“I thought starting a brewery was cool, but what you guys are doing, going around trying beer at all these breweries, that’s really cool.”
Mark Gillis, founder and brewmaster of Blue Line Brewery in Saranac Lake, said this to us. It is pretty cool. We’ve been having such a great time traveling across our home state for book research, visiting places we’ve never been to. And trying many, many New York beers.
Here is what we’ve discovered thus far: New York State is highly under-appreciated for its beer.
We get it, we really do. When you think of states with great beer, Oregon, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Maine come to mind. And when you think of places to get great beer in New York, NYC and its surrounding areas would probably be your first choice.
We’re not sitting on high horses here. We were guilty of this too. But we can now tell you with absolute certainty that New York has amazing beers. There are breweries and brewpubs that stick with and work to perfect English styles. There are others that put their own spin on traditional beers, like making a sweet pale ale or a golden oat ale. Still others that innovate and experiment with interesting flavors and ingredients.
If you’re from a small town upstate you’re probably like, duh, we know this already. We’re glad. Our hope is that we can encourage people who stick to NYC and its surrounding areas – and also those who don’t think of New York as a place for great beer – to explore this state. We know you’ll find some great brews.
Greenport Harbor‘s Black Duck Porter.
Here I am climbing out of a brew kettle at Davidson Brothers Brewing Company.
Tap handles at Newburgh Brewing Company.