Kelkenberg Farms of Clarence, Why write about a farm and children's slay rides on a brewing history website?
I received an email, on our website, from Patrick Spoth indicating he had an old Iroquois brewery wagon on his farm with an invitation to see it. Not knowing what to expect I headed out to Clarence for a look. The wagon was much more than I expected. Built for Iroquois as a working brewery delivery wagon in the late 1800's it was upgraded with new Iroquois graphics in the 1950's for parades and other events to promote Iroquois beer. The wagon still has the horse harnesses with brass beer barrels on them.
The beer wagon carried 30 half barrel's of beer for delivery to tavern's and other customers. The wagon was reportedly driven by Raymond Smith an employee of Iroquois Brewery for 50 years. The Beer wagon was last pulled by a team of two blind Belgian draft mares.
I visited the West Shore Brewery a few weeks ago. It’s located at 10995 Main Street in Clarence NY. The Brewery is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. While the brewery is very small and does not serve food I would definitely recommend a visit. The atmosphere is quiet and comfortable and the three house brews on tap were quite good. A wheat, a cream ale and a late hopped session IPA with more hop flavor than bitterness.
A short talk with the owner and head brewer, Josh Dziomba, convinced me of his enthusiasm and love of brewing. The few minutes with Josh and a sampling of his brews made the visit well worth it.
Available House Brewed Beers
Historic Rail Pale Ale (NYS Version) – 31 IBUs – 4.7% ABV
West Shore Wheat – 19 IBUs – 4.6% ABV
Centennial Session IPA – 65 IBUs – 5.2% ABV
Cream Ale – 19.7 IBUs – 5.2% ABV
There are only two brewpubs in Cuba and both are run by the Cuban government. They are located in Havana's tourist district. I'm standing in front of the brewpub called Factoria Plaza Vieja. The area is old and beautiful but the beer has that off taste caused by fermenting (wort) at too high a temperature. All the beers we tasted had the same problem but it didn't stop the tourists from drinking.
The Cuban Government also runs a national brewery that produces two beers. Cristal resembling an American light beer (4.9% ABV) and Bucanero a better tasting beer closer to a Yuengling (5.4% ABV). In the USA most mega breweries use rice or corn as a cheaper adjunct to 100% barley. Amazingly the Cuban national brewery uses sugar from sugarcane as its adjunct. Necessity is apparently still the mother of invention.