New York (Middle Hudson Valley Region) Beercation Suggestions
With 320 breweries and counting in New York State, beer hunters and beer enthusiasts alike are making the trek to experience it all for themselves. According to the Brewers Association, New York is the 5th largest beer producing state in the country. Only California, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Oregon are ahead of them.
DID YOU KNOW?
“National Geographic Traveler named the Hudson Valley one of the top 20 must-see destinations in the world.” – according to Hudson Valley Tourism Inc.
We recently focused on the middle area of the Hudson River Valley for a little beercation getaway for our wedding anniversary. It was wonderful. We took our time and treated each day like a relaxed Sunday Funday. We think you will enjoy doing a similar excursion but do certainly make your trip your own. Helpful resources are at the bottom of this article so you can see even more ideas on things to do when visiting this region.
Suarez Family Brewery
2278 U.S. 9, Hudson, NY, 12534
A newcomer to the New York State brewery lineup is Suarez Family Brewery who opened its taproom doors in Summer 2016. Fast forward 1 year later and they’ve gone from just draft and growler fills to barrel-aged farmhouse ales available in bottles and periodic pilsner can releases.
We personally like the low-ABV, hoppy pale ales. Homespun and Hecto are our absolute favorites. But you can also find unfiltered pilsners which is something Suarez Family Brewery is becoming known for. Qualify Pils was being released in cans during our visit. And, we picked up bottles of their tasty mixed fermentation farmhouse ales. Everything we’ve tried so far (we’ve been there 3 times now) has been high quality.
For what’s going on at the Suarez Family Brewery, it’s best to follow them on Facebook.TAP ANNOUNCEMENTS FULL BREWERY REVIEW
Sloop Brewing Co.
1065 Co Rte 19, Elizaville, NY 12523
Located at the 176 year old, 134 acre Vosburgh Orchards, Sloop Brewing Co.’s new taproom is in a cozy dutch beam and post barn. The 30 barrel brewing system that’s viewable from the taproom, allows for constant supply of beer on draft and for periodic can releases.
On tap you can find, hoppy ales, saisons, sours, belgians, stouts and porters. Flights and full pours are available as well as growler fills.BEER LIST
Be sure to check out the hop farm right behind the brewery barn. While we were visiting the sunflower field was in full bloom. Breathtaking!
On Sundays from 2-5pm, they have various musicians, singers and songwriters entertain the taproom crowd. And, it’s totally free. Perfect to hang out, sip some beers and enjoy the farm.
We stayed in Hyde Park for a variety of reasons:
- It was centrally-located to all of the breweries we had mapped out to visit.
- It had a Quality Inn that was modernized, inexpensive and the most important “why” was that it had a fairly large refrigerator in the room that could fit a ton of unpasteurized, cold IPA cans we were planning on purchasing during our trip. Oh. And, the inn had an ice machine to fill up our coolers for the ride home. Our precious beer was well maintained all the while.
- Plus, it was close to restaurants
Hyde Park Brewing Co.
4076 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY 12538
Hyde Park Brewing Co has excellent pub food, burgers, pizzas and vegetarian meal options. Portions are generous and service was top notch. You’ll find basic, traditional style beers like blonde ales, stouts, amber ales, lagers and hefeweizens. We would suggest getting a dozen dry rubbed wings that have just enough bite to make you need a beer. The dry rub seasoning pairs nicely with Mary P’s Porter – brewed with 6 different malts for notes of mild chocolate and roasted malt.MENU TAPLIST
You can choose to dine at the bar, in the dining room or in the outdoor patio (weather permitting). Get a peek inside using the virtual tour or on their website.VIRTUAL TOUR
The Culinary Institute of America
1946 Campus Dr, Hyde Park, NY 12538
Hyde Park is also home to the famous Culinary Institute of America that produces top notch chefs. But why mention a college as a place to visit during a beercation? Well, CIA has an Art & Science of Brewing elective as part of their chef training. What’s good news for you is a Brew Pub at the school is going to open up very, very soon we’re told. The beer brewed and the food prepared will be crafted by CIA students and open to the public.
“The Brewery at the CIA was designed and built by JV Northwest of Canby, OR in partnership with Brooklyn Brewery. The three-vessel, steam-fired stainless steel brewery features a separate mash mixer and lauter tun to allow for step mashing. With three cylindroconical fermentation vessels and one brite beer tank, this seven-barrel system is designed to yield 217 gallons per batch, or 1,736 pints. The Brewery at the CIA will be capable of producing up to 500 barrels of beer annually,” according to the CIA’s website.
