Thursday, January 22, 2015

Captain Lawrence IPA (NY)

The Vaccaro family is now well-known in brewing circles on the east coast. Scott Vaccaro  is the head brewer and visionary, Vince is the CEO and business brains, Keith Fekete is the sales manager, and the list goes on and on. They are based in Elmsford, NY.
Many of Captain Lawrence's beers are strongly influenced by traditional Belgian ale styles, although often with an American twist. Barrel-aging and ales with sourness or flavors contributed by wild yeasts, such as Brettanomyces, and bacteria are also part of their repertoire.
Like many small breweries, Captain Lawrence seeks to be environmentally sensitive, including donating spent grain to a local farmer for use as cattle feed. Their beers are fermented in stainless steel cylindro-conical vessels.

The brewery takes its name from Captain Lawrence Drive in South Salem, NY - the road on which Vaccaro's childhood home is located. The street is named after Samuel Lawrence (1733-1796) who was a Captain in the Westchester County Militia, 3rd Regiment during the American Revolution.
In the Hudson Valley, in particular, they are force to be reckoned with. They brew a number of styles, many of them very quaffable. One of their most popular beers is the IPA. At 7% alcohol, it's not light, but t's certainly not overbearing. The nose is hops, hops, hops. If you don't like n aggressive IPA, Captain Lawrence is not for you. The nose is floral, and the beer is big and bold. A straw/gold color, with a sour cream colored head, this bubbly beer oozes a nice clean start, and a big, brisk finish, with bitters to spare. Caramel and malt come through first, but in the end it's grapefruit galore!!
The nice part of this Captain Lawrence IPA is that it is excellent with food. Super with a big, gnarly bacon-cheeseburger, it's also equally at home with a big pot of steamed clams and drawn butter. A great, fun beer!