Notes From the Captain Lawrence Tasting Room, No. 57


An Appreciation For Great Beer, and ‘Dirty Water’

People always look forward to unwinding over locally brewed craft beers on the weekend at Captain Lawrence, but after last week’s horrors, visitors seemed a little more eager to kick back and relax with friends. And while it won’t last long, it’s also a time when Red Sox gear is almost as common in the Yankees’ backyard as pinstriped apparel—and when those wearing the Boston garb are greeted with an altogether different upraised digit than they may be accustomed to: the thumb.

Dave Feinstein of Edgemont is wearing a Boston Marathon jacket. He ran on Patriots’ Day, posted a swift 3:09 (around 7 minutes a mile), and was back at his hotel when tragedy struck. He’s enjoying a Freshchester Pale Ale with pal Matt Podell of New York City. “My 914 pride is showing through,” Dave says of his selection.

Dave had run a 2:58 at the Hartford Marathon in October, and was humbled by the challenging Boston course. “A few Liquid Golds,” teases Matt, sipping an Imperial IPA, “and maybe you would’ve moved quicker.”

From his hotel room last Monday, Dave was busy checking on friends who were also running the marathon, and assuring distressed loved ones of his well being. “Everyone I ever met was texting, messaging me on Facebook,” he says, “seeing that I was OK.”

Thankfully, he was.

Elsewhere in the tasting room, Kristin Plater and John Silvestri have more than a marathon under their belts today—they’ve made the bike ride up from Brooklyn, meeting friend Brian Hashimoto in Harlem, then continuing on the West Side Highway to the inviting North County rail trail that extends toward the brewery like a yellow brick road. She did the 33 miles in biker boots, on a no-frills bike she calls “Pink” whose flashiest attribute is the milk crate affixed to the back. After a few Kolsch samples, some Village Dog grub for lunch, and fresh air on the patio, Kristin is ready to ride back. “I’d like to come back a lot more often,” she says. “Maybe I can make it my job, bringing people up here on bikes.”

I’m watching through the brewery’s back door as the threesome hits the road. Fittingly, Creedence’s “Looking Out My Back Door” plays. Valhalla author Steven Derosa is enjoying the malty Baltic Porter and sporting a Red Sox jacket. It’s an uncommon choice for a guy born in the Bronx, but it turns out he’s a lifelong fan of Tom Seaver, and rooted for every team Seaver played for, including the Mets, Reds and, yes, the ’86 Red Sox. When Tom Terrific retired as a Red Sox, Steven’s fandom was sealed.

His pug Bogie sometimes wears his own Red Sox jacket, but the pooch goes without on this fine spring day. Steven’s has elicited a thumbs-up from a woman in the tasting room moments before. “It’s a solidarity thing,” he says.

Out on the patio, Pawan Agnihotri is celebrating his 40th birthday with a Smoked Porter while Bernard Louisnathan, also of Hartsdale, has the Baltic Porter. Unwinding after a day of hiking and biking, Bernard offers up a detailed history of the Adirondack chairs they’re sitting in. “We love these things,” says Pawan. “Much better than the bench.”

Yet Porter Hill and pal Holly Haertel of Greenwich have no issue with the picnic table they are sharing. Porters—the Baltic from the pilot system and the old standby Smoked—are popular choices today, but Porter Hill opts for the Ginger Man Ale. “I don’t even like porters,” he says with a shrug.

Holly is a Yankee fan, but is wearing Porter’s Red Sox hat as she sips the Sun Block wheat ale. Porter’s sister and cousin are at Fenway, enjoying the impromptu Neil Diamond performance and a thrilling comeback win that even a New Yorker could appreciate. “It’s not back to normal,” he says. “But it’s getting better.”

Speaking of getting better, Dave Feinstein is already planning how to shave a few minutes off the unforgiving Boston course next year. “If you’d asked me after the 17th mile if I was running it next year, I would’ve said no,” he says. “If you’d asked me after the race, I would’ve said no. But now I’m coming back next year with a vengeance–you don’t let the bad guys get you down.”

Captain Lawrence Brewing, at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, is open Wednesday through Friday (4-8 p.m.), Saturday (12-6 p.m.) and Sunday (12-5). The author is paid by Captain Lawrence, partially in Freshchester Pale Ale.



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