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The Country Inn
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Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
1380 County Road 2
phone: (845) 657-8956
(Place added by: BeerAdvocate)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 7
Reviews by slander:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5 | $$
Outfrickenstandin!!! I can't believe this place hasn't been reviewed. I read an article about The Country Inn last year in The Ale Street News and then Shiredave mentioned it when I dropped in to Halftime once a time ago. I've scouted it on a map. Southwest of Kingston, NY and Northwest of New Paltz, NY, a wee off the beaten beer trail but I was winding down my work stint in Kingston, NY and thought, "Aw, hell, when am I gonna be up this way again?" so... I headed down 209 in all my 1 headlight out glory and did the 8 mile hop up twisted and winded Ulster Rte 2, up and down and around and in and out and there she is... located on a little lake on a bend.
There's a sign you hit halfway up the front steps that says something like "We're out of Bud on tap" which I didn't know if it was a joke or just a good omen. You enter through a front room where there's a pool table and the bar is just behind it. It's a small 8 seat bar with about a dozen beers on tap and roughly 500 bottles, give or take a few. The bottled collection is not written up on a printed beer list but rather, the available beers' logos are cut off of six packs holders or other packagings and are affixed to small flat wooden slats that slide into grooves on the back wall. It's tremendous. Lots of good regional micros and some imports as well. The tap selection was tight. German (Paulaner Hefe), Belgians (Lindeman's Framboise, Corsendonk), English (a pair of Fuller's) and a few American micros (Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and a pair of beers from the Albany Pump Station). Not a clunker in the lot.
Now, the bar is at the edge of a room with a dozen or so tables nicely decorated with small candle holders carved from pieces of branches. Most of the tables were filled with couples dining which was a pleasant surprise to me, as I was expecting this to be more like a country bar than the nice little bar/restaurant with an excellent beer selection that it is.
I sat at the bar and chewed the fat with Peter, the bar's fairly new owner and Neil Evans, owner of the Albany Pump Station who was kind enough to sit and talk beer with me for a while and have me poured a pint of his Kick Ass Brown Ale.
This is a place you want to go out of your way to hit.
Updated 12/07/03: I caught a meal here with friends earlier this evening. A small tight menu. I had the Cream of Broccoli soup and the Duckling with cherrys and apricots. Just wonderful.
05-29-2003 19:29:46 |
More by slander
More User Reviews:
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I visited here for dinner over the weekend on a pub crawl with several other friends.
The atmosphere was fantastic, located smack in the middle of nowhere, it was harder to find than Ellezelloise in Belgium, and we probably passed just as many cows along the way. Decor is country inn all the way, complete with antlers and wood beams. Charming & old school are the best terms I could use to describe this place. Combine this country inn charm with beer list that would make 't Bruges Beertje proud and you've got a little slice of beer heaven hidden in the New York countryside.
Selection is fantastic, with a small selection of taps and a very extensive 300-400 bottle list.
Service marks suffer a bit as the staff inadvertently imitated true Belgian beer bar service by ignoring our table of 8 for about 45 minutes after they brought our cheese plates. This was really odd, as the facility was small enough that we represented roughly 1/8 of the total customers, and they appeared to have 4-5 wait staff. I would have expected us to get considerable attention as a result. One of the things I noted as a contributing factor was the lack of an automated order-entry process: the staff was constantly busy writing things down or running to the store-room to see if they still had this or that. While long waits & nonchalant service might be the norm in Belgium, it's out of place in the States (and didn't seem to be what many of the other, smaller, tables received). After we finally got our meals, it seemed like they were in an awful rush to clear to the table afterwards, which was in severe opposition to the earlier lack of attention.
The food met with mixed reviews. The fresh trout and strip steaks met with rave reviews, but the BBQ beef a friend & I had was uninspiring, and not very BBQ at all.
Overall, for the atmosphere & selection alone, I will probably make it a point to come back here with the wife.
