Tap and Mallet – Rochester, NY

It’s not every day I get to leave my cave and get out.  Even rarer are the days that I have to travel to lands unknown.   This past weekend brought me to Rochester NY.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with western New York, like me, Rochester is a small city that sits about 75 miles east of Buffalo on Lake Ontario or a 6 hour car ride for my lead foot.   After some carefully research (“google:beer bar rochester”), the first listing was the Tap and Mallet.  I checked out their website which listed some pretty good drafts, including ones I hadn’t had before, so I decided this would be “my bar” for my one night in Rochester.tapandmallet1

I very much liked what I saw when I walked into the bar.  It was clean, looked nice, lots of taps handles raising up from behind the bar, and a cask sitting on top of the bar.   I started the night off in the dinning room with my extended family, some food, and a couple of beers.  The food was good, although I didn’t dare try the deep fried pickles; I was not feel very adventurous with my dinner.  The beer on the other hand was quite extensive, 30 taps, a cask, and a good list of bottles to choose from.

North Coast ACME IPA

North Coast ACME IPA

I started off with a pint from the cask that was sitting on the bar, the Brooklyn Bitter, otherwise known as the 55 pennant ale.  I was a bit disappointed in the carbonation on this, it was flat, but the beer tasted pretty good. It was sweet and smooth, buttery with a touch of bitterness on the finish.

Keeping it light and low abv since I knew I was going to be here for a while, I went with the Six Point Sweet Action Blond ale.  This was actually on of my favorites of the night.  A simple beer, a grainy / honey sweet aroma with a touch of earthy hops.  The grain carried through from the aroma to a full, creamy, big hoppy beer.

Another new beer for me was the North Coast ACME California IPA.  Being a Road Runner fan and always feeling bad for for Wylie E Coyote, I try to stay away from things with ACME in the  name, it never worked out for the coyote.  I was starting to feel that way about his IPA, until it started to warm up.  Initially it was a big bitter bomb, but as it warmed up the Orange Citrus aroma came out as well as a bit more malt balanced out the bitterness better.

My last beer with dinner was the Landmark Vanilla Bean Brown Ale.  This was definitely a vanilla beer, strong vanilla presence in the aroma and the flavor.  The vanilla, the mild smokiness, and the nutty malty profile of this beer was not working for me.  I think this brown ale, without the vanilla, would have been more appealing to my palette.

Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen

Around 10pm My family left me to do damage at the bar, I took up residence in the corner of the bar with a nice view of the taps and cooler.  Most of the beers on draft were quality beers, but I had many of them previously and like to try new beer while I’m out.  For my next beer, going to another extreme,  Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen from a 16oz bottle.  This beer was a bit more smoky then I was expecting based on the Schlenkrla Urbock.  It’s flavor was very BBQ’ish with a good deal of malt.  But, Overall I enjoyed the Flying Dog Dog Schwarz Double Smoked Lager and the Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbock more.

After an intense smoked beer, I needed a palette cleanser, something clean, smooth, and would coat my mouth.  I choose a draft of Wagner Valley Caywood Station Oatmeal Stout.  I’m not going to say anything about this beer except that it met the reasons why I selected it.  But after a full smoke beer, my palette was shot for a bit.  I did think this was served a bit cold, but was very nice to drink as it warmed up.

It was getting a bit late in the evening by this next beer and my notes pecked into my iPhone are becoming less coherent.  None-the-less I was not ready to turn in the towel and was ready for another extreme beer, or at least I was hoping it would be.  I ordered a Ichtegem Grand Cru, a flemish red.  As soon as I saw the bottle I was disappointed.  It was a beer that I had sampled after the Esoteric Italian Beer Brawl.  While it isn’t a bad beer, it is about a 3 on the sour meter, more sweet then sour, not very tart.  But, if you’ve never had a flemish red, it is a good one to start with.

Cantillon Kriek

Cantillon Kriek

Since the Ichtegem wasn’t as sour as I thought it would be, I decided to have a beer that I know I like and enjoy just in case there was still a bit of sour left on my palette.  It was A Belgian tripel you can’t go wrong with, the Victory Golden Monkey.  As with the oatmeal Stout I had after the smoke beer,  I recorded no notes, but you can listen to our review in Beer Brawl 13.

I finished off the night, before my cab ride back to the hotel, with probably the most expensive beer on Tap & Mallet’s menu. A sure fire winner and I was really in the mood for it, the Cantillon Kriek.  This is a teeth licking super tart 100% pure Lambic.  It has a supreme cherry tartness that I can only describe as puckerlious!  At 1am, after 8 other beers I really didn’t take any notes, just sat back and enjoyed this treat of a beer.

tapandmallet2I had a great Night at the Tap and Mallet, the folks working there were knowledgeable and nice, especially the bartender Chris.  A very enjoyable evening.

You can find the Tap and Mallet at 381 Gregory St. Rochester, NY, Phone: 585.473.0503. Be sure to check them out if you are in the Rochester Area.


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5 Responses to “Tap and Mallet – Rochester, NY”

  1. uberVU - social comments Says:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by chumprock: That’s my local! RT @beerforyou: Tap and Mallet ? Rochester, NY #beer http://bit.ly/sRYf3

  2. Tweets that mention Simply Beer - Tap and Mallet – Rochester, NY -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jaime Barclay, ROCify. ROCify said: RT @dundeebeer RT @jaimebarclay RT @beerforyou: Tap and Mallet ? Rochester, NY #beer http://bit.ly/sRYf3 #craft.. http://bit.ly/3ADCmY [...]

  3. Mike - MikeLovesBeer.com Says:

    The place sounds awesome and looks like you had a great time.

  4. Pete Says:

    Sounds you had a great night, good thing you took a cab. When I get to a place like that, I tend to order a different beer every time too, sometimes to the confusion of my pallett as well. I was at a wedding in Rochester last year but somehow missed this place! I am usually good at doing my homework when I travel. Damn!

  5. Simply Beer Says:

    Now you know for next time Pete! It is worth a trip to if you are in Rochester. The City is small so it is pretty easy to get too, if you can figure out the inner and out loops of the highways there.

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