Paradox Brewery Founder Paul Mrocka was wiping the sweat off his forehead. He'd just uttered a few, choice curse words.
He was looking on in disdain at the kegging machine which on this cold Sunday night, wasn't working too well with the new kegs the brewery had just purchased. So he and partner Dave Bruce were left to finish the job by hand, giving "truth in advertising" street cred -- when it comes to the phrase "hand" crafted beer.
Despite a job taking several hours longer than expected, Paul and Dave were happy -- even a little giddy -- about their accomplishments.
The lads had just finished kegging PDX's first ever Triple Ale, a hearty IPA beer with "triple everything" according to Paul, which gives this beer a 10.5 percent alcohol content.
"It's a Belguim IPA, not as hoppy as the west coast IPAs," Paul told me.
Triple IPAs are relative new comers to the beer scene, debuting, believes Paul, about 20 years ago.
We were the first customers to get our growler filled with the Triple and it's quite a beer: smooth all round, with lots of fruit notes, that glides easily (maybe too easily) down the throat.
Mrs. Schroonlaker, Aka Annette Batson, announced it was her favorite PDX Brew yet -- and she's right!
What makes this beer so delightful are two special ingredients Paul has added: coriander and orange peel.
It was those two ingredients which made this beer a standout when Paul was still a home brewer, winning fans all up and down Paradox Lake with his legendary ales.
Those ingredients provide the fruit notes, but in no way is the beer overwhelmed by these two flavorful -- and powerful -- additions.
This weekend we are looking forward to tasting PDX's second winter offering, Dark Bay Stout.
The beers is named after the bay where Paul has a home on Paradox Lake, and where the idea of opening a brewery went from a dream to a reality.
The beers will make their official debut this week to a wider audience at the Saratoga Beer Beer Week.
And at the brew house on Route 9 this weekend, there's going to be a lot of activity. It's an official stop on the Schroon-North Hudson Annual Poker Run, as well as being directly across from the Mountainside Gym, where Schroon's 3rd Annual Chili Cook-Off is bring held Saturday (another official stop on the Poker Run).
Have you tried the new beers? Tell us? And what's your favorite PDX Brew?
Leave us a comment.