Beerjanglin’ Presents: Our Brewery O’ The Month

We have turned back the clocks and left Election Day in the rear view already, but this month is far from over. Certainly not too late to declare Southern Tier Brewing Company as our brewery of the month for November.

Southern Tier has only been around since 2004, but has already earned its place as one of the up-and-coming craft breweries in the Northeast. With a very solid lineup of year-round offerings, a full stable of seasonals, and an ever growing number of “big beers,” Southern Tier has something to offer every discriminating beer drinker. Over the next three weeks, we’ll attempt to give you a little taste.

In the interest of full disclosure we shall now note that Southern Tier is something of a “hometown” beer for us. It’s located just outside of Jamestown, New York (home of Lucille Ball, NFL commish Roger Goodell, and the 10,000 Maniacs!), about 30 minutes from where we grew up. Sure, we’d been gone for five years by the time the brewery opened, but it still tastes like home. Or at least like damned fine beer.

Southern Tier was started in 2004 by Ellicottville Brewing co-founder Allen Yahn and his stepson, Phin DeMink, who had brewed the first batch of beer made at Ellicottville before moving on to work at Goose Island in Chicago. DeMink moved back to Western New York and, in 2003, teamed up with his wife, Sara, and Yahn to buy the brewing equipment from the former Old Saddleback Brewing Company in Pittsfield, MA and got to work. There were a couple of missteps to start, namely the failure of the original “flagship” mild and pilsner, but their IPA went over pretty well, and Southern Tier was off and running.

According to the Brewers Association, Southern Tier has grown 140% since 2005, and was the 39th largest brewery in the United States in 2006 with sales of 6,000 barrels. Beer Advocate Magazine named them No. 35 of the top 50 breweries in all the land. Not bad for a three year old business located in a rural corner of economically depressed Upstate New York.

Brewery tours are offered on Saturdays at 4 pm and cost $8. This price seems to include generous amounts of beer at their tasting room, the Empty Pint Pub, which is open on Fridays from 4 – 8 pm and Saturdays from 2 – 8 pm. The Empty Pint recently added an outdoor beer garden and always has eight brewery fresh Southern Tier beers on tap, including Chautauqua Brew, an amber ale brewed as a tribute to the brewing history of the region and available exclusively at the brewery and select locations within the county. Southern Tier is a definite must-stop destination for craft beer fans who find themselves anywhere near Jamestown. You can even drop in after a visit to the Lucy museum. Kinda ridiculous that we haven’t made it to either the brewery or the museum yet.

You can read a bit more on Southern Tier here and/or here.

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~ by bojangles on November 8, 2007.

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