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For good reason too, as North Fork is damn near close to a perfect score in the three categories that make for an amazing brewery: location, community, and good beer. I've covered location, and I'll get to beers in a moment, but I think it's important to note how community plays a part of North Fork Brewery. First of all: everyone working there is friendly, welcoming, and you can tell they love their beer. The brewery hosts its own collection of regulars, each coming in just as much for the atmosphere as for the consumables. North Fork also participates in beer festivals and pouring events—despite a brew system of only 3.5 barrels.
But what North Fork lacks in size, they make up for in taste. Brewing tasty British style ales, including the rotating selection of one or the other Barleywines: Son of Frog or Spotted Owl. The beer menu spans the rainbow from Wheat beers to a dry stout. And while most will sing the praises of North Fork's IPA (for good reason!) I am going to encourage you to go a different route: order the ESB. At North Fork, the ESB is served on nitro-tap. We're both suckers for a Cream Ale in the summer, and agree that you can't ever go wrong with a nitro-stout on a winter evening, but ESB was something we'd never come across. The smooth mouth feel combined with a floral hop bouquet is a euphoric experience after a day hiking in this region. Nitro cuts the bitter aftertaste, but doesn't smooth out any of the flavor. Why serve ESB this way? It's how the regulars prefer it. Do be careful though—this beer is so delicious and smooth, it goes down far to easily. When you're out hiking in the foothills, just make sure you budget enough time to pay your respects at this shrine.