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.
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.
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).
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.
Take your boots off before you come in here!