Last week while considering something to blog about, it was suggested that I try out something other than my usual outdoor activities. This got my gears turning. It’s not easy to come up with something to do that doesn’t involve lacing up my boots or getting my kayak onto my car. I wanted something unique, an experience. A friend suggested I stop by Plattsburgh’s local Brewery, Legends Brew Pub, and write about the one and only brew pub in the Champlain Valley. You don’t have to tell me twice! Anybody that knows me is also aware that I am a sucker for craft brews. Any time I visit a new town I always take the time to seek out the local brewery.
The friend who suggested this brilliant idea just happens to also know Legends brewmaster Jason (Jay) Stoyanoff. She set up some time for us to sit down for a bit, talk about the brew, the pub, and of course have a sample. I don’t often visit with local business people and really didn’t know what I was doing. Jason and I started off talking about beer the only way two men should, with a beer in hand of course! While pouring a glass of his latest seasonal brew, “Back Country Warmer”, Jason began talking about the hops and spice combinations he used to create the unique flavor. When a man speaks with this much enthusiasm about his craft, you know the beer has got to be good.
Jason Stoyanoff comes to Legends Brew Pub from a long background of brewing at some of the top New England Breweries. He learned his craft over the course of the past 10+ years during his time spent at Smuttynose Brewing, Redhook brewing, and Lake Placid Craft Brewing. In May of 2007 he brought that knowledge to Plattsburgh as the one-and-only brewer at Legends Brew Pub.
18 months later it all went up in smoke. Not the beer, nor the passion of the brewer, but the structure that housed it all. The brewery was heavily damaged in a fire that started in the adjoining hotel in November of 2008. So not to bring up any memories of the past I chose not to ask about the fire. Today the brewery is fully operational, and I must say, looking rather stunning in comparison to the decor of the past. If there is ever a time to describe something as a Phoenix, this is it. The stone tables and bar, the intricate arched ceilings, the brewhouse encased behind glass walls, the lounge, and the dining room were all rebuilt with great attention to a laid back and cozy atmosphere. The renewal of the brewery offered a clean slate for Jason to really sink his teeth into. All of the brews on tap are the product of Jason’s brewing wizardry. Today he keeps a menu of seven year-round staples and three seasonal varieties on tap at all times. If you’re keeping up, that’s one for every day of the week plus the seasonal brews! Coincidence?
This wouldn’t be a blog about a brewery if I didn’t mention the beer! You may recall my enthusiasm about the Plucky Rooster Ale in my Battle of Plattsburgh blog back in September. This is Plucky’s birthplace! In 2011 Jay was approached with the idea of creating a brew for the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration that would embody the essence of brews available during that era. Plucky Rooster Ale is not your typical ale. There’s an interesting story behind this unique beverage and its namesake. If there is a story behind an ale, it may be beneficial to know the story before one imbibes. If you’re in the company of one that has not yet heard the story of Plucky Rooster, or the art of brewing the Ale which bears his name, this story will also give you a little something to talk about. Read the story of Plucky and the beer that bears his name here http://goadirondack.com/data/files/PRA_Fact%20Sheet(1).pdf .
Jay and the Legends Brew Pub have gained local fame for the Plucky Rooster Ale, but I wanted to know Jay’s own pick. Before I could finish asking what beer he would want to talk about, he pointed to the seasonal menu and proudly exclaimed, “Cooper’s Double Trouble Ale”. Coopers Double Trouble Ale is described as a hefty brew that is deliciously complex and perfectly balanced. It is a double copper ale that is a take on America’s barleywine brewed with nine different grains and four types of hops. Beyond this perfect complexity, why is this Jay’s pick? He smiles as he explains to me his vision for the future of this beer. Coopers Double Trouble Ale shares it’s name with Jay’s 17 month old son Cooper. The “Double Trouble”, which one would assume also derived its name from a 17 month old baby boy, actually refers to the high 9.6% alcohol content. Coopers Double Trouble Ale, unlike the Plucky Rooster Ale, is available in limited quantities beginning July 14th of each year until the batch is gone. If you’re wondering, this year’s batch is almost gone!
I always set out to do things that I consider an experience worth writing about. kicking back at Legends and enjoying the craftsmanship of the freshest beer around is certainly an experience that nobody should miss.
The bar and brewery sit center stage at Legends with two adjoining rooms for dining and relaxing. The twenty seat dining room and the cozy lounge, which Jay describes as the “best livingroom in town” share a look-through gas fireplace, stone walls, and beautiful arched wood ceilings. If beer is not on your palette, maybe a taste of the full bistro menu will be. If sports are on your mind, stay in the bar area for a view of thirteen big screen television sets or sit with just one television in the lounge area. The lounge can be reserved for private functions as well, so consider the “best living room in town” for your next gathering.
Legends Brew Pub is open weekdays from 3:30 pm until close, and weekends 12:00 until 2:00 am. Take a look at the full menu and beer selection at http://www.plattsburghcomfortinn.com/Legends/homelegends.html . How to get there? From interstate 87, take exit 37, turn right at the traffic signal. At the third traffic signal (Consumer Square), turn right. Legends is located on the second floor above Perkins restaurant. Handicap access is available through the main entrance to The Comfort Inn.
Here’s my advertisement. If you’re looking for great beer, great food, great atmosphere, and all the televisions one could possibly view stop by Legends Brew Pub at 411 State Route 3 Plattsburgh NY 12901. You won’t be dissapointed.