Horseheads Brewing Company

(Horseheads, NY)

Slow sipping through the Southern Tier brought us next to Horseheads Brewing Company.  There we enjoyed a fine flight and a surprise first taste.

The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee were a powerhouse in the northeast. A great and proud people who were once as vast and as different as the land itself. A beer’s name may not be a grand gesture, but it is nice to see the area’s roots get a nod. Iroquois Wheat is a filtered version of the American wheat ale-nice change of pace, but I think it lost a little character in the process.

Pale Expedition Ale was prototypical.  This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve noticed something like this, so I think it’s worth mentioning:  It seems as though there is a shift towards eliminating true pale ales. Or maybe as IPAs get bigger and badder there little brothers must as well? Either way- too much hop and not enough smooth balance.

Tropic Daze blood orange IPA was, simply put, amazing. I enjoyed every drop of this citrus, sweet malt, and easy drinkin’ IPA.  Whenever this is on tap I would recommend a visit.

The Blueberry Ale was pleasant as well . I’ve been shifting away from fruit beers lately; not because they are too sweet, not sweet enough, or anything to do with the direction the flavor is moving, but more because of the lack of flavor.  They’ve been all about the aroma with little-to no fruit on the tongue. Horseheads did a nice job on this one.

Peanut butter porter was a bit thin, but still  tasty. There was more peanut butter in the nose than on the tongue, but it came through with a delicate nutty and sweet toffee or caramel playing opposite to some notes of cocoa nib.

I wasn’t really sure where they were going with maple amber.  This was a run of the mill, lack-luster amber, with no maple.

Their double IPA was sweet and well balanced for a DIPA.  Not something that many of my hop hunting friends would enjoy, but I’ll give ’em tip of the hat- it went down nice and easy.

We were really fortunate to have randomly wandered in on the first day of this year’s Pumpkin Ale release.  I’m not usually a fan of the style, but I really enjoyed this Pumpkin Ale (probably even one of the best I’ve ever had). It’s fall in upstate NY and I drank the #basic koolaid, or beer in this case.

Hot jala heim… yikkes.  Sometimes peppers add a sweetness and a complexity and sometimes they pack a punch.  The latter is definitely true in this case. I’m actually not even sure what the base of this brew is without looking it up- moral of the story: respect the heat!

All in all this was a pleasant stop along the trail and an upgrade from the previous stop.  We give Horseheads Brewing Company a 7.9 out of 10.

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