Syracuse

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Cass
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Syracuse

Postby Cass » Sun Aug 02, 2009 10:45 am

On a whim looking for something different for the weekend I drove down to Syracuse to meet a friend who came down from Ottawa.

Syracuse is a sleepy town for sure, although that's bound to have to be tied to the university being out right now. But Syracuse has got a lively downtown that is very densely packed with things to do.

Beer-wise, there's a pretty good scene here. The top place has got to be the Blue Tusk. There's around 60-70 taps, all kinds of stuff with a definite skew to the northeast. Fun pub that attracts a diverse crowd.

Just around the block is Clark's Ale House, which has more of a straight-up bar feel. They have a tagline "22 taps, 1 sandwich" which is pretty fitting. Good selection of beers and excellent roast beef sandwiches which they slice right at the bar.

Right across the street from the Tusk is Empire Brewing, which is a modern brewpub. Again, they've got about 8-10 house beers plus a couple extra draughts from NY state.

There was even some "street opera" being performed out of a truck in downtown. The streets are blocked off from traffic at night and tables are brought out into the middle of the street, which gives the area a great atmosphere.

Beer is cheap ($4-5 pint), food's cheap and so are hotels. All in all a pretty nice long weekend destination.

More to report later, today's the Middle Ages anniversary party!
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Postby Cass » Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:58 pm

A bit more on the 'Cuse as the weekend wraps up...

The Middle Ages party was a great time. The neighbouring park to the brewery was taken over for the party, and they set up a beer tent, two food tents and a stage for music. The atmosphere was incredibly relaxed, with everyone taking it easy, sitting around and enjoying some beers. Middle Ages had a continually changing lineup of beers available throughout the afternoon, including a cask, aged beers, all kinds of stuff.

On a side note, it's so frustrating that in the U.S. they can have these events that centre around alcohol and everyone is well-behaved and having fun, but in Canada we're so uptight and never let this from even happening. The park didn't need to be cordoned off and barricaded and the security and the couple of cops around were friendly and talking with people instead of trying to be intimidating. It's a damn shame that we can't have events like this in Canada, but I suppose its another reason to take a trip to the States since they happen all the time there.

Anyway, after the fest we also checked out the famous Dinosaur BBQ and were not disappointed. It's an hour wait for a table, but you can get a drink and even take it outside if you'd like. They have a decent tap list with a bunch of micros. Big sized portions of all kinds of BBQ and dirt cheap.

Our last stop was a newer place to the scene, Al's Wine and Whiskey Lounge, right in the same area as the Tusk and Clark's. It's a bit more of an upscale pub but very cozy - they a live jazzy band and comfy couches in the back with board games and other stuff. Again, a really solid lineup of micros to try. A key plus about Al's is that they're open on Sunday - not everyone downtown is open on Sunday, which includes the Tusk and Clark's which were closed.

All in all a great roadtrip destination. On the way back you can of course stop in to Beers of the World in Rochester which has a crazy beer selection. It's very premium priced, and some of the same stuff that can be found at Consumers will be cheaper there.
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Postby GregClow » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:15 pm

Cass wrote:On a side note, it's so frustrating that in the U.S. they can have these events that centre around alcohol and everyone is well-behaved and having fun, but in Canada we're so uptight and never let this from even happening. The park didn't need to be cordoned off and barricaded and the security and the couple of cops around were friendly and talking with people instead of trying to be intimidating. It's a damn shame that we can't have events like this in Canada, but I suppose its another reason to take a trip to the States since they happen all the time there.


Actually, Cass, what you describe above sounds pretty much exactly like how the event at Hart House was last Thursday night. Lots of beer, lots of BBQ, lots of people enjoying both, no obvious security, mellow vibe.

So it is quite possible for such events to happen here.
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Postby JerCraigs » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:27 pm

Cass wrote:Anyway, after the fest we also checked out the famous Dinosaur BBQ and were not disappointed. It's an hour wait for a table, but you can get a drink and even take it outside if you'd like. They have a decent tap list with a bunch of micros. Big sized portions of all kinds of BBQ and dirt cheap.


Stopped there this weekend as well. Only about a 15 minute wait in the afternoon. Food was yummy! Tap selection was pretty solid as well. Recommended!
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Postby Cass » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:47 pm

GregClow wrote:
Cass wrote:On a side note, it's so frustrating that in the U.S. they can have these events that centre around alcohol and everyone is well-behaved and having fun, but in Canada we're so uptight and never let this from even happening. The park didn't need to be cordoned off and barricaded and the security and the couple of cops around were friendly and talking with people instead of trying to be intimidating. It's a damn shame that we can't have events like this in Canada, but I suppose its another reason to take a trip to the States since they happen all the time there.


Actually, Cass, what you describe above sounds pretty much exactly like how the event at Hart House was last Thursday night. Lots of beer, lots of BBQ, lots of people enjoying both, no obvious security, mellow vibe.

So it is quite possible for such events to happen here.


One key difference - Hart House was 19+, whereas the Middle Ages fest was all ages. I think being able to bring the kids and hang out even though there's booze around is something that we can't deal with here.
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Postby $ » Tue Aug 04, 2009 8:56 am

cool. I was planning on staying over night in Syracuse next time I visit my family and checking out the beers. thanks for the report
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Postby cfrancis » Sun Jan 16, 2011 9:58 pm

I'd like to post about a death in the family.

