Mad Jack Brewing Co.: Brew Review by Tim Walton

Meet Tim Walton, the mastermind behind @TimsNYKitchen, an Instagram site with over 12,000 followers. Tim travels, eats and drinks his way through CapNY and beyond, and we asked him to pick his favorite brewery / restaurant. So — drum roll, please — here’s Tim’s pick: Mad Jack Brewing Co. in Schenectady. Read on to find out why Tim’s mad about Mad Jack.

The History

Mad Jack Brewing Co.

Mad Jack Brewing Co. is Schenectady’s first craft brewery, located in Schenectady’s beautiful and historic Stockade District. It opened in 2011. The brewery is tied together with The Van Dyck. This charming building has hosted many wonderful talents, including great jazz musicians such as Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson, Roy Eldridge, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Brubeck, Mose Allison, Marian McPartland, Coleman Hawkins, Hank Jones and Thelonious Monk.

Patio at Mad Jack Brewing Co.

If the walls could speak I think they would ramble on forever and a day about all the great times and bad times it has experienced throughout its history. The Van Dyck opened in 1947 by Harlem refugee Marvin Friedman. And since 2009, has been owned by the McDonald family.

The Beer


Take a seat at the bar and one will find that they have 10+ house taps at any given time. The Master Brewer, Brian Conley puts a lot of love into the brews he creates and is passionate about what he produces. He’s not afraid to try new things with his ‘Mad Science’ line of brews and collaborations with many local bars/breweries. Some of my favorite’s brews are the Fightin’ Irwin IPA, Mohawk Sunset and Electric Hefe. The Fightin’ Irwin IPA actually has a true fighting story with a happy ending. The beer is named after two McDonald cousins that would fight but shortly after, would patch things up over a beer. I think it’s great that beer can have the positive influence of binding people together even when things aren’t perfect.

The Food

Chicken sandwich

Mad Jack Brewing Co. offers some wonderful eats to enjoy as well. They recently have revamped their menu and there’s something for everyone. I recently tried their new buttermilk crispy chicken sandwich. This sandwich consists of buttermilk-soaked tenders, floured and fried with bacon, lettuce, tomato, spicy pepper jack cheese & chipotle mayo for that extra oomph.

The Community

Inside dining area at Mad Jack Brewing Co.

Their staff, from bartenders to cooks, are super friendly and always go above and beyond to assist. Mad Jack supports many positive local efforts throughout the community and is willing to help out whenever they are able. If you haven’t visited here, I strongly recommend it. If you have, you know what I write to be true. Keep your eyes peeled for more articles about local breweries, as I sip and taste my way through New York’s Cap Region.

Connect With Mad Jack Brewing Company