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Pizza and Beer

January 31, 2018

Mental note. Don’t schedule a morning meeting the day after an Official Yelp Event. That’s apparently the recipe for a super duper late blog post.

Last night, I gathered with about fifty of my closest Yelp friends at Great Flats Brewing in Schenectady to get a tour of their operation, meet the owners, and try some of their beers. There is a lot of good stuff going on in that converted tire store on Lafayette Street, from using New York state grown hops, buying malted grain from a place in downtown Albany, and repurposing old dairy equipment.

One thing I didn’t get to try was their root beer, which I heard great things about. But I’ve enjoyed their dark and grainy dunkel, the aromatic double IPA, and even their novelty cinnamon toast crunch stout. That last one was a bit unexpected, but I heard from Scooter at Lupulin Events that it was worth a try.

What Great Flats Brewing does not have is a kitchen. So when it came to the feeding of the Yelp crew, we had to look elsewhere. The obvious choice was pizza. The question was, which one?

Schenectady is a strong pizza city. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The average level of pizza in and around the Electric City is the highest I’ve found in the Capital Region. And that’s why the first Tour de NY Style Pizza Slice is going to be held there come March.

But slices are different than pies.
And delivery is another issue entirely.

So the answer was to look for a good place that does delivery as close to Great Flats Brewing as humanly possible. Which really only left me with one option. Nico’s. As for what to get, that I left up to the Yelp community itself. When people submitted their RSVP requests, I asked what they typically ordered on their pizza when ordering delivery.

The answers ran the gamut.

Surprisingly, there were a lot of pies that didn’t contain any meat. There were a lot of combinations and permutations of peppers, onions, and mushrooms. The meat that came into play the most was sausage. There was only one white pie, one buffalo chicken pie, and one anchovy pie.

Perhaps the strangest combination was pineapple and jalapeño. Although I tried it and it was delicious.

Even though Steve N. was not present, I also made sure to order his signature pizza. For those who do not know, that’s a combination of bacon, ham, and jalapeño peppers. And last night it converted a bunch of new people to the cult of Steve N.

That said, the very first pie to get consumed was the buffalo chicken. The white broccoli was second to go. And I’m proud to say that even though anchovies are reviled by many, that this funky, fishy, and salty pizza was fully consumed.

Nico’s, by the way, did an excellent job at not just delivering hot fresh pizzas, but also in their construction. The end crust was puffy and delicious. The toppings were plentiful and well distributed. The task was daunting and they rose to the challenge.

Great Flats Brewing also gained a lot of new fans last night. Including from one fellow who had never stepped foot in Schenectady before. That’s the power of beer right there. It can bring people out of their comfort zones and explore some of the bounty in distant corners of the Capital Region.

Which makes me think of the Great Nor’easter Beer Fest. That too is coming to Schenectady on February 10. The Yelp ticket giveaway is over. But once again, beer will hopefully bring people out to The Electric City for an afternoon of meeting local brewers and brewery owners.

I’ll be there representing Yelp. If I don’t see you there, hopefully you have the FLBs Tour de NY Style Pizza Slice on your calendar for March 17. Yes, I know it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Consider it counter-programming. If you want to wear green, go ahead. If you want to indulge in beers afterwards, I can’t blame you. And it just so happens I know a cool little brewery nearby.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2018 2:56 pm

    Nice. I have officially received my five minutes of fame.

  2. January 31, 2018 3:31 pm

    Steve, I am one of the converts to your pizza. It was amazing! I never would have ordered ham, bacon, and jalepeno peppers. When I saw it I knew I had to try it. I am so glad that I did.

    • Brian S permalink
      February 3, 2018 10:46 am

      Same boat. I was guilted in to taking a slice and was very happy I did!

  3. KingOfBeacon permalink
    February 1, 2018 12:03 pm

    Schenectady has high quality NY style pizza? I guess I finally have to go there and check it out. I miss good pizza :(

    • February 1, 2018 2:33 pm

      Are you going to join us on the tour?

      • KingOfBeacon permalink
        February 1, 2018 10:28 pm

        It’s on a Saturday so no, not possible. Someone has to keep the world turning.

      • February 1, 2018 11:38 pm

        Pizza keeps the world turning.

      • KingOfBeacon permalink
        February 1, 2018 11:45 pm

        That’s a Bob Ross level metaphor. Well done.

  4. Ben permalink
    February 1, 2018 5:12 pm

    Since it is on the 17th, count me in! Probably with my wife.

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