Friends, Football, Hiking and History on the Banks of the Allegheny
All on a Fantastic Fall Day in the Southern Tier
by Joe Wright
Downtown Olean, NY
A couple weeks ago we received a warm and open invitation from Jarrad, the Marketing and Social Media Director at Four Mile Brewing, to take our travels to Olean, NY and experience first hand all that was happening there. This was a sure no-brainer for us. For me, it would be my third voyage to this storied location. But for Greg, it was his first visit to Four Mile so he was really looking forward to it.
I’ve become to know Cattaraugus County pretty well with my ties to Ellicottville, so this was a great day to head south and tour with Greg.
We rolled into Olean shortly after 11am on a brisk and beautiful fall Sunday and headed straight for Gargoyle Park to pick up the Allegheny River Trail. The trail is a 5.6 mile loop located in the Town of Allegheny, City of Olean and the St. Bonaventure campus and skirts the Allegheny River for portions of the trail. This 10 foot wide multi-use asphalt surface is designed for walking, running, biking or cross-country skiing.
I was introduced to the Allegheny River Trail three years ago by Joe Higgins, a local Olean businessman and catalyst behind launching the trail, thanks to my involvement as a committee member for the Ellicottville – Great Valley Trail project we are trying to get off the ground in the Ellicottville – Great Valley area of Cattaraugus County. This would serve as my first time back on the trail in three years since my walk with Mr. Higgins. What took me so long to return I wonder?
We hit the trail as bikers were in full force getting in some late season riding which was great to see. We skirted the river for close to a mile where we ran into two couples on foot who were a little lost and looking for directions to find ice cream nonetheless. It turns out one couple was from Lockport, the other from Hamburg, were taking in the Olean area for the weekend while staying in local bed and breakfast. We exchanged to pleasant small talk about their stay in Olean and then realized the time was approaching noon. So it was time to circle back to head over to Four Mile to catch up with Jarrad.
Gargoyle Park & Allegheny River Trail
The drive from Gargoyle Park to Four Mile is at most ten minutes. The brewery is tucked at the end of E. Greene St., a blue-collar residential neighborhood where a lot of industrial history still remains. Greg did his homework the night before and knew we were headed to the location of a former pre-prohibition brewery, which further piqued his interest as he parked next to this huge stone edifice.
The Four Mile Brewing location is packed rich with history. In 1907, Henry Sigel and the Olean Brewing Company, built a state of the art brewery at the corner of Greene and Barry Streets. Strategically located for logistical reasons along the Allegheny River and right along the Pittsburgh, Shawmut and Northern Railroad. Olean Brewing Company would operate for 13 years until its demise due to prohibition.
We arrived to a bustling Four Mile during its Sunday Brunch rush as we rolled in shortly after 12pm. Its brunch menu is very reasonably priced with an ample food offering complemented with a popular mimosa and bloody mary bar. According to Executive Chef Aaron Tierson, the Sunday brunch business continues to grow each week.
Jarrad Our, Four Mile’s Director of Marketing and Social Media, pleasantly greeted and welcomed the two of us. He is a really cool guy and told us he really liked what we are all about! A pat on the back is always well received.
As things began to calm down a little, he turned us over to Chef Aaron who was able to get away from the kitchen to provide the VIP tour. We learned Aaron is a military veteran who served in the Marines which means a lot to us so we made sure to thank him for his service.
Chef Aaron also told us that he keeps things local, something near and dear to our hearts! Aaron said they get horseradish from FatRoot (http://www.fatrootllc.com), sauces from Burning Asphalt (http://www.burningasphalt.com/), maple syrup and bison meat from Maple Ridge Bison Ranch (http://www.mapleridgebisonranch.com/). They also get maple syrup for their Maple Brown Ale from Sprauge’s Maple Farms in Portville NY.
Chef Aaron mentioned that they have some new items on the menu and his take on the food is a “higher end gastropub feel” while experimenting with new items and seasonal features.
The outdoor set-up at Four Mile does the trick and is pet friendly. Pictured below is their new beer garden that was opened in 2018.
Off the back in the former Olean Brewing Company complex sits additional old warehouse space now used by Four Mile for cold storage and a soon-to-be canning operation. Currently they outsource the canning of their Allegheny IPA and Polynomial Pale Ale (another personal favorite). You can find these canned offerings readily available in any local Consumer Beverages also. Keep an eye on Four Mile as they continue to strengthen their IPA and Pale Ale presence which has begun to put them on the map within the area at the retail and restaurant levels in WNY.
Also within the same warehouse space is Allegheny Adventures, owned and operated by Jess Anderson and Nicholas Bohdanowycz. Allegheny Adventures is nestled in the perfect location just steps from the Allegheny River. So grab a kayak, drop in down the road and drift down the river for a draft at Four Mile. We’re definitely putting this on the to do list for next summer.
To find out more information on Allegheny go to their Facebook page here:
New Beer Garden – Opened 2018
Allegheny Adventures – Rent a Kayak and Drift for a Draft on The Allegheny
After a quick walk through the production area with Aaron, we concluded the tour and headed back inside to taste, grab some grub and settle into the second floor dining and events room to watch the Bills play at Houston. On a huge projection TV I might add.
My tasting line-up went as follows:
Polynomial Pale Ale 5.7%, 55IBU
Crooked Creek 5.5%
Mango Wheat 5.4%
Unfurl Porter 5.0%
Note: I highly recommend the Clouded Judgement New England Style IPA. It was not available during our visit, but currently served at Finnerty’s Tap Room in Ellicottville.
Greg’s tasting line-up went as follows:
Pre-Prohibition – Light bodied cream ale 4.6%
Green Strett IPA – Hints of lemon and pineapple 5.5%
Fig Stout – Eight varieties of malts, figs and warrior hops 7.7%
Unfurl Porter 5.0% – Notes of brown sugar, molasses, caramel, coffee and chocolate
Greg’s First Trip to Four Mile Brewing – A Home Run For Sure
As the tasting wrapped up, our food arrived just in time. Greg went with the Fire Cracker Burger – Grilled steak burger topped with ghost pepper cheese, sautéed fresh jalapenos and onions, hot pepper relish and mayo on a pretzel roll. I opted for The Four Mile – Pastrami, caramelized onions, smoked horseradish aioli and aged NY white cheddar. Piled between toasted rye bread. Both items hit the spot as we settled in to watch the first half of the Bills vs. Houston game on their large projection screen.
As the first half wound down, Chef Aaron joined us upstairs to hang and watch the Bills game after punching out after a long week. Aaron, a life long native of Olean, mentioned he was on his way to Talty’s, his favorite neighborhood bar to watch the second half. So we said our good byes to Chef Aaron, Erin our server and Jarrad to make the trek back north up Route 16. We walked out of Four Mile for a few concluding pictures and hopped back in the car. As we left Olean and turned on the radio broadcast, the consensus was obvious that we clearly can say we made some new and great friends at Four Mile thanks to the warm hospitality of Jarrad, Aaron and Erin.
Check it out:
Four Mile Brewing
202 East Green St.
Olean, NY 14760
Head Brewer: Craig Clark
Rest of the Crew: Jaye Beattie, Nick Bohdanowycz
Additional Pics From Four Mile Brewing:
Second Floor Dining & Events Room
The Four Mile – Pastrami on Rye with Caramelized Onions and Side of Homemade Chips- Big Thumbs Up!
First Floor Main Tasting Room at Four Mile Brewing