We are so blessed with so many great breweries already here in the Capital Region and more opening each day. I had the chance to hang out at the newest, Hank Hudson Brewing Co in Clifton Park and you have to see what this place looks like from the inside.
Hank Hudson Brewing Co is finally open at the Fairway of Halfmoon Golf Club (17 Johnson Rd). I had a chance to check out the facility myself a little over a week ago and talk to the founders and head brewers Darren Van Heusen and Chris Crounse and taste some of the great beers they have to offer.
At first glance, this place is beautiful. Visually, this space is everything you’d be looking for in a bar, especially if you’re a golfer. The space, designed by the local architecture firm Balzer & Tuck, was created out of two reclaimed barns which were located only a few miles away. The woodwork inside of the brewery is beautiful and pairs well with the industrial metal work on the tables and chairs. They offer high-top seating as well as a bar-like seating so you can watch the brewers make the beer as well as ask questions. One place you’d be surprised they don’t offer seating is at the actual bar. Their hope is to keep the bar open to everyone instead of creating a kind of wall of people which would make it difficult for people to get their drinks.
Also, if you’re looking for a waiter or waitress to serve you, you’ll have to go to the restaurant next door. Hank Hudson does offer food options but you go to the bar to order and if you need anything else for your table. They have 10 taps where their goal is to fill 8 of them with their Hank Hudson brand beer and two of them will be “Hank’s Guests.” Guests will preferably be local breweries and cideries that will rotate depending on popularity.
I had a chance to try a few of their beers and what surprised me was how they were priced. You can’t order a traditional “flight” but they do have smaller portions if you wanted to create your own. Each beer comes in a 5oz ($3) or a 16oz ($6-6.50) option. That way you’re not restricted to the flight number and can share and try as many as you’d like for only $3 a glass.
I like beer but I am by no means a beer expert. I had a chance to try some of the beers myself and I’ll let you know what I thought but with a new brewery like this, it’s honestly best to just try them all (more information on the beer in pictures below).
- Wheelhouse Blonde Ale: Light, crisp, with a subtle taste of orange. I’m not usually a fan of blondes but this had more flavor than those I’m used to and I would’ve enjoyed it most if I were one of the golfers after a full day in the sun!
- Czech Baby Czech Pils: Pilsner; again, though not a fan of pilsners usually, this was worth the risk. Nice light mouthfeel, light hops, it probably wouldn’t be my favorite but I enjoyed it.
- Bruce’s Best ESB: English Pale Ale (extra special bitter); not overly hoppy, light to medium bodied beer but enough hops to get your toes in the water if you’re not excited about bitterness.
- Clifton Common: Amber/Steam beer; it’s the body of a lager without the flavor of a lager, it’s something very different from what I usually drink but I loved the flavor.
- Down Under APA: “Australian” Pale Ale; pretty bitter if you’re a fan of hops, great casual drinking beer for all seasons.
- Sweet Ruby BIPA: Black IPA; this was my favorite! It had a fruity flavor to it, a medium-bodied beer with the hopes you’re looking for from an IPA with that deep roasted flavor of a stout.
- Menace to Sobriety: Stout; great roasted flavor without the coffee flavor that I usually don’t like it my stouts. It’s not as heavy as the more mainstream Guinness but still packs the same amount of flavor.
If you want to try these delicious beers for yourself, you can come to their Grand Opening this weekend for Hanktoberfest on Sunday, October 14th. You can meet Hank Hudson himself, listen to live music, eat some delicious food and a portion of the beer sales will go to CAPTAIN Community Human Services.