As I mentioned on Saturday Luke was out of town for his birthday so we put off birthday celebrations until he got home on Friday. On Friday I made him one of his favorite desserts: cinnamon rolls (see Bread of the month: Irish Cinnamon Rolls). Then to continue the celebration had him open b-day cards and presents.
Then on Saturday we enjoyed a morning/afternoon of lazy sleeping in (and cinnamon rolls) at home then drove up to Dryden NY. Why Dryden? It is the home of a new hop farm and microbrewery: Hopshire.
Outside of it’s awesome name, Hopshire serves high quality brews made with local honey, grains, and their own home-grown hops. We discovered them at the Ithaca Chili fest (see Ithaca chili Cook Off) where they were giving away samples of two of their brews: a light honey beer called :Beehave and a spicy brown ale called: Round Yon Virgil.
We pulled up to the brewery and stepped into their taproom:s a cozy room with a bar and a spare room with a large dinging table. Each door way was framed with ornately decorated wood framing carved with leaves and hops and the taproom walls were decorated with vintage beer advertisements.
Luke decided to try a flight of what was on tap starting with the lightest beer and ending with their IPA’s. His thoughts: they revile the northwest’s beers (which if you know anything about beer that is saying something). The favorite picks included: Fiddler’s Grain a red ale and their best seller the Shire a darker scottish ale. Even though I am allergic to barley there were one or two tasters I couldn’t resist doing more than smelling. For more on this see (Wait Barley-Free means no beer right?). After signing the guest log Luke decided to use some b-day money and take home a growler of the Fiddler’s Grain and a new hat.
To finish of our birthday outing we drove into Ithaca for dinner at Maxie’s Supper Club a cajun/southern inspired restaurant serving: blackened fish, gumbo, jambalaya, BBQ, grits, and more. They offer their full menu every-night until 11pm and in addition to their 4-6pm happy hour they are also an oyster bar.
As we were brought to our seats I could see that even though it was early on a Saturday night the place was getting busy. Decorated with new orleans style color themes and decor it wasn’t long before our water glasses were filled and cornbread with honey butter was brought to our table. After glancing at the menus Luke ordered the shrimp and cheese grits with their tasso gravy sauce and I got the house jambalaya.
As we tried not to fill up on cornbread we watched other people receive delicious looking dishes of ribs, shrimp skewers, green fried tomatoes, and crabcakes.
And our dinner? Amazing, Luke’s shrimp ‘n grits came with an open face andouille sausage on top and had an awesome texture, and kick and so did my jambalaya filled with chicken, andouille sausage, and shrimp. We quickly filled up and never had to wait for service; our water glasses were always full as were the multiple baskets of sweet corn bread.
It was a perfect birthday dinner out.