Empire State Brewery Trail to debut

New York, a state known for its wine trails but with a brewing history that stretches back nearly four centuries, is about to launch an official Empire State Brewery Trail.

The New York State Brewers Association and the Heartland Brewery, a string of brewpubs in New York City and operator of a temporary beer garden that is the largest in the world (see previous entry), will host the start-up event on Friday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 10 p.m. at South Street Seaport’s Pier 16 & 17 in Manhattan.

The sponsors are partnering with the Pride of NY program to showcase food and wine producers from around the state. The festival is by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

The festival is designed for mature adults. No one under age 21 will be served. Legal identification will be enforced.

Tickets are $40 and are available online. A limited number of tickets may be sold at the gate, but that will depend on the demand of advance sales. Proceeds will benefit the New York State Brewers Association a NYS 501(c) 6 Not-For-Profit Corporation.

The majority of the 60 or so breweries, micro-breweries and brew pubs from across the state are expected to be represented. They are part of a re-emergence of craft breweries in the state that began a decade ago and has grown in fits and starts.

New York's brewing history dates to the 1630s when the Dutch West India Company established a brewery in New York City.

The Empire State Brewery Trail eventually will link brewries around the state through signage, brochures and events similar to those used by wine trail organizations in various parts of the state. It would be the first of its kind in the nation.

An "I Love NY Beer" promotion will be created to coordinate the visitors' brewery trail, vacation itineraries, and a "brewery passport" booklet of discount coupons and information on surrounding attractions.

"Such a rich history of the brewing industry is here, and we ought to be exploiting that if we can," said Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, D-Brooklyn, sponsor of the legislation. "We have a whole group of microbreweries recapturing the beer brewing tradition of yesteryear and making it a significant industry again in New York."

The beer trail would mimic the winery tours already promoted by the New York State Department of Economic Development.

To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
To Dowd's Wine Notebook latest entry.
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