C.H. Evans Brewing Company

C.H. Evans Brewing CompanyC.H. Evans Brewing Company

Type: Brewery, Eatery

19 Quackenbush Square
Albany, New York, 12207
United States

(518) 447-9000 | map

@ The Albany Pump Station

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Reviews: 75 | Ratings: 113
Photo of ProfessorHomer
2.55/5  rDev -36.9%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 3 | food: 1

Overview: Albany Pump House: a poor quality restaurant with non-existent customer service that happens to serve good quality home-made beer.

Went there with beer geeks last Friday 10/24 @ 5:00p. Place was almost empty, yet they would not allow us to sit in the table area behind the bar - "it was reserved for dinner guests". We just wanted a few choice beers and three appetizers, they refused to seat us. Everyone else that later sat in that area ordered beer and appetizers - you shouldn't have to lie to that nasty head server boy just to get a seat. Instead, we were directed to go back into their "lounge" area that had plastic outdoor patio furniture, folding metal chairs and really cheapo plastic utensils. Real high-class there! We felt like we were sent to the kiddie table families set out for Thanksgiving.

We turned around to leave, but one calmer head prevailed and we order a beer at the bar. Very poor bar seating - very limited. However, the beers were quite good actually and rescued the evening. The Pale Ale was an EXCELLEN representation of the genre - fresh with a wonderful bouquet. The "Marzen" (Octoberfest, gentlemen) was also very good, malty, fresh and smelled terrific. Their "award-winning" Brown Ale was a bit overhopped (Cascades?) but our hop-head pal loved it. The friendly and helpful barmaid was great - that place really needs her.

Prior experiences convinced us to steer well clear of the below-average food, plus there is no place at the bar to eat it! At our last visit there, an appetizer order of "Thai Chicken Wings" arrived in over 45 minutes and cold. The waitress and manager refused to come out and see us. The food is quite bad, even by bad bar food standards, and waaaay overpriced.

This is a waaaay below-average restaurant (especially in Albany!) with poor hospitality but with some wonderful home-made beer. Until CH Evans moves out of this pit, don't bother going. Go instead to Brown's Brewery over in Troy that has much better beer, real (and outstanding) bar food, and is a place that cares about us serious beer-drinking customers.

Professor Homer 10/27/08

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Photo of Sammy
2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3

Right downtown Albany, a city I avoid travelling around in at night.A large airy place, the other downside is people and staff have some of the toughness and near-chips on shoulders of some of the worst cities. But I am here for the beer, and there were some interesting one here, but also some dreadful ones. Is it the near-foul water?That worked for the mild scotch, an gave a complexity to some of the stronger brews. Not the greatest servie, staff looked beyond me but treated regulars like V.I.P.s

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Photo of Ninjaworm
3/5  rDev -25.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 3 | food: 4

The location is easy to find as you can see them from the highway. I had decided to stop by with a couple of friends and check the place out. When you first enter you notice the place has a very airy warehouse feel. There wasn’t any music or anything so the atmosphere was that of chatting with my friends.

The food was pretty good but the service was a little slow. The make your own burger is a pretty good choice as we found. The pint prices were really reasonable and the food prices were pretty standard.

I plan to visit again the next time I am in the area.

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Photo of MTMugs
3.43/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 2.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The Albany Pump Station is definitely an upscale restaurant, catering to the businessman/state politico lunch and afterwork crowd. To avoid scaring off this lucrative demographic, the brewmaster, while offering a wide selection (7 styles on tap) forgot to add flavor. Each beer, from the lightest - the Scottish Light, to the darkest - State Street Porter, hits no sour notes, it's just that all the flavors are so muted that you can barely tell what you are drinking. Beautiful building, very nice & tasty food. Passable beer.

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Photo of Back_in_the_Saddle
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

Since I'm from PA originally, I like to stop here while enroute back to see family. This brewpub might not have the best beers in the brewing industry, but they do have some solid ones and with an exceptionally clean atmosphere and service, this place does the trick to get some good food and not spend too much time off the beaten path as its right there in downtown Albany. The food is definitely better than the beers. Prices seem reasonable for that part of Albany, its worth at least one stop if you're in the area.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped in for lunch on Saturday while in the area.

