20170804

Brooklyn entry tops inaugural NYS Craft Beer Competition

The results are in from the inaugural New York State Craft Beer Competition, held at the Great New York State Fair.

Medals were spread around fairly evenly across the state, selected from a field of  143 New York craft breweries. The winner of the top award -- the Governor's Excelsior Cup — was Three Pines Brewing Company of the Gowanus area of Brooklyn for its "Vliet Pilsner." The same brewery also won first place in the "Belgian Farmhouse" category for its "Wandering Bline."

The complete list of award winners:

Light Lagers

Gold: "Vliet Pilsner," Threes Brewing (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
Silver: "Lockport Lager," New York Beer Project (Lockport)
Bronze: "Pilsner," Young Lion Brewing (Canandaigua)

Golden/Blonde Ale (American, Kolsch, Cream Ale)

Gold: None awarded
Silver: "Lemongrass Kolsch," Big Alice Brewing (Long Island City)
Bronze: "Lake Placid Golden Ubu Ale," Saranac Brewery (Utica)

Wheat Beer (America, Wit, Hefe)

Gold: "Witte," Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown)
Silver: "Surfcaste," Great South Bay Brewery (Bay Shore)
Bronze: "Witicale," Rare Form Brewing (Troy)

Fruit and Spice Beer

Gold: "Pinky Up," Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill)
Silver: "Sassypants," Roc Brewing Company (Rochester)
Bronze: "Mango Infused Goseface Killah Gose," Aurora Ale and Lager Co. (King Ferry)

Belgian Farmhouse

Gold: "Wandering Bine," Threes Brewing (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
Silver: "Class Project Saison," Culinary Institute of America student brewery (Hyde Park)
Bronze (tie): "Hennepin," Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown) and "Suite G Saison," Stumblin’ Monkey Brewing (Victor)

Amber and Dark Lagers

Gold: "Exposinator Dopplebock," Naked Dove (Canadaigua)
Silver: "Common Sense," Upstate Brewing Company (Elmira)
Bronze: "Octoberfest," Saranac Brewery (Utica)

Amber/Red Ale (British, American, Irish, Scottish)

Gold: "Irish Red Ale," Seneca Street Brew Pub (Manlius)
Silver: "Devil’s Bathtub," Strong Rope Brewery (Gowanus, Brooklyn)
Bronze: "Soda Bread Red Ale," Bottomless Brewing (Geneva)

Pale Ale

Gold: "Lieutenant Dan," War Horse Brewing Co. (Geneva)
Silver: "The Juice," Skewed Brewing (Watertown)
Bronze: "Mosaic Pale Ale," Five Boroughs Brewing (Sunset Park, Brooklyn)

American IPA

Gold: "Blight Buster," Good Nature Brewing (Hamilton)
Silver: "Tainted Haze IPA," Knucklehead Craft Brewing (Webster)
Bronze: "Rockaway IPA," Rockaway Brewing (Long Island City)

American IPA Variations

Gold: "4 Piece," Prison City Brewing (Auburn)
Silver: "Non Stop Hop Onslaught," Good Nature Brewing (Hamilton)
Bronze: "Brux IPA," Rushing Duck (Chester)

American DIPA

Gold: "Giant IPA," Big Slide Brewery and Public House (Lake Placid)
Silver: "The Big Broadcast," War Horse Brewing Co. (Geneva)
Bronze: "Deep Cut," Big Ditch Brewing Co. (Buffalo)

Porter, Stout, Brown Ale (non-imperial)

Gold: "Oatmeal Stout," Stumblin’ Monkey Brewing (Victor)
Silver (tie): "Black Meadow Bog," Glenmere Brewing (Florida) and "Oyster Stout," Blue Point Brewing Co. (Patchogue)
Bronze: "Yada Yada Yada," Barrage Brewing Co. (Farmingdale)

Imperial Stout and Porter

Gold: "Boris the Spider," Spider Bite Beer Co. (Holbrook)
Silver: "Russian Imperial Stout," WT Brews (Baldwinsville)
Bronze (tie): "Storyteller," Strong Rope Brewery (Gowanus, Brooklyn) and "Baltic Porter," Three Heads Brewing Co. (Rochester)

Belgian Other (Trappist, Strong)

Gold: None awarded
Silver (tie): "Hyperballad," Thin Man Brewery (Buffalo) and "Local 1," Brooklyn Brewery (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Bronze: "Muscat Love," Great South Bay Brewery (Bay Shore)

Strong Ale (non-Belgian)

Gold: "Old Red Nose Special Edition 14," Heartland Brewery (Koreatown, Manhattan)
Silver: "Old Red Nose Special Edition 13," Heartland Brewery (Koreatown, Manhattan)
Bronze: "Breaking Point Barleywine," Roscoe Beer Co. (Roscoe)

Wild and Sour Ale

Gold (tie): "Zingerbier Berliner Weisse," Rushing Duck (Chester) and "Citra Bridges," Mill House Brewing Co. (Poughkeepsie)
Silver: "Abbot’s Reserve," Duncan’s Abbey (Tarrytown)
Bronze: "Tarty McFly," War Horse Brewing Co. (Geneva)

Barrel Aged Sour

Gold: "Kiwi’s Playhouse," Brooklyn Brewery (Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
Silver: "H4 Plum Harvest Sour," Transmitter Brewing (Long Island City)
Bronze: "Far Star," Galaxy Brewing Co. (Binghamton)

Barrel Aged Non-Sour

Gold: "Baltic Porter aged in Iron Smoke Whiskey barrels," Three Heads Brewing (Rochester)
Silver: "Barrel Aged Coconut Stout," Blue Point Brewing Co. (Patchogue)
Bronze: "Barrel Aged Boris the Spider," Spider Bite Beer Co. (Holbrook)

Experimental Beer

Gold: "Wham Whams," Prison City Brewing (Auburn)
Silver: "Juniper’s Baby," Nedloh Brewing Company (Bloomfield)
Bronze: "Cucumber Blessings," Mill House Brewing Co. (Poughkeepsie)

New York State Beer (100% New York State Ingredients)

Gold: "Pomme Apple Ale," Saint James Brewery (Holbrook)
Silver: "NY1 Saison," Transmitter Brewing (Long Island City)
Bronze: "Mellennial Falcon," Lucky Hare Brewing Co. (Hector)
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20170726

Kelsey Grammer joining ranks of NYS craft brewers

Well, why not? Everyone else is.

