The strange object appeared to have fallen from space, hurtling through the air before thrusting its staff into the earth like a Gold Rush speculator. It had chains and a basket and a silver pole, and someone had affixed a bunch of Captain Lawrence stickers to it.
Was it space junk? The flag of a conquering Viking splinter group? Soviet spy gear, perhaps?
“I don’t know what it is,” says Andrew Hansenfrom Bedford Hills, as he sipped the Grapefruit Pail, an American pale ale brewed with grapefruits and dry hopped with peels. “I feel like I should.”
His pal, Andrew Cascudo of West Hartford, Connecticut, is pretty confident he can identify the foreign contraption. “Is it for Frisbee golf?”
Cemented into the beer patio’s lawn, the Frisbee golf target was given to the brewery by the team it sponsors—“Team Captain Lawrence” competes in Frisbee golf tournaments (instead of whacking a golf ball toward the hole, Frisbee golfers fling a disc at a target) up and down the coast from October through April.
“It’s a practice basket for putting,” says Bill Newman of Yorktown, the team manager and, in his words, “keg rustler.” “It’s a thank you gift to the brewery.”
Newman says he may provide “loaner discs”—Frisbees you can borrow at the bar—so people can practice their Frisbee golf stroke, and have a few laughs while doing so.
The practice basket is the latest addition designed to make the Captain Lawrence tasting room, and adjacent
beer patio, the ultimate in adult recess. As if sampling the likes of the Imperial India Pale Ale, the Captain’s Kolsch and the Liquid Gold weren’t enough to command your attention, there is bocce, Frisbee golf and, at times, cornhole—there’s even a competition in the latter at the brewery May 30. (If you’re unfamiliar with cornhole, ask someone south of the Mason Dixon Line.)
Beer-friendly diversions aside, some prefer simply dropping a blanket on the lawn somewhere in the shade and hanging out, such as the growing crowd gathered to celebrate the birthday of Ali Pierce of Harrison. “I’ve got lots of friends and family coming,” says the birthday girl happily.
The group got together at the brewery for friend Henry Fanelli of Stamford’s birthday a few weeks ago, and had so much fun they decided to come again. “It’s nice weather, so we figured we’d sit and have a couple beers and a hot dog,” says Henry, who prefers the small batch selections, which these days include the malty Baltic Porter and a German dunkelweiss known as Rosa Pfefferkorn. “I try to sample those whenever I can—it’s nice to see what they can do with beer.”
The setting is perfect, but the two babies the group has brought—“future husband and wife”, notes a woman in their party—don’t seem to be playing along. “They’re both in bad moods,” says Henry.
Moods are not an issue for the Vlad Gogishparty. Vlad, of White Plains, too is marking his birthday at the brewery—he’s 28, if you’re scoring at home, and celebrating with a lively batch of friends. He was under the impression that Captain Lawrence still was not charging for samples—the policy changed several weeks ago—but said he was fine paying a few bucks to sample his favorite beers, which include the Liquid Gold Belgian-style ale.
“Quality beer speaks for itself,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Andrews continue to eye the Frisbee golf target, as well as the bocce court.
“I’m used to playing bocce on a lawn or a gravel road,” says Andrew Cascudo as he sips the Rosa Pfefferkorn (that sounds like a girl Dwight Schrute would fall in love with, doesn’t it?). “I never played on a professional court before.”
The toughest decisions at the brewery used to be deciding which beer to drink. These days, it’s what game to play along with your beer, and we have Bill Newman and his Frisbee putting basket, in part, to blame for that.
“It’s another thing for people to do,” says Bill, “while having a beer sample.”
Captain Lawrence Brewing, at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, is open Wednesday through Friday (4-8 p.m.), Saturday (12-6 p.m.) and Sunday (12-5). The author is paid by Captain Lawrence, partially in Freshchester Pale Ale.