Located in an old water pump house, this place is airy and open. Plenty of tables/booths on your right as you walk in, with a bar set up to the left hand side. The kitchen is in clear view of the restaurant, located against the far right wall. An upstairs area also offers a more intimate feel, along with large tuns occupying the left half of the upstairs. On tap during my visit were six house brews and a guest cider. House brews included their Pale, Musty Barleywine, Extra Stout, Scottish Light, Blonde, and Kick-Ass Brown. We were informed that their Smoked Weizenbock had just been kicked (too bad, it looked like an interesting offering). I settled on the Extra Stout as well as the Brown; both of which, were flavorful and good renditions of the style. Despite the place being dead for a Saturday afternoon, the service was average at best (long waits for food/beer, forgotten orders, etc). The menu is a slightyly more upscale offering of typical pub food. The stuffed mushrooms with smoked mozzarella were awesome, but the pulled pork sandwich lacked traditional barbecue flavor. Probably a place I'd go to fill up a growler or to grab a couple of pints at the bar.

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Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Stopped here July 20 on the way up to Vermont. Split a sampler tray with the others in my party. Since I was drving, this was all I drank. The beers were spot on for their respective style. The service was a bit lacking. It took us about 15 minutes to get our drinks and another 45 minutes to get our lunch. I am glad we were not in a hurry. I had a salad which was amazing. Every one else in the party really enjoyed thier food also. The portions were very large.

I would definetley go back the next time I am in Albany.

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Photo of SABERG
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

We have had the pleasure of visiting this place a few times.
The food is fine pub fare, with the specials often being excellent. The service is
professional and friendly. I love the setting, big old industrial building with lots of
natural lighting. The beer is solid, the Brown Ale is a delightful version, the Scotch Ale also
is wonderful.
Prices are reasonable, the selection is quite good, the service is quite good as well.
Worth the trip.

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Photo of Suds
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Visited this place with a crew of friends on a very cold January weekend. It's located in a pumphose, right off the interstate. Many of us had trouble finding it, however.
The atmosphere is open, but inviting. The cielings are extrodinarily high, with chains and industrial machinery hanging. The dining room had a roaring gas fire on the back wall.
Service was fast, friendly, and knowledgeable. We had a great conversation about homebrewing and local homebrew supply shops with several of the workers.
The beer can be described as good, well made, and very average. Standouts were the Winter Warmer, the Vienna Lager, and the Brown Ale. The others, although they weren't bad, simply didn't stand out. I would have liked more challenging, agressive beers.
Food was quite good. Better than pub fare, reasonably priced, and very tasty.
Worth a trip...I'll stop in again when I'm back in Albany.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

Stopped here while in Albany in late mid-August 2006. The atmosphere was pretty good, lots of visuals of wort tanks, fermenting tanks, and whatnot, but no wort aroma which would have been cool.

There were 6 selections on tap when I visited, all brewed on site (except for 1 non-brewery option: Strongbow cider). I only tried the Kolsch with dinner because the tripel and the wheat beer were both tapped. The kolsch was pretty good though.

Good food, good atmosphere, and at least 1 good beer. Not a bad stop.

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Photo of fireqc
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3

I'd like to stop, year after year, at this brewpub. This the only one in Albany. The brewer, George, is very pleasant and like to talk and talk!!!

They have nice sampler tray made with copper.. Original...

Like almost all brewpub, some beers are good and some are boff... But it depend what you like.

The brewpub sit in an old pump station and they keep some of the original pumping devices. Decorations inside is a mix of old machinery, some old couch and new stuff (lamps etc...).

