C.H. Evans Brewing Co. Brews 19th Century Recipe of “Albany Ale”
Celebrating Albany’s History, 200 Year Old Beer Recipe On-Tap Now
ALBANY, N.Y. – C.H. Evans Brewing Co. at the Albany Pump Station teamed up with Craig Gravina, the author of “Upper Hudson Valley Beer” to brew “Albany Ale” using a 19th century version that was retrieved by Gravina. “Albany Ale” will be on tap exclusively at C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station starting today, September 2, 2015.
“Albany Ale” is a truly unique style, indigenous to the Hudson Valley, it’s not totally equitable to other styles of the time like a stout, brown, pale or strong but is similar to many of the larger more historically significant styles of beer. “Albany Ale” has also experienced many changes and adjustments throughout its history.
“This latest installment of Albany Ale is based on a recipe from the early 19th century. Craig Gravina, author of “Upper Hudson Valley Beer,” graciously dug up a version of this era of Albany Ale and we were fortunate enough to receive said recipe”, said Ryan Demler, Head Brewer at C.H. Evans Brewing Co. “We made a few slight variations (different yeast selection and a few different hops) but largely stayed true to the original style.”
Our version of the 1830s recipe uses New York grown and malted 6-row barley from Pioneer Malting in Rochester, NY as well as NY produced honey from B’s Honey in Watervliet. As with many older styles of beer, “Albany Ale” was brewed with hops, though at the time there wasn’t a distinction as to the types or timing of additions, so we took a bit of creative license here and used some cluster variety hops and a token amount of NYS grown Cascade.
This mid-strength beer (of the time) clocks in at 7.9% Alcohol By Volume (ABV) and drinks rather crisp and clean for a recipe nearly 200 years old. The body is light, almost sharp and dry. The relatively heavy hopping rate (for the style) and heavy use of honey result in a brew that’s dry and has a pronounced bitterness that helps clean up the finish. A bit of “breadiness” comes through from the grain and works well with the subtly piney hop flavor.
The Evans family has been brewing commercially for three generations with the original brewery in Hudson, N.Y. in 1786 and opened its current location in Downtown Albany in 1999.