Kelsey Grammer
Veteran actor Kelsey Grammer is joining the ranks of New York State craft brewers with a farm brewery in a barn near Margaretville, Delaware County.

The star of the TV comedy series "Cheers" and "Frasier," the HBO drama "Boss" and other TV and film vehicles is behind setting up shop on an old farm he used to visit as a child and purchased about 25 years ago. It's called the Faith American Brewing Company, named after his youngest daughter, Faith Evangeline Elisa.

If this news seems familiar, it could be because Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewers Association, posted a photo with Grammer to his social media accounts last year saying Grammer planned to start a brewery near Margaretville, a village on the northern edge of the Catskill Park. However, those posts were quickly removed and the topic went cold until Grammer this week confirmed his venture during an appearance on the TV chat show "Live with Kelly and Ryan."

“It’s very hard because it’s in a watershed," Grammer said, " so you have to do a lot of stuff for water treatment, waste disposal, all that stuff. And, it’s important, so we’re doing that, so it’s taking a little while. We’ve actually started the beer first, which will be released in a little while: Faith American Ale.”

Grammer did not mention any release dates, although he said he conducted a private tasting of the ale last weekend, and no opening date has been announced.
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NYS small distillers get on-premises sales equality

Distillers whose operations come under the state's "farm distillery" definition got a boost on Tuesday when Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation that allows them to sell New York-produced beer, wine, and cider for consumption on-premises. It goes into effect immediately.

"This measure restores parity for New York's burgeoning craft beverage industry and allows for new revenue streams and exposure for the great brewers, distillers, and wine and cider makers all across this great state," Cuomo said in his signing message. "As I've said many times, when New Yorkers buy New York-made products, everybody wins."

Prior to this bill (S.2481/A.2994) becoming law, farm distilleries were limited to selling only New York State-labelled spirits for on-premises consumption. Meanwhile, farm breweries, farm cideries and farm wineries were permitted to sell New York State-labelled beers, wines, spirits and ciders for on-premises consumption.

John Curtin, co-founder and co-owner, the Albany Distilling Company and vice president of the New York State Distillers Guild, said, "We cannot express how much the signage of this bill means to New York's craft distilling industry. For us at Albany Distilling, we've made significant investments in anticipation of the passage of this bill, including a new tasting room and production facility. We can proudly serve our spirits alongside fellow New York-produced beer, wine, and cider by the glass. A tremendous thanks to Governor Cuomo for his leadership in making the Empire State the capital of nation's craft beverage industry."
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20170725

Craft brewery in development in Bolton Landing

From The Post-Star

The latest addition to the local beer scene is under construction on Lake George -- at 4933 Lake Shore Drive, where Bolton Landing Brewing Company is aiming for a September opening.

“We don’t have a date yet, but when we do, you know I will shout it from the mountain,” said company president Brendan Murnane, who along with his father, John, is building the seven-barrel brew house and taproom in the building that once housed Makado Sushi and, before that, Son of a Sailor.

“ ... We’ve gutted the inside of the building. It’s not really built for a brewery, but we are going to make it into one,” Brendan Murnane said. “We’re pouring the floor for the brew house, and once we get that in place, we will start working on the taproom.” ...

Murnane, who previously worked for the Westchester County executive’s office, said his family has been in Bolton Landing for nearly 30 years, and he wanted to settle down here. He has hired Shawn Kerr, formerly of 12 Gates Brewing Co. of Williamsville, as his head brewer.

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Taylor brewery creates 'Community Tap' charity push

R.S. Taylor and Sons Brewery Tap Room, recently opened in Saratoga Springs, today announced the launch of its Community Tap Program.

Each month, a local charity or not-for-profit organization will be featured on the Community Tap. The organizations will be chosen from suggestions submitted by R.S. Taylor and Sons' patrons. Every time a pint is pulled from the Community Tap, an extra dollar that has been added to the price will go directly to the organization featured that month.

The Community Tap Program will debut at 4 p.m. next Tuesday, August 1, when the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation Inc. is featured. 

 The Community Tap program is designed for ongoing, local charitable giving. Says Kelley Taylor, wife of brewery owner Richard Taylor, "Craft beer drinkers are an enthusiastic group. We wanted to capture some of the passion, generosity and sense of community spirit inherent in today's craft beer crowd and create a fun and easy way for them to support the local causes that matter to them," said Kelley Taylor wife of owner Richard Taylor. " ... Our brewery is very involved in supporting local organizations in our home community of Hebron, over in Washington County, and the Community Tap program is an extension of that at our new tap room in Saratoga Springs."

The new Taylor tap room is located at 26A Congress Street, Congress Plaza, Saratoga Springs.Hours: Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday 4 to 11 p.m. Saturday noon to 11 p.m. Sunday noon to 6 p.m.
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20170723

Kinderhook hosting season's 2nd 'Food Truck Village'

The second and final Food Truck Village event of the summer is set for Thursday, August 24, in the Kinderhook Village Square.

The June event was a big hit with locals, and a substantial lineup of trucks is expected for this 5-9 p.m. rain-or-shine celebration of food. Live music will be part of the festivities.

Participants at the June event:
• Chatham Brewing's Main Street Kitchen
• S&S Farm Brewery
• The Chuck Wagon
• El Danzante
• Lekker
• Hungry Traveler
• Slidin’ Dirty
• Sweet Central Express
• Enjoy-A-Ball
• Charcoal Dole
• Pippy’s Hot Dog Truck
The Village Square is located at the intersection of Route 9 and Hudson Street. The event is sponsored by the Kinderhook Business and Professional Association.

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20170719

Here's something special for homebrewers to try

The American Homebrewers Association has just released a list of 50 craft beer recipes it is sharing with amateurs cross the nation. Says the announcement:

"Behind every great brewery are skilled craft brewers. These men and women shed blood, sweat, and tears to bring their range of traditional and more experimental beers to our glasses. But what you might not know is many of these professional craft brewers had humble beginnings as homebrewers in their garages and backyards.

"Since there are over 1.2 million Americans out there who brew beer at home, we reached out to craft brewers (and a few mead makers) all over the country to compile a list of commercial beer clone recipes.

