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of Ellicottville Brewing Company - Ellicottville, NY
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"We were in route from Cleveland to Maine and opted for the Southern Tier Route I86 instead of I90 just to stop and try this place. Worked out about the same distance wise if you are considering this option (plus no tolls). Late dark Sunday night in off season, really made this place feel really remote, but it's only about 10 miles off the highway and is nestled in a nice little town. Food was unique and outstanding. Service was excellent and even though the bartender John (?) was a Steelers fan he still knew his stuff about the beers and was very willing to talk and offer samples. The décor was really spectacular and comfortable including a unique eastern European Mashtun and brew kettle. The bar was 19th century brought in from Chicago and garnished with gray/white marble.
All of the beers were well made from well-designed recipes. The flavor profiles were just as complex as regional beers but a lot more balanced and cleaner. Highlights include the Chocolate Porter on Nitro that had a really well tuned gas mixture giving a phenomenal texture tangled with rich but mild chocolate malt flavor. Both the Pale Ale and the Imperial Pale Ale had wonderful aroma but managed to avoid the grassy undertones on the tongue that seem common to the region. Of the eleven breweries/beerbars/brewpubs on the trip this was by far the best brewpub and in the top three overall.
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