Hyde Park Drive-In Movie Theatre
4114 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, NY 12530
We were surprised to see an old school, drive-in movie theatre right beside our hotel. We’re from Dillsburg, Pennsylvania and we have one of these in our quiet little town. So we felt right at home when we saw it. The Hyde Park Drive-In was built in 1949 and sits on 12 acres of land which allows for up to 670 cars on any given night. It is open mid-April through mid-September but may vary depending on the weather. What’s cool about drive-ins besides the nostalgia factor? You get to watch 2 movies for the price of 1 movie at a traditional indoor theatre. And, the theatre is dog-friendly but note your pooch has to be kept on a leash and monitored.WHAT’S PLAYING
Plan Bee Farm Brewery
115 Underhill Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
Some friends of ours were just at Plan Bee a few weeks ago and shared some bottles from the brewery with us. Even though we had already planned to stop at the farm brewery, we were even more “sold!” on visiting this place. Such creative combinations of complex flavors abound in each bottle of farmhouse ales and wild ales.
“At Plan Bee Farm Brewery, our beers are created by the limitation of local resources. From the yeast we cultivate from our honey comb, to the grain and hops in our fields, if it isn’t in our community it doesn’t enter our beer,” says owners, Emily & Evan Watson. Ingredients such as beets, plums, shitake mushrooms, fire-roasted pumpkin, spruce, peppers, apples and various herbs, make what you’ll find at Plan Bee most unique.
The taproom will be in the renovated, two-story 1830’s barn on the property once all approvals are received to open. Until then, you can enjoy your Plan Bee beers in the grassy area in front of the barn. They’ve set up a small tent that contains bottles to go, merchandise and 4 taps so you can stay a little while and drink from the source. Wooden tables and benches sit outside of the tent making you feel like you’re a part of the farm in progress. Currently, they have chickens and goats that are penned as well as beehives. In the near future, Plan Bee will have a walking trail around an orchard and an outdoor biergarten. You should follow Plan Bee Farm Brewery on Facebook to keep up to speed on when the indoor taproom will open.FACEBOOK
The brewery is currently child- and dog-friendly (dog must be leashed). Also, note that because the taproom is currently outside, you might want to bring sunscreen and bug spray. Other than the retail tent area, you will be sitting out in the rain if a storm pops up. Best bring an umbrella just in case!FULL BREWERY REVIEW
Mill House Brewing Co.
289 Mill St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
While the majority of brewing has moved down the road to a larger facility big enough for the expanded 20 BBL brewing system, you can get all of Mill House Brewing Co.’s beers at the 289 Mill St. Brew Pub location.
The Mill House Brew Pub has so many neat dining spaces within all decorated in the ever-popular rustic industrial style. We could post a bazillion photos for you to peruse but we think you should play around with Mill House’s fun, virtual tour. It makes you feel like you’re actually in the space. Too cool!VIRTUAL TOUR
You really can’t go wrong with anything you order off of the food menu. As starters to your dinner, we recommend the beer cheese soup with pretzel log as well as the bacon deviled eggs – heavenly! We had the daily fish special – grilled swordfish over couscous and veggies. Really something for everyone: slow smoked short ribs, house made sausage, sesame crusted tuna ramen bowl, fish ‘n chips, lobster roll and more.MENU & TAPLIST
Hudson Valley Brewery
2 Churchill St, Beacon, NY 12508
Beautiful sour farmhouse ales, saisons, juicy IPAs and an occasional pilsner can be found at Hudson Valley Brewery. We were told that this brewery destination was a must-visit and our sources were totally right!
It doesn’t look like much from the outside. Just a simple refurbished warehouse building that is bare bones basic. The taproom is a small space in the actual production brewery. But don’t be fooled by the simple digs. High quality beers are being crafted and served here. Oh! And, we should mention that this is a dog-friendly and kid-friendly space. Just be sure to keep an eye on the little ones as the place gets packed!
Currently, the brewery does NOT do growler fills. But you can get 32 oz. crowler fills of Hudson Valley beers to enjoy at home after your trip. But remember to keep them cold!
We fell in love with Echo Sender sour farmhouse ale that was aged in oak barrels and conditioned on strawberries, hibiscus and lemongrass. To die for! Needless to say, we brought home 2 crowlers of it.FULL BREWERY REVIEW
From time to time they do can releases that are sold in 4 packs of either 12 oz or 16 oz cans. There’s a limit to how many you can purchase and they go quick. Follow Hudson Valley Brewery on Instagram for release updates.INSTAGRAM
22 Henry St, Middletown, NY 10940
If you like IPAs… juicy, hazy IPAs… those NE-IPAs, then you have to go to Equilibrium Brewery. It’s an up-and-coming brewery that is making waves in the northeast beer scene since they opened in Dec 2016. In their own words, “Equilibrium Brewery applies scientific principles and a passion for craft brewing to balance drinkability and massive flavor.” We love when science and creative passion collide into something most delicious.