"Scanning this list, you’ll find a clone recipe from a craft brewery in every state that has been scaled down to 5-10 gallon batches, so you can enjoy making these commercial beer clone recipes at your home brewery."

Go here for the details.

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20170718

Granville micro-brewpub project aims for winter debut

The tsunami of microbreweries in the Greater Capital Region (go here for a full list) shows no signs of abating. Hardly a week goes by without the revelation of yet another such undertaking.

The latest is Slate Town Brewing Company, a brewery and pub now under development in Washington County. Its creation comes courtesy of another craft brewer's growth.

Glenn Wetherell, head brewer at the nearby Slyboro Cider House, and Susan Knapp teamed up to create their own operation when Argyle Brewing Company of Greenwich decided to sell its old brewing system once it installed new equipment as part of a major business expansion. Enter Slate Town.

The embryonic business is being put together at 31 Main Street in Granville, formerly the location of Brenda's Hidden Treasures arts and crafts store. Once the equipment is installed and all the necessary permits acquired, Wetherell and Knapp are hoping for an opening by the end of the year.

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20170716

Phantom brewery at Latham venue does not exist

Those of us who keep track of new craft/microbreweries in the Greater Capital Region might be excused if we are ticked off at Rocky Patel apparently faking the existence of one.

His awkwardly renamed Philly Brewery-Lounge-Coal Oven in Latham, which had been known as Philly Bar & Grill until another of its periodic makeovers, uses the term "brewery" right in its name and its website advertises four beers brewed onsite by something called Umami Brewing.

The problem? As noted in today's Times Union restaurant review by Susie Davidson Powell, "The website confidently describes four crisp beers brewed onsite by Umami Brewing, so when I can't actually find it, our server sheepishly admits it doesn't exist."

Not only that, she reports that management subsequently admitted that not only do the promised beers not exist, there is no onsite brewery, no brewer, and no brewing being done elsewhere for the venue.

Nevertheless, Patel claims just the opposite on his website page under the heading "Umami Brewing." Specifically, he says:
"You can expect superior quality, flavor, and brewing technique with our own micro-brewery. We develop amazing craft beer in small batches featured specifically for your enjoyment. Like our food, we create seasonal craft beers to ensure quality fresh ingredients. Our Umami Brewing technique ensures a savory brew. Fuse that with the ability to brew four different styles of beer at once and you’ll have many great options to choose from. Make your visit a wholesome experience by pairing our fresh cuisine, with our specialty brews."
I believe there is a label for claims such as these.

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20170713

Some opposition to Greene County brewing project plan

Site of proposed brewery (Google map)
From Hudson Valley 360.com
[Some Greene County residents of] Lexington and West Kill were left with a bad taste in their mouths when they heard about a proposal by a resident to build a brewing facility in town.

The residents brought their concerns about the potential of increased traffic and disruption to the quality of life to the Lexington Planning Board during its monthly meeting Tuesday.

Greenport Beer & Ale Company founder Ed Raven discussed his proposed design and buildout for a 9,000-square-foot single story barn and brewing facility with an area for dining and an outdoor biergarden at the planning committee’s June meeting, according to the proposal.

The location would be 106 Spruceton Road. The barn would be built on Raven’s property and would also serve as a production facility for his beverages to be produced wholesale, Raven said. Greenport’s beverages will be available for sale at retail stores in New York City and possibly in the Hudson Valley. It would be expensive to build a brewery in New York City, Raven said, so building in West Kill was ideal because he already owns land in town.

“There’s a lot of issues we have to address before we break ground,” Raven said. “The emphasis of this location is not to be a big retail outlet.”
Go here for the full story.
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20170708

Stewart's/Shmaltz team up to create a new craft IPA

New Stewart's IPA offering.
The Stewart’s Shops chain of convenience stores has been increasing shelf space for craft beers at its 335 locations in the past few years. Now, it is teaming with a local brewer to help fill it with its own label brew.

Stewart's has contracted with Shmaltz Brewing Company of Clifton Park to produce High Cliff,  a medium-bodied India pale ale (IPA) retailing at $8.99 for a six-pack of 12-ounce bottles.

This is not the first beer made for Stewart's. The Saratoga-based chain introduced its first proprietary beer -- Mountain Brew Ice, manufactured in Wisconsin -- in 2010. But, according to spokesperson Maria D’Amelia,  “We are seeing craft beers continuing to be very popular. We saw this as an opportunity to offer even more variety. This is getting our feet wet.”

High Cliff will be available only in Stewart's Shops, according to the company.
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20170707

Update 2: World of Beer sets reopening at Crossgates Mall

UPDATE 2 (7/7/17): The World of Beer pub chain was secretive about its plans to abruptly close its Crossgates Mall venue last summer, and did so with no public notice. Of course, it isn't shy at all about announcing when it will reopen -- Monday, July 17, according to a company announcement. This time, rather than being run by a franchise holder, the pub will be a company-run entity. Hours will be 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

UPDATE (6/0/17): If the corporate website isn't just a tease, the World of Beer chain appears to be returning to Crossgates Mall in Guilderland. The "locations" website page says "REOPENING SOON!" on what it calls its "Albany" location.
 
(Originally published 7/23/16)

Headline: Crossgates closing only latest for World of Beer

Any time a pub or restaurant quietly closes and doesn't announce plans for a renovation, reopening, or anything else, that is not a good sign.

So, one must assume World of Beer, the chain tavern in Guilderland's Crossgates Mall, is gone from this market. As evidence, the doors are locked, the phone doesn't work, the website, Facebook page, and Twitter account haven't been updated in months.

When Times Union food blogger Steve Barnes tried to find out what is going on, he was stonewalled, saying, "An employee at the mall’s information desk told me the closure was sudden and they have been instructed to say that World of Beer is 'closed temporarily.' A World of Beer staffer who emailed me wrote, 'We can’t get an answer as to when or even if it will reopen'.”

WOB, which leans heavily on its 500-beer selection and live musical performances in its marketing, has opened more than 70 locations in 20 states since its first spot debuted in Tampa, FL, in 2007. The Crossgates location opened its doors in June 2014. However, its closure shouldn't be a shock. My research reveals that in the past 18 months or so, abrupt closings of WOB locations have taken place in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood; in St. Petersburg, Land O Lakes, and Jacksonville Beach, FL; in Austin and Dallas, TX; in Columbus and the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, OH; in Milwaukee; in the Seattle suburb of Renton; in Denver, and in Ann Arbor, MI. And, that's what I found in less than 10 minutes of searching.

