Who doesn’t love a good beer fest, tasting event or brewery anniversary party? A couple of weeks ago a local brewery, Sycamore, had their 2 year anniversary party complete with food trucks, live music and of course a great selection of their brews. Then last weekend I set out to another local brewery, Sugar Creek, for their 2 year anniversary party which included multiple new releases and a carnival theme; cue my happy dance!

Sycamore specializes in small batch brews, this way they can use the best ingredients to create really natural tasting beer. Their taproom has a never ending rotation of new brews to try. The first one I had was their Southern Girl Blonde which, yes you guessed it, is a blonde ale. This particular one had a very well rounded sweet and honey like flavor to it that finished off dry so as to not leave you with a heavy aftertaste. A very rich and beautiful beer for those summer days where you just want to kick back and relax. Their Countryside IPA is also a great beer with a subtle hop bite great for quenching your thirst. My last for the day was one that may not appeal to everyone, but I am an adventurous spirit when it comes to trying new brews so I said why not?! Ready, wait for it….Peanut Butter Cookie Porter. I know some of you are cringing at the thought of peanut butter flavor and beer together and some are thinking heck yeah that sounds great! And let me tell you, it was! I was a bit skeptical at first because I’m more of a stout fan than a porter, (I feel that sometimes porters can have a bitter/smoky quality) but this past summer I had Saranac Brewery’s S’more Porter and thought it might be similar so I went for it. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth this porter was. The peanut butter comes forward without being overbearing and there’s a nice biscuit like quality to the malt that gives way to an overall rich and flavorful experience.

Sugar Creek Brewing Co. is slowly becoming one of my favorites due to their modern spin on traditional Belgian-inspired recipes. Many of their beers have unique qualities that allow you to really expand your palette whilst there. At this party I have 2 brews to note, both of which were exceptionally tasty. First was one that I was very excited for because it was a collaboration with Southern Tier (hello home state!) and it involved maple syrup. Um, yes please!! Southern State of Mind is an amber IPA that was so amazing it was like I was transported back home to the countryside. The use of local NY ingredients (it was brewed at Southern Tier) included farm fresh maple syrup that although subdued, took the bite out of the hops and smoothed this beer right out to finish with a pleasant, fruity flavor. I highly recommend this beer if you aren’t so into hopped up IPAs. The other brew is Sugar Creek’s Bretty White Cherry, which is a total winner in my book! This is a semi-dry white ale brewed with cherries and incorporates brettanomyces yeast cultures. These little guys give beer a sour-like, fruity, earthy funk to it which can be described as wine-like. Aged for 9 months in oak wine barrels, the flavors were perfectly balanced in every corner. This is one of the best wild beers I have had to date.

Although I could go on and on about all of the amazing beer I’ve tried thus far, I’ll save that for another time. Be on the lookout for a post where I go a little further into the big bad “Brett” yeast and why it’s slowly making its way back into our beers and our hearts! Until then, grab a pint from your local brewery and try something you wouldn’t ordinarily have. You might be surprised at all the wonderful complexities and flavors beer has to offer.