We went on a Saturday morning to stand in line for a can release of Fluctuation DIPA and bottles of There And Back Again Wild Ale fermented on plums. You can stay in the know about their can and bottle releases by following Equilibrium on Instagram. Usually releases are on Saturdays and begin at 11:30am.RELEASE UPDATES
We snagged our cans plus a bottle then headed into the restaurant/taproom for some lunch and beers. Great food! Great Beer! We thoroughly enjoyed MC2 Imperial IPA with gobs of mango and apricot notes. Then proceeded to drink Fractal Citra/Galaxy IPA with notes of peach, passion fruit and pineapple. Both paired nicely with Derek’s grilled chicken breast sandwich with housemade hand-cut fries and my crab cake with housemade fried yucca chips – they were much like potato chips.
You can do a flight of 4 drafts for $11 or full pours which vary in price from $6 – $8 depending on the selection. They also have guest beers from other breweries on draft to explore.FULL BREWERY REVIEW
Newburgh, NY, 12550
We got turned on to Graft Cider after a visit at Millstone Cellars in Monkton, MD. You see, Kyle Sherrer, the owner of Graft Cider helped start Millstone with his father Curt. At the time, we had no idea that Kyle had split off and started his own company. And, ever since we’ve been seeking out their cans and bottles of cider.
It’s no average hard cider, mind you. Quite the contrary. Graft Cider is pushing the boundaries of this traditional drink into uncharted flavor territories which results in blurring the lines of craft beer and hard cider. Kyle uses wild yeast to ferment the juice into a tart and dry hard cider. Some varieties of Graft Cider are even barrel-aged. Approaches that suit us sour beer enthusiasts just fine. Their lineup even includes Gose style Cider with just a hint of salt just like Gose style beer.
As of now, there isn’t a tasting room to visit. But one is in the works and slated to open Spring 2018. We’ll let you know as soon as it’s officially open. We’ll most definitely be making a trek to visit when it does open! Until then, here’s a handy, dandy search tool to find Graft Cider in various states.GRAFT CIDER FINDER
1221 Ulster Ave, Kingston, NY 12401
As we noted, we were in search of Graft Cider since we couldn’t get to their cidery to make a purchase. Plus, we always find interesting things at bottle shops when we travel. So naturally, we headed to Beer World in Kingston. They have 3,200+ beers to choose from in addition to cider and wine.
This place is massive! Derek and I took a few steps into the store and stopped dead in our tracks. I muttered “Whoa!” and Derek says “This place is awesome.” I replied, “I think we’re going to go broke in here. Let’s be careful.” All the while, grinning widely and our eyes twinkling. We gained our composure and split up to commence the hunt for beer and cider deliciousness.TAKE A LOOK INSIDE
You can find a nice selection of New York produced beer as well as brew goodies from all across the country and all over the world. They even have a growler station with 30 taps. We recommend that you download their app to view the growler fill taplist, stay in the know when new items get stocked, and more.BEER WORLD APP
We picked up several 4 packs of various Graft Cider cans, a 4 pack of Lord Hobo Glorious pale ale, Grimm Blueberry Pop, Allagash Mattina Rossa and Crooked Stave Bianca Raspberry Wild Wild Brett. I could have spent money for days in there on things like Burial, Almanac, Avery, Mikkeller, Oxbow, Fantome… just to name a few. It’s a seriously dangerous place. You should read our Bottle Shop Tips before entering this place! (wink)BOTTLE SHOPPING TIPS
NEW YORK STATE BEER TRAIL
With all the breweries that New York state has to offer, you really can customize your beercation beer trail any way you want beyond our recommendations. The New York State Brewers Association has a helpful app that you might want to download to find breweries near you, beer-related events going on throughout the year, beer trail passport program and more helpful resources.
NY CRAFT BEER APP
Don’t want to download an app to your phone? No worries. The New York Brewers Association also has an online map of all the breweries who are members.NY BEER TRAIL
HUDSON VALLEY TOURISM IDEAS
Have time to explore more breweries in either the upper or lower Hudson Valley region?
Have no fear, the Hudson Valley Tourism website has mapped out not only breweries but also wineries, cideries and distilleries all along the 150 mile stretch of the Hudson River. This includes more breweries than the The New York State Brewers Association members. But note, it does NOT include ALL of the breweries.HUDSON VALLEY BREWERY MAPS
Need more things to do beyond visiting breweries?
There’s so much to choose from to do that you could make multiple trips, like we plan to do. Where we stayed in Hyde Park we could literally walk to the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt Historic Site which includes the Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum, Vanderbilt Mansion, FDR’s Cottage and Val-Kill Cottage. You’ll also find art galleries, museums, water parks, biking/hiking trails, pedestrian bridge to walk across the Hudson River and more.
You can use these handy tools to work some non-beer-related activities into your beercation:EVENTS CALENDAR ATTRACTIONS SHOPPING