Most of the shuttered spots had been open only about two years on average. As recently as six months ago, CEO Paul Avery didn't say anything about closing any locations when he bragged in an interview with the industry website Brewbound:

"2015 was an excellent year of growth for World of Beer, as we have not only met but exceeded our goal of robust growth and in adding quality franchise partners. ... Last year’s success has set us up for another promising year, and we look forward to expanding the World of Beer brand to new markets nationwide and overseas in markets such as China, India and the Philippines.”

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Update: Brown's brewer killed in home vehicular accident

Peter Martin
Peter Martin, director of brewing operations for Brown's Brewing Company, died at his home Tuesday when the tractor he was riding flipped, according to an announcement Thursday from Rensselaer County Sheriff Patrick Russo.

Russo said Martin, 45, was pulling out tree stumps on his 1254 Pine Valley Road, Hoosick, property Tuesday evening when the chain hooked to the back of his tractor caused the machinery to flip and crush him.

The company released a statement Wednesday, saying Martin "was loved by many and was an integral part of our Brown's Brewing family."

Russo said the county medical examiner pronounced Martin dead at the scene and an autopsy determined the cause of death as compression asphyxia, meaning the tractor pinned him down and made breathing impossible.

The Capital Craft Beverage Trail Association today released the following statement: “We are deeply saddened by the recent passing of Peter Martin. Peter was the head brewer at Brown’s Brewing Co., a member of the Capital Craft Beverage Trail, and served at the iconic Troy-based brewery for 23 years with distinction. Peter was loved by many and was an integral part of Brown's Brewing. His loss is a loss for the entire craft beverage industry in New York. His legacy will live on through the countless lifelong memories and friendships that he shared with all who knew him. We send our condolences to Peter’s family, the Brown’s Brewing Co. community, and ask that everyone respect his family's privacy.”

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20170706

Soft opening for new RS Taylor & Sons Brewery tap room

Taylor & Sons open house. (photo provided)
RS Taylor & Sons Brewery will host a friends-and-family soft opening of its new tap room Friday evening.

The venue is located in  Congress Plaza at 26A Congress Street in Saratoga Springs. The doors will open at 4 p.m.

The 1,600-square-foot space is the brewery's second tap room, and has a dozen taps to serve customers.

RS Taylor operates on Misty Bleu Farm in the Town of Hebron, Washington County, which was acquired by the Taylor family in 2011. That facility consists of 50 acres of fields, hardwood stands, protected wetlands and 600 feet of cascades on Taylor Creek, which ultimately finds its way to the Battenkill. The main house, cottage and tap room were built in 2015.
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20170623

Morrisville State's brewery partner open for business

From the Oneida Dispatch
MORRISVILLE -- Morrisville State College partner Good Nature Farm Brewery is officially open for business.

Good Nature, a homegrown and family-owned craft brewery and tap room founded in 2010, has partnered with the college through the START-UP NY program, which creates tax-free areas associated with colleges and universities across the state in order to spur economic growth.

The partnership aligns with Morrisville State College’s implementation of a new food technology four-year degree program featuring three concentrations: brewing science and technology, agricultural marketing and food science. The curriculum will include 10 brewing courses, which will educate students on first-hand practical business experience with a large-scale production brewery. 
... The Morrisville State College Brewing Institute, located at the Copper Turret Restaurant and Brewhouse, will serve as a laboratory for students in the new program. ...
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20170622

Bill would make NYS beverage tastings fully sales-tax-exempt

A bill passed by both houses of the State Legislature has been sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo to give licensed breweries, distilleries, and cideries the same sales tax exemption for tastings that wineries now have.

The bill would allow the exemption even if vendors he state Senate and Assembly have passed a bill charge for the tasting. Under current law, any wine, beer, cider, or liquor tasting that is provided free of charge is exempt from having to impose the state sales and use tax. However, wineries are granted a sales tax exemption even if they charge for the tasting.

“As the number of breweries and distilleries increases across New York, including many farm-based operations, we must ensure that we provide a level playing field for those in the industry,” said Erie County Sen. Patrick M. Gallivan, (R-C-I). “Right now, these businesses don’t enjoy the same sales tax benefits provided to wineries. That’s not fair to them or their customers.”
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20170621

Neighbors file suit to block golf course brew pub project

From The Saratogian
HALFMOON -- Two couples living near the Fairways of Halfmoon golf course have taken legal action to prevent the course from adding a brew pub.

 Joseph and Donna Micklas and James and Maria Hopeck filed the lawsuit ...against the Halfmoon Planning Board and the Fairways of Halfmoon LLC, 17 Johnson Road, in state Supreme Court in Saratoga County.

The Micklases live on Raylinsky Lane and the Hopecks live across from the golf course on Johnson Road. The golf course is owned by developer Bruce Tanski though he was not listed in the legal action.

The two couples seek to annul the Planning Board’s approval May 8 of the plans for a 1,967-square-foot addition for the brew pub and its accompanying special use permit. The legal action comes 10 weeks after a public hearing was held on the project at which both Joseph Micklas and James Hopeck spoke. Both men expressed displeasure with the plan, saying it would put a commercial business in an A-R (agricultural-residential) zone. Micklas pointedly questioned whether this particular business at this location fit the town code requirements for special use permit consideration. After minor revisions to the plan, the application was approved with a 6-1 board vote on May 8. The lone vote against the approval was board member John Higgins.
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20170620

Update: World of Beer may resurface at Crossgates Mall

UPDATE (6/0/17): If the corporate website isn't just a tease, the World of Beer chain appears to be returning to Crossgates Mall in Guilderland. The "locations" website page says "REOPENING SOON!" on what it calls its "Albany" location.

(Originally published 7/23/16)

Headline: Crossgates closing only latest for World of Beer

Any time a pub or restaurant quietly closes and doesn't announce plans for a renovation, reopening, or anything else, that is not a good sign.

So, one must assume World of Beer, the chain tavern in Guilderland's Crossgates Mall, is gone from this market. As evidence, the doors are locked, the phone doesn't work, the website, Facebook page, and Twitter account haven't been updated in months.

