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of Van Dyck - Schenectady, NY
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"I had heard from several close sources that the beer being brewed at the Van Dyke has taken a (major) turn for the better (uh, make that being brewed at all). I snuck in and out on a recon a few week’s back and to my amazement the beer was quite good. I figured I bring in the “A” team on a second trip and pick it apart.
The Schenectady Steam Beer (hey - we made locomotives here before California was discovered) at first had a funky nose and flavor the first few sips. Then I remembered like a dope I had a Cherry Coke in the car on the way over. By the time I got it half way down though I realized it was one of the best “Steam” style beers I’ve had with a nice complex malt and pungent hop nose and palate – maybe too complex but making it very long on the aftertaste. This beer grew on me and I would have poured a few more down my gullet but I had to sample the other wares.
The Nott Bad Raspberry Wheat was very familiar to me. I’ll let you figure out where you’ve had it before. But with that said, you can give me your grandmother’s lasagna recipe and it just ain’t gonna taste the same. This version was all fruit in both the nose and the palate, but ultra clean, especially for a wheat (albeit it looked filtered).
The Union IPA is a hop-head’s dream - all Cascade and it bites you right in the nose and then again on the palate. The first sip was perfect, and in fact I wrote “perfect” down three times in my notes. This was easily one of the top three IPA’s I’ve ever had. The brewer definitely hit this one right on the head.
The Mohawk Imperial Stout comes in a small glass (good thing), and is all alcohol in the nose. The coffee comes first but the palate gets a nice coffee/toffee treat as it flows across it. This beer is a nice winter warmer and it finished quite well.
We had a nice chat with the owner before we left. I’m not sure what direction the business is going, but I did try a sample of their purported new-menu “bar-b-que,” and I must say it stacks right up with joints like Dinosaur and Redbones. I’ll make a phony excuse to come back by telling other half about the food. But for me, this place is now on the radar screen as a “must stop” destination. Happy hours I believe start at 3:00 with $1.50 pints, and go up .50 or so every hour until they top off at $4.00.
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