I never try the food, but if one day I feel hungry, of course I'll do. The second floor could be a nice place for a reception or private party.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.75

In town to visit family, so we headed down to have a late lunch here. Right off of the highway exit, it was easy to get to. You can literally see it from the highway as you exit. Great vibe when you walk in. The bar space is actually on the small side, but there is a ton of seating, and a ton of windows providing a bevy of natural lighting. High ceilings allow some cushion for the noise as the crowd gets bigger, as well as it allows a view of the tanks above the bar area. The menu is a step above normal pub fare, with some very decent and diverse entree options. There is also a gluten free menu, if you should so need one. The wait staff was great, friendly, and fairly knowledgable about their beer offerings. Very attentive. They had 8 beers on-tap and one cask, and they offer samplers of their tap offerings, as well as beer to go. The growlers were a bit on the pricey side, I think $25 for 1L and $30 for 2L, or thereabouts. All in all, other than the growler pricing, the place was very reasonably priced, the food was good, and the staff was friendly. With some decent beer offerings, this is a place worth visiting if you find yourself in the capitol district.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4

In the area for a wedding, hit this place for lunch. A good choice. As you walk in, the bar is right in front of you. To the right is seating in the Tap Room, while the Dining Room is upstairs. We sat in the Tap Room, which was spacious and wide open. The open kitchen is at the end of the room, and brewing equipment was behind windows, as well as upstairs. There were 6 Evan's beers on tap: Scottish Light, Quackenbush Blonde, Old Musty Barley Wine (which had just peplaced the Wit, much to my wife's dismay), Extra Stout, Pump Station Ale, and the award-winning Kick Ass Brown. Woodpecker Cider was the guest tap. The beers I had were all quite good, especially the brown. Growlers are available, but expensive at $26. This price gets you the cool growler with the silver handle. I think refills were only $8.

The food was typical pub grub, reasonably priced. The Pump Station burger was great.

Our waitperson was excellent, attentive but not intrusive. She even helped choose some Tshirts.

I would get back to this place if I'm ever in Albany again.

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Photo of EmoBeerGuy
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Ate dinner here although I only got to have one drink which was the Dunkelweizen ( you can read the review elsewhere). Really liked the ambiance of this place which is in an old pumping station, just on big vaccant lofty brick room with the tanks on display. Fairly classy place though not stuffy.

My waiter was fairly rude to me, mabye a result of my looking young but still, wasn't the best service ever. Also messed up my order. The food itself was very good, great portions and I would definately eat there again. My beer was average but my friend tried the Brown and loved it. An above average brew pub.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.81/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

visited for dinner and beers on a Friday night with a large group (16 people). They've got very large dinning areas, and we made a reservation, so we sat right down.

the brewpub is located in a large historic building, hence the "Albany Pump Station" name. really high ceilings, open space.

good variety of English, German, Belgian, and American styles on tap. I had pints of the brown ale and the porter on cask, both were good.

food spanned from sandwiches, salads, and entrees. Everyone seemed happy with the food, and service was fine.

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Photo of vonnegut21
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

A: The C.H. Evans Brewing Company or "Pump Station" as it's called, is located in a beautiful repurposed building, that was once used as a water pumping station for the city. The interior is an oddly charming mix of classic industrial building, with modern restaurant/brewery flair. One of the coolest interior bar/restaurant spaces I've ever been in.

Q: The beer quality ranges from average to excellent. The Kickass Brown and the Hefeweizen are the standouts IMO. The brewer here is relatively new and has been experimenting with some new recipes. The imperial IPA is coming along nicely and he's going to be starting to serve some barrel aged offerings using whiskey barrels from the distillery

S: The service is the most disappointing part for me. It has been uniformly poor to average, regardless of whether I sit at the bar, near the kitchen or in the back. Servers and even bartenders have a very weak understanding of beer and aren't very helpful with recommendations if you're not sure what you're looking for.

S: There's generally a nice range of styles on tap along with a cider or two. They've been offering cask beer lately as well, which is a nice option. Pretty standard lineup without anything too crazy.

F: The food is generally pretty good. I've had a few excellent meals and a few average meals, but never a bad meal. The menu is quite large with lots of options, so it shouldn't be hard to find something you like. The entrees are a bit pricey for what you get, but the burgers and sandwiches are well-priced.

Overall, one of my favorite places to go for dinner and beer. Great atmosphere, fun vibe. Definitely worth checking out.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.5

I think it's probably worth a visit to the Albany Pump Station just to see the building and all of the cool relics of its past. Exposed steel beams, brick, and machinery make for an interesting ambiance.

