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Explore Central New York’s "Farm Fresh" Craft Beverage Scene

posted by Teresa Farrell at 2021-04-03 15:33:00

Central New York has long been known for its rich agricultural offerings. The area’s climate and landscape make it an excellent place to grow grapes for winemaking, along with many of the essential ingredients for brewing beer: namely barley, wheat, and, of course, hops.

Once upon a time, Central New York was one of the top regions in the country for growing hops. In fact, the region was so successful at producing them that by 1849, the Central New York area was producing 90% of the hops grown in America and turning out more than three million pounds of hops per year by 1855. That all changed with the advent of Prohibition, combined with a fungus that swept through the area and devastated hop crops early in the 1900s. But today, Central New York hop production has been making a serious comeback, and the use of local hops and barley and wheat in the production of beers made by breweries around the Central New York region impart distinctly local flavors to the finished beers.

This area’s climate also provides an excellent environment for grape growing, and wineries and vineyards are beginning to establish even more presence throughout the Central New York area. Apple production in Central New York is nearly unrivaled across the country, and the abundance and variety of locally sourced, high-quality apples makes hard cider production in this area a natural fit.

And the ingredients for hard spirits grow well in this area too, so distilleries are right at home here. All of these factors combined means that today, Central New York is home to plenty of breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries with local products waiting to be explored.

You can check out the offerings on your own, or take a look at some local beverage trails for inspiration. The Cooperstown Beverage Trail features seven breweries, distilleries and cideries, all spread throughout the countryside surrounding Cooperstown. There’s also the Central New York Food and Beverage Trail, featuring six wineries, cideries, breweries and distilleries, many of which are found in the historic Erie Canal towns like Canastota and Cazenovia, as well as an abundance of local restaurants using fresh ingredients grown right in this region.  

And plenty of wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries can be found outside the beverage trails as well,including Utica’s famous Saranac Brewerythe home of Utica Club, the first beer served after Prohibition ended.Exploring this area’s craft beverage and culinary scene is an adventure all its own, whether you’re making a weekend of it or just stopping by for a taste on your way to your next adventure. One thing is for sure: whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find the wine, beer, cider or spirits that suit you in Central New York. Cheers!
Photo Credits
Hops growing photo credit Wikimedia Commons
Flight of beers photo credit Cooperstown Brewing Co
Wine photo credit Owera Vineyards
Pouring beer photo credit pisquels

posted at: 2021-04-03 15:33:00, last updated: 2021-04-06 20:43:17

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