Where the Beers Are
It’s gray and damp, a chilly mist discouraging most outdoor activity. The formerly dazzling fall foliage has been reduced to a wet, messy nuisance. It’s not quite the holiday season, and the Giants and Jets don’t provide much of a reason to tune in.
For many, this dismal Sunday was a near perfect day to spend at the brewery.
As her name might suggest, Cindy Wager of Croton is a betting woman—she’s betting on meeting an intriguing guy or two at Captain Lawrence, after reading in Westchester Magazine about how the place is hopping with eligible males. “I texted my girlfriends and said, we need to go,” Cindy says, sipping a cup of Liquid Gold.
She got a taker in Solange LaBonne of Peekskill. Solange must be a good friend—she came along despite not even liking beer, which she attributes to memories of her dad coming home smelling like the stuff when she was a girl. For her, it’s a glass of Chardonnay, and a wish that Captain Lawrence produce hard cider.
Solange in fact dropped her knitting needles to come to Captain Lawrence. “You’d be surprised how fun a knitting group is,” she insists.
Cindy’s idea of Mr. Right likes exercise, enjoys being outside, loves her dog as much as he loves her, and digs locally brewed craft beer. And no moaners, please. “He has to be able to keep up with me,” she says. “Someone fun.”
Bob Wynn of White Plains too used a group text to find a friend for the brewery trip. “I texted, I’m going to Captain Lawrence—who wants to go?” he says.
Karen Allen of White Plains answered his call. She’s from North Carolina and uses the name “Suzie”, she explains, in bar settings to throw would-be suitors off her trail. (Hey “Suzie,” maybe send them Cindy Wager’s way?)
Bob is filling up his Madison Brewery Co. (Vermont) growler with Liquid Gold for a friend over in Pearl River. Karen is sipping the India Pale Ale and missing the craft breweries she visits back in Charlotte, such as Olde Mecklenburg and Triple C. “More seats, a pool table, more food selection,” she suggests.
The mood picks up. A foursome braves the drizzly weather for a bocce game. The dormant house music comes on—it’s Arcade Fire’s new one. Steven DeRosa and his pug Bogie are still reveling in the Red Sox championship. Kayode Howard of Mount Vernon and Kristina Katz of Mahopac are here for an unofficial Westchester Community College reunion. He digs the Liquid Gold, but says the wet-hopped Harvest Ale is “stronger than my liking.”
Kristina goes for the Imperial IPA. It’s her first visit to Captain Lawrence, and she shall return. “It’s a good place to meet old friends,” she says. “I already have my chips for next time. I’ll be back.”
Kayode wouldn’t mind watching some football, but says reuniting with Kristina and other WCC pals trumps the Jets or Giants. “I love football, but I made the sacrifice to see old friends. Lookit that face,” he says, nodding towards a smiling Kristina. “Football, or Katz? C’mon!”
The 4 p.m. tour begins, but Jaydev Mistry and Preeya Khandge of Parsippany, New Jersey have already gotten their walking in—they hiked up (and, presumably, down) Bear Mountain this morning, before the rain, and located a pleasant little brewery a half hour south via Yelp.com. “She’s very good at finding cool places here and there,” says (International Man of) Mistry.
They’re enjoying the amber ale Ginger Man, the Kolsch, the hops monster R.I.P.A.’s Revenge–and an enticing plate of short ribs from the Village Dog folks. The lines are short. The mood is upbeat. It’s not the worst way to wind down the weekend.
“We really wanted something fun to do this afternoon,” says Preeya. “This was it.”
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 India Pale Ale.
The “Notes From the Tasting Room” book is available at the brewery and on Amazon.