Slid in to Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC) recently, almost literally because it was just after a spate of lake effect snow had dumped on the Enchanted Mountains. As a result the mountains were freshly carpeted in soft white and our drive along 219 was beautiful and winding as we followed it through the rolling hills, past Holiday Valley and into Ellicottville proper.
The cool part of town encompasses just about two or three square blocks and includes some great little shops, restaurants and bars like Dina’s, The Gin Mill, Madigan’s, and of course Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC).
EBC is a nice place. It has a comfortable vibe featuring some eclectic steampunk-ish decor. One side is a classic pub and restaurant setting with cozy booths and pub tables. The space is softly lit and features a beautiful bar with nice woodworking and a brewery area in the back.
The other side is has a more open feel to it. You can stand or sit at higher, thick wooden slab-style bar tops that run across the room, gather in a smaller seating area or hang out by the bar by a huge John Lennon portrait. Eclectic and interesting artwork can be found in most areas you happen to gaze. It’s a nice atmosphere to sit and enjoy a beer or two.
We sat at one of the pub tables in near the window to order a flight of 6 draft beers and some food, so I’ll give you the rundown on that.
So far I like everything I’ve had from their distributed line of beers, but the samples we had during our visit revealed even more that this brewery is capable of.
In the heart of Enchanted Mountains ski country EBC keeps a well packed base (see what I did there?) of regulars and seasonals to satisfy anyone from the mild Pilsner drinker — try their Monroe Street Pilsner — to those who like it a little hoppier. Take your pick: 2 Brothers at 80 IBU, SKi Bum at 63 IBU, Mosaic Sunrise at 80 IBU, or their Stainless Steel Imperial IPA (good shit!) at 84 IBU.
Since 2 Brothers and Stainless Steel are standard six pack grabs at home we chose new-to-us beers like Mosaic Sunrise (which became my new favorite), Ski Bum, Norman J Plum, Winter Witte, Chocolate Cherry Bomb (Cindy fell in love with that one), and Liar Liar Pants on Fire which is their Pantious Droppus Imperial IPA aged on American Oak and ghost peppers. In a word… Holy shit HOT!
Personally I’m not a fan of hot pepper beers like this. The base flavor was good so I’m curious to try the Pantious Droppus, and I’d Cindy to try it too, to see if it actually works. At home of course. The burn on the back end of this Liar Liar was unreal and just too hot for me. To each his own. Not sayin’ it was a bad beer, just not my cup of tea.
Mosaic Sunrise was a hit. Excellent beer with a great hop aroma and flavor. Well balanced. Just a good all around beer I would not hesitate to have again.
Cindy really dug the Norman J Plum which is a small batch Blonde Ale infused with sugar plums. She also hovered over the Chocolate Cherry Bomb like a damn hawk so I wouldn’t drink it all. We found four packs of this in the supermarket too, so she is satisfied with her own private stash at home as well.
I mentioned the Ski Bum. This one has a super dry finish with an incredible hop bitterness. It is really quite a ballsy beer. Although Cindy can hold her own in the bitter department she didn’t care for this one too much. She prefers a more balanced malt and hop profile. Ski Bum is really a big beer, which is funny because it’s not an IPA. It has a lower IBU than 2 Brothers and Stainless Steel.
Finally, Winter Witte. Good flavor. It’s made with Canadian Barley, American Wheat, Oats, coriander and orange peel. Well balanced and refreshing with a slightly sweet start. The orange peel and corriander bring nice citrus and lemony notes, but It didn’t come across like a witte to me. It was mildly cloudy but I was expecting maybe some more banana notes from the yeast, some more tartness. A good beer to be sure. Maybe it’s just me.
For food I ordered the Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich which had a choice of veggies or French fries. The waiter didn’t ask my preference and I brain-farted because of the beer samples (I’ll blame the beer) so I got the fries by default.
My eyes were bigger than my stomach. I actually ate the french fries. All of the fries. I don’t eat french fries. Ever. My gut reminded me why the next day.
The pulled pork was killer, delicious! But there was a ton of it on this sandwich. The sandwich was HUGE. And like the fries, I ate all of it. I don’t remember much after we got home. I think I fell asleep.
Cindy ordered Tomato Bisque and Grilled Cheese “Crouton” Soup. I put quotes around crouton because one would assume, well, crouton. You know, those crisp bread chunks that they put in soup and on salads. When the waiter asked “would you like them in the soup?” Cindy thought nothing of it and said, well, “yes please.”
So when the waiter brought her soup the grilled cheese sandwich was in it. Hey, he asked! Just a simple misunderstanding.
To EBC’s credit, though most of us assume them to be small chunks, croutons can be represented in larger forms depending on the presentation the chef is going for. Ya learn something new everyday.
To be sure everything tasted excellent at Ellicottville Brewing Company! The brewers and chefs do a great job, no doubt. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the food or beer at this establishment. I’m just being honest about our experience which, generally speaking, was fine.
This is a candid review. We travel, try different breweries and brewpub restaurants and report back to our audience. Just tellin’ it like it is.
On our way out Cindy spotted a display that brought back some great memories of a trip we made to The Muskokas of Ontario. There sitting near the entrance to the larger dining area were several bottles of Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout, an amazing stout brewed by the Muskoka Brewery. We fell in love with this beer during our trip to Canada and had to buy a bottle on our way out of EBC. I’m not exactly sure why it was there, probably some sharing between breweries to spread the love, but I’m glad it was there!
In all Ellicottville Brewing Company is a great stop to check out in Ellicottville, and it’s a regular stop for many. The place was bustling both times stopped in, and we will be back again. Great food selection and great beers on tap.
Friend Cryptobrewology at UNTAPPD and follow us around, because we get around. Plus see what people are saying about Ellicottville Brewing Co. at UNTAPPD: Pantious Droppus Imperial IPA, Ski Bum, Chocoloate Cherry Bomb, Stainless Steel IPA, Two Brothers Session IPA, and all of their other offerings.