The Defiant Brewing Company

Not Rated.
The Defiant Brewing CompanyThe Defiant Brewing Company
BEER AVG
3.81/5
Based on:
36 Beers
676 Ratings
Place Score: 91
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 20
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

6 East Dexter Plaza
Pearl River, New York, 10965
United States
phone: (845) 920-8602

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @defiantbrewing

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-03-2006

Defiant pours a different cask conditioned beer every Sunday and serves slow-smoked barbecue food on Thursdays (wings), Fridays and Saturday (full menu), and Sunday (some or all).

They also have cheese and crackers anytime of the week
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 20
Reviews by DanE:
More User Reviews:
Photo of gilchrist_whitedale
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3.5

Didn't eat, but have been informed the BBQ is top notch. Defiant is exactly what you'd expect to find for a brewery/bar. Nice long bar and tables along the wall. We had no service problems whatsoever. In fact, the bartender came and chatted with us over what we wanted to try next to compliment what we just had. My only complaints are 1) tiny, one-person bathroom (one for each gender) that can get occupied for extended periods 2) they only take cash. ;)

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.14/5  rDev -22.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Stopped by this place on a whim after visiting Captain Lawrence. Easy enough to find along a train track with a good amount of designated parking.

The place has a small outdoor area and a long bar so there's plenty of seating. The tasting room was not very busy when we first arrived, maybe 10 or so total people with one bartender. There were about 8-10 offerings on tap of a variety of styles. Be forewarned, this place offers no flights or samplers of any kind (and seemed kind of perturbed at my request to try some samplers... who would have thunk wanting to try all of your beers would be so frowned upon?) They either offer 10 oz. mugs for $4.25 or 25 oz. mugs for $10. After just paying less than $1/sample at Captain Lawrence, these prices seemed a little high for an 'up and coming' brewery.

Also of note, don't ask for a print out of what's on tap with descriptions... you'll just be directed to decipher what you want from one of two darkly lit chalkboards with what's on tap with just the beer names and no ABV or styles listed. They offer BBQ food which was pretty good and hit the spot.

As for the service, it was pretty subpar. Even with only 10 or so people there, mine and my gf's empty glasses were passed by several times and we were rarely checked on. Once we were finally attended to and able to get another round we got a "Hey guys, saw you've been empty for a really long time.. what do you want?"... well, in the future maybe don't keep people waiting there who are willing to pay for more beers (this is while sitting at the bar mind you, literally made 10 or so passes before offering another round). My girlfriend made a feeble attempt to order a third a beer, but after placing the order and not getting the beer for 20+ minutes, we decided to just throw some money on the bar and walk out.

Beer was above average for what I had, but the lack of offering samplers and the really poor service would keep me from coming back here again. In a time where breweries are popping up every month, customer service is key. When almost all of them I've visited are beyond nice and friendly and go out of their way to pour you their beer, I'll skip the one where it seemed like too much of a hassle to even order a beer. Hope their customer service improves.

Photo of Ksilver2
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

V: Benches line the wall opposite of the bar. Seating area blends right into the brewery. A bit cramped but high energy.

Q: Has a typical barbecue restaurant feel but with stickier floors. From what I could tell the bar was well kept.

Ser: You can order food and drinks at the bar. Food came quickly and waitress was kind and helpful.

Sel: Beer selection was great, they have a large variety of types. Menu for food was limited but you can't expect much for barbecue.

Food: Food was great, the variety platters are worth sharing and you're able to taste everything.

Overall seems like a fun place to go with friends

Photo of JonAdams
2.95/5  rDev -27.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 1

No food, just beer! Adjacent to RR tracks, warehouse industrial location, all the usual good things that make it authentic...

