Unique Craft Beer Experience: Hybrid Gastropub & Bottle Shoppe

"Great family-friendly and family-run business. Excellent craft beer selections and table fare. Always friendly service!"
148 Route 59, Nanuet, NY 10954 |

Growler & Gill Beer Blog

Cigar City Tap Takeover 9/16. Win bottle of Good Gourd Pumpkin Ale!

We will have a whole slew of kegs from award winning Cigar City Brewing Co. on Friday 9/16 starting at noon. We will be tapping Nitro Vanilla Maduro Brown Ale, Jai Alai IPA, Espresso Cubano Stout and more.

From 4-10pm we will be holding hourly raffles for a bottle of the top-rated Good Gourd Pumpkin Ale*.  Don’t miss it!!

*Must be present to win.


Dogfish Tasting and 120 tapping

On Thursday 9/22, Dogfish Head Brewery will be in for a tasting.  They will be sampling their amazing lineup of craft beers including: 90 Minute IPA, Punkin, Sea Quench Sour and India Brown Ale through a Randall filled with Chocolate Peanut Butter cups!

We will also be tapping their world famous 120 minute IPA.  Watch owner Sam Calagione describe this amazing beer:

*Dogfish 120 is limited and will not be sampled at tasting.

Join us!

Maine Nano Brewery to be purchased for $59 billion

Craft Beer Fake News – Sept 4, 2016

Fish Hook Point. ME

Today A-B InBev announced that it had plans to make another strategic purchase of a craft brewer.  The brewery, Fish Hook Point Brewing Co. is located in northern Maine about 12 miles from the Canadian boarder.  The small 8 barrel brewery supplies only the 6 northern counties of Maine, but InBev thought it would fill a niche not occupied by any of it’s other brands. The Belgian beverage giant recently purchased Long Island, NY’s Blue Point Brewing Co. and Ballast Point Brewery from San Diego.

Fish Hook’s flagship beer, Sea Urchin Saison, has become a regional phenomenon with loyal fans driving from as far away as the Midwest for their infrequent can releases.  “It was a long drive”, said Bill Finch from Wheel Spoke, Indiana. “But I feel lucky to have seen the brewery even though they sold out before I made it here.”

Even with this popularity in the “beer geek” community, the estimated purchase price of $59 billion seemed a bit exorbitant.  InBev’s Chief Financial Officer, Lester Hart, defended the move saying, “We felt that it was more cost effective to make the acquisition than to try to figure out how to make the beer”

Fish Hook’s brewer, Chester Laforge, made big waves last year with the release of his Dill Weed Double IPA.  Made with dill grown on the his family farm and locally harvested seaweed, the unique brew was an immediate hit.  “I just worked with what was available in my area” said Laforge. “There’s not much that grows this far north except potatoes and dill.  So I started with the dill.”  The “locavore” movement has made big strides in Maine and there is talk of a tart beer in the works made from Yams called Sweet Potato Sour. “I try to use only ingredients found within one day’s walk from the farm and can be carried on my back ” explained Laforge.

InBev CEO, Richard Winkle, announced the move today saying, “Fish Hook Point Brewing fits into our overall strategy of acquiring beers that we would find too complicated or time-consuming to brew ourselves.  Our Board of Directors also thought that Fish Hook Point would complement our other recent purchases of Blue Point and Ballast Point making a lucky threesome of InBev breweries that had the word “Point” in the name.”

Lagunitas Tasting 8/18/16

Kyle from Lagunitas takes me through a tasting of his awesome craft beers!


Beercation Summer 2016 – Portland, Maine

Day 1

These days, with over 4000 breweries and brewpubs in the US, many people tie a craft beer brewery and beer bar tour into their summer vacation and call it a “Beercation”.  Our family decided to do a beercation last month on the way to Bar Harbor, Maine.

If Maine is the self-proclaimed “Vacationland”, then it’s most popular city, Portland, is Craft beer land.  Its world class beer bars and breweries put it on any beer geeks “must see” map.

Just about every beer geek I spoke to back home said we had to stop in a bar named Novare Res. The name means “to start a revolution” in Latin and that’s exactly what owners Eric and Julie Michaud have started in Portland’s beer world.  After traveling abroad experiencing some of Europe’s best beer cultures, they decided to bring a taste of those cultures to Maine in 2008.

Mike at Navare Res

Portland’s best beer bar is also the hardest to find.  We had to ask twice and finally just got lucky and saw the small sign hanging over a narrow alleyway. Walking under a trellis hung with hop vines we entered a dark, cave-like bar with exposed brick and copper ceilings. Their 33 taps have a good representation of both local (Oxbow, Liquid Riot, Maine Beer co) and international (Bavik, Hofstetten, Ducotto) brews. There is a more private side room with comfy couches and a vault containing small wooden “lockers” for patron’s personal beer goblets and chalices.

