Monday, March 31, 2014

Trying a Few Beers from Westbrook Brewing Company

One of my favorite things about being a beer fan in this day and age is shopping for beers when I travel to different states.  Crossing the border into a different state opens a whole array of unique and unfamiliar beers that one doesn't normally have access to in their home state.  I compare it to finding a treasure trove of beer, and taking home my booty.

New York isn't too far from my home base, but I really don't go there too much.  That said, I haven't had much of a chance to explore their local beer and the different array of beers that are distributed to New York.  A few weeks ago, Kerry and I took a day trip and paid a visit to Rushing Duck for a tasting, and stopped in Peekskill Brewery for dinner and to sample some of their beers.  It wasn't too late on the way home, so we popped into Nanuet, NY's Growler & Gill, a pub that has a most excellent bottleshop for purchasing beers to take home.

This was my first visit to Growler & Gill so I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I had heard good things.  I ended up bringing home lots of beers that were new to me, including beers from Grimm Artisanal Ales, Bell's Brewery, Stillwater Artisanal Ales, and more.  In this case, "more" included 2 beers from Westbrook Brewing Company, a brewery I had only sampled beers from in the past.

Beer Haul, Growler and Gill, Smuttynose, Bell's, Ommegang, Grimm, Kentucky, Stillwater, Westbrook, Cigar City
Some of the beers I got from Growler and Gill

Westbrook Brewing, perhaps best known for their imperial stout Mexican Cake (aged on cocoa nibs, vanilla beans, cinnamon sticks, and fresh habanero peppers), has a limited distribution to South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and New York right now (according to their website).  You can expect to find their beers on draft, in bottles, and in cans.

I was especially excited to be able to bring home two of their year round beers, One Claw and White Thai. One Claw was an absolutely delicious rye pale ale.  Coming in at 5.5% abv,  it wasn't overpowering or palate wrecking at all. What I had was just a smooth, easy drinking pale ale with a touch of spice from rye. White Thai (5% abv) was a unique take on a witbier, having been brewed with fresh lemongrass, ginger root and Sorachi Ace hops. Although not my favorite style, it was a solid beer, and was interesting enough for me to keep returning to my glass.  I loved flooding my nose with the wonderful Asian-inspired aromas in White Thai, and could pretend I was on a boat in the Arabian Sea, returning from adventure (or maybe just on my couch in NJ).

Now that these beers are done, I am certainly looking forward to returning to New York and finding some more brews from Westbrook!

Westbrook Brewing, South Carolina, Beer, Craft Beer, White Thai
White Thai, a unique witbier from
Westbrook Brewing, South Carolina, One Claw, Pale Ale, Beer, Craft Beer
One Claw, a rye pale ale from Westbrook


  1. White Thai is a perfect combo of ingredients with the Sorachi Hops. Like Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace, I think it does a great job showcasing the unique grass-like ("but in a good way!") character of the hop.

    One Claw is simply a God-send. Best ryePA I may have ever had. Like you point out, it's zippy enough for craft beer fans, but I think it wouldn't be too off-putting for those not used to the flavor of rye.

    I only regret that I can't get Westbrook here in NC, when the brewery is just four hours away!

    1. I was completely surprised to find Westbrook being sold in NY. I figured it would be in more central/southern states than up in NY, but I'm glad they had it. Now if I can just get lucky enough to find some of their other beers...