Beer Profile: Saranac Nut Brown Lager

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Once again, something unique from Saranac, and more balanced than the last I profiled: White IPA. Most Nut Browns are ales. Note: my usual readers will know I am no fan of lagers, but the usual sulfur/acidic-ness seems softer here, way in the background. There’s a very nice caramel, nutty, texture to the malt profile, the hops a soft bitter only. This could qualify as a Northern Brown, only a bit more gentle and minus the usual fruity ale yeast notes.

Head: plentiful and pillow. Clings to glass and lingers. Great clarity. SRM about a 11 or 12.

Mouthfeel: on the low side, medium body with plenty of melanoidins floating around.

Nose: nice caramel-ish malt, hint of lager yeast sharpness, no hops in nose.

This is an excellent quaff, and just right for a pint or two tingles the tongue while caressing the palate with a slight carbonic bite.

Bandwagon Brewpub: Ithaca

You may remember Ken Carman’s two columns here @PGA: one on their brewer, and one on the brewpub, Bandwagon. Here’s more on their brewer and this Ithaca brewpub. In picture posted below Lars Mudrak is standing to the left.- PGA

Written by Matt Hayes for

Ithaca — The best craft beer in all of New York State is being brewed right here in Ithaca.
Bandwagon Brewpub earned that distinction from judges at the 2012 TAP New York Craft Beer & Fine Food Festival, who awarded the Cayuga Street restaurant and craft brewer with the gold medal for Best Individual Craft Beer in New York State. Judges chose Bandwagon’s High Step Weizenbock out of more than 200 individual brews from more than 50 New York State brewers at the April 29 festival. This year’s festival featured the most competitors in the event’s 15-year history.

For Bandwagon, submitting the winter seasonal beer had been planned as a last hurrah for the Weizenbock, a strong, dark wheat beer among the favorites of brewer Lars Mudrak. Now the beer, which was to be transitioned out to make way for summer beers, will have a permanent spot on tap at the brewery. A new batch is being brewed to be ready for consumption at Bandwagon by Monday.

“People have been asking about it a lot,” Mudrak said. “I feel it’s kind of Ithaca’s, too; it’s not just Bandwagon’s. It’s all our customers’. They drank my mistakes along the way so they should enjoy in my successes as well.”

The beer making talents displayed by Mudrak are distinctly Ithacan in origin. The 23-year-old began covertly experimenting with brewers in his parents’ Coddington Road home at the age of 15. “I think my record was 25 gallons of beer brewing in my closet at once without my parents knowing,” he said.
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