Microbrew aficionados of the Highland area, rejoice: You have a stunning new place to shop for all your beer and hard-cider needs. It’s right on the main drag, and is taking a state-of-the-art approach to providing an ever-changing array of craft brews. It’s even open late, to help you keep on partying hardy.
Located on the site of a former Ford dealership on Route 9W, Shamrock Beer & Tobacco is an outgrowth of the Shamrock Wine & Liquor store — literally, in that a wall of the old automobile showroom was bumped out and a roomy extension constructed, complete with large walk-in coolers and a temperature-and-humidity-controlled humidor room for cigars. The building complex is owned by the Patel family, and the new beer store is being operated by Shyan Patel and his wife Kristin.
“My father has been in business for 30 years in this area,” Shyan notes. “He’s the driving force.” Native to the state of Gujarat in India, Yash Patel emigrated to the Hudson Valley with his wife Daxa in the 1980s to found the Highland Deli on Route 44/55. Their sons Shyan and Prakash were born in the US and attended Highland High School, and are now in the process of taking on management of the family businesses, along with daughter-in-law Kristin, who grew up in Marlboro. Aside from its traditional association with good luck, the name Shamrock Square was chosen for the retail complex because he was nicknamed “Sham” by friends while in school, says Shyan.
Shamrock Beer & Tobacco had a soft opening back in April, documented on its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/shamrockbeerandtobacco, and celebrated a Grand Opening with lots of hoopla on June 24. The festive mood continues to prevail every Friday and Saturday, with free beer tastings in progress all day.
The epicenter of the sudsy action is a gleaming bank of 24 taps, where customers can have a growler filled with fresh draft beer or cider — different brands every week, many of them locally sourced, with vital statistics like beer type, provenance, ABV level and calorie count displayed on a big flat-screen video display. You can also get draft beer put into cans, which then have tops sealed onto them using a device called a “crowler.” “It just takes a minute,” Kristin says. The 32-ounce aluminum can, decorated with a Walkway graphic, is a popular option for rail trail hikers, who don’t typically want to carry a heavy, breakable glass growler on their expeditions.
Just past the tap array is the first of many cooler doors, where chilled single cans of a bewildering variety of craft beers are on display. Next come the US craft beers in four-packs and six-packs, and then imports. Summer specialty drinks such as hard lemonade get their own cooler section, followed by “spiked” seltzer. “They sell great. It’s an up-and-coming thing,” Shyan observes. Hard cider is also a rapidly growing segment of the craft beverage market, and gets its own section of the coolers as well. “Our cider selection is one of the largest in the area,” Kristin says.
Way in the back of the store is a “mix-and-match” section, where you can put together your own six-pack assortments for $10.99, or sample some single bottles and cans at $2.69 each. The main showroom floor houses row upon row of stacked 12-packs, plus shelves bearing bottled beers from all over the world.
You can still pick up a six of Bud here, if that’s what you really want. But Shamrock’s emphasis is definitely on more cutting-edge and trendy brewed products, with 20 to 30 new brands coming in every week. “We try to get some hard-to-get beers,” says Shyan. She recommends that customers download a mobile phone app called Untappd, which gives the full lowdown on each new beer that becomes available. “As soon as I get a new beer on tap, I enter it into Untappd, and it sends everyone who follows us a message,” Kristin explains.
Once you have some idea of what you want, from among all these diverse beverage choices, you can come in from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. To learn more, call (845) 691-9192 or visit www.facebook.com/shamrockbeerandtobacco.