Some Quick Notes (On The Occasion Of My Return To Captain Lawrence)

Today, I made it back to Pleasantville, New York’s Captain Lawrence Brewing Company after a prolonged absence. While Captain Lawrence is still establishing its presence in the lower Hudson/Westchester County region (they still only bottle a select number of their beers in bombers, and a prominent display in the brewery’s tasting room is a poster listing the small-but-growing number of establishments that serve Captain Lawrence beers on-tap), one constant since the brewery’s opening has been Saturday tasting-room hours from noon to 6 pm.

Brewmaster Scott Vaccaro was among those behind the tasting-room bar on this warm spring afternoon, and, as a pleasant surprise, there were 2 new (well, to me) beers on tap. Here now are some quick notes on these new offerings from the Captain:

The first one that I tried was Sunblock, a Belgian-Style Wit beer. Captain Lawrence has done Belgian-style beers in the past (two of their standouts, Liquid Gold and Xtra Gold, are variations on Belgian Pale Ales). Unfortunately, Sunblock suffers from comparison to these standout drinks. Where Captain Lawrence’s Belgian Pales are masterpieces, Sunblock sort of seems like a first draft. It’s very light – extremely light, in fact, enough so that the nuances of the beer (hints of orange and spice) become insubstantial. The notes on Sunblock hint that there is a hop bite to be found at the end – I can’t say that I found this. This is a rare miss for Captain Lawrence; certainly preferable to a macrobrewed light beer, but nowhere in the class of their other Belgian-inspired brews.

The other new offering was their Brown Bird Brown Ale, a spiced brown ale, and holy cow – another winner for Vaccaro and the folks at Captain Lawrence. My glass of this may have been enough to supplant Brooklyn Brown as my favorite of this genre. Originally intended as the Captain’s fall/winter seasonal, Vaccaro and Co. have decided to brew Brown Bird year round – the beer’s malty, dark-caramel finish is a welcome taste and, served fresh and cold from the tap, hit the spot nicely on this warm spring day.

It’s always a pleasure to get up to Pleasantville and sample the goods of the Captain – the addition of these two beers bodes well for this developing brewery!

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~ by dgdunford on April 12, 2008.

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