You’ve probably heard of New York’s “farm brewery law” by now: it’s a special license for breweries that use most (if not all) New York State-grown ingredients. In the case of S&S Farm Brewery, it’s completely apropos since it’s a brewery literally located on a farm and they grow most of their own malts and hops right there.
This tiny brewery is located in rural Rensselaer County in the town of Nassau. The taproom is only open to the public on Friday nights from 6 to 8pm. They also sell their beers at local farmer’s markets and a few are on tap at venues around the Capital District.
My friend Chris and I decided to head over there last Friday night. Of course, we foolishly waited until it was dark out and we didn’t arrive until shortly before 8pm. The drive there was quite the adventure. Since we came from Albany, we took Exit 11E off I-90 to Route 20. Not being familiar with the area, I just heeded my GPS’s commands and wound up taking a single-lane dirt road through the countryside. Not surprisingly, it was not ideal for my little 4-cylinder Toyota; and of course there were plenty of deer in the road along the way. If you make the trek to S&S, I highly recommend bypassing Mashodack Road in favor of Jefferson Hill Road, as it’s actually somewhat paved (see map).
When we pulled up to the farm we knew we were in the right place since there were about 20 cars parked in the area and as many people (including children) hanging out around the brewery. It’s a quaint scene; very Americana to be sure. I’m sure the patrons are all locals who meet up here on Friday evenings to wind down their week and chit-chat with friends. They say beer brings people together, and this is true even of the most rural areas.
Then we tried the Test Batch IPA, a 5.7% ABV American IPA made with hops grown right there on the farm. You won’t find this beer on their website since, as the name clearly states, it’s just an experimental brew for now. Chris and I both thoroughly enjoyed it, though.
I brought some 16oz growlers with me and got a fill of each of their own brews and did formal reviews of them the next day. You can click the links above to read my text review of each, or watch this video in which I review both:
I have to say I am quite impressed by the quality of S&S’s beers. Though I only tried two, they were good enough that I would consider making the trip back another time when they have more of their beers on tap. I’d recommend all craft beer lovers in the Capital District give them a try as well.