09-24-2007 13:03:13 |
More by wyllder
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
My wife and I were in the Minnewaska area for a long weekend - and we had the Country Inn on our itinerary. We arrived at around 4pm after a long day of road cycling.
Unfortunately the bar didn't open until 5pm - and there aren't many things to do in that immediate area - so we drove around and returned. The drive and wait were well-rewarded. Upon entering the Inn you are immediately greeted by the 'wall' of beers - sectioned by nation - and quite a comprehensive assortment.
Pete - the proprietor - and his staff could not have been nicer. We tasted from the taps as well as the botteld selection. All beers were accompanied by appropriate glassware - and were fresh/crisp. The tap selection (Albany Pump House, Corsendonck Abbey Dark, Val Dieu Triple - to name a few) was as nicely varied as the bottles.
NOTE: If you don't see it on the board - ask for it (e.g., Westvleteren 12 is available upon request).
We also had the mussels with a side of fries (frites?) which could not have paired any better with our choice of Westamalle 10 and Gouden Carolus Triple. My wife claimed: 'the fries were the best she ever had' (I was hard-pressed to disagree). I have been to Belgium a couple of times and can state with conviction that the atmosphere at the Inn rivaled some of my experiences abroad (and by far was less smoky).
If you are in the neighborhood this place is a must - or even better - find yourself in the neighborhood. There is a B&B (Sparrow Hawk) that is nearby if you want to make a day trip. The Minnewaska lodge is a bit further away - but minutes from the park entrance. Pack your hiking shoes and a designated driver to get the most out of the day.
08-21-2007 14:58:31 |
More by rbastone
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$
I visited The Country Inn on a cold Saturday in december, anxious to finally check out a place id heard about many times. Tucked away on a windy road behind the Ashokan reservoir, The Country Inn has a great atmosphere. There was a good crowd the night i was there, a good mix of locals and weekenders, good dinner crowd and a crowded bar. I sat down after admiring the wall of beer, a unique beer list on the wall with beer labels as monikers to list whats available in bottles, approximetley 400 choices.I was here for the big guns. I started with a chalice of chimay, on tap, very tasty and a nice lead in to what i was looking for, a nice vertical trapppiste tasting. i followed up my chimay with a rocheforte 10, and then, yes, thats right, a Westvleteren 12. By now, i had been chatting with the barkeep/owner for quite a while, enjoyed a nice chees plate and some crisp fries. i think he had 8 beers on tap, Albany pump station brown ale, fullers porter, lindemans framboise, chimay, Keegan Ales mothers milk and i cant recall what else he had on tap, i was to distracted by my trappiste haze. The country Inn is a great beer destination period. It doesent boast the 20 + tapps of a larger city bar, but its got a wonderful small town charm , with a great selection of some world class stuff. If your in the area i suggest you check it out.
01-16-2006 22:28:35 |
More by edchef1850
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
An amazing bar, one of the greatest in the world, located right in upstate New York, near the Catskill forest, at the end of a long, winding road. They have a modest draft selection of 11 beers, which always includes some interesting stuff, such as La Trappe, but take a look at their wall of beer (a unique method of listing beers in stock, and oddly reminiscent of a Ben and Jerry's), and you will see a bottle list of approximately 400 beers, including some hard to find anywhere else. At this place, like many Belgian bars, the most important thing is the bottles. The owner and bartender, Larry Erenberg, who has built this place up for a quarter of a century, retired recently. Ratings reflect Larry's tenure, but so far I hear that the new owner (Pete) seems to be doing well, expanding food but keeping up with the beers, but I hope to get back soon to get an update on their progress.
