Sunday, October 16, 2011
Pumpkin Ales at Bailey's
Tis the season to enjoy the great tastes of pumpkin beers. I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of early arrivals at one of my favorite local hangouts, Bailey’s in Blauvelt, NY. Baileys is the perfect combination of local watering hole and great family restaurant. It’s the kind of place where you are bound to run into an old friend or neighbor. On this particular occasion, I caught up with a good friend’s younger brother and a local judge and his wife out for a quick bite. My high school baseball coach was even in the house.
Our group consisted of three generations and we felt right at home at a table near the bar. It’s a mature bar crowd and there is never a worry about what the kids might hear from the bar.
Bailey’s is known for their great pizza and BBQ. The pizza is thin and crispy with just the right amount of cheese. We didn’t opt for the BBQ but Bailey’s Smokehouse has some of the best ribs in Rockland County. The pulled pork is also delicious.
The highlight of this dinner however, was the beer. Bailey’s has been growing their beer list to the point where they now have about a dozen taps and another 15 -20 in bottles including Keegan’s Mother’s Milk, Ithaca Apricot Wheat and even Gluten-free Red Bridge. I chose a Post Road Pumpkin to start off. It has a nice aroma and a smooth delivery. The bitter finish lets you know it’s an ale. I was very happy with my selection until I tried the Dogfish Head Punkin on tap.
DFH does so many things well and this beer is no exception. From the first whiff, it’s clear that this beer is going to be a treat. The sweet spiciness delights the nose before the liquid hits your mouth. The taste is hard to describe other than to say it’s all the good things you want in a pumpkin ale: nutmeg, brown sugar, slight hoppiness. All together they make for one of the best beers of any style I’ve tried.
I ordered a second, took a bite of my slice and sat back taking in all the sights and sounds. Family, friends and great food and beer; what else could a man ask for?