Novare Res inside

We decided to sit outdoors on their spacious but crowded deck. The beer garden was hopping with a mix of 20 somethings and young families, some playing corn hole. We were lucky to walk in just as a large group was leaving and the 8 of us took over the vacated picnic table. The fences were decorated with cartoon murals and stylish graffiti. A small tiki bar poured just 4 beers by Oxbow. I ordered their saison # 37 which was refreshing and a little spicy.

The menu is mostly light beer fare with an emphasis on cured meats and cheeses. We got several orders of hot Bavarian pretzels which were soft and perfect when dipped in the house made cheese sauce.

Moving up the ABV (Alc. By Vol) ladder I opted for a Bavik Petrus Dubbel Bruin which tasted a little dirty and didn’t do it for me. Doreen ordered a Tripel karmeliet (her “favorite beer in the world”) from the extensive bottle menu and we split it.  It was nice to have this option if the tap menu is not to your liking.Navare Res glass

The group sampled and sipped a variety of brews while munching on hot pretzels.  We all agreed that we would need more sustenance, so we walked down the street to Gritty’s Brew Pub.

Gritty’s claims to be Portland’s original brewpub; the first to open since Prohibition.  That head start didn’t seem to help much as far as the beer was concerned. I ordered a flight of 8 beers but didn’t really like any of them enough to get a full pour. The burgers were solid and everyone seemed happy with their meal.

On our way out we heard a band playing out back. We wondered into a fenced in patio where couples of all ages were dancing to Motown hits.  The younger members of our group were happy to stay and dance but Dor and I had one more stop to make.


A short walk to the harbor brought us to Liquid Riot, a brewery started by the owners of Navare Res.  The outside of this hulking blue building is non-descript but inside they have created a comfortable, open space out of this former distillery.  We sat outback on the water overlooking the dockyards and a narrow sliver of the harbor.   I had a hoppy wheat beer and Dor drank a nice pilsner.

We finished the night off back at the dance party working off our burgers and beers. The parents called it quits early while the young ones continued on into the wee hours.  On the walk back to the hotel we made plans for tomorrow’s big adventure:  Allagash Brewery!

Novare Res

What is Trappist Beer?

What is Trappist Beer?

In Belgium, monks began brewing beer in  the 8th century as a way of supporting themselves.  Many of the monastic beers are now produced by corporations even though they may carry the name “Abbey” or have a monk on the label. However, there are a handful that have maintained their traditions of the past.  These are the Trappist breweries and they are thought to produce some of the best beer in the world.  In order to carry the “Trappist” label, a brewery has to meet the following criteria:Monk measuring

  1. The beer must be brewed within a Trappist monastery, either by the monks or under their supervision.
  2. The brewery takes a back seat to the monastery’s main  mission.
  3. The brewery is a non profit.  Any income goes to support the monks and to maintain the buildings and grounds.  Whatever’s left over, is donated to charities that help the poor.

Come celebrate the great beer tradition of Belgium on Friday from 7-9 pm, as we enjoy Trappist beers from Orval, Rochefort, and Westmalle.  Glassware, give aways and more!

Join Us!

Belgian Independence Day Events 7/21 & 7/22

Come celebrate the great beer tradition of Belgium.  Thursday 6-9 pm: sample Tripel Karmeleit, Kwak, and St. Feullien. On Friday from 7-9 pm, we enjoy Trappist beers including Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, and more.  Glassware, give aways and more!

Join Us!

Orval and Karmeleit

Founders Brewery Free Tasting


Dogfish Head Visit – December 17, 2015

Could you turn down a billion dollars?

Irene and I are now back from our second visit to The Dog Fish Inn in Lewes Delaware. This time around our trip was billed as “a Spirited Weekend” prompted by Dogfish Head’s official launch of its line of spirits.

We arrived at the DF Inn Friday at 5:45pm just in time for a fire side chat with a couple who are arguably Craft Beer Royalty, Sam and Mariah Calagione.

Sam Calagione

While we had seen videos of Sam over the past few years, such as his role in the movie Beer Wars, we never fully appreciated how captivating this every day guy could be.

Sam, who reminded us of the actor Keanu Reeves; cool, collected, extremely articulate and very at ease with himself and us, opened up the conversation with a bit of background on Dog Fish as a brewery then followed it up with the history and his plans for the distillery. We were surprised to learn that DF had actually been distilling Vodka and Gin since 2002.

