Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

Without intent, I have collected well over 1,000 beer bottles since the early 70s. When something finally had to be done about the cheap paneling in this old modular, I had a choice. Tear down the walls while, oh, so carefully, replacing the often rotted 1X3s. Or: cover them with The Bottle Collection.


Towpath Chocolate Raspberry Stout
Manufacturer: Relyea Brewing Co. (Syracuse, New York)

Note: yes, I know, the picture isn’t the best.

The problem with starting a collection without intent is by the time you realize you want to do something like this with it you’ve forgotten the product. I know that Relyea was once of those Syracuse, NY brewers that came and went. Once again, I don’t remember having anything real impressive they made and that’s sad… this is one of my favorite Specialty quaffe’s done off of the Stout family. One site asks if it was pasterized. I’m guessing no, only because they were pretty damn small. I prefer it that way most… but not all, of the time, I must add. Pasteurization can really do a number with flavor, probably far less so than with, say, milk. Beer; as wert, does get boiled. Having had un-pasteurized milk many times: it makes milk more than a bit cardboard-y. Same with beer if over pasteurized for the same reason you don;t boil your wert or grains too long, or too hot. (Except turbid mashing as done in Belgian breweries. How they get away with half of what they do and make such great, unique, product, is amazing.)

Towpath? Well that’s due to the path next to the Erie Canal, amongst many, that horses walked on to tow the barge. Not exactly the best image considering what was most likely left along that tow path? The packaging is pretty good, label-wise, though sloppily applied. Not uncommon amongst real small brewers.

There really has been little notable coming out of Syracuse for years, with the exception of Middle Ages Brewing… a great brewery with odd names like Impaled Ale, Druid Fluid, Ye Olde Kilt Tilter, Wailing Wench and Swallow Wit. (Ewe. Not sure I want to ask.)

The sad thing about companies like Relyea is that, in time, they may have made quite a mark upon the brew world. Product development can take a while. But such is the nature of small business.

By Professor Good Ales

Mythical poster at The LTS Good for What Ales You Beer Journal. Loves good beer. Hates same old, same old. Muses that Bud and Miller might as well be brewed in urinals. Drinks lagers too, if they are complex and interesting.

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