Free Beer on Main Street

November 26, 2012

— Like Sheryl Crow, I like a good beer buzz early in the morning —

I’d originally thought that only about 17 people lived in my lil’ town of Chatham, New York. That was until I moseyed down Main Street on Saturday morning, turned down the easy-to-miss alley behind Ralph’s Pretty Good Cafe and stood in line with dozens of beer-lovers who’d stomped out of their warm houses on a chilly late autumn morning for a growler (keg, pony keg, corny keg, or bubba keg) of brew cooked up behind a barn door and served with a foamy smile at a makeshift stand across from the town’s new yoga studio.

— Between 20 & 22 Main Street lies a lil’ bubbly piece of heaven —

— Who are all these people standing between me and my free beer? —

Chatham Brewing lists its address as “between 20 and 22 Main Street” and that’s because that’s exactly where it is – wedged between a building and a wall. Describing the spot as a brewery is kind of like describing my kitchen as a banquet hall or a lemonade stand as the Minute Maid Global Headquarters – it somewhat accurately depicts the activities going on there but it sets the minds eye up for something a bit…larger.

Brewery in this case is more like a guy in some rubber boots with some tubing and a garage full of barrel-y things. Of course this is what ‘craft beer’ is all about.

— The Global Headquarters —

Chatham Brewing was serving up free tastes of anything they were selling that day. Of course I went right for the 8 Barrel Ale because, I noted, it had the highest alcohol content: 8% (smiley face, smiley face).

The 8 Barrel was all I’d hoped it would be – crafty, cranked up and hoppy. It was then that I noticed the Belgian Triple at 9% which give my heady Chimay a run for its money.

— The tasting ‘room’ —

— The fancy labeling system —

— The spoils: a growler of Porter —

In the end, we bought a few growlers from Chatham Brewing: the Porter, the Maple Amber (anything with the word “maple” in it and I’m on board), and the 8 Barrel. The Porter was full of chocolate and felt like a homey Guinness I could call my own. I’m looking forward to stocking my fridge each week with something new from CB!

Owner/Brewer Jake Cunningham tells me that they’re moving their digs indoors and across the street this week so no more freezing asses while standing in line for your craft beer. Though I’d only been there once, I’ll miss the ole’ ‘between 20 and 22 Main Street’ location and will remember it fondly. I guess they call that progress.

— Late autumn at The Muddy Kitchen, the frost-covered kale is at its best —

— A cozy spot. A Hudson Bay blanket. A growler of local ale —

Take your boots off before you come in here!

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }


Loved your post!

Love the taste of a good dark beer and love you %’s 🙂


Jennifer Solow



Melissa W.

Awesome. This is the kind of operation my husband hopes to develop. Small with a sense of community.


Jennifer Solow

I will be there with my empty growlers, Melissa! Just tell me where and when.

As usual, I misread the comment (no coffee yet) into something weird but slightly sensical…”small with a dense community.” So good luck with your husband’s beer operation. May it be small and may he find a dense community! 🙂


Stewart Putney

Nice…I want one of the brewing rooms here at the farm!


Jennifer Solow

You mean The Putney Farm Global Headquarters Brewery and Tasting Room?



Wish we were there!!! Recently returned to loving these crafted beers that we find locally…the most recent find: an oyster stout…I know that doesn’t have quite the ring that some of the above mentioned do, but its a little slice of heaven with a dozen freshly opened locally harvested , Choptank Sweets (a favorite oyster of mine and Chef Tyler)…hoping you and Tommy come down someday in the not too distant future to sample some for yourselves…in the meantime, I’m lusting after a growler of that Porter!!!! Hugs to y’all…


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