Photo of jeffleepa
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

The food is so good, they usually run out

Photo of Ron860
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3

As the website states and I totally agree:
Defiant to the last drop!
The Defiant Brewing Company exists to bring high-quality, craft-brewed beer to the tri-state area ― that’s our mission, in a nutshell.
Everyday, we strive to create outstanding ales and lagers, challenge the conventions of mass advertised and mass-produced beers, and offer a unique production micro-brewery experience to our customers.
At Defiant, we use top-notch raw ingredients to brew outstanding beer. Our passion for innovation shows in the variety of offerings you’ll find at the brewery every day.
Come, bring friends, and enjoy ― take a tour, have a taste, and take beer home! <-- and eat! The kitchen is open…
Really enjoy visiting this brewery in Pearl River, NY. Always take home a few growlers for later too!

Photo of dogglebe
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5

I visited this brewery for the first time in several years and I'm happy to say that things haven't changed. This isn't a bar but, rather, a brewery that serves its own beer.

The selection was good, with seven or eight beers on draft and three in bottles.

The atmosphere is extremely laid back and fairly quiet. Casual attire (jeans and sweatshirts) is the norm, though being dressed up won't draw attention to you.

Photo of Fontaine
4.13/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Imagine my surprise to find this bit of local brew flavor a few miles from my hotel. Cruised over for a quick bite and a few hefeweizens. Busy even for a weekday evening, the staff is attentive and friendly, and the BBQ is unexpectedly good. The utilitarian atmosphere is a bit stark at first, but then you see it become very practical - mugs cleared off the table, washed, refilled, food delivered, shiny tanks being cared for, all within a few feet of you. Growlers to go and beer share...

Photo of Skibum211
3.89/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75

A great little brewery in Pearl River NY! It is in a great location too! When you get off the train you turn around and its right there. The Brewmaster makes some delicious beers, all of which are worth trying! If you are ever in Pearl River, and want a great beer, stop by and say hi to Neil and Ben!

Photo of qcbrewer
3.06/5  rDev -24.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 2.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I gotta say I feel a little mislead about this place.

The atmosphere was at best decent, granted I certainly wasn't there at a busy time. A warehouse style brewery with, on this day, AC issues. Very plain overall with a few chalk board denoting beers, activities, and specials. Brewing equipment and tanks are right behind the bar, working there way to the back.

Service was mediocre and without feeling - then he would disappear for 10- 15 minutes. That being said, I do think he was then only employee/bar tender/brewer at the time. The only complaint I was really have is that he didn't tell me they were cash only until AFTER he poured my beer, and there weren't any cash only signs within sight (or at least none I could see unless they were hidden, which also doesn't make sense). They do have an ATM in the back (that has a $4 fee attached to it) so at least there's that.

Beers were sub par. The "flagship" lager could have been the "flagship" at any home brewer's garage. I couldn't even finish their porter, and I LOVE porters (Edmund Fitz, People's Porter, Founders, Black Butte, etc) but this was horrid. Maybe it was a bad batch, but as my review says, it had a tough plastic taste to it.

Even though the other reviews are pretty positive, and I don't want to be mean, I can't hide the fact I have no desire to come here again. Hopefully their beers will improve, and the overall place will as well, and soon because I'm a staunch supporter of local beer.

Note: I just now noticed I'm the first to review this place since 2011...and there might be a reason for that...just saying...

Photo of ajay
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

I am so happy that this place isn't well-known or visited.

It's not the fanciest place, and as others have noted, the glassware is a little too old-school (think laverne and shirley mugs).

But, oh the $3.25 pours, except for the one special beer, which is $6.50.

And the extremely friendly bartender, who does everything needed in a brewery while still pouring.

I had the Medusa IPA and loved it. The witbier wasn't my style (I like them more hefe vs. wit) but still tasty.

Didn't make it on a food day, unfortunately.

Photo of slander
4.13/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Dropped in on my folks for *insert occasion here* and then as usual, hit Defiant on the way out of town. I’ve pretty much been doing this since they opened. People ask where the place is and I tell ‘em, “If you’re standing on the platform at the Pearl River train station, and there ain’t no train there, you’re looking in through the front door of the place”. It’s good to have a brewpub in Rockland again. This county has been in beer neglect for far too many years now...