10-18-2003 03:18:29 |
More by saltydog
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5
This place has to be seen, and experienced, to be believed! First stop on a recent vacation thru upstate New York, it is truly out of the way and quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Winding for some time on a narrow country road, you come around a corner and there is a gravel parking lot next to a house with some years on it, with a weather beaten sign out front that states simply "The Country Inn". The property is a bit overgrown in a kind of "lost in time" rural setting, but with 2 interesting giveaways to what was inside....a handful of Harleys in the lot and some unexpected bar signs in the window of what looked like nothing more than an enclosed porch. Corsendonk? Delirium Tremens? If I hadn't heard about this place and just stumbled on it, I would've thought I'd died and gone to heaven. Going inside only confirms this feeling.
With the bikers around the pool table, Pete, the owner/barkeep, welcomed us at the bar. Perusing the tap selections (about a dozen, or so) on a chalk board behind the bar, Pete told us that he made a point of not duplicating a style on his taps, so there was a wide and impressively representative array of beers from Brits to Belgians to locals. And the proper glassware! We ordered up a Fuller's London Porter and began to check out the Wall of Beer, hundreds of listings of what seems like every beer available anywhere, grouped by country of origin. Talk about a beer menu! Pete came over from time to time to talk beer, making us feel at home, a nice benefit of visiting on a slow Sunday afternoon.
Then I saw it. Westvleteren. Was it the 12? Yes! I had never seen, nevermind tried, this. I'll take one! (price be damned!) It was incredible. The piece de resistance. Heaven.
Floating on my barstool, with no other thoughts but the beer and now, my wife, aware she was losing me, reminded me,kindly, of the fact we had to move on. Other places, other beers. We had a whole week of vacation ahead of us, but from where I was sitting (floating), where else was there to go?
Great local watering hole atmosphere, with the beer selection of your dreams. If only it was closer. But I'll be back. Pete was warned.
07-31-2003 03:42:48 |
More by greybeerd
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Thanks to Slander for doing what I should have done a year ago. I submitted this review once before but didnt have the complete address so it wasnt approved.
Off Rt 209 between Kingston and Ellenville, 8 twisted miles up Ulster County Rt 2 into some real back woods country you will find The Country Inn. Sanctuary. This may be one of the first true beer bars in this country. Beer Maven Larry Erenberg opened this place in the foothills of the Catskills Mts in the early "70's. He started with about 40 beers because in those days " thats about all I could get!" With beer hunts of his own, and friends who traveled and brought stuff back, the list grew to around 100 by 1980. By '90 when I first was introduced to TCI ( Thanx Dave- RIP ) there were at least 200 different beers to choose from. Now, there are 400 - 500 depending on when you stop in. 12 taps with 10 rotating micros and specialty imports. Try one of the house specials; Paulaner Hefe Weisse with a little bit of Lind. Frambois dribbled on the top.
Larry retired this year after 28 years behind the bar. He was the ONLY Barkeep in those 28 years. I learned alot about beer from Larry over the years. I have never known, and probobly never will know a more gracious and knowlagable tender and owner. If Larry were still behind the bar, I'd score service a 5.
Pete, the new owner is a great guy and is very enthusiastic about learning all he can about beer. He is welcoming and quick to point out his newest offerings. His daughter is a trained chef and has picked the food upa few notches which is a welcome change. But since there wasnt anything broken about The Inn, Pete has kept everything else pretty much as it was. Proper glassware for all beer, tavern puzzels hanging over the bar, great juke box selections from Rusted Root + Staind to Benny Goodman , Frank Zappa + Hank Williams Sr.; add some broken 45's stapled to the ceiling, a 7 foot Tarpon, a fire in the rear fireplace on cool nights...add the famous Beer Board and you have one of the most comfortable, relaxing and eclectic places to enoy a fine beer as you will find anywhere.
According to Larry, in 28 years, there was never a fight in the Country Inn. People from all over have visited due to articles that found thier way into Japanese, Swedish, and UK newspapers etc. All sit together , talk , laugh and enjoy the beers. A Very special place.
Thanks Larry. Keep up the good work Pete!
06-18-2003 15:40:57 |
More by Shiredave
The Country Inn in Krumville, NY
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