Empire Brewing Company | White Aphro
After white knuckling it through a rough winter, we’ve finally gotten to the consistently warm weather of May. All across the city, people are sprinting to our parks in order to soak up the few bits of proper grass, flowers, and trees we get in this concrete awfulness. Leaving my windows open all day to let all the fresh air in and get 4 months of funk out. On one of these beautiful days I was sitting at The Jeffrey, my conveniently located beer bar/cocktail lounge/beer garden, looking for something to match the weather.
Empire Brewing Company, a Syracuse based brewery whose commitment to locally sourced ingredients and sustainability has resulted in their soon-to-be-opened Farmstead Brewery. Not only will they be able to expand their brewing efforts with this new location, but they’ll also open up the farm as an educational site in agriculture where they’ll grow their own ingredients, including the lavender that inspired me to try out their White Aphro (short for aphrodisiac) Witbier.
White Aphro pours with a nice white head that doesn’t stick around for very long and has a subtle wheat, yeast smell. It has a cloudy lemon color with a bit of sediment like a loose leaf tea. The beer’s front contains a bit of that Belgian style wheat taste. In a kind of Quiet Storm of flavor, the beer explodes with a strong flower bouquet that is absolutely PACKED with lavender. It could be because I’ve been surrounding myself with lilac to get the winter funk out of my apartment but there’s a hint of lilac in there as well. There’s also hints of lemon and small zingers of ginger that change from minimal to a strong zip of spicy flavor, which I assume is based on how much of the sediment in your sip is ginger.
It has a very light mouth feel, and the mixes of the spiciness from the yeast and ginger with all of the smoother herb and flower qualities make it a crisp, smooth beer that’s perfect for all the outdoor drinking that’s finally opening up all around the city.