There is a great new brewery in Stephentown, NY, about 20-25 minutes outside Albany, called The Beer Diviner. Chad Polenez turned me onto it. The guy has a really cool story, but rather than re-hash his story, I thought I'd give it to you straight from the horse's mouth, owner and brewmaster himself:
My name is Dr. Jonathan Post. I brew small, controlled two barrel batches using a Psycho Brew Recirculating Infusion Mash System (RIMS). The result is smooth, delicious pale, red, brown, stout and medieval gruit ale. Each bottle is filled by hand and conditioned at optimum temperatures. In 2012, I received my licenses for Bly Hollow Brewery, d.b.a.The Beer Diviner.
Back in 2002, I was invited to brew beer by the elders of the Dagara village of Dano in Burkina Faso, West Africa. Dano means "Good Beer" in Dagara. While sharing my first batch with the elders, I was asked to build a small brewery. On a second trip the shamans divined that I was to do beer divination. I asked what beer divinination was. "We don't know," they said, "there has never been a beer diviner in Dagaraland. In fact there has never been a man who made beer." Thus began my quest.
In a Dagara ritual recitation, little beings called kontomblé, the Spirits of divination, gave the secret of beer making to the first agriculturalist, a woman. They told her they wanted her to experience joy after all her hard work taking care of her family and community. She could feed her mind as well as her body, they said; it was her choice.
My experiences in Africa and here in Cherry Plain. NY, have taught me that beer and community are identical. Beer divination is part of the ancient, sacred technology of beer making, connecting individuals to community including Nature. This is the joy the kontomblé were talking about...
So I was sitting at home with my family and Dominique excitedly rushed it. She had had to pass by The Beer Diviner, and she brought me a present - a bottle of The Beer Diviner's Ancestral Red Ale. I was doubly thrilled, because my son Dylan has insisted he had come up with a new rub for the grill, and wanted to cook dinner. Who was I to refuse. While he cooked, I kicked back!
According to the brewmaster himself, Ancestral Red Ale was "Divined for our connection to our ancestors, for forgiveness." This is a higer alcohol beer at more than 7%. It's fruity and spicey with Wheat Belgian ale yeast, coriander, bitter orange peel, ginger root, Fuggles and Goldings hops. It's somewhat creamy, and the hops is not over powering. Very pretty beer. And it went beautifully with my son's grilled ribs with his new secret rub, which was pretty damn good too! I don't think the ancestors had it this good!
If you don't believe me, why not read these two reviews here:
Chad Polenz's review here:
All Over Albany, another trusted voice here: