I can’t say enough about the fine brewpub “Empire Brewing” in the Armory Square District in Syracuse NY. After a brief visit last year, I had the pleasure of returning in late this September to sample their great beers and food again. Empire has a clear orientation to promoting and using local foods, beers and ingredients. I (and many like minded beer enthusiasts) appreciate that greatly – and especially when care is taken to brew exceptional quality beers as offered here.
I remember being surprised to find “Bud Light” on the “Other Local” beer menu – but the bartender explained to me that a good number of the customers of Empire work at the Bud plant “right up the road” and they make sure they only get their Bud from that local plant. Bud light not withstanding, this is a place that I am happy to support as well.
I enjoyed the “Old Ale” and the nicely biting but not over the top IPA. My compatriots had other ideas – Matt tried the “Downtown Brown” and found it to his liking with a bowl of gumbo, while Patty sipped from a half pint of “Blueberry Wheat” with real blueberries floating in it. This turned out to be an amusement due to the fact that as the beer warmed the blueberries would occasionally float up and down in the glass seemingly on their own. Not sure, but our waited suggested it had to do with gasses in the blueberries…?
We then went across the street to the Blue Tusk, a well regarded beer-bar that gained national attention when mentioned in a beer magazine as one of the top 100 places to have a beer. It was a nice looking place and the beer list was broad and interesting. Along with local Syracuse brews (Middle Ages), a fine selection of regulars and exotics from around the world were available.