When Times Union food blogger Steve Barnes tried to find out what is going on, he was stonewalled, saying, "An employee at the mall’s information desk told me the closure was sudden and they have been instructed to say that World of Beer is 'closed temporarily.' A World of Beer staffer who emailed me wrote, 'We can’t get an answer as to when or even if it will reopen'.”

WOB, which leans heavily on its 500-beer selection and live musical performances in its marketing, has opened more than 70 locations in 20 states since its first spot debuted in Tampa, FL, in 2007. The Crossgates location opened its doors in June 2014. However, its closure shouldn't be a shock. My research reveals that in the past 18 months or so, abrupt closings of WOB locations have taken place in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood; in St. Petersburg, Land O Lakes, and Jacksonville Beach, FL; in Austin and Dallas, TX; in Columbus and the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, OH; in Milwaukee; in the Seattle suburb of Renton; in Denver, and in Ann Arbor, MI. And, that's what I found in less than 10 minutes of searching.

Most of the shuttered spots had been open only about two years on average. As recently as six months ago, CEO Paul Avery didn't say anything about closing any locations when he bragged in an interview with the industry website Brewbound:

"2015 was an excellent year of growth for World of Beer, as we have not only met but exceeded our goal of robust growth and in adding quality franchise partners. ... Last year’s success has set us up for another promising year, and we look forward to expanding the World of Beer brand to new markets nationwide and overseas in markets such as China, India and the Philippines.”
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Update: Cuomo's alcohol-at-the-movies bid appears to be DOA



Beer and wine are sold in this California theater where clip-on trays also holds food items.
UPDATE 3 (6/20/17): State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie told reporters Monday he opposes on safety grounds Gov. Andrew Cuomo's idea of expanding alcohol sales in movie theaters. That statement effectively scuttles Cuomo's pitch, first made in January, since no piece of legislation can make it to the floor for a vote without the endorsement of the speaker.

UPDATE 2 (4/12/17): Governor Andrew Cuomo's push to allow all movie houses in the state to sell alcoholic drinks failed to get enough support in the Legislature to become reality. Neither the Republican-led Senate nor the Democrat-led Assembly included it in their budget proposals, and the final budget passed over the weekend did not include any provisions for the measure. Current state law prevents movie theaters from selling such beverages unless the venue also serves restaurant-style food and has tables to go with every seat.

UPDATE (1/20/17): In one of his budget speeches this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he would propose granting approval for movie theaters to serve wine and beer, as well as incentives to encourage them to be sure those are New York State products. The catch -- and isn't there always a catch with government? -- is that Cuomo's actual paperwork reveals that such service would NOT be restricted to wine and beer, and there is no provision for incentives for using state products.

(Originally published 1/18/17)

In New York State you can sip a beer or a glass of wine while watching a standup comic perform live, listen to a lounge singer-pianist or a jazz quintet, or even stroll through a gallery to see an art collection or hear a speaker. If alcohol-friendly Governor Andrew Cuomo has his way, you'll be able to enjoy the same beverages while taking in a movie.

There is a small handful of movie houses in the state allowed to sell such beverages now, a result of a succesful 2011 lawsuit filed by Nitehawk Cinemas seeking such a privilege, but they must have table seating and offer a full restaurant menu. Hardly the same as sitting in your neighborhood moviehouse and sloching back into a comfy overstuffed seat while you take in the latest version of the "Hunger Games" franchise, and hardly a sufficient-sized venue to handle crowds for first-run films.

During his budget address delivered publicly on Tuesday, Cuomo said that in addition to dozens of revenue and regulation recommendations, "We also had a proposal that would allow alcohol and beer to be sold in movie theaters. And, it would be joined with an incentive program, to incentivize the movie theaters to sell New York wine and beer."

If successful, the proposal would be just another step in a long series of moves by the governor to aid the state's wine/spirits/brewing industry by simplifying regulations, expanding tax credits, creating promotional programs, and speeding up licensing.

“It is a very big industry for us," Cuomo said. "We have developed it, it’s going gangbusters, anything we can do to encourage it. It’s especially successful in Upstate New York."
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New Finger Lakes casino debuting signature IPA

New signature IPA (photo provided)
The del Lago Resort & Casino hasn't even fully opened yet, but it already has its own signature craft beer.

The Seneca County facility has teamed up with CB Craft Brewers of nearby Honeoye Falls, south of Rochester, to create del Lago Summer IPA that will debut this week at the casino. The gaming portion of the complex opened in February near Waterloo off Thruway Exit 41. Its 225-room hotel and spa are scheduled to open on Friday, July 1, several weeks ahead of schedule.

CB Craft Brewers, which this year is celebrating its 20th anniversary, already had been producing house beers for bars, restaurants and other venues that do not have their own brewing equipment. The new IPA (India Pale Ale) will be served on tap starting at 6 p.m. Thursday in The Vine, the casino's entertainment venue.

"The vision for del Lago Resort & Casino has always been to embrace and promote all that the region has to offer, including local breweries, wineries, businesses and tourist destinations," general manager Jeff Babinski said in a statement.

Del Lago is one of the three full-service, non-Indian casinos that have opened in Upstate in the past seven months, including joining the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady and Tioga Downs in Nichols, west of Binghamton. The $440 million facility has 1,980 slot machines and 99 gaming tables.
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Cuomo unveils new 'Excelsior Cup' craft beer competition

That didn't take long. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a strong and continually-pushing cheerleader for New York State's craft adult beverage industry, cooked up a Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge  in May. It involved five breweries' products in a taste-off involving a celebrity judging panel. That, it seems, was just the start of his competitive juices.

On Monday, Cuomo's office announced that this year's New York State Fair will host its first professionally judged contest for commercial beers -- the New York State Craft Beer Competition, with the top brew earning the Governor's Excelsior Cup. The statement said the aim is to promote the state's fast-growing beer industry in New York, which now has more than 340 breweries, the most since before Prohibition.

The commercial beer contest will be new to the Fair, which already hosts a homebrew competition as well as commercial and amateur wine contests. It will award gold, silver and bronze medals to the beers judged best in 20 categories, Cuomo said. Categories will include standards pale ale and lager along with a variety of and niche styles.

Judging will take place July 29 in Rochester, coordinated by the New York State Craft Brewers Association. It is open to any craft brewer located in the state. Brewers may enter more than one variety of beer. Each entry is $45. Details and entry instructions are available online.

