Capital Punishment.

Posted: March 28, 2012 in Beer Drinking Adventures

As some of you may (or may not) know is that I cover a crazy amount of territory for work (to my disgust).  I go from Buffalo NY to Cleveland OH to State College PA…my bermuda triangle.  And I also cover most of eastern NY from Ticonderoga to Poughkepsie as well.   The only benefit from this is that I get to stop at many different brewpubs and breweries, as well as meet new people too.

On monday night, I met one of those new people at The Ruck in Troy NY.   The Ruck is a Troy staple but easily resembles your old mans local hangout.  The place looks like a really dirtbar from the outside and the inside doesnt appear much better with its poor lighting, beat up wood floors, and long old wooden bar…my kind of place.  A huge upside is that they roughly 25 taps and a cooler of canned/bottles beer of the sexy beer nerd variety. 

Fuji is a local to the greater Albany area and a fellow BeerAdvocate member as well.  Upon meeting Fuj, he self glossed himself as the ‘Norm’ (the George Wendt character from Cheers) of The Ruck.  I didnt roll my eyes to that thought but took it with a grain of salt.  Well, that grain of salt was a huge freaking boulder.  He really was the ‘Norm’ (see above for explanation of who Norm is) of The Ruck.  In the first few minutes of his arrival, the owner of the Ruck, a local beer distributor rep, and several patrons came over to chat him up.  We chatted about our beer preferences, adventures, and tossed back a few cold ones.  During this time, the Ruck also has their monday night trivia that just pulls all sorts of people out of the woodwork, including the two learned nurses to be that were sitting next to us, asking for help with the trivia questions as well.   Now, I have a head full of useless knowledge but I was sailing a big Failboat down the river of suck that night.  After having enjoyed a Southern Tier Oaked Unearthly IPA, ST Back Burner Barleywine, ST Iniquity BIPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA.   You may wonder why I had three Southern Tier beers…well, several days prior the Rick had a Southern Tier tap takeover and I was doing my part to help them free up those taps (plus, those are some of my favorites Southern Tier beers).

After he and I parted, I headed down the road to Browns Brewing Company to see if they had anything new on tap.  Browns is in the heart of Troy, located inside an old brick building that has exposed steel support beams, very rustic feel to the place.  The building has plenty of tables for dining, a nice sized horseshoe style bar that can hold about 20-25 patrons, an upper dining level and a huge outdoor back patio overlooking the Hudson River.  The building also contains all the tanks and equipment in a side room where the brewing magic happens.  They typically carry 10-12 taps of In House beer and I decided to imbibe the Tomhannock Pilsner and their Brown Ale, both of which were decent in their own way.

The following night, after having an extremely long day of work, I decided to go out for dinner before heading to my hotel. I was close by another local albany staple, which is the Albany Pump Station.

The Albany Pump Station, which is located downtown, was what it is now called. This building use to house the water pumping station for Albany until time and newer technology made it obsolete. Now the water that is pumped through this building is used for an entirely different reason now, for making delicious beer. This place has a pretty decent brewer, who has several medals at the Great American Beer Fest and World Beer Cup. Their two highly decorated beers are their Hefewizen and Kick Ass Brown. The Kick Ass Brown is aptly named as it is their big prize earner, of which I purchase a growler of to unleash on my tasting group this coming weekend.

The Albany Pump Station is huge inside with two levels of dining, a somewhat smallish bar area that can hold about 16-20 people at it, and all the tanks for turning water into wine (well, beer really..they arent Jesus after all)(see The Bible for who Jesus was, kind of a main character).

While at the Albany Pump Station, I ordered my usual Pump Station burger (which is cheeseburger with Provolone cheese, applewood smoked bacon, and a chipotle mayo) I ordered their Munich Dark which was under carbonated and rather disappointing. I capped off my visit with their barleywine which was very nice, had almost a nutty taste along with your typcial fruit flavors, a solid beer.

From their, I managed my way over to the Buffalo Wild Wings in Clifton Park which was extremely close to my hotel where I watched the Buffalo Sabres play a must win game versus the Washington Capitals…and handily won 5-1.

  1. fuj says:

    Hahaha, I just found you site. It’s “Fuj” not “Booch”. As in Fujii, which is my nickname and what everyone in the beer community calls me.

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