Fuller's London Pride, one of the many beers on tap at the Old Toad. Photo: Anders Adermark, Flickr
As the mid-Atlantic region gets buried under its second major snowstorm in the past week, people have been tossing around words like "snowmageddon" and "snowpocalypse," but in parts of New York state a foot of snow or more a day is just business as usual. So for this week's What's On Tap, we took the opportunity to explore America's second snowiest city (according to NSIDC.org): Rochester, N.Y.
For the past 20 years, the Old Toad has been a mainstay in the Rochester area and even has a regional claim to fame as the first bar in the eastern U.S. to serve cask ale. "We're a British-inspired pub," says bar manager Kevin Roman, explaining the reason for selling beer the way they do across the pond. "The Rochester community has taken to it. We see a lot of demand for cask."
But what do Rochesterians drink in snowy weather? The rest of the East Coast wants to know!
"During this time of year people are really interested in porters and stouts," Roman explains. "Maltier, heavier beers. Darker stuff." Turns out in cold weather, patrons demand a little more oomph from their brews. Stouts seem to be the logical selection, but IPAs are also popular, with their added hoppy bite.
See what the Old Toad keeps on draft for their snow-fairing drinkers after the jump...
And are drinkers more willing to brave the snow when lots of the white stuff is more commonplace? Turns out everyone can be averse to cold weather. "At the beginning of the snowy season, people start to hibernate," Roman continues, "but after about a month they get sick of being home bodies and they come out." So though a little reluctance is expected, snowbound or not, eventually it's time to go for a pint.
When people do finally emerge mid-winter, the Old Toad tries to make it worth their while. "We nitpick through what our reps have that week and hand-select what we want," says Roman. Rochester is also home to a number of great local breweries, a number of which are also "willing to do cask." Right up their alley!
The Old Toad draft list:
- Doc's Hard Apple Cider
- Fuller's London Pride
- Lagunitas PILS
- Weihenstephaner Hefe Weisse
- Troegs Mad Elf
- Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout
- Weyerbacher Heresy
- Long Trail Imperial Porter
- Delirium Tremens
- Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPA
- Weihenstephaner Festbier
- Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale
- The Old Toad Nut Brown Ale
- Cream Flow (currently on Sly Fox O'Reilly's Stout)
- Doc's Hard Apple Cider (CASK)
- Timmy's Tipple (CASK)
- Fuller's London Pride (CASK)
- Left Hand Imperial Stout (CASK)