The food is a basic American menu with burgers, fish & chips, steak, pasta, and so forth. It's not adventurous but it's good, pretty much what you'd expect from a better family-style chain restaurant (it's a big place and they're serving a lot of people so their hands are really tied, they couldn't put out anything else if they wanted to). Appetizers are roughly in the $8 to $12 range, and entrees run $14 to $24.

The beer follows a little along those lines, they're not doing anything crazy, they're just trying to please the masses, and fortunately for us the masses have opened their eyes from a few years ago. The choice of offerings is good (12 on tap, cask via handpump, and some special offerings in bottles), it's nicely balanced across a range of styles, and the quality is good. I've enjoyed every beer I've had. And I should note, they do do some interesting things as well: Oud Bruin, Imperial rye IPA, barrel aged beers, etc.

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Photo of ivegot3Dvision
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 3.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Food was delicious, and I had their award winning brown dry hopped on cask and that was FANTASTIC.

The draft lines were dirty though, I could taste it immediately.

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Photo of beerbrewerdan
3.88/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

The atmosphere is really cool. This building was a pump station back in the mid to late 1700s. There is plenty of exposed brick and old bits from the pump station days. Huge hooks hanging from the ceiling and old steel beams. Very large open ceiling spaces with a pleasing mix of the old (pump house) and the new (copper mash tanks and steel ferm tanks). I'd love to see the huge fireplace rolling in the winter.

The menu is pretty extensive. Burgers, ahi tuna, daily soups, fish and chips. A step above your average brewpub choices. One disappointment was the potato pancake. We ordered them as an appetizer after we saw them as a side with the Wurst platter. They looked like slightly larger McDonald's hash browns. The texture was a bit better than that, but no where near what I would consider an authentic potato pancake (HB in Cincy comes to mind). The sweet potato fries were a smart sub for the regular fries. These are good. The apple crisp desert was all apple and cinnamon and no crisp at all.

The waitstaff was friendly, very pleasant and prompt. Ours did not offer any beer knowledge but willingly brought 2 1oz samples when one in our party couldn't decide on her next beer.

I had the brown, pale, wit, porter and stout. I had a sip of the strong Belgian and was not impressed.

All in all I was very happy. Some of the beers fell toward average to below average while others were above. I really enjoyed the experience.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.88/5  rDev -4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

a pit stop coming from montreal to nyc. very consistent selection with a sample platter of all the beers... in 3 oz glasses for 6.50. i think it was eight. all were solid except the "belgian strong triple style ale". but they had a good blonde so that made up for it quite nice. the burger is great. the best sweet potatoe fries i've ever had. service was good. alt bier was actually appley german which was nice. and if you are a fan of american brown ale the kick ass brown is a must. decorum was sort of similar to an applebee's but with really really high ceilings. good place. would highly recommend.

didn't have much of a outside beer selection but the style did range.

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Photo of jwarner518
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Building is an old brick industrial building with high ceilings, exposed steel beams, with brewery exposed on first and second floor. Always enjoy my meal here. Typically have 10-12ish beers on tap with rotating selection and one cask. Can never go wrong with their Kick Ass Brown.

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Photo of DWolf
3.91/5  rDev -3.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4 | food: 4

CH Evans is located in what is known as the Albany Pump House. The old factory gives the brewery a pretty cool feel. Parking can be a bitch however, because it seems limited, despite the large number of parking spaces. Where are all the people for those parked cars? Anyway ...

The beer selection is pretty broad. So, they should have something for just about every taste. That's a big positive, because none of the beers are particular standouts. Many taste the same, and appear to be one-offs of similar recipes.

The food is pretty good. The prices, to me, seem a bit on the higher side, but the portions are generous. So, I am okay with that. Depending on how busy they are the service can be spotty.

Overall, it's worth a visit if you're in the area; but I wouldn't classify it as a destination place.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

If the Albany area had places like this when I lived there, I'm not so sure I would have moved away. A high ceiling and open space greats you at you walk in to the main bar area was pretty cool converted industrial space and the crane is cool too. I only tried two of their beers the first time I was there- the Grand Cru and the Belgian dubbel and though they were about average for a brewpub, nothing nocked my socks off. I reserve judgement for now on the rest of the lineup. Selection was somewhat small with about 5 or 6 choices. Service was friendly and efficient. I'll always stop here for a brew or two when I'm in the area and one day will try the food too.

