11:48 AM

Popped in to Dwyer’s State Line Beer and Wine on the Vermont / Massachusetts border. One of the few times that I’ve actually been able to find truly local beers in a New England liquor store. Ran into a fellow beer lover from Boston that was super helpful since I had no clue what to buy.

May 27, 2018 1:37 PM

No. It’s not Whisky. It’s Maple Syrup.

May 27, 2018 3:12 PM

Only a Vermonter can call a Vermonter a Common Cracker. Pronounced Crack-ahhhh.

May 27, 2018 4:23 PM

Oh the things you stumble upon in The Vermont Country Store. I now understand what they mean when people say, “They’ve got everything from soup to nuts”.

If I had hair and used Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific, I have no doubt that my hair would indeed smell terrific.

Does anyone remember Lifebuoy?

Holy Maple Syrup display, Batman!



Lamb Chop!


May 27, 2018 5:21 PM

We had dinner at J.J. Hapgood’s General Store in Peru, VT. Part general store. Part eatery. Part pizzeria. This place has something for everyone!

Started things off with a Maine Beer Company Lunch IPA which is always a fine choice. The Mrs. went with a Lavender Lemonade Cocktail which is good if you like your drink to taste like Yardley’s English Lavender. She liked it. I didn’t.

First round of food was wood fired asparagus with a fried egg on top and pan seared diver scallops. Both were perfectly cooked and seasoned. We polished them off lickety split. Cause they were so so good!

Round two was a pizza topped with cherry stone clams, mozzarella, parsley, and red pepper flakes. The Mrs. thought it was too spicy. I thought it was just right. The crust was light and airy, but tasted a bit too much like a cracker. Some yeasty notes would have been nice. Other than that, it was quite good. And that squeeze of lemon is a nice touch!

The Mrs. ordered a burger and fries. I had a bite. While it was a bit beyond medium well, it was a tender, loosely packed, and flavorful bit of beef goodness served on a brioche bun.

J.J. Hapgood’s was well worth the visit. It’s a quirky little place staffed by folks that obviously give a damn about what they’re doing. Give it a try if you’re ever driving through Peru, VT!

May 27, 2018 7:02 PM

I scream-ah..
You scream-ah…
We all scream-ah…
For Ice Cream-ah…

May 28, 2018 8:19 AM

Almost exactly 48 hours later and we’re headed back home.

May 28, 2018 8:50 AM

Breakfast at Papa Pete’s in Bennington, VT before we hit the highway. Big ass pancake for the Mrs. with a side of bacon. Belgian waffle with strawberries for me. Pretty good overall. Weak ass coffee. Big personalities from the staff. Funny and friendly. This is a post hangover joint for sure. The guy at the table behind us was having a mimosa. Lots of talk about day drinking. A quirky, greasy spoon. I like it!

May 28, 2018 12:31 PM

Quick stop at Hudson Valley Brewery in Beacon, NY during the drive back to South Jersey. Tried four Sour Ales and a Pilsner. All were delicious and riddled with flavor! Lots of fruit. Lots of pucker. Hoping their stuff finds their way to South Jersey and Philly real real soon.

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