Two Local Breweries Receive Awards and Recognition
Recently, Utica beer has been recognized nationally and across the state as award winning, unique, and exceptional examples of craft beer! In order to rank beers, judges often participate in blind tastings where they will taste several beers belonging to various styles of beer such as IPA, pale ale, or stouts without knowledge of what beer or brewery they are tasting. This allows judges to objectively score and rank beers according to style guidelines and preferences.
On April 23, Paste Magazine released a list of the top 50 Best Pale Ales from across the country after a blind tasting of 151 different pale ales. Among those 151 pale ales are several award winning beers from recognized breweries and strong competition but two were chosen from Utica! Saranac's Pale Ale was selected as #38 and described as “just about everything you expect from classic American pale ale.” The judges appreciated its “pine and grapefruit citrus are wonderfully balanced on the nose with hints of toasty malt sweetness and a touch of woodsy resin.”
Just outside of the top 10, Woodland Farm Brewery's Up All Night was chosen as #11! This pale ale was described as “a 'farmhouse pale ale,' possessing some of the qualities of Belgian/saison yeast, without a ton of the wilder funk of brettanomyces.” One judge even said this beer is “unique and excellent from front to back.” Saranac Pale Ale is available year round and Woodland Farm Brewery's Up All Night will be returning on tap very soon!
In another blind tasting competition at the Tap New York Craft Beer and Food Festival hosted at Hunter Mountain on April 28 and 29, Saranac and Woodland Farm Brewery were recognized once again for their quality beer and were awarded medals to bring home to Utica! Saranac won two gold medals with their Basking in Bourbon in the barrel aged category and Green Thumb in the Double IPA category! Basking in Bourbon is an imperial stout aged in Kentucky bourbon barrels which boasts flavors of bourbon, dark chocolate, molasses, charred oak, vanilla, and caramel with a liquid chocolate mouthfeel. Green Thumb is a DIPA that is dank, piney, citrusy, and resinous and brewed with a healthy amount of Columbus, Simcoe, Ekuanot, and Citra hops. Coincidentally, a limited run of Green Thumb bottles were just released on April 20 and can be found at the brewery and select accounts that carry Saranac products along with Basking in Bourbon!
Woodland Farm Brewery also brought home medals for two different beers. Oak Woden, an old ale aged in oak barrels from Adirondack Barrel Cooperage in Remsen, earned Woodland a gold medal in the Old/Strong Ale style as well as the John Calen Memorial Award. Oak Woden has loads of toffee and caramel flavor balanced with the roast and char of oak. Nutser, a schwarzbier or black lager, earned Woodland a bronze medal in the Amber/Dark lager category. Nutser is a deceptively easy drinking lager despite its dark color with flavors of cocoa, caramel, and a rich warm nuttiness from conditioning on top of hand roasted NYS Black Walnuts! Nutser is currently on tap at Woodland and Oak Woden is slated to return in a few weeks for a bottle release along with a Kentucky Bourbon version of the same base beer!