After Sam’s ‘About Us” narrative he did what probably comes quite naturally; he pulled each of his guests around the Fire into the conversation, fielding our questions and asking us our opinions on topics like “What type of liquor would you like to see DF distill beyond Vodka and Gin” and “if DF ever did move to canning one of its beers, what beer would you like to see us Can”?

Obviously this is a guy who everyone wants to get time with and he probably gets asked many of the same questions over and over. What truly amazed us was he answered each question with the patience and enthusiasm as if he was hearing them for the first time.

The biggest laugh he got was when someone asked, and we knew someone would ask him, “Sam, how could you turn down a billion dollars?” to which he gazed across to the other side of the fire circle and said, “I didn’t. Mariah did.”  He then talked about their desire to stay family owned and in control and to also continue doing neat things with DF, such as expanding and introducing a new restaurant concept next door to the DF Pub. One other thing that was pretty apparent was that Sam and Mariah are a real tight team.

So far we have only described the first 75 minutes of our visit.

The next day we got up and rode the “Jolley Trolley” to the DF Pub where we sampled some of the pub’s cocktails mixed with DF Spirits. We also got to try Mr. Hector Vargas, a Coffee Porter, which was the 2014 annual employee small batch winner created by Dogfish coworkers Andrew Greeley, Grant Garrity, Matt Barth and Trey Bowden.  Matt served as the official guide for our visit. We got back on the bus and headed over to the Brewery. When we pulled up to the Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton, DE the first thing we noticed was an off-centered, retro-futuristic sculpture called The Steampunk Tree House

The Tree House has a fascinating story having debuted at Burning Man in 2007 before finding its way to the Brewery in 2010. tree house

We toured this amazing facility, learning quite a bit about both the brewing as well as the distilling process. Our tour concluded as all good brewery tours should, with a stop off to the DF Tasting bar. Then it was back on the Jolley Trolley for our return to the Inn. That night we were treated to oysters by the fire while we listened to a talk led by the director of the Delaware Bays Oyster project, one of many charities that DF supports.

Got up the next morning and packed up the car and headed north having spent time with folks who passed up a billion dollars, proving there is more to life than money.  There’s beer and now spirits.  Cheers.

McKenzie’s Hard Cider Tasting Thurs. 3/20 6-9 PM

McKenzies cider

Join us for our first cider tasting!! Taste McKenzie’s delicious Seasonal Reserve cider (it tastes like apple pie in a bottle!), Black Cherry and other great ciders.

St Patty Widget







Harpoon Brewery Free Beer Tasting Thurs 3/13 6-9 PM


Boston’s Harpoon Brewery will be bringing their best for us to sample.  So come on down and don’t forget your growlers!!

IPA Faceoff Sat 3/8 4-7 PM


Come join us for one of our most popular events where we put our best IPA up against each other in a free tasting.  You decide which is best!

Innis & Gunn Tasting Thurs. 3/6 6-9 PM

Innis bottles

All the way from Scotland comes Innis & Gunn to WOW us with their oak-aged beers.

Abita Mardi Gras Party Fri 2/28 5 – 8 PM

mardi gras

Join us and Abita beer for our yearly Mardi Gras party. Come sample :


Purple Haze Raspberry Wheat

German Style Bock

Turbo Dog Brown

and more

Firestone Walker Tasting Thurs. 2/27 6-9 PM


The 2013 mid-sized brewery of the year! Try these amazing Californian beers with us:
Union Jack IPA
Double Jack Double IPA
Velvit Merlin Porter
Pivo Pilsener

Dynamic Duo: Longtrail and Otter Creek Brewery Tasting Thurs 2/20 6-9 PM

Long trailCome see why Vermont is the capitol of craft beer in New England and sample these awesome beers:

Long Trail Limbo IPA

Long Trail Double Bag Altbier

Long Trail Culmination Chocolate Porter

Otter Creek Citra Mantra – India Pale Lager

Ithaca Beer Co Tasting (Date Changed) Sat. 2/15 4-7 PM

flower power

Ithaca Beer Company’s motto is: “Spirit of the Finger Lakes”.  Come taste what clean air and water imparts to a beer.
Flower Power IPA
Ground Break Saison
Anniversary Sixteen Belgian Dark Ale
Apricot Wheat

Troegs Brewery Tasting Thurs 2/6 6-9 PM


What is the best thing to come out of Penn since Hershey’s Chocolate?  Troeg’s Beer, of course!  Stop in and try free samples of their dynamite lineup of beers including:

Troegenator Doppelbock

Russian Imperial Stout

Hopback Amber

Dreamweaver Wheat

and more . . . 


Superbowl Growler Special Fri 1/31 – Sun 2/2

Superbowl widget