The Captain’s Log
What happens when extreme weather meets extreme beer? Sadly, the weather wins. At least it did this time.
Captain Lawrence had planned to make the schlep up I-95 to be represented at the Extreme Beer Fest in Boston this past weekend, but 2 1/2 feet of snow gave the Big Dig a whole new meaning in Massachusetts. So the good people of Massachusetts will have to wait a bit to try the Captain’s extreme entries, including pilot batch No. 27, Chocoholic Stout, along with Smoke From the Oak aged in rum barrels, and the fearsome Frost Monster imperial stout. It would’ve been the first venture outside the brewery for the Frost Monster, which is likely to weigh in at a frightful 15% ABV.
The Extreme Beer Fest will be rescheduled, though no date has been set. Frost Monster will continue to ferment until then.
Amidst this brutal winter weather, is it too early to start thinking about St. Patrick’s Day? Not at Captain Lawrence. The brewery has a handful of special brews in the works that offer a tip of the tam o’shanter to the patron saint of beer, including a dry Irish stout and a red IPA. Producers of world-class craft brew right here in Westchester, Captain Lawrence wouldn’t go near that seasonal cliché known as green beer, right?
Not so fast.
“Scott Tobin, our resident Irish guy, told me he wanted to make green beer,” says Scott Vaccaro, Captain Lawrence founder. “I said, I’m not adding food coloring to beer.”
They found a compromise by adding the green nutritional supplement known as spirulina to the mix. (For what it’s worth, the Aztecs swore by spirulina back in the 16th Century. But you probably knew that.) The end result, in a knowing nod to the bubbly green potable that rankles the beer purists in mid-March every year, is a beer called Gimmicky Green Ale. Look for it in the tasting room as St. Pat’s approaches. And remember—spirulina is a lot healthier than food coloring.
New stuff aside, a few old favorites are back in the tasting room after a hiatus. The Ginger Man Ale, a Belgian-styled amber brewed with ginger in conjunction with the beloved Manhattan craft brew cathedral The Ginger Man, is back. So is the Xtra Gold American Tripel Ale, which has not been seen around the tasting room in several months. Offering a distinctive mix of Belgian yeast strain and Amarillo hops, it’s in bottles and on draft in the tasting room.
And on the heels of producing its first ever India Pale Ale, brewed with aromatic Yakima hops, Captain Lawrence is taking on another first in the brewery’s seven year history: A lager. Justin Sturges is piloting that project; made with German yeast, there’s no name yet for his lager creation.
In closing, if you’ve ever experienced the challenge of fitting in a weekend visit to the brewery amidst the usual domestic duties—or, more likely, you’ve experienced the challenge of fitting in the domestic duties amidst the usual visit to the brewery—you will have more weekend time to do both. As of February 20, Captain Lawrence will be open Saturday and Sunday. Enjoy your day of rest with a really good local craft beer.
Captain Lawrence Brewing, at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, is open Tuesday through Friday (retail 2-7 p.m., samples 4-7 p.m.); and Saturday, with retail and samples 12-6 p.m., and brewery tours on the hour, starting at 1. The author is paid by Captain Lawrence, partially in Freshchester Pale Ale, for “Notes From the Tasting Room.”