I was in Syracuse this weekend and Galeville Grocery is closed. Survived a crazy snowstorm to get there and walked up worried when the snow had not been shoveled and was a sign on the door.

"The Galeville Grocery is now CLOSED. Thank you for your patronage for the last 60 years. A Byrne Dairy will open at this location."

Sad day. Good selection, a little overpriced but just down the street from Carousel so it was an easy sell for the wife.

I did make it to the Stafford Convenience Store and it had a fair selection but is very local. In the middle of a residential. Tiny place but had three coolers of beer and growlers to go with three taps.
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Postby Cass » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:39 pm

On the update front, although a bit out of date, it was also sad to hear about the closing of Clark's (from their site):

-----

CLARKS WILL BE CLOSING - SATURDAY SEPT 25 LAST DAY OF BUSINESS

We are sad to announce that after 18 wonderful years Clark’s Ale House will be closing. Our last day of bsiness will be Saturday September 25 ! (Yes this week !) We apologize for the short notice but circumstances related to the expansion of the Landmark Theatre were beyond our control.

Words cannot describe how grateful we are for the 18 years of your patronage ! Great People respond to Great Ideas - You, the customers, have made Clarks the very special and unique place it has been. We will miss you all !
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Postby hopdevil » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:06 pm

Too bad about Galeville Grocery.
It's actually in Liverpool, a nice little town, just west of Syracuse.
I visit Liverpool / Syracuse each year and if you're looking for good beer buys, there are a couple of alternatives:
1) Nichol's Grocery, right in the village of Liverpool, on 1st St, has a good selection as well as some nicely priced bombers.
I usually get Arrogant Bastard there for $3.99 - $4.99

2) There's a Wegman's on Taft Road ( runs EW, north of I90 ) with a great beer selection.
This may have something to do with Galeville's business declining.

If you're near the Carousel, don't miss Stella's Diner nearby.
Dinosaur BBQ and Middle Ages Brewing are not that far away, either.
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Postby hops are your friend » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:27 pm

hopdevil wrote:2) There's a Wegman's on Taft Road ( runs EW, north of I90 ) with a great beer selection.

I'll second the Wegman's. It doesn't have as broad a selection as Galeville did, but you can find some good stuff there (Stone, Sierra Nevada). I passed through Syracuse in November and was looking for some Sierra Nevada Celebration to bring home. Galeville didn't have any but the Wegman's did ($8.50/6-pack so I brought home a case).
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Postby hops are your friend » Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:31 pm

(Just consolidating some info from other threads into this Syracuse thread and adding a bit more)

As was noted in http://www.bartowel.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=7431 Galeville Grocery has reopened. I dropped by last weekend and it looked good.

Clark's Ale house will be reopening 'soon' (across the street from Syracuse Suds Factory) http://www.bartowel.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=5970 We looked in the window (at night) but couldn't really tell how close they were to being finished renovating the new location.

Wegman's has expanded their beer selection as well. It's a good idea to check the dates on anything you buy here though. That was also an issue at the old Galeville Grocery (and the Party Source).

We tried the Syracuse Suds Factory for the first time in years. Bad idea. Even after having many pints at the hotel before heading out, the Pale Ale was not good. We had to head over to The Blue Tusk to have a few Sierra Nevada Celebration pints to get the taste out of our mouths :D

While it's a not in the Armoury Sq area, and not as good as The Blue Tusk, it's usually worth dropping in to J Ryans (253 East Water St) if you're nearby. It has something like 60 taps. When we go down to see SU basketball we stay at the EconoLodge nearby (a dump in a sketchy area but cheap for a guys weekend). You can walk to the game (probably 20 min) or the Dinosaur (about 10 min) or Armoury Sq (about 15 min). There are not many places to stay in downtown Syracuse.
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Postby iguenard » Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:52 pm

For the record, I usually stay at The Embassy Suites hotel. Free cheap booze from 5 - 7 PM, breakfast buffet is decent and free, but bonus: they offer free shuttle service to and from the Square usually up to 11PM.

The driver is amazing, and the concept is great. More expensive than the Econolodge, but free booze, transport and food add up pretty quick.

That and not having cops stare at you coming in and out of that place, and having to trip over coke bottles filled with urine in the parking lot.
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Postby Lubiere » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:29 pm

Taking about hotels, using Priceline, 3.5* in Syracuse University area, you can get the Crowne Plaza for 60-70$, and 3*, the Park View, both with free parking, and walking distance to the bar area.

Oh, and the CNY brewfest is on this week end.
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Postby iguenard » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:39 pm

Don't know if it has been mentioned in another thread, but Galeville Grocery is up and running and has an equivalent, to larger selection than it had before, in a modern grocery 7/11 type feel.
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Postby rejtable » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:57 am

Was in town last Thursday. Had a blast at J. Ryan's and the Blue Tusk. Side trip to Ommegang was brilliant as well. Americans have the beer thing figured out for sure. Didn't do any bottle shopping in Syracuse, but did stop into Beers of the World in Rochester on the way to Buffalo... wow! Place was amazing.

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