Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Brewpub review: Plattsburgh Brewing Company

I recently landed a new job which involves a lot of traveling throughout the state. I’m not crazy about long solo roadtrips (especially in my car), but the upside is this enables me to travel to brewpubs, restaurants, bottle shops and other beer places I probably wouldn’t otherwise visit. Anyway, the first stop in my travels was at the Plattsburgh Brewing Company about 150 miles north of Albany.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 012

Apparently, this place used to be called Legends Brew Pub & Wine Bar. I couldn’t find out when or why it was changed (you’d think they’d explain that on their website), though it seems to have been done fairly recently. What’s interesting about the location is that it’s inside of a Comfort Inn in a shopping plaza.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 016

I will say the first thing I noticed as soon as I walked in was how nice the décor was. This does not look like a typical brewpub at all; it is more in line with, well, a fancy hotel restaurant. Everything looks brand new and there’s a vast amount of space and seating. The bar area looks like that of a traditional sports bar with plenty of large screen TVs. The actual brewhouse is a tiny setup located adjacent to the bar area with a few small fermenting tanks. Perhaps there’s more equipment located elsewhere, but it’s difficult to believe all the brewing is done in such a small space.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 018

Everything looked great, but the place was mostly empty (it was around 4pm on a Wednesday). I was excited to try their suds, so of course I ordered a sampler flight of four 4oz pours for $4.25 ($0.27 per ounce). The problem is they have seven regular offerings and a few other rotating seasonals/specials – a paddle of four isn’t going to cut it (though $8.50 for two paddles isn’t a bad price). The bartender brought me the first four on the list, but as he was placing the paddle in front of me he knocked over some of the beers and they immediately spilled all over the bar and on my legs! He apologized profusely – I’m sure it was an accident – though I was still really annoyed.

Anyone who makes a "you peed your pants" joke is a hack.
Anyone who makes a “you peed your pants” joke is a hack.

Perhaps this was an omen or perhaps my foul mood affected my palate, but I found the majority of the beers to only be average, several were pretty mediocre.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 024

Zephy’s Golden Ale (5% ABV): Usually, generic golden/blonde ales from generic brewpubs tend to be some of the most boring beers but this was surprisingly good. A little zesty and wheaty (I’m thinking it’s actually a Kölsch).

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 002

Spitfire Red Ale (5.2% ABV): The description describes it as complex and balanced, but I thought it was quite simple, a bit watery and way too light.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 004

Dr Beaumont’s Brown Ale (5.7% ABV): Decent for a brown ale, but a little too light.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 001

Macdonough’s Ghost Stout (4.5% ABV): Pretty much on point as far as an oatmeal stout goes, but again it was very thin and too mild for my preference (are you noticing a pattern here?).

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 005

Plucky Rooster Ale (5% ABV): Way too light. Not much distinctiveness other than dry bitterness. The worst of the flight. Ironic since the guy sitting next to me and the bartender both said it was their favorite.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 007

Angry Musket IPA (6% ABV): If you can judge a brewery by their IPA, then this brew tells me that this brewery is catering to a pedestrian audience. Nothing particularly exciting about this beer. Usually a lame IPA is still a pretty decent beer, but this was only okay.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 006

Double Blunderbuss IPA (7.4% ABV): Definitely their best beer, but still a little weak for a DIPA. Nice citrus taste, though.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 008

Citra (6.2% ABV): One of the special releases. An all-Citra hop IPA. Not bad at all, but not especially impressive.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 009

Oh Betty IPA (6.7% ABV): Another special brew, which was interesting for sure but not necessarily good. Lemony. Dry bitterness.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 010

Even though I sampled nine beers, the bartender only charged me $6.50 (I suppose that’s a nice comp for spilling beer on me). Had they all been amazing beers it probably would’ve seemed like a fantastic bargain, but since they were all average across the board, I guess it was only an okay deal. Moving on to the food…

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 027

Another thing that impressed me about this place was the food menu. Most brewpubs’ menus are only made up one or two pages, but PBC’s menu rivaled that of a fast casual restaurant with a wide variety of everything. I decided to go with the Guacamole Bacon Burger: Hand-formed certified Angus ground beef topped with guacamole, bacon, Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, mixed greens, and garlic mayo ($11.99). I ordered it medium but it seemed closer to medium-well (if not completely well done). I thought the guac was an interesting condiment choice and paired well with the cheese and veggies. Nothing amazing, but by all means satisfying. The fries were those annoying shoestring type that always seem greasy. I don’t understand why these are fries are so popular these days. Again, they weren’t bad but they weren’t great.

Plattsburgh Brewing Company 011The bill came to about $20 and I left a $4 tip. Not a bad price considering I tried nine different beers (but only drank about 1 or 2 ounces per sample) and had an entrée. Perhaps that burger is a buck or two overpriced, though I’m noticing that it’s hard to find a burger under $10 outside of a fast food joint these days.

From what I can tell, Plattsburgh doesn’t seem to have much of a beer scene, so Plattsburgh Brewing Company is one of the few craft beer establishments in the entire city. However, I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit this place unless you’re already in Plattsburgh or you’re looking for a place to grab lunch or dinner while traveling up or down I-87 (it’s literally a stone’s throw from the highway).