The Brown's Brewing Co. Malt Room in Troy
In this particular case, I had heard that Brown's Malt Room had just opened Wednesday, Sept. 18 in Troy, in the basement of Revolution Hall.
So I ventured over to the new establishment alone - which, again, may sound sad and slightly alcoholic but actually I had a really nice time. I parked in the rear parking area near the Brown's deck along the Hudson River and saw the lit doorway of the Brown's Brewing Co. Malt Room right away, located to the left of the deck on ground level.
I had talked with the Brown's folks about the Malt Room on and off for over a year, but it had been put on the back burner while they focused on their new brewing facility. The Malt Room is a project they'd been working on for a long time - and it showed. The place is beautiful.
You walk past the wood and glass door into a place of leather couches, a large leather booth, a long copper bar, and a decor that was well thought out. It's a place for a mature demographic, Gregg Stacy with Brown's had explained to me.
In lieu of loud dancing music, there was quiet jazz playing in the background when I pulled up a stool at the copper-topped bar and found out a friend of mine who I had interviewed more than a year ago was now the bartender there.
Michael, the bartender, was very knowledgeable and made a delicious Mint Julep. He then helped me navigate through their selection of nearly 40 scotches and recommended a Glenmorangie - for next time. They have scotches categorized as Speyside, Highlands, Islay, Lowlands, and Blended. There are also 18 bourbons (I was told their Pappy Van Winkle's 20 year is particularly delicious and well-priced).
They also offer various types of rum, tequila, gin, rye, brandy, cognac, cordials, and about 17 wines, with whites, reds, sparkling, and dessert. There are about ten listed "proper cocktails" including: an Adirondack Highball - rye and homemade switchel; Copper Monkey - bourbon, fresh squeezed OJ, and Galliano; Corpse Reviver- brandy, Cornelius Applejack, and Carpan; Dirty Martinez - gin, dry vermouth, house pickle brine and Fee's lemon bitters; and The Julep - fresh mint, bourbon, cube sugar and mint bitters.
And, being right next door to their pub, they also have cask conditioned ales - which are unfiltered and unpasteurized from 1 to 2 weeks in 10.5 gallon vessels called firkins. The copper-topped bar was designed by owner Garry Brown and the base of the bar was built by neighborhood carpenter Peter Albrecht from spent oak bourbon barrels used to age Brown's Barrel Aged Whiskey Porter. A light food menu is also offered.
The seating capacity, I was told by the bartender, is about 80 with room for another 20 people standing. They had talked about limiting the number of people inside to prevent overcrowding and ensure a nice experience.
The one drawback - because you know this place sounded too good to be true - is that similarly to the Speakeasy in Albany, their prices are closer to drink prices you'd usually find in Manhattan than in the Albany area. I expected the higher prices going in so I wasn't surprised when I got my check for a $15 - extremely delicious - cocktail. The other prices are not listed on the drink menu but I'm assuming they're mostly around $15, or more for top shelf items like Johnnie Walker Blue.
All in all, it's worth the prices and it's a very relaxing and fun atmosphere with comfortable sitting areas, a corner with board games, and friendly staff. As their menu states: "But enough of this pre-ramble. Have another drink and enjoy the nice." Which reminds me, it is getting a bit late again as I'm writing here at work...
If you go -
Business: Brown's Brewing Co. Malt Room
Where: 425 River St., Troy, NY (in the rear, on the ground floor)
Hours: Wed.-Sun. 5 p.m. to close
Offered: Beers, Cask Ale, Cocktails, Scotches, Bourbons, high end drinks, and light fare