For starters, it’s an industrial space, it wasn’t built to be pretty; it was built to be a functional production brewery. Brewpubbing it up with food was a 4 year afterthought (or at least that much in implementation) but an amazingly welcome addition. So, it’s a long narrow room with white painted cinder block walls, and an arched off center wood plank ceiling. I-beams across the way and other beam and piping criss cross, lined with green & white strung holiday lighting. The far wall was designed to be signed by brewers offering their best wishes and the like, but it seems some have taken liberties there. Board above tell of ‘cue and keg pricing, and another over the front door reading “this board intentionally left blank”. Not a lot more in the way of decoration ‘cept an old 13 star Bennington ‘76’ flag hanging on the end.

Looong ‘L’ shaped wood bar with a slight lip, slat wood base and foot box off to the right running most of the way back. Seating for about a dozen and a half around a break in the bar ½ way down. 4 hightops up front adjacent to the bar, and then pallets of malt sacks and bottles. Behind the bar, a row of copper lined stainless steel brewing equipment of all sizes and shapes, with small boards on each listing style descriptions. 8 tap handles pouring most of the goods from a barrel on its side behind the bar, the others coming straight from the tanks. Other random brewing equipment riddled about, and a grist case mounted above on I-beams.

4 X 8 horizontal board up high on the wall above the mash tun lists tap & bottle selections. 9 beers on tap as we type (Muddy Creek Lager, Prohibition Lager, Little Thumper Ale, Medusa IPA, Three Fingers IPA, Defiant Porter, Chocolate Porter, O’Defiant Stout, Da Oaty Stout) and the Sunday cask offering (Chocolate Stout). All mugs are $3.25 except for the 3 Fingers IPA which is twice that, at $6.50. They go down pretty quick. I did the Stout vertical and am thinking the porters will be next. Let’s see, the O’Defiant Stout (Dry Irish) roasty with dark chocolate, a bit spritzy; Da Oaty Stout (Oatmeal), on nitro, oaty and smooth, with a light bitterness; Muddy Creek Lager, a sweet malty amber, good caramel toffee flavors, clean, easy drinking; Defiant Porter, chocolate coffee roasty goodness; Medusa IPA, English style, herby with a good bitterness; and the cask Chocolate Stout, sweet candylike, nice roasty notes, you totally get the chocolate. I’m all about the Muddy Creek Lager, and the Medusa IPA & Defiant Porter were also solid. They also sell 750’s of the Defiant Tripel & Christmas Ale, and (in house only) Resolution #3 & Belgian Spring Ale for $9. And growler fills, too.

Seems they put in a smoker enormous in the back room. I asked, “What are you going to smoke?” and Neill said, “Everything”. The ‘cue is a small menu of pulled pork, brisket, baby back ribs & chicken wings, from the smoker. And not all of the time; just some of the time. Thursday is wing night, Friday & Saturday they run the full menu and Sunday is of leftovers, which right now are pulled pork sliders (2 for $2, and yes please), and wings (increments of a 5 wing half order or 10 wing full order, and a full order please ‘cause more is better). The sliders came on these baby hard rolls, the pulled pork all tender pink smoky love; and the wings were cooked (smoked) well, and were real tasty. I didn’t even bother with the 2 sauces (hot or BBQ); didn’t need ‘em.

Food portions in ‘Just meat measly’ (not so measly) and ‘just meat hefty’ (an absurd amount of food), and dinners of the same with sides. They also do an ‘ample sampler’ for $22 and a ‘monster sampler’ for $54, which I believe includes a ride home.

Chill Sunday afternoon, food and drink (counting the notches on my coaster). Hmmn, seems they also make 4 kinds of jerky (I need to investigate). Lots of PJ being played on Sirius radio today. Known Neill since the MVB days of Ruffian. He’s a character; try getting out of here after just a beer or two when he’s here. Ha! I’ve been trying to talk him into posting “next train comes in 22 minutes” and “tell the wife the train ran late” sign boards out front for the commuters, but he’s not biting. Maybe it’s the whole ‘have to walk across the train tracks’ thing, don’t know, can’t say.

