March 30, 2017
As vital as we know the various breweries and brewpubs are to the burgeoning Hudson Valley beer scene, the one immutable fact is – they can’t do it all by themselves. These great brewers need other voices out there, other channels for showcasing the great products they’re putting in front of discerning craft beer drinkers across the region.
Craft pubs are that secondary channel. And although these specialty business establishments have been around for longer than the local beer scene itself, they now have an all-new raison de etre; to be a main outlet for the numerous Hudson Valley brewers who are doing all of these fantastic things with malt and hops.
Due to their specialty niche and the corresponding crowd that goes with it (let’s face it, most beer drinkers still favor “Big Beer”), craft pubs tend to be small, and tucked into out-of-the-way nooks and crannies of the business neighborhoods they inhabit. One such establishment opened a mere seven months ago in Sloatsburg, NY, but has very quickly solidified itself as perhaps the go-to craft pub in the lower Hudson Valley.
Seven Lakes Station thrust open its front door to customers for the first time on September 17, 2016, and has been gaining public favor and creating a certain “legend” for itself ever since. Go in, grab yourself one of the 7 or 8 stools along their sleek bar, have a conversation with co-owner Martijn Mollet (first name pronounced Mar-TAYN),
and you’ll be regaled with a plethora of knowledge about beer brands and styles as never before.
Although small, as many craft pubs are, the notion of Seven Lakes Station’s space being cramped or limited disappears into the bar-side conversation that seems to take place almost organically between owners, staff, and customers. Hang out there for just a short while, and before you know it, you know everybody’s name at the bar, where they live, and what their favorite beer style is.
In fact, the culture of Seven Lakes Station is so mellow and so inclusive that you shouldn’t be surprised if a regular walks in while you’re there, pops open a can or two of a latest specialty offering, and shares samples with you and everyone else at the bar. This is the beauty that Martijn and his partner Jamie Lovelace have quickly and effortlessly built along Sloatsburg’s main business thoroughfare.
The pub’s 14-beer rotation of tap offerings are divided into two main categories – a collection of local craft beers, and a set of specialty brews, the latter of which most often features 2 or 3 Belgian beers, as perhaps a tribute to Martijn’s place of birth. All the beer on their board is available for growler fills, but besides just that, a walk down the hall toward the rest room reveals several coolers with a vast collection of specialty cans and bottles, all available for takeout as one-offs, or as a build-your-own six pack.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, you’ll often be treated to live music from local musicians as you quaff your beer, with musical styles that run the gamut from blues to folk to reggae. And in addition to the beer and music, if you’re feeling a little peckish, they’ve got a small but tasty collection of foodstuffs available (including pretzels, cheese and charcuterie) that will really hit the spot and set up the palate nicely for your next pour.
Always smiling and positive, Martijn and Jamie create a special and memorable experience for customers, taking the time to get to know you, and fostering a sense of family among the regulars and non-regulars alike. It’s not hard to see that SLS will be around for a long time to come, doing its part in promoting all the amazing things that are going on out there in craft beer land.
Drop in on them the next time you get a chance. And if you haven’t been there before, tell them the Beer Snob sent you.
“Veni. Vidi. Bibi.”