In the city, we’re used to clever and economical uses of space, with twinkle light-strung courtyards hidden in back alleys and hip craft breweries set up in unassuming, repurposed industrial lots. If you travel to most of the breweries north of the city, however, the layout is a bit different.
The New York State mainland, with its lakes, hills and valleys, has lots of scenic open space (honestly, does it take much to impress a city dweller?). For those urbanites looking to make a brief getaway as the weather improves, these New York State breweries offer lots of opportunities for enjoying fresh air, taking tours, seeing where the beer begins, and tasting flights. At least one serves as a wedding venue, too, if you’re interested.
Here are six upstate breweries worth visiting the next time you head upstate:
East Fishkill, NY
Talk about unassuming factories. Sloop Brewing, styled as Sloop Brewing @ the Factory, which includes their actual brewery as well as a full kitchen and a spacious entertaining area, is housed in a former IBM factory building. Their beers are strong on either end of the spectrum, from their flagship Juice Bomb IPA to all manner of sweet and bitter sour beers.
West Kill, NY
If you’re hoping to be close to nature, West Kill takes you there. In addition to scenic mountain views, this farmhouse brewery boasts a hyperlocal approach. Many of their beers are made with ingredients grown or foraged right on their property, from maple syrup to mushrooms. But these funky local flavors are most often balanced into easy-drinking, crowd-pleasing beer styles like pale ales and crisp lagers.
This microbrewery is in a beautiful red barn on another gorgeous plot of land—so gorgeous, in fact, that they rent out space for weddings. Despite being a working farm, Arrowood invites guests to meander around the lush land between beers, where the all-important hops, grain and other provisions are grown and then brewed using solar power. Since Arrowood is only distributing throughout the Hudson Valley area at the moment, take the opportunity to enjoy their farm-fresh classic ales and lagers while you’re there.
Rushing Duck is taking advantage of having the luxury of space with its recently opened second guest area, the more expansive “Duck In” taproom, in addition to the smaller “Duck Out” retail and drinking room attached to the brewery itself. Enjoy their Beanhead Coffee Porter or one of their intense IPAs along with something to eat from the food truck that hangs out on-site.
While you may have come across their Simple Sour in Brooklyn bars, Peekskill Brewery has a lot more to offer up at their home. With between 15 and 20 of their own wide variety of beers on offer at the taproom, plus a full-service restaurant on-site, there’s enough to warrant a trip up on the Metro-North. It could be the perfect weekend trip if you’re looking for something a little more town than country.
The city of Hudson is already quite a destination for those traveling up from the city, but while there, make sure you add Suarez Family Brewery to your itinerary. Their slate consists of mostly classic pilsners and pale ales with subtle twists, which you can enjoy by the glass or growler at their sunny, rustic-chic taproom in peaceful Hudson.