The Excelsior Cup winner and other medal winners will be displayed in the Horticulture Building at the Fair, which this year will run  from August 23 to September 4. There  also will be a sampling booth and daily Taste NY wine and beer seminars.
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Distilleries to get by-the-glass sales OK for other drinks

New York's craft distilleries will be allowed to sell beer, wine and cider by the glass if Governor Andrew Cuomo, as expected, puts his signature on a bill passed by both house of the State Legislature this week.

Currently, farm distilleries may sell beer, wine and cider only by the bottle and not for on-premises consumption. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. George Amedore and Assemblymember Patricia A. Fahy, is an expansion pf a 2016 bill that allows New York’s farm cideries, wineries and breweries to serve other New York-made alcohol on premises.

“We cannot express how much the passing of this bill means to us,” said John Curtin, co-founder and co-owner of the Albany Distilling Co. and vice president of the New York State Distillers Guild.
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20170607

Pushback on brewers' tasting rooms may hurt craft movement

From Forbes.com
Grumblings are growing louder and legislation that limits direct beer sales out of tasting rooms is getting passed.[around the country] ...

Though breweries work in partnership with their distributors and retailers, they also compete against them when they construct tasting rooms and pubs that might draw hundreds of customers every day of the week.
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New Lake George Beer Hub is in full operation

• From NYupstate.com
By Don Cazentre
QUEENSBURY -- A big new "beer hub" is gearing up this summer to boost growth for two breweries in different parts of Upstate New York.

The Lake George Beer Hub is in the town of Queensbury between Lake George and Glens Falls. It's producing beers for two separate breweries -- Cooperstown Brewing Co., of Milford near Cooperstown, and Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., founded in Glens Falls.

The hub -- with a big brewhouse and tasting room -- was built by Davidson Brothers in 2014. It now is owned and operated by a third company, Northern Eagle Beverages, a beer distributor located in Oneonta. Old Slugger Pale Ale from Cooperstown Brewing Co., produced at the Lake George Beer Hub. Old Slugger Pale Ale from Cooperstown Brewing Co., produced at the Lake George Beer Hub. ...

"The bottom line is we can produce more beer for both Cooperstown and Davidson Brothers and better manage the production efficiently (at the beer hub)," said George Allen, Northern Eagle's president. The Lake George Beer Hub had its grand opening last week.
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20170605

Little ol' Wolf Hollow Brewing enjoys a growth spurt

Wolf Hollow tasting room (photo provided)
The Wolf Hollow Brewing Company just got bigger.

The microbrewery, located on Route 5 in West Glenville, this morning took delivery of a pair of new 15-barrel fermentation tanks, effectively doubling its production capacity within a few weeks when the new equipment goers online.

The additional equipment is part of a $120,000 expansion-and-improvement plan that co-owner Peter Bednarek describes this way:

"As many of you know, we have been talking about our expansion project for a while now and kept using the word 'soon.' Well, this morning 'soon became a reality.' ...  Along with these new tanks there have been some other projects going on around the brewery you may also have noticed. Last week, we put in a brand new septic system, which you can still see right now when you pull into the parking lot on the left side. This new system will allow us to handled the scaled-up beer production.

"Another project that most have not seen is the new keg refrigerator that has been constructed in the back barn. This fridge is now home to the 200+ new kegs that arrived on the truck along with the fermenters this morning and also soon will be operational to help store all the new beer. "

Wolf Hollow has been working with four seven-barrel tanks. The expansion will enable it to broaden its portfolio from 12 to 16 brews. In addition, expanded tasting rooms will be added. Currently, they are limited to  Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. The facility is located at 6882 Amsterdam Road. Phone: (518) 214-4093.
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20170602

Update: Barge-shipped beer tanks to be delivered Saturday

Fermentation tanks en route to Rochester.
UPDATE (6/2/17): The first shipment of Chinese-manufactured beer fermentation tanks measuring 20 feet wide by 60 feet tall today was sitting on an Erie Canal lock just outside the suburban  Rochester town of Gates. They are on schedule for delivery, and are expected to be loaded onto flatbed truck on Saturday and moved five miles to their destination, the Genesee Brewing Company in downtown Rochester.

Despite media and public interest in the project, several state and local politicians have expressed displeasure with the brewery using state economic development funding for the purchase of tanks they claim could have been made in-state. Go here for that story.

(Originally published 5/22/17)

HEADLINE: Beer fermentation tanks moving via the Erie Canal

Even the weakest student of geography knows it's a shorter distance from China to Rochester if you don't go by way of Albany (and if you're traveling the traditional easterly route). But, it's a different story if you're delivering beer fermentation tanks.

The first three of a dozen 20-by-60-foot tanks being shipped from the manufacturer in China to the Genesee Brewing Company in downtown Rochester is now on the way. Their first domestic stop was at the Port of Albany, where they were placed on barges because they are too large for conventional movement by rail or truck. Then it was goodbye high tech, and hello Erie Canal.

The barge passed through the Waterford locks at the eastern terminus of the waterway just off the Hudson River opposite Troy on Friday. The westbound trip had temporarily been delayed by a high water level caused by heavy rains.

The tanks are part of Genesee Brewing's $40 million expansion project. If you're interested in tracking -- and maybe observing -- any of the trip as some people have been doing, here's the schedule for the first shipment of tanks:
May 23: Tanks will proceed to Niskayuna to Scotia to Rotterdam Junction/Glenville to Cranesville to Amsterdam to Tribes Hill

May 24: Tribes Hill to Randall to Canajoharie to Fort Plain to Mindenville
May 25: Mindenville to Little Falls to Frankfort to Utica

May 26: Utica to Rome to New London

May 27: New London to Brewerton to Baldwinsville

May 28: Baldwinsville to Mays Point to Clyde to Lyons

May 29/30: Lyons to Newark to Palmyra to Macedon to Pittsford to Henrietta; Tanks arrive at 150 Lee Road in Rochester
By way of comparison with the $40 million project, the idea of the 363-mile-long Erie Canal was authorized in 1817 by the New York State Legislature with a  budget of $7 million. It was completed in 1825.

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20170601

Chatham Brewing debuts in-house food service today

Chatham Brewing today debuted a new line of food offerings in its taproom.

