The Empire State has become a world-renowned destination for farm-based, small-batch craft beverages utilizing local ingredients to enhance everything from ales and ciders to spirits and meads
NEW YORK - April 16, 2018 – New York State’s craft beverage industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, with unique and imaginative offerings being produced statewide. New York State now has more than 400 breweries alone, the highest number since 1876. Nationwide, New York State ranks first for number of hard cider producers, second in craft distillers, third in breweries and fourth in wineries. Capitalizing on the growing interest, craft beverage producers are building tasting rooms and offering tours, inviting the public to visit their operations and sample their beverages.
"New York's craft beverage industry has been booming in every region, complemented by a meteoric rise in quality and selection,” Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “This is an exciting time to visit New York State, both for craft beverage enthusiasts and those who would like to develop their palate for wine, beer, cider or spirits. Nearly every corner of the state has official beverage trails, making it easier than ever to sampler some of the world’s best beverages along with our state’s great history, attractions and world class scenery.”
To navigate the rise in experiences across the state, New York has dozens of beverage trails that make it easy to sip and sample the beverages of your choice. Nestled among the state’s iconic mountains, rolling farmlands and 50,000-plus miles of picturesque lakes, rivers and sea shores, these trails neighbor the historic sites, quaint towns and attractions that make them idyllic destinations. This summer, while enjoying New York State’s burgeoning beverage trails, travelers can also tap into a calendar full of outdoor events and warm-weather activities.
Recent craft beverage developments across the state range from a new meadery in the Hudson Valley to a trolley beverage tour in Cooperstown. Here’s a sampling of what’s new in New York State craft beverages:
Capital – Saratoga
- Albany Distilling Company, the Capital City’s first distillery since Prohibition, recently held the grand opening of its new downtown facility on Livingston Avenue. The new location features a tasting room, accompanied by a full bar offering New York-made spirits, cider, wine and beer. Patrons receive a full craft beverage experience, including prints and posters from New York State, slate drink coasters from Queens, and whiskey flights served on maple cutting boards made in the Adirondacks.
While there: Visitors can tour the New York State Capitol, check out renowned museums like the New York State Museum and the Albany Institute of History & Art, enjoy a show at the Palace Theater or The Egg, and take a boat excursion along the Hudson River.
Central New York
Cooperstown has two new venues for craft beverage aficionados:
- Leatherstocking Trolley will be offering tours along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, which includes breweries, wineries, a distillery and a historic cider mill. The trolley also offers wine & dine options, historic tours and charters for special events.
- Red Shed Brewery, which has been handcrafting local brews in Cherry Valley, just opened a year-round tap room just outside the Village of Cooperstown, featuring live music, trivia and open mic nights. A farm brewery, Red Shed features 100% New York State hops and flavors such as chocolate, caramel and citrus to add subtle tones to its 2018 portfolio.
While there: Best known for its National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown also offers a great collection of American and Native American art at the Fenimore Art Museum, opera and other events at the intimate Glimmerglass Theater. For those who prefer outdoors there is boating, beaches and watersports on pretty Lake Oswego.
- The Irish Mafia Brewing Co (Bloomfield), a small batch microbrewery creating ales, lagers and IPAs, offers traditional bar food with an Irish spin such as poutine with corned beef. Its name is derived from the tale of an Irish brewer kidnapped for his recipes and each brew is introduced with a story linked to its Irish heritage.
While there: Local attractions include the Antique Wireless Museum, with exhibits like the first cell phone and Titanic Radio Room; and Lazy Acre Alpacas (call ahead), a 175-year-old working farm with more than 60 alpacas, vintage barns and a gift shop. Lake Canandaigua is about a 15-minute drive; the urban attractions of Rochester are about 35 minutes away.
- Cousins Revolution Ale Works (Wappingers Falls) uses local hops, strawberries, vanilla beans and other ingredients to create distinctive craft ales, stouts and dark beers with a Revolutionary War theme. The brewery offers mini-kegs directly, and its website lists outlets and restaurants selling its brews.
While there: Hiking trails abound at nearby Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve and Stony Kill Environmental Center; Poughkeepsie and Beacon are each about a 15-minute drive. Kayaking, wineries and historic sites are all within easy reach throughout the Hudson Valley.
- Plan Bee Farm Brewery (Poughkeepsie), reopening for the season in May, offers craft beer made using 100% New York State-grown ingredients, including dandelions, rose hips and violets. The brewery operates an on-site farmstand on a limited schedule and welcomes visitors to explore its 25-acre farm, with plans to open a new tasting room this spring.
While there: Visitors can catch a show at the Bardavon Opera House, explore the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, walk around the 200-acre Locust Grove Estate and enjoy Poughkeepsie’s lively River District, where an elevator connects to the Walkway over the Hudson pedestrian bridge with spectacular views of the Hudson River.
- Sloop Brewing Company (East Fishkill), which currently operates a tasting room and brewery set in the Vosburgh Orchards in Elizaville, is opening a second larger brewery location this summer at the former IBM campus. It will feature a kitchen with a brick pizza oven and offer local beers, foods and live music.
While there: Nearby, catch a historic reenactment at the Van Wyck Homestead Museum, set in the Dutch Colonial house of farmer Cornelius Van Wyck, who played an important role in the Revolutionary War. Families can cool off at SplashDown Beach Water Park.
- Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction), which dates to 1913, is introducing Treasury Cider, a handcrafted hard cider named for Henry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the farm’s first owner. Now run by Henry’s grandson Josh, the farm offers a tasting room, pick-your-own seasonal produce and a shop known for its fresh donuts and goods from local vendors.
While there: The farm is 15 minutes from Beacon, with farm-to-table restaurants, craft beverage pubs, boutique hotels and art galleries. Nearby, the Dia:Beacon art museum showcases large scale installations in the landmarked 1929 Nabisco factory on the Hudson River.
For a mappable list of beverage trails, cideries, distilleries, wineries and breweries, sortable by region and city, visit:
- Cideries and Distilleries: https://www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/food/cideries-and-distilleries/
- Breweries: https://www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/food/breweries/
- Wineries: https://www.iloveny.com/things-to-do/food/wineries/
About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions feature landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the largest park in the continental U.S. in the Adirondacks and treasures such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester. New York State offers diverse activities for all: outdoor fun- snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, fishing, hiking and boating, year-round festivals and exploring the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies. Visitors also enjoy the fine cuisine, beverage trails and farm-to-table fresh foods.
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