Stopped in again a few weeks later and had an outstanding IPA and a pretty good meal and after taking a trip over to Bighouse, came back and had a nightcapper of the Dubbel with the brewer. He offered up some cask IPA which was mighty tasty too.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.5

visited 7/14 around 6pm.

the building seemed large and ample parking was available. the brick industrial feel of the building mixed with its proximity to railroad tracks, overpasses and water gave me deja vu.. and then i remembered that place in toledo. if this isn't a spitting image of maumee bay brewing company, i dont know what is. after my brain had ceased spinning, i entered the grandiose establishment.

easily the biggest, roomiest, and most deluxe brewpub i've ever encountered. large slabs of granite, tiled, create a funky texture on the floor. ceilings must be in excess of fifty feet, with lots of table space on the ground floor and on a balcony-type second floor which, when you're standing by the railing, feels pretty high up there. between the two floors exists a network of pipes and exposed lighting on thin beams. very cool. the bar is a long stretch of light wood and pounded steel in a half-octagon shape, accomodating 15-20. behind the bar is a hanging slide-board with available beers. the tanks are arranged on the second floor overlooking the bar, creating an effect as though the beer is flowing downhill.. from the enormous collection of silver vessels directly to the civilian dispensing station. despite the monstrosity of the open brewpub space, a few rooms for private parties extend off the main area. the only negative was the alcoholic sitting next to me at the bar. he would figure out with the help of the bartender what the strongest abv beers available were, order them, and chug. and i mean CHUG. made me gag just watching him. can't do anything about that stuff though, i imagine.

on my visit, i tried the sampler, a pint of pale ale, and a tulip of belgian strong ale. the sampler was a good value, $6 for (8) 3oz shotglasses full of beer. all beers were decent and a few were outstanding. the pale ale was hopped up west-coast style, which was a nice surprise for a brewpub offering mostly belgian and euro styles. the light beer was, well, light, but still drinkable. kolsch could use some work. porter was nice, the belgian strong was phenomenal.. a spot-on delicate clone of la fin du monde. the barleywine was tasty, but at 8% lacked some body and the booziness i find comfort in when sampling a big beer. finally, the grand cru was a wonderful take on the saison style with a bold peppery spice flavor and low on the alcohol (4 or 5%) which made for a nice, flavorful summer brew. everything tasted fresh and nothing strange was detected. all glassware was proper (nice tulips for the belgians). there were a few more styles which escape me now.. point being, there is something for everyone and a great selection.

the female bartender there was very friendly and had a decent attitude, but wasn't too adept at handling the demands of a happy hour crowd. we had to wait at least 5-10 minutes to order our first beer, despite the fact that she served two different groups of people who sauntered up to the bar beside us first. also, servicewise, the growler dealy here needs tweaking. someone told me they sell growlers, and they do, however it's the expensive, pewtered-handle fancy flip-top kind. because i neglected to bring my own in, it would have been $26 or something similar to bring a beer home to share with my friends. love my buds, but not THAT much. apparently they used to also offer standard glass, but it didn't seem to be the case on my visit. reinstate that program, please.

did not sample any food, although everyone else was and the selections looked adequate and varied.

when in albany, i will definitely return here and skip mahar's.

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Photo of RocketWidget
4/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

An all around decent brewpub. A huge place, two stories with the massive copper brewkettles being the focus of the restaurant. Reasonable prices. They make about 8 or so different beers, of which I was able to try all of with their sampler. They have a good selection of styles, and some of their beers are better than others (their brown ale vs. their light beer), but no beer is absolutely outstanding. Nevertheless, it’s hard to get a fresher pint than at a brewpub, so they have to get points for that. Food is quite good, if a little more expensive than I expected, with a good variety on the menu. If you are in the Albany area for a few days or more, you should at least try to make a stop at the Pumpstation.

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C.H. Evans Brewing Company in Albany, NY
3.83 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
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