Photo of ferrari29
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

This place reminds me of a southern dance hall; in fact, having visited Gruene Hall in Greune, TX, I'm gonna say this came as close to a traditional southern dance hall without being at one. The vats of beer are in your face, you get fresh brewed beer of what ever is available poured directly into your glass. The staff is courteous and friendly, making sure to offer only your favorite types of beer. They know....they ask first before pouring and make recommendations based on the types of beer you prefer. I like that. I also got a couple of free beers for being short on cash, since there are no credit cards accepted. Cozy, southern town hall feel is made possible by the tree lights that light up the room. Nothing else. Large and specious. Small town feel. Smells and fees like a brewery, because you're right in the middle of one. One thing to note, all beer is poured into mug-shaped glasses. Would be nice if they put a bit more thought into the glass types they poured their beer in.

Photo of 9InchNails
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Defiant Brewing Company is unlike any brewery I have been to. As you walk in, you are greeted by bags of malt stacked upon eachother. Then, the long wooden bar table is the second thing that is noticeable to the piles of malt. It is definitely interesting and different. I do like how you can see all the tanks, litterally, right behind the bar.

My girlfriend and I were greeted right away by the beertender, who shook our hands and introduced himself as Woody.

We got a side of cheese and crackers; since it wasn't Friday or Saturday, we didn't get a chance to try their smoked BBQ meats. The Cheese was tasty; it didn't go well with the stout that I ordered first, which was my fault but it did go well with the Medusa IPA. I didn't want to have a really bitter beer that would destroy my palate first and then drink a Stout; there was some logic behind my insanity. Both beers were tasty but the Medusa IPA was incredibly hoppy and delicious. The stout was very smooth and silky.

The Beertenders appeared to be constantly busy, two were taking care of a delivery. Woody and another guy were also taking care of the brewing process. It wasn't crazy busy, as far as the customer count but was busy enough to keep the guys occupied.

There was one guy who got done filling up a few growlers for a customer, he was one of the guys who also was taking care of the delivery; he came over to ask if we needed anything else. I brought my growlers in, so, I asked his opinion on what I should get filled and his humorous response was, "beer." Smart-ass? Yes, but it was all in good fun. He told me he really couldn't tell me what beer to get because he takes care of all the brews and couldn't single one out. I see he has a passion towards what he does and I completely respect that.

Between two growler fills, a side of cheese and crackers, as well as my two draft beers -- it came out to 25 bucks. I can say that's pretty inexpensive. The only thing that seemed a little overpriced, which was listed on the chalkboard of beers they currently have, was the Maibock; it was double the price of a normal growler fill -- I did not try it, so I really can't say if it is overpriced or not.

The only thing that kind of bothered me was both my beers were served in mugs. I would have preferred pint glasses, as the mugs appear to be a little on the small side. Do they have pint glasses? I don't know.

Overall, a interesting place to check out if you're in the surrounding area and even if you're not. Friendly workers who have a dry sense of humor -- it shows, as one of the chalkboard reads: This Chalkboard Is Purposely Left Blank, which was written in chalk.

Photo of cosmo4u
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I love going to this brewewry. It has a very minimalisitc approach to the bar scene. You pull up a stool right to the beer vats. A chalkboard sign is hung on each beer vat explaining the brew allowing you to easily choose which beer your in the mood for. They just started serving BBQ, which I was originally skeptical about til I tried it. It xan hold its own at any BBq place.

They also have a members club where you can try cellared and more rare beers.

overall a great experience that wont hurt you in the wallet.