It has been serving food from the Hudson diner Grazin' for some time, but now is serving a small in-house menu from what it is calling the Main Street Kitchen as a nod to the complex's  location.

The Asian-style dishes were devised for the taproom by the neighboring People's Pub, and include such items as double fried Korean wings, Korean shaved beef sandwich, and vegetable ramen. The menu is available online.

The brewery’s cafe will be open daily except Tuesday: from 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon Friday through Sunday. Food service will close an hour before the tasting room does.

Chatham Brewing and Main Street Kitchen are located at 59 Main Street in the village. Phone: (518) 697-0202.
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20170526

Buffalo brewer creates signature beer for restaurant group

Here's a good example of synergy.

A Buffalo area brewery is partnering with a bi-coastal restaurant group to make a signature beer for sale in its New York State restaurants.

42 North Brewing Company is brewing Cayuga Wheat, using New York State wheat malt and the Cayuga grape, which is native to the state.

The beer was first served at Patina 250, the group's restaurant in the Delaware North building in downtown Buffalo, headquarters of the Delaware North Co. which has a majority interest in the Patina Restaurant Group.

With the expanded distribution, Cayuga Wheat now is available on tap in Patina restaurants in New York City at Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and elsewhere. It also is available at Patina 250 and 42 North's taproom at the brewery in East Aurora.

Overall, Patina has 57 upscale restaurants in New York, New Jersey, Florida, California, and Japan.
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20170522

Beer fermentation tanks moving via the Erie Canal

Fermentation tanks en route to Rochester.

Even the weakest student of geography knows it's a shorter distance from China to Rochester if you don't go by way of Albany (and if you're traveling the traditional easterly route). But, it's a different story if you're delivering beer fermentation tanks.

The first three of a dozen 20-by-60-foot tanks being shipped from the manufacturer in China to the Genesee Brewing Company in downtown Rochester is now on the way. Their first domestic stop was at the Port of Albany, where they were placed on barges because they are too large for conventional movement by rail or truck. Then it was goodbye high tech, and hello Erie Canal.

The barge passed through the Waterford locks at the eastern terminus of the waterway just off the Hudson River opposite Troy on Friday. The westbound trip had temporarily been delayed by a high water level caused by heavy rains.

The tanks are part of Genesee Brewing's $40 million expansion project. If you're interested in tracking -- and maybe observing -- any of the trip as some people have been doing, here's the schedule for the first shipment of tanks:
May 23: Tanks will proceed to Niskayuna to Scotia to Rotterdam Junction/Glenville to Cranesville to Amsterdam to Tribes Hill

May 24: Tribes Hill to Randall to Canajoharie to Fort Plain to Mindenville
May 25: Mindenville to Little Falls to Frankfort to Utica

May 26: Utica to Rome to New London

May 27: New London to Brewerton to Baldwinsville

May 28: Baldwinsville to Mays Point to Clyde to Lyons

May 29/30: Lyons to Newark to Palmyra to Macedon to Pittsford to Henrietta; Tanks arrive at 150 Lee Road in Rochester
By way of comparison with the $40 million project, the idea of the 363-mile-long Erie Canal was authorized in 1817 by the New York State Legislature with a  budget of $7 million. It was completed in 1825.

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20170521

Newburgh Brewing's taproom gets No.1 nod in NY online poll

The Newburgh Brewing Company taproom (photo provided)
Rankings are, as one might put it somewhat less crudely than usual, like rectal orifices. Everyone has one. The latest in New York State's beer world is a list of "best" taprooms by the influential website RateBeer.com.

The Newburgh Brewing Company was voted the "top tap room" in New York State in an online poll. As we all know by now, while online polls are popular, they are fraught with statistical inaccuracies. Nevertheless, they do offer some measure of popularity.
Christopher Basso

The brewery has been around only since 2012. Its top-selling product is a cream ale, one of its four original beers. It is made by brewmaster Christopher Basso, a graduate of both Boston University and the French Culinary Institute who began his brewing career at the Brooklyn Brewery.

The taproom is located in the brewery facility at 85 Colden Street in Newburgh, a block west of  the Hudson River. Hours: Wednesday, 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, noon to midnight. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (kitchen closes at 4 p.m.)

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20170518

2 brewers tie for win in Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge

UPDATE 3 (5/18/17): There is no winner in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. There are two. Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown and Roscoe Beer Co. of Sullivan County tied for top honors among from among five finalists at the tasetoff Wednesday night in Manhattan. The others were the Genesee Brewing Co. of Rochester, Prison City Pub & Brewery of Auburn, and Southern Tier Brewing Company of Chautauqua County.

UPDATE 2 (5/15/17): The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the top five finalists in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. The winner will be chosen Wednesday. The finalists, listed alphabetically: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown;  Genesee Brewing Company, Rochester; Prison City Pub & Brewery, Auburn;  Roscoe Beer Company, Roscoe; Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood.

UPDATE (5/13/17): Well, now we know who else will be on the judging panel for the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The first person the guv appointed was himself. On Friday, he revealed who will be joining him -- former Buffalo Bills football star Thurman Thomas, who owns a bar at the Batavia Downs horse track; celebrity chef Mario Batali; Noah Kaufman, an editor at Food and Wine magazine, and Anne Becerra, a writer and beer director for the Treadwell Park beer hall in New York City. 

(Originally published 5/3/17)

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

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20170516

30+ makers to offer tastings at Brattleboro Brewers Festival

More than 30 brewers of beers and cider have signed up to participate in the 6th annual Brattleboro (VT) Brewers Festival set for the May 27.

In addition to more than 100 different brews for sampling, live music, various food vendors, and a line of prizes and raffles will be included.

The outdoor event will be held rain or shine at VABEC Field off Old Guilford Road in Brattleboro. Parking will be available at the Brattleboro Union High School on Fairgrounds Road, with   shuttles running all day.  The only parking at the event is for drivers with a handicap parking permit.

Early bird ticket sales, priced at $25 online only, end this Wednesday. Other ticket information is on the same site.

