If looks are deceiving, consider me fooled. Route 6 Tap House in Mahopac threw me for a loop. The roadside pub-looking building is nothing fancy, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Inside, it’s full of cloth-covered tables, high tops, and a bar that fills up quickly when the workday ends. It’s clearly a neighborhood favorite where everybody knows your name, but as an outsider, my mind immediately stereotyped it as a local watering hole; I honestly wasn’t sure if the food would be worthwhile.
First, the truth. It is a local watering hole, and a damn good one with 36 beers on tap. There’s a solid mix of common craft brews, rarities, and a handful of generic brands. They do the occasional tap takeover, growler fills, beers are inexpensive at $4-$6 each, and at happy hour (3 pm – 7 pm, Tuesday-Friday; 2 pm – 4 pm, Saturday) they’re buy one, get one free. It’s also one of the few beer bars I’ve come across with Heineken on draft using the BrewLock system, which is basically a recycled plastic keg with a bladder that holds the beer and keeps it free of air, CO², light, and gasses, resulting in a fresh, perfectly carbonated pint.
Bartender Eddie-O pours a pint
Not enough beer geekiness for you? Route 6 doubles as a small operation brewery called Putnam Brewery, using hops from the nearby Adirondack Hops, making it a hyper-local operation. In the taproom, a few of their signature beers are available at any given time, like their Old Put Porter, a creamy, dark beer with chocolate and coffee notes; George Washington’s Cold Spring Brown Ale, a standard, but more carbonated version of a brown; and if you’re seeking something hoppier, they brew an unfiltered New England style session IPA that’s a winner. It’s orange juice-like hazy with tropical and citrus fruit notes that make it easy to want to guzzle.
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If you’re drinking, food is necessary, but this is the part I wasn’t sure about. Come to find out, the food and house beers are made by Dano Maffucci, whose parents, Dan and Pat, own the place. Dano is a CIA grad, who formerly cheffed it up at Global Gatherings in Hartsdale and 12 Grapes in Peekskill. At Route 6, he’s bringing a mix of pub fare, raw bar selections, and Asian flair to the menu. You’ll see — and hopefully order — big, beefy, cheesy, perfectly cooked burgers served with a side of fresh cut fries, but next to you there might be people sucking back freshly shucked $1 oysters, shrimp, or steamed clams, all from Montauk Seafood.
Rounding out the ever-changing menu are Asian spins on tuna and salmon, grilled steaks, buttermilk fried chicken, and flatbreads. One dish that’s a must is Dano’s version of Thai mussels, a big heaping bowl of bivalves in a sweet/spicy broth of coconut milk, ginger, chili flakes, and fish sauce, served with grilled bread made for sopping up every last drop.
If you’re cruising Route 6 and you’re near, stop in and order up. Deception isn’t always a bad thing if it leads to a pleasant surprise.
Route 6 Tap House
728 US-6, Mahopac