Monday, November 24, 2014

Business Spotlight - Water Street Brewing Company

First, an explanation:  There are no vegan or vegetarian restaurants within a 60 mile radius of our home so when I do a local Business Spotlight I choose places that are kind, welcoming and accommodating to vegans.  With that said, let's go on to today's Business Spotlight!

I have been coming to this locally owned brewpub since before I was vegan. As a vegetarian, I was thrilled to find many options to choose from and the beers they make are fantastic!  They have a type of counter service where you place your order at the bar and a server brings it to you at a table.  

The bar stretches across good part of the restaurant with about a dozen tables scattered around the front of the room.  The shiny beer tanks, where the magic happens, sit across from the bar.  The ambiance is cozy, casual and welcoming. There's plenty of space here for a large group.  Their website mentions just one of the reasons it's one of my favorite places.

"We invite you to experience our space, our beer, our people. Oh, and no TVs."

No TVs!  Yes!

My most recent visit was with Dr. D. on a cold and rainy Saturday in November.  As soon as we walked in we were warmly greeted by Dan who was working behind the bar. 

"How are you?"
"Cold," I grumbled.
"Then you need to try our scotch ale!  That'll warm you up!"

I asked for a sample and he was right!  It was a delicious ale called Bonnie Knees. The blackboard on the wall details not only the beers that are currently available but the International Bitterness Units (IBU) and Alcohol By Volume (ABV) numbers so you know what to expect.  Their beer selection changes with what the brewer decides to concoct and flights of beer are available to allow you to try many at once.  I'm an IPA girl so I opted for a pint of their current IPA on tap called Head First and Dr. D. ordered their Hefeweizen.  

A selection of wines is also available if beer isn't your thing and they haven't forgotten our four-legged buddies either!  You can buy Barley Bites (not vegan) made from brewing grain by the bag .

Water Street Brewing

(Sunday only) Two handmade pretzels with a side of spicy mustard for dipping.

Fresh, warm and delicious. Want vegan? Just ask.
(ed. note: they used the V word!)

After our beers arrived, Dan came to take our lunch order.  I had stashed a new jar of Just Mayo in my purse and asked if the cook could use it on my lunch.  Dan checked with the kitchen and was told they weren't able to allow it in the kitchen but I was welcome to use it on my food at our table.  That was fine with me although I'd really love more restaurants to carry this delicious plant-based mayo for their vegan customers.

Just Mayo and a hoppy IPA!

I ordered my favorite meal, Tempeh Spiedies which are served in a wrap.  For those of you who aren't familiar with spiedies, they're a local favorite here in the Greater Binghamton area and are usually made with meat which has been marinated and cooked on a grill on a skewer.  The tempeh spiedies at Water Street Brewing taste incredibly similar to chicken spiedies and are delicious!
They are usually served with barbecue sauce, tomato, onion and lettuce but I asked them to hold the sauce so I could put my Just Mayo on it.  Dr. D. ordered a black bean burger which we confirmed was indeed, vegan.  Many veggie burgers in restaurants contain eggs and/or cheese making them suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.  Dan even went the extra mile and asked if we'd prefer the vegan chickpea salad instead of the usual coleslaw as a side.

Our lunch was delicious and the fries were just right!  Fries are a rare treat for me lately so when I splurge it had better be good.  These did not disappoint!  Dan chatted with us after our meal telling us he was a member of Triple Cities Runners Club and had many vegetarian friends.  It was so nice to have a server who was sensitive and agreeable to our requests.  Water Street Brewing offers many other vegan and vegetarian options as well such as hummus, salads and soups.  They're able to accommodate those on a gluten-free diet too.

I highly recommend Water Street Brewing Company for vegans as well as vegetarians and omnivores.  There's something to please everyone here!

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