Supporting local businesses is a strong value for most Syracuse natives and the guys behind Stout Beard Brewing Co. are no exception. From brewing beer to cooking up food, Stout is comprised of New York State and Onondaga Grown ingredients. They further support the community by teaming up with local businesses such as PMA Foods, Mylk and Hunny, Anything But Beer, and the soon to open The Flour Pot.
Aside from putting their money towards local businesses, they continue to foster a community in their taproom. Located above Taste of India’s old location (now Saint Urban) at 126 Dell St. Syracuse, NY 13210, Stout is a short trot off Westcott Street with a small parking lot and various street parking. After making it up the stairs, you’ll be welcomed by the sound of laughter and good conversation in this cozy space. The few times I have made it to Stout, it has been packed with people you may or may not know. Either way, you’ll feel like you walked into a family party with a mix of close friends and distant cousins all having a great time. Personally, I ran into some old pals I didn’t expect to see and made new ones with the taproom’s regulars.
The first time I ever made it out was the weekly Wednesday Trivia Night. Apparently being very bad at trivia still makes for a good time at Stout. The second time I made it in, I found myself chowing down on the Sammie of the Week while duking it out with the house’s copy of Settlers of Catan. Friends of Syracuse Animal Rights Organization (SARO) who have made their way over to Stout have compared its vibe to tv shows Cheers and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
However, some say if the TV show American Dad’s alien character Roger upgraded his attic bar ‘Roger’s Place’, it would be Stout. But which beard behind the bar would be Roger? Mike LeRoy, Stout co-founder and bartender, would be ready to serve you up one of their tasty ales fresh from the tap. Jarred Vryhof, Stout cook and PMA Foods owner, would definitely be making witty remarks while cooking up some of Syracuse’s tastiest vegan bites. I haven’t met the second co-founder Mike Paetow yet, but knowing how much Jarred and Mike L. seem to love the joint, I’m sure he’s just as passionate about the food and beer they’re offering.
There’s a regular set of beers on tap, including fluctuating Stout specials and one of Anything But Beer’s fruit ales or ciders. To find their drink options, it’s best to check their website for a full list. Everything is made through a vegan-friendly process, but a few have a dairy milk sugar. It’s fairly clear on the drinks menu, but if you want to be sure, Mike and Jarred both know what’s what. My friends and I haven’t visited enough to make a dent in tasting the options, but below I comment on the Patty Ginger Root Ale and the Bill Pickle Ale. When it’s finally warmer, I plan on enjoying a new one on their balcony, perhaps Late Earth’s Heat Advisory Jalapeno Pale Ale. Late Earth is a local alt-blues band that has helped SARO with fundraisers in the past, so check them out!
Although the location isn’t ideal if stairs are an issue, it offers a variety of food options for those who do not drink. It may not be 100% vegan, but it’s damn near close. Practically everything on the menu can be made vegan or comes vegan. The Mighty Pretzel, baked by The Flour Pot, comes with PMA Foods queso when ordered vegan. The menu’s Sammies are entirely vegan including the Sammies of the Week thus far. Their pizza can be easily made vegan with PMA Foods cheese and seitan. The only item you’re really SOL with veganizing is the pickled egg, which, I imagine, most of you are not bummed about.
Jarred also expressed his excitement over taking creative liberties in designing the Sammies of the Week. Using spirulina for an alien-green bun, May the Fourth was out of this world at Stout with the “Welcome to Space Sam(mie)”. Specials I’ve tried include the Seitan Scampi Sammie and the Pepperoni Pizza Seitan Sammie, but other specials that have truly sounded delicious include the Tease of India Curry Sammie and the Smokey Maple Bacon Seitan Breakfast Sammie. Jarred hooked me up with a sample of a meaty gravy they’re testing for a Biscuits and Gravy type deal. Stout isn’t completely consistent in updating their social media with the Sammie of the Week, but their Instagram @stoutbeardbrewing and Facebook are the best places to go for their news.