Photo of Jwale73
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited Defiant Brewing after a long weekend of Aikido training. The Defiant taproom is located in the brewery - basically you have a long bar area subdivided into two sections, with approximately 10-15 seats in each area. Behind the bar are the mash tuns and fermenters. The remainder of the place consists of palates of brewing supplies, kegs, bottles, etc. I have to say that I really liked the atmosphere. It was more of a functional brewery with a bar than a bar with a brewery. Beer prices were exceptional. All drafts (12oz. pours) were $3.25, with the exception of the DIPA which was $6.25. Growlers were also for available at $11.50 for a fill and glass and $7.50 for refills. You also had the option of purchasing 750ml bombers for $9.00 (two were for take away and two were on site consumption only). I had a two Little Thumpers and an O'Defiant Stout which were quite good - extremely sessionable, as were all their brews (abv below 6%) except the DIPA. There was a limited menu for Sunday (pulled pork sliders and wings); however, they were tasty, inexpensive and quite big. A larger barbecue menu with sides is available on others days and you can also order some for takeout (can you say barbecued brisket). Service was great. Woody took care of us very well while we were there and was very accommodating with all our questions. If you are in the area, it's well worth stopping in for a few pints and some BBQ. I can't wait to go back.

Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Find the Pearl River train station and you have found Defiant Brewing. Larger industrial sort of space, fermentation tanks along the wall to the right as you enter, tables with high stools to the left.

They offer mugs of their brwes for $3.50, a few bottles and growler fillups for $7.50. Reasonable prices and good, but usually not great beers. The chocolate stout was a highlight the past few times I've been over for a visit.

The also turn out good BBQ, to eat in or take out..bonus. Nice place for a few brews and quality BBQ. As others have mentioned, not the place to take a date, the family or mom, but fun for a visit with the guys/beer buddies, a good sport of the female persuation, and/or to fill up some growlers.

Service is always friendly, relaxed and on point

Worth a visit if in the Rockland county/North Jersey vicinity. Probaply only 15 mins from the Tappan Zee Bridge/Palisades mall

Photo of ItsPete
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

I get very excited at the thought of going to Defiant and trying their delicious brews.

The bare-bones industrial space in which Defiant has set up shop is your first clue that here, they are first and foremost about the beer. No bells and whistles, no TV, no decoration other than a few lights and a Revolutionary War flag. Simple, easygoing, and stripped-down.

No, here the major decor element is the long row of brewing tanks, a wall of copper from which the delicious products flow. The aroma of malt fills the air of the long, narrow space, which only features the vats, a simple bar, and many stockpiled brewing supplies.

The folks working here come across like homebrewers having you over to their basement. They're always very friendly, but once you start talking beer with them, you have their undivided attention. Good people, happy to have you.

And then, of course, there's the beer -- rated elsewhere here, let's just say it's some of the freshest, most solid stuff around. Cheap ($3.25) 12-oz mugs, with about 8 kinds on tap at any given time. Growlers are about $7.50 plus deposit. Food consists of cheeses and the house jerkies, with delicious smoked bbq on the weekends.

Plus, the Pascack Valley Line train stops about 60 feet from the front door.

The best beer destination for quite a distance. Drop by soon (and bring cash -- no cards accepted).

Photo of njmoons
4/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

First thing you have to know. Is this is a working brewery with a bar. It is most definetly NOT a bar with a brewery.

This working brewery is part of the charm for me. I have been sitting there having a few beers as Niel and team are brewing away.

A word of warning, #2 - If it is hot outside, it is hot in. Remember a working brewery so no AC.

So now you have been warned, this is a fun place to have a beer. Very casual, the guys who work there are happy to help and enthusiastic to be there. Your tab is your name and beer count on a coaster.

There are always several beers to choose from, and usually a couple big beers that rotate through.

Cost about $3.50 a pint for the standard beers.

They do an excellent BBQ on the weekend. Nothing fancy just a plate with excellent BBQ and a couple extras.

Stop By and Check it Out

Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4

Jeez, someone's gotta put in a word fer this excellent brewery. When visiting friends from the area in recent years, I've visited the Defiant handful of times, mostly to fill growlers and quaff a pint or two. It's barebones & unpretentious. A brewery with a long bar in front of the tanks. (They now serve some barbeque on the weekends I'm told.) Very friendly folk, as is common amongst brewery folk. And fine ales. They're the go-to fer my Rockland County brethren - and with good reason.

Perhaps not the place to impress your first date (unless she appreciates fine ale!) They're startin' to get a reputation - again with good reason.

The Defiant Brewing Company in Pearl River, NY
91 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.