Captain Lawrence Brew Wins "Best Experimental Beer"

The Hops & Roses Ale takes a medal at the Great American Beer Festival



Faferek // Shutterstock

It appears the breweries of Westchester have been racking up awards all over the place lately. Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, the growing-ever-so-quickly brew-house in Elmsford, just took home a Gold Medal from Denver’s 2013 Great American Beer Festival. By means of their new barrel-aged Hops & Roses Ale, brewed by owner Scott Vaccaro, Captain Lawrence won the title of “Best Experimental Beer”.

And though Vaccaro’s “experimented” his way to a piece of recognition, "basic" Captain Lawrence IPAs and Pale Ales have also garnered their own attention. Their IPA won a silver medal in the “Best Individual Craft Beer” and “Best Craft Beer in the Hudson Valley” categories at the TAP New York Craft Beer & Wine Festival in 2012.

“Styles like the Pale Ale and the IPA are great as is, so we tend not to play with them too much,” says Vaccaro.

From the year-round India Pale Ale to the seasonal Golden Delicious, Captain Lawrence always offers a distinctive variety. The India Pale Ale is actually a recent addition to Captain Lawrence’s vast array of brews. Vaccaro waited seven years to produce the IPA, which is Captain Lawrence’s first.

“For me, it was about the hops. I wanted to find the right varieties. It’s a staple style, and we wanted to get it right,” said Vaccaro when asked why it took so long.

Apparently he did get it right. The India Pale Ale’s become popular at restaurants and bars throughout the state; it’s a perfect medium for the intermediate hop lover.

Along with Captain Lawrence Brewery, the Peekskill Brewery also took home an award for "Best Craft Beer" in New York at the TAP New York Craft Beer and Food Festival last May.

Visit Westchester Mag's Definitive Craft Beer Guide.

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