Yet with all these creative specials in the works, one I am most excited about is a Chicago themed sammie inspired by yours truly. The motivation behind this came from a trip Jarred and I took to Chicago in 2016 resulting in me inadvertently introducing some of Syracuse to Malört. If you don’t know what Malört is, which I assume you won’t until this sammie is debuted, feel free to google it, but I recommend holding off for the surprise you’ll be tasting soon enough at Stout. Besides, you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Seitan Scampi Sammie (Special Item)
This was juicy as hell. The seitan is fairly consistent between the different sammies, but are transformed with the various toppings and sauces including this special’s lemon butter scampi dressing. It left me wanting another one. With leafy greens on top, the bun still soaked up the right amount of lemon butter without overdoing it. Also the bread-to-seitan ratio was spot-on.
Pepperoni Pizza Seitan Sammie (Special Item)
It’s got that kick you would expect from pepperoni. Smokey flavor really comes through and the cheese is killer as usual. I’m not huge on pizzas with too much crust, but it had a pizza crust bun that really pulled together the “pizza” aspect of this sammie. I think it would have been even better with extra pizza sauce or the vegan queso on the side for dipping, but I personally like things saucy.
BBQ Seitan Sammie (Regular Item)
I only snagged a taste of this one from past SARO Officer and friend Kiera Hyacinthe. I can tell you I would have eaten her entire sandwich if she let me. The BBQ sauce was very tasty and what I was expecting. Kiera shared with me her thoughts:
“I enjoyed the BBQ seitan sandwich. I defaulted to that since I tend to stay in my comfort zone. The barbecue sauce was sweet with a slight tang. The seitan was not tough and easy to chew. The roll that it was on was toasted and flaky, which helped stave off sogginess from the sauce. I wish the serving was larger, but it was still a hearty snack. It would be great with fries on the side too!”
The Mighty Pretzel (Regular Item)
When I took notes on this one, the first line I wrote was “cheesy salty sour goodness” and for good reason. This The Flour Pot soft pretzel can be made vegan with PMA Foods queso dip and spicy horseradish mustard. The pretzel is not the generic soft pretzel you would get at a baseball game or movie theater. It is a thick and bready soft pretzel with a slightly crunchy bottom served piping hot. The queso dip was salty with a slight sourness. A little bit goes a long way, which is good because the pretzel is big. The only downside to this is the sauces are served in single-use plastic cups instead of reusable sauce cups that other food joints have.
Patty Ginger Root Ale
This spiced beer had a nice sweetness to it that went down smoothly. Flavored with ginger, it’s 5.6% alcohol and the taste doesn’t overpower the food. I’m not a big beer drinker, but I would get this again. If you’re looking for beer recommendations here, I suggest going in and trying an $8 flight consisting of four 5oz samples.
Bill Pickle Ale
A favorite of SARO Officer Elaina Lomery, this spiced beer at 6.5% alcohol comes with a pickle spear fully submerged. SARO Member Alex Bruso ordered this “spicy”, which meant jalapenos were added alongside the pickle. The beer itself does not have a super strong pickle flavor. It wasn’t Alex’s favorite, but he likes the taste of “shitty cheap beer”. Therefore, if you fall into this category, maybe you’ll want to try a different one. Again, try grabbing yourself a flight and taste a few different kinds.
Stout Beard Brewing Co. is a small space with much character. Filled to the brim with friends and locals, it’s become a new hot spot off Westcott. From chalkboard walls to practically artistic specials, creativity flows throughout this place. On the same wall with a bookshelf of community table games, Stout and PMA Foods shirts, hats, pint glasses, and more are for sale should you feel inclined to rep at home or in the streets. For those concerned with landfill waste, their to-go boxes are compostable cane sugar. However, as mentioned earlier, they have plastic single-use cups for sauces. This is primarily due to restrictions from their license with the Department of Agriculture, but they’re working on a more eco-friendly alternative much like their to-go boxes. The food portion sizes might seem small for certain items, but much of Stout’s focus is the brewery so this is understandable. For casual dinner, drinks, or a last minute evening activity, check out Stout!
126 Dell St
Syracuse, NY 13210
Wednesdays: 5pm to 11pm
Thursdays: 5pm to 11pm
Fridays: 5pm to 12pm
Saturdays: 2pm to 12pm
Sundays: 1pm until 6pm
Find other reviews here.