When it comes to New York beers, Brooklyn and Manhattan often get the spotlight. But those urban areas don’t always have spaces large enough for experimentation and expanded beer offerings, not to mention brewery tours and brewpubs. In the Hudson Valley, brewers have have created award winning beers and built idyllic spots to enjoy them in.
The Hudson Valley has a rich history of brewing, and summer is one of the best times to take in the suds. The breathtaking green, lush views of the Valley are best enjoyed with a local cold one found found among the breweries dotting what New York’s Senator Charles Schumer calls the “Beer Trail.” The area has also been dubbed the “Napa Valley of Beer,” as it works to bring back large-scale hop growing to the Valley.
Some of our Favorite stops:
People have been brewing beer in Newburgh since before America was America. That’s a tradition Newburgh Brewing Company is proud to be a part of. Found at 88 South Colden Street in Newburgh, New York, Newburgh features at least 11 brews on tap. Here’s a list of bars and restaurants that have carried Newburgh since June 1, 2013. They hope to be selling online soon as well.
Brewed and bottled right in the Hudson Valley, the beer at Keegan Ales is rich in flavor and heritage. It was founded in 2003, brewing its first batch of beers on Aug. 1. They set out hand-selling beer to local restaurants and bars, but by the summer of 2004, their beer was available in 12 ounce bottles. Keegan Ales has gone on to receive many more awards, including Best Brewery in the Hudson Valley and Best Brewery in New York State in 2009. Visit the brewery at 20 Saint James Street in Kingston, New York.
The philosophy behind Rushing Duck is to be constantly forward thinking and innovative. They promise to never compromise or cut corners. Rushing Duck Brewing Company is located at 1 Battiato Lane in Chester, New York. Its tasting room is open on Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and from 12 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
About five beers are brewed year-round at what is billed as “Westchester’s only craft brewery.” As for the beer, the “Freshchester” Pale Ale has a clean bitterness with a woodsy aroma. The Sun Block Wheat Beer is a Belgian-style wheat that tastes like cream soda, and the Captains Reserve Imperial I.P.A. is hoppy with a citrus taste. Captain Lawrence Brewing is housed at 444 Saw Mill River Road in Elmsford, New York.
This is a brewpub that showcases artisanal craft beer and carefully chosen guest draughts. But the food is great too, made with fresh, local ingredients! Try this brewpub in its new location on the Riverfront in Peekskill, New York.
Hyde Park Brewing Company in Hyde Park, New York, brews Belgian Ales, Lagers and Wheats. With eight beers to taste on tap, you can enjoy happy hour and live music or let it play host to your special event. Established in 1995, Hyde Park Brewing Co. has been brewing ever since.
Beer Not Your Thing?
See the beginning of Tuthilltown Spirits’ Hudson Baby Bourbon — from the grinding to bottling operations — before it ends up behind the bar at places like the Brandy Library and Char No. 4. Tour the distillery, and sample the unaged corn whiskey, a throwback to “white lightning” of yore ($15). Stock your liquor cabinet with bottles of the Heart of the Hudson Vodka and New York State whiskey.
Take a free tour of Harvest Spirits, third-generation apple-farmer Derek Grout’s award-winning distillery. Try the aptly named Core Vodka, found on the drink menu at the Farm on Adderley, or the newly released, quad-distilled Cornelius Murray Apple Jack, aged one year. Sober up with a bag of apples and some cider doughnuts from the farm stand on your way out.
Sign up for one of master distiller Jason Grizzanti’s three-and-a-half-hour winter-weekend classes ($50–$75) at the Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery. Beginners load fermented mash into a 210-liter copper still during a fruit-brandy series, while more advanced classes focus on whiskey-making and include a technical talk by Grizzanti. Enjoy the complimentary lunch of homemade pizzas and sandwiches in Warwick’s converted barn café.