The participating brewers:
  • 14th Star Brewing
  • Allagash Brewing Co.
  • Amherst Brewing
  • Angry Orchard Cider
  • Brown's Brewing Co.
  • Champlain Orchards Cidery
  • Citizen Cider
  • Downeast Cider House
  • Element Brewing Co.
  • Foolproof Brewing
  • Goodwater Brewery
  • Hermit Thrush Brewery
  • Jack's Abby
  • Long Trail
  • Lord Hobo Brewing
  • Magic Hat
  • Matt & Harry's Hard Cider
  • New Belgium Brewery
  • Northshire Brewery
  • Queen City Brewery
  • Samuel Adams
  • Switchback Brewery
  • The People's Pint
  • The Traveler Beer Company
  • Trout River Brewing Co.
  • Truly Spiked & Sparkling
  • Two Roads Brewing Co.
  • Von Trapp Brewing
  • Whetstone Station Restaurant & Brewery
  • Woodchuck Hard Cider
  • Woodstock Inn Brewery

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20170515

Update 2: 5 Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge finalists picked

UPDATE 2 (5/15/17): The office of Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday announced the top five finalists in the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge. The winner will be chosen Wednesday. The finalists, listed alphabetically: Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown;  Genesee Brewing Company, Rochester; Prison City Pub & Brewery, Auburn;  Roscoe Beer Company, Roscoe; Southern Tier Brewing Company, Lakewood.

UPDATE (5/13/17): Well, now we know who else will be on the judging panel for the Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge recently announced by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The first person the guv appointed was himself. On Friday, he revealed who will be joining him -- former Buffalo Bills football star Thurman Thomas, who owns a bar at the Batavia Downs horse track; celebrity chef Mario Batali; Noah Kaufman, an editor at Food and Wine magazine, and Anne Becerra, a writer and beer director for the Treadwell Park beer hall in New York City. 

(Originally published 5/3/17)

Every one of the state's 321 craft breweries has its fans, so it will be interesting to see how large voter turnout is for the "Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge." That's the latest state government effort under its Taste NY program advocating for the state's food and beverage producers.

Then public will decide which five breweries make it into a taste-off by filling out an online ballot. Then, on a June date to be announced a judging panel led by Governor Andrew Cuomo will conduct a blind taste in Ndew York City and select a winner.

News of the contest comes right on the heels of the 20th annual TAP NY competition at Hunter Mountain, an event that decrees the best brewers and brews in the state. It has nothing to do with the Taste NY program.

If you need a refresher course on the many breweries located in the Greater Capital and environs, here is a list. I keep the geographic definition rather loose, given the propensity of people in this area to travel a bit to attend the many drinks and food shows and festivals with which it abounds. Thus, certain nearby parts of the Adirondacks, Catskills and Cooperstown area are include.
  1. Adirondack Pub & Brewery, 33 Canada Street, Lake George
  2. Argyle Brewing, One Main Street, Greenwich
  3. Artisinal Brew Works, 41 Geyser Road, Saratoga Springs 
  4. Battle Hill Brewing Co., 4 Charles Street, Fort Ann
  5. Beer Diviner, 461 Broadway, Troy, and 243 Bly Hollow Road, Petersburg
  6. Big Slide Brewery & Public House, 5686 Cascade Road, Lake Placid 
  7. Big Tupper Brewing, 12 Cliff Avenue, Tupper Lake
  8. Brewery LaHoff, 50 Vedder Road, Coxsackie (to open this year)
  9. Brewery Ommegang, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown
  10. Brown's Brewing Co., 417 River Street, Troy, and 50 Factory Hill Road, North Hoosick
  11. Cave Mountain Brewing Co., 5359 State Route 23, Windham
  12. Chatham Brewing, 59 Main Street, Chatham
  13. C.H. Evans Brewing/Albany Pump Station, 19 Quackenbush Square, Albany
  14. Common Roots Brewing Co., 58 Saratoga Avenue, South Glens Falls
  15. Cooper's Cave Ale Co., 2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls
  16. Cooperstown Brewing Co., 110 River Street, Milford  
  17. Council Rock Brewery, 4861 State Highway 28, Cooperstown
  18. Crossroads Brewing Co., 21 Second Street, Athens
  19. Davidson Brothers Brewing Co., 184 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  20. Druthers, 381 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, and 1053 Broadway, Albany
  21. Dutch Ale House, 255 Main Street, Saugerties
  22. Great Adirondack Brewing Co., 2442 Main Street, Lake Placid
  23. Great Flats Brewing, 151 Lafayette Street, Schenectady (to open this year)
  24. Green Wolf Brewing, 315 Main Street, Middleburgh
  25. Hank Hudson Brewing, The Fairways of Halfmoon, 17 Johnson Road, Mechanicville
  26. Helderberg Brewery, Carey Institute for Global Good, 100 Pond Hill Road, Rensselaerville 
  27. Helderberg Mountain Brewing Co., 141 Warners Lake Road, East Berne
  28. Honey Hollow Brewing Co., 376 East Honey Hollow Road, Earlton
  29. Hudson Brewing Co., 99 South 3rd Street, Hudson
  30. Indian Ladder Farmstead Brewery and Cidery, 342 Altamont-Voorheesville Road, Altamont
  31. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, 813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid  
  32. Mad Jack Brewing, The Van Dyck Lounge,237 Union Street, Schenectady
  33. Mean Max Brew Works, 193 Glen Street, Glens Falls
  34. Olde Saratoga Brewing Co., 131 Excelsior Avenue, Saratoga Springs 
  35. Paradox Brewery, 154 Route 9, Schroon Lake 
  36. Racquette River Brewing, 11 Balsam Street, Tupper Lake,
  37. Rare Form Brewing Co., 90 Congress Street, Troy  
  38. Real McCoy Beer Co., 20 Hallwood Road, Delmar
  39. Red Shed Brewery, 817 Butterbowl Road, Cherry Valley
  40. Rip Van Winkle Brewing, Angela's Italian Bistro & Brewery, 4545 NY Route 32, Catskill
  41. R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery, 3602 County Route 30, Salem
  42. Serious Brewing Co., 116 Caverns Road, Howes Cave
  43. Shmaltz Brewing Co., 6 Fairchild Square, Clifton Park
  44. Sloop Brewing, 1065 County Route 19, Elizaville
  45. S&S Farm Brewery, 174 Middle Road, Nassau
  46. Steadfast Beer Co., 90 State Street, Albany
  47. Suarez Family Brewery, 2278 Route 9, Livingston
  48. Wolf Hollow Brewing Co., 6882 Amsterdam Road, Glenville

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