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.
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It's all too easy to talk about Utica, New York as the industrial town past its prime. Where have all the jobs gone? What's keeping this place alive? Utica's hardly the manufacturing hub of central New York that it used to be. But asking those questions as condemnatory rhetorical remarks ignores some truths. It ignores the locals who've developed small businesses to revitalize the community they love. It disregards the people who've moved to the area to start new companies. And it forgets about those who never left, like the 124 year-old FX Matt Brewery, the home of Saranac and Utica Club beers and the second oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S.
Matthew Critz never expected to become an apple cider maker. But then again, he also never expected to become an apple and pumpkin grower, or a maple syrup producer, or a host of a farm that draws visitors to Cazenovia, New York from all over.
The Hudson Valley of New York has a centuries-old custom of growing grapes and making wine—Brotherhood Winery was established in 1839 and is the nation's oldest continuously operating winery—but it's the new wave of winemaking that shows promise. Here are 5 Hudson valley wines to seek out this fall.
Founder Jeff Baker dreamed of establishing a distillery that was a bit more like a small-production winery—a place where the spirit begins in the field and ends in the glass, all without leaving the complex. With the help of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell (formerly of WhistlePig Whiskey, and before that, Maker's Mark) and distiller Tim Welly, Baker has indeed created such a place.