2 O'Clock Tasting: Keegan Ales - Brooklyn Brew Shop

2 O'Clock Tasting
Keegan Ales

Updated on March 29, 2016

The historical town of Kingston, NY is adding another chapter to its culinary past, partially thanks to Keegan Ales' top quality craft beer. Founded in 2003 by Tommy Keegan, the brewmaster purchased a building with a defunct brewery. After a lot of elbow grease and long hours at the ramshackle, the place was up and running with a handful of beers that were sold locally to bars and restaurants.

Fast forward years later—including accomplishments such as numerous awards (including accolades from the NY Times and the 2009 title of "Best Brewery in the State") and the restoration of the bottling line—to find Keegan Ales with an expanded roster of beers and distributing over 2,500 barrels a year! Luckily, we managed to get our hands on the brewery's four classics: Old Capital, Hurricane Kitty, Mother's Milk, and Joe Mama's Milk. Let us know which of Keegan Ales is your favorite with a comment below.
  1. Old Capital Golden Ale

    4% ABV

    With a name like Old Capital, this brew's status as a classic golden ale was all too fitting. Pouring the brew from its bottle, a bristling, pale-yellow body coalesced into a white head. It was clean in the nose, with grainy hints of the Upstate farmland—slight corn and hay, in particular. The beer's flavor focused more on the grain and less on the hops, and was easy drinking, described by several tasters as "the perfect lawnmower beer" for 100 degree weather.

  2. Hurricane Kitty IPA

    5.5% ABV

    The story goes that Keegan's grandmother—the real Hurricane Kitty—earned her namesake by driving her kids to and from the Long Island Ferry like a bat out of hell; and she had the police record to prove it. As an homage to Nana Kitty, what beer reflects such feistiness more so than an IPA? The bubbly caramel body emerges with a creamy tan head, already proving itself an anomaly from your run-of-the-mill IPAs. Sweet malts of honey biscuits quickly came through in the nose, but the more interesting woodsiness—wet pine and herbs—were quite impressive. And of course, being the hard-headed, tough-as-nails woman she was, the IPA's taste was dominated with resin-y grapefruit pith and caramel flavors that stuck around long into the finish.

  3. Mother's Milk Milk Stout

    6% ABV

    The award-winning Mother's Milk—Gold Medal at The Hudson Valley Microbrew Festival, and NY Times Top 10 Stouts in North America (2010)—definitely proved its worth. The root-beer cola body, capped with a beige head, had us swooned from the get-go with its sugary chocolate icebox cake, Oreo, and slight coffee aromas. Keeping ourselves from immediately diving into the taste took some discipline, but it was worth the wait. The first sip was extremely smooth and light with a mouthfeel reminiscent iced cold coffee. And alongside the bittersweet chocolate malt roast, there were strong notes of more cold coffee and lactose. We felt this beer was definitely worthy of its award!

  4. Joe Mama's Milk Coffee Stout

    8% ABV

    Apparently the guys at Keegan love coffee, as they decided to shake things up by mashing our favorite morning caffeinator with Mother's Milk for a java treat. The guys whipped up this beer by adding brown sugar and some cold brew extract from the local Monkey Joe's Roasting Coffee to Mother's Milk. The stout pours a pitch black color like, well, cold-brew coffee, and strong aromas of smoky flavors dominate the nose. Still, some sweetness manages to sneak in with caramel-coffee candy aromas akin to a Mocha Frap. And of course, given all the aforementioned coffee, it's no surprise that Joe Mama's Milk tastes like roasted coffee. To all those coffee addicts out there, this one's for you.