Sunset Over Seneca     gray logo           

Story and Photography by Chris Poh

The front porch of my adolescence offered some striking westerly views of the ridges and foothills of New Jersey’s Appalachian Highlands. Being caught up in the usual amount of teenage angst, I rarely noticed this impressive scene, but my parents certainly took advantage of the vista. Having spent a good portion of their lives in the city, they were seldom privy to big skies. So on those warm clear summer evenings they would trade in the recliner for a nylon mesh aluminum folding lawn chair, and forego the usual nightly ritual of televised game shows in order to watch one of Earths longest running spectacles—sunset.

On occasion my father would indulge his senses even further by requesting that I deliver a bottle of either Miller High Life or Pabst Blue Ribbon carefully poured into his favorite German pilsner glass. In time, I would also come to delight in the sublime nature of suds at sundown. Not that I discount the possibility of achieving a similar state of  bliss at sunrise, but with my propensity for being around for last call, experiencing that particular consequence of planetary rotation is highly improbable. So my appreciation for the observations of Copernicus will remain mostly an evening affair. And it was on such an evening during this past July that I was reminded of why my parents spent those countless hours on our front porch. 

My wife and I, along with our friend Don, had just completed a tour of Finger Lakes Distilling, and the owner Brian McKenzie recommended that we might want to catch a pint at the recently opened Two Goats Brewing in nearby Hector, New York. Like the distillery, this brewpub is positioned perfectly on the eastern slope above Seneca Lake. The appealing rustic structure that houses the brewery and bar was built from an old barn that was dismantled and moved to its current location. Unfortunately, during our visit the in-house beers were still not available to the general public, but there was an ample supply of quality microbrews. Since then, Two Goats has begun to sell their own product, along with the other domestic craft brews. Currently they are featuring an IPA, cream ale and an oatmeal stout. 

The bar at Two Goats Brewing in Hector, NY as seen in American Public House Review
A lovely rustic ambiance

At some point during our turn at the bar I made the unusual decision to abandon the security of the high ground and venture out to the back deck. A short time later I was joined by the rest of my party, and George and Cathy, friends that had driven in from Ithaca. Even though it was overcast and rain seemed likely, we opted to remain outdoors.

At approximately 7:00pm a single shaft of light sliced through the grey cover illuminating the surface of Seneca Lake. It was as if a spotlight had been turned on signaling the beginning of the play. For the next thirty minutes there was this magnificent solar lit dance between the water and sky. And when that dance was finally over, and the stage was once again cloaked in darkness, I thought of summers long ago, and I raised my glass to good friends, good beer—and great sunsets! 

sunset over Seneca Laks as seen in American Public House Review
Sunset over Seneca Lake

Interior at Two Goats Brewing In Hector, NY as seen in American Public House Review
Could  there be a place you would rather be?

taps at Two Goats Brewing in Hector, NY as seen in American Public House Review
Besides these fine ales, Two Goats now offers its own brews as well.


5027 State Rt. 414

Hector, New York




Seneca Lake sunset 1 as seen in American Public House Review

Seneca Lake sunset 4 as seen in American Public House Review

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