Water Street Brewing and Galaxy Brewing

(Binghamton, NY)

Near the famed Lost Dog Cafe sits Water Street Brewing Company.  I want to start this article off by being completely honest: I went to Water Street a few years ago, just weeks after they opened, and hated it.  I love the location and atmosphere, but I hated their beer, so I was interested in changing my opinion. I mean no ill will- it’s definitely a struggle to be a brand new brewery, but I was totally unimpressed.  Fast forward to 2017 as I ordered some killer chicken bites and a flight.

I started with Hellcat Brown Ale.  This was a great start to a flight and a great first sip to change my first impression of this brewery.   Perfect malt balance and a warm nuttiness made this a fine pint.

Second, Lil’ Philthy was palatable, but thin- no mouth feel and no body at all.  Lil’ Philthy was a nice distinction between an English Mild and an English Bitter, as a lot of other brewers don’t seem to get that detail correct, but still…meh.

Ginger Queen was interesting and a nice change of pace.  I’m constantly in search of the right amber ale. Though the Ginger Queen was perfect she was close.  I surprised even myself by how much I enjoyed the unique character the ginger added. Ginger mixed very well with the malts in this one.

Next up was Bonnie Knees Wee Heavy… very good.  I loved the dark robust malts used in this one and the toffee/molasses finish was just right.

Hadrigan’s Dry Stout- nope.  I’m a big fan of a fine dry Irish stout, but there’s a dry Irish and then there’s dry, thin, and bitter.

The last brew; Thousand Year Porter, similarly to Hadrigan’s, was paper thin and watery.  I’ve taken a similar stance on a popular brew in AZ as I feel about three out of the six beers here and I suspect it may be because of the English styling and/or ingredients.  We can thank them for being the godfathers of porters and stouts, but when it comes to making the flavor and body of a great dark beer I think the bloody ‘Yanks’ have perfected it.

I’m happy for the progress Water Street Brewing has made and I give them a 7.9 out of 10.

It’s nice to see to see more breweries popping up in and around my old stomping grounds to give the city some life.  Galaxy is in a prime spot nearly across the street from the Colonial on Court St. We brought a large group with us this time around and were seated in the Hitchhiker’s Nook.  I ordered a flight and an absolutely, incredible Bo Peep burger.

The first brew on this galactic journey made its way onto the list for its silver medal (WBF) advertising.  Saint Stusan Blonde isn’t overbearing like the catholic church and it’s not quite angelic either. Stusan’s hop profile was subtle with a blend of Belgian spices.  Not a huge fan of this one.

The second strain came in the form of a stolen sip of The Editor’s Andromeda IPA.  This brew started off with some nice citrus notes, but not much else. Andromeda is definitely a stereotypical citra/simco blend, but she was pretty run of the mill.

The next visit was from the Ghost of Christmas.  GoC is a Belgian dark with chocolate, orange, and ghost peppers.  I normally love sweet and complex backbone that peppers add to a thicker bodied ale (See: Abraxas), however I think the Ghost pepper packed a little too much of a punch in this one.

Another intriguing experimentation:  Clax is a lime stout. This one had a hint of cola, but a bit too heavy on the lime.

The last beer was a beautiful shooting star on a starry night.  Valence is a Belgian tripel aged in rye whiskey barrels and I loved it.  I tend to be wary of tripels, but Galaxy knocked this one out of the park.  Valence was thick and creamy throughout, opening with sweet vanilla and finishing with a woody, rye-booziness.  Seriously, seriously well done!

It’s a funny thing when I’m not a huge fan of many of the beers in a line up, but one beer holds so much weight that it acts as a counter balance.  Valence was just that beer- that combined with an amazing burger earns Galaxy Brewing Company an 8.2 out of 10.

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