Good things come to those who wander
In this case, 'good things' are some of the best scenery...and beer. Really, really, good beer.
Sometimes you have to overcome your fear of the unknown and just hit the road. If you've got a bike and it's fall, there's no better time to get 'lost' in the countryside. A couple weeks ago my friends and I took that opportunity and headed out in search of a new brewery we heard tell of in Dickinson Center, Township 7 Brewing. They've only been open a couple months but already word has started to spread about their awesome brews.
We were coming north from Paul Smiths which would take us up Route 30 and along Route 458 through the quaint little town of St. Regis Falls, and then onto Dickinson and Dickinson Center. I rarely drive up this way, but know it's one of the longer stretches of well-paved road that winds through the wilderness in this area. With peak peeping season upon us we figured it would be a great time to go on an adventure up that way. The ride did not disappoint!
After a 30-minute ride and only two wrong turns we found Township 7. Just down the road from Nannette's Rise n Shine Cafe on State route 11B, the brand new building is tucked away amongst the farms and if you get too distracted with the scenery, like we did, you can easily blow right past the large 'Township 7' sign and 'open' flag out by the road.
It was immediately clear that in just a few short months, this place has already become a destination for visitors and a hangout for locals. In fact, they're already working on a parking lot expansion to handle the extra traffic! The tasting room itself is quite small, but decorated with a refreshing 'Adirondack meets industrial' style. A sweeping butcher block counter top, 10 shiny tap handles, a chalkboard with the rundown of beers on tap, and the owners smiling faces greeted us as we entered. In addition to offering beer by the glass and growlers, Township 7 offers flights.
Having never met a flight I didn't like, I filled up a large paddle of 6 samples and headed out to the patio, miraculously spilling none of my beer! Outside, the brewery has a great front lawn and a large stone-lined patio with furniture and a propane heater to keep you toasty on these cool fall days!
How is the beer?
The all important question -- how is the beer? Because regardless of how cool the venue is, it's gotta have great beer. The beer was hands-down some of the best beer I've had anywhere. We've got a number of well established breweries producing award-winning beers throughout this part of the state, and I would put Township 7 up against any of them!
Their lineup this fall displays a clear love of hops of all varieties, but not all necessarily 'hoppy' when it comes to taste. My favorites were the Two Bottom and Green Machine. Reading the tasting menu is half the fun at Township 7. Their tasting list describes the The Two Bottom as a "...pre-prohibition ale...lightly hopped and brewed with 40% corn and 60% 6-row barley." I describe the Two Bottom as a delicious lighter beer, much more interesting and less 'sweet' than most lighter beers you buy off the shelf these days.
The Green Machine is a "Wet hopped Pale Ale, brewed with fresh Kirby Hill Cascade hops" with... "A very mild malt character and finishes with a greeny, grassy hoppiness." For me, this was hoppy at it's finest. A nice bite but not overpowering.
Township 7 even managed to get me to overcome my fear of pumpkin beers with their Great Pumpkin ale. I find a lot of pumpkin beers to be be kind of gimmicky, 'let's take our mediocre darker beer and add pumpkin!' But the Great Pumpkin ale was well rounded with a little malt, a little hops, and just a hint of pumpkin. There was also an Ocktoberfest and a Brown Ale in the lineup, not my cup of tea (or beer), but my friend with a taste for darker beer assured me they were top notch!
Filled up with a flight of awesome beer, we relaxed on the patio for a while before heading out. We were planning on taking a thirty-mile detour through Malone, and some great farm country, to hit up the Chateaugay Chasm, or perhaps head out on a new route, but with the sun setting we decided to head back home. I guess we'll just have to plan another trip up this way...darn.
We didn't end up grabbing any food that evening, but to look at their Facebook page, the brewery regularly invites food trucks to set up camp outside. Or, Malone is only a hop, skip, and jump down the road for some great grub!
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