Saturday, October 12, 2013
Notes From The Tasting Room: Galaxy Brewing Co.
Here in New York we are blessed with a diverse range of craft brewing companies. From Lakewood's famous Southern Tier Brewing Company (makers of one of my top 5 beers, Pumking) to the biggest little brewery in my own backyard, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. But I've noticed, though word of mouth and with the help of my co-blogger Chris, that there are tons of little breweries everywhere in this state. The odd thing is, right in the Binghamton/Endicott area, which got hit hard by the recession in years past, there are 5 nano-to-micro-sized breweries. There's the more prominent Water Street Brewing, the small-but-mighty North Brewery, Black Hat Brewery, Binghamton Brewing Co., and the star of this post - Galaxy Brewing Co.
Galaxy Brewing Co. has been brewing since 2011, but only recently - in fact, six weeks ago - have they opened up in a new spacious location. The interior of their newly-opened location is quite nice, and here's the thing: aside from brewing beers, they offer a full selection of lunch and dinner dishes for dining in while you enjoy their wares. The dining room is very open and new-age industrial in style. The chairs at the tables have aluminum frames, the ceiling is open to reveal pipe work, and it just looks really great.
The bar has aluminum facing on the outside just below the bar top to match the frames of the chairs. The bar top is wooden and finished with a dark stain that looks pretty much black in the lower lighting in the bar/dining room. It's a rather long bar that can fit probably 20-25 people. Granted, I wasn't counting.
And might I add that the bar staff were just awesome! The young woman who served my party and I our sampler paddles was friendly, open, and down-to-Earth. She was more than willing to discuss the brewery's digs, how they got started, and was very helpful in picking which beers to sample. The man who, at the end of my visit, filled up my growler, was enthusiastic and informative about the growler conditioning.
So, how does their beer stack up to their nice, funky interior and extremely helpful staff? Well, I sampled quite a few of their brews. I was with a party of three and we each got a sampler paddle of four beers. They have a total of 12 beers on tap at a time, and they make sure to check which ones are on currently on their very descriptive beer menus. I personally ordered samples of their Solar Flare, Octoberfest, Galaxy NY Harvest Ale, and their Mint Chocolate Stout. But I also got to taste their Brun Ale and Pulsar Porter from the paddle of one of the other two people in my party.
I liked this Octoberfest, and not for the usual reasons I like marzens. This particular marzen had a more medium body than I typically come to expect from this style of beer, but its spice notes were to die for. They were much more prominent than many other marzens I've tried.
Galaxy NY Harvest Ale:
This one was a little generic for my tastes, but every good brewery has to play the field and have some good, well-rounded, and not-too-bold beers for their not-so-adventurous patrons. Granted, I liked the piney hop notes to this and the solid fall-feeling malt flavor. It was good, just not stand-out.
This was one strong IPA, and I'm glad I was only having a sampler. Clocking in at nearly 8% ABV, this monster of a Belgian style IPA was loaded with the traditional Belgian flavors: citra hops and orange peel notes. Great, bold, citrusy hop flavors to this one!
This was an interesting brown ale. In fact, I got a growler of it because I liked it so much! It's a Belgian-style brown brewed with Dark Belgian Candi Sugar. I really liked the hop forward nature of this beer and the smokey, chocolatey finish. It really felt like with every sip there was a beginning, middle, and end! Just lovely.
This was one heck of a beer. A porter with a bold body, super thick creamy head, and flavor that rivaled Founder's Breakfast Stout. I kid you not! The powerful dark roast coffee notes in the nose and strong flavors of coffee and thick, dark malt flavors in the taste made this a stand-out brew for Galaxy. It's too bad it's nitrous-brewed beer and they can't fill your growler with it. :(
Mint Chocolate Stout:
The description on Galaxy's beer list simply reads, "Mint! Chocolate! Stout! Need we say more?" And they really don't. Granted, based on the reactions from the other two people in my party, this stout isn't for everyone, but I found it to be nifty. The mint came through strongly in the nose and it tasted sweet, just like a mint chocolate dessert square from Ghirardelli. It was like a dessert beer. I wouldn't have a pint of it, but I'd have a sampler glass any time.
And that was my experience. The members of my party and I thanked the staff graciously and I walked out with my nice growler full of Brun. If you're from upstate New York, or anywhere in New York for that matter, I implore you to check out this brand new brewery. Their beer is worth it, and they have a great menu of food. So get some friends together, head over to 41 Court Street in Binghamton, and have a sampler paddle!
In case you're more curious about their brewery or beer list, go to their website here: http://www.galaxybrewingco.com/index.html
Until next time, cheers!
[Above photos via galaxybrewingco.com]