By Alicia Dziak
Anyone who knows Ellicottville knows the Gin Mill at 20 Washington Street, a restaurant and local hot spot that is constantly evolving, and bringing not only live music to the village on a nightly basis, but also serving up good times, tasty burgers and wings, and of course, beer. With over two dozen beers on tap, it can be tough to make a choice, and now making it even tougher, a new brew has been added: the Gin Mill Lager.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time,” explained Gin Mill Owner Ed Rick. After Rick discussed his vision with regular customers-turned-friends, 42 North Brewing owner John Cimperman and Head Brewmaster Clay Keel, it became clear that East Aurora’s popular brewery was the perfect choice to create the lager. (Rick noted that the Gin Mill has been carrying 42 North’s brews for a year and a half and that their products have really taken off.)
“This is the Gin Mill, so we wanted something traditional,” said Rick of his choice to develop a lager, as opposed to something trendier like an IPA. “We wanted a consistent ‘workingman’s beer,’ nothing too hoppy and something you can drink all night.”
The folks at 42 North Brewing translated Rick’s vision into a sample batch, which Keel describes as “a Helles Bach style” or a traditional German biergarten beer that’s “very refreshing.”
Keel added that the lager boasts a subtle bready, crackery malt, and earthy Noble hops, and that it’s comparable in quality to a European beer than can only be bottled and shipped over to the U.S. The Gin Mill Lager is about 6 percent alcohol, slightly higher than a traditional German Helles.
“We knew we had a winner,” Rick said after the test batch was tasted by locals.
The Gin Mill Lager is currently on tap and ready to satisfy those who crave a classic beer. At this weekend’s Taste of Ellicottville, the Gin Mill will be offering a special from 12-4 p.m. featuring the Gin Mill Lager, along with their famous burger and chips. To add to the fun, 42 North’s 1919 Ford Model T delivery truck will be parked nearby.