Category Archives: Beer

CIA offering special anniversary ale

Photo: CIA/Phil Mansfield

HYDE PARK — You’ll have to drive to this Ulster County community to try it, but true craft beer lovers might be interested in the limited edition American Bounty Anniversary Ale made to mark the 30th anniversary of The Culinary Institute of America’s American Bounty Restaurant.

The beer was locally brewed and bottled by Tommy Keegan at Keegan Ales in Kingston, using a formula created by CIA chefs that combines two of Keegan’s award-winning brews. It is available only at the restaurant, located on the CIA campus.

“This blend of Keegan’s Old Capital and their dark and creamy Mother’s Milk is aged in American whiskey barrels,” Noelle Guagliardo, CIA beverage manager, said in a written statement. “The result is a delicious medium-bodied ale with hints of oatmeal, chocolate, caramel and smoke.”

The CIA is located at 1946 Campus Drive. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. Reservations and other information: (845) 471-6608.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 16, 2012 in Beer, Hudson Valley


Martha Clara going German for a weekend

RIVERHEAD, Long Island — Martha Clara Vineyards, never a snob about beverages, will host its 11th annual Oktoberfest the weekend of September 8-9.

German beers, food music — and wine, of course — will be available at the North Fork facility from 1 to 5 p.m. each day.

This is a rain-or-shine event. Admission is $10 for each day. Click here for Saturday tickets, or here for Sunday tickets.

Martha Clara is located at 6025 Sound Avenue. However, the Herricks Lane entrance will be used for Oktoberfest visitors. Phone: (631) 298-0075.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Beer Event, Wineries


Craft beer fest Saturday at Troy college field

TROY — Beer and baseball are an all-American combo. But even when the team is on the road, there’s no reason the beer can’t flow at their home stadium.

This Saturday, the 3rd annual Capital Region Craft Brewers Fest will be held from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the Hudson Valley Community College campus.

Tickets, available online, start at $25 — covering 10 tasting tickets, a souvenir glass and a ticket to a Tri-City ValleyCats home game.

Brews from about two dozen or so brewers, food and live music also will be the order of the day. The event is a fundraiser the New York-Penn League Charitable Foundation.

Participating brewers include:

  • Brown’s Brewing
  • Cape Ann
  • Crossroads
  • Smuttynose
  • Switchback
  • La Brasserie Unibroue
  • Blue Point Brewing
  • Adirondack Pub & Brewery
  • Lake Placid Pub & Brewery
  • Roc Brewing Co.
  • Saranac
  • Wandering Star Brewing Co.
  • Long Trail Brewing Co.
  • Otter Creek Brewing
  • Wolaver’s Organic Ale
  • Olde Saratoga Brewing Company
  • Brewery Ommegang
  • Cottrell Brewing Company
  • Ithaca Beer Company
  • Brooklyn Brewery
  • Chatham Brewing
  • C.H. Evans Albany Pump Station
  • Madison Brewing Co.
  • Keegan Ales
  • Davidson Brothers
  • Butternuts Beer & Ale

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Beer Event, Capital Region


New state laws aid farm breweries/wineries

UTICA — Governor Andrew Cuomo’s signature was affixed to a trio of bills today that will help support farm breweries and wineries in the state.

The setting, appropriately enough, was the F.X. Matt Brewery here.

Here, in summary, is what happens now:

• Farm breweries will be allowed to sell New York State-labeled wine at their retail outlets. In addition, farm wineries will be permitted to sell New York State-labeled beer for off-premises consumption.

• Farm breweries will be able to to obtain licenses to operate restaurants, conference centers, inns, bed and breakfasts or hotels on or adjacent to the farm brewery.

• Both farm breweries and farm wineries will be allowed to conduct tastings of New York State-produced beer and wine at their premises.

• Farm breweries will be allowed to sell beer-making equipment and supplies, food complementing beer and wine, souvenir items, and additional products similar to those allowed under the Farm Winery Act.

In addition, brewers in the state producing 60 million or fewer gallons annually will get a refundable tax credit and be exempted from the $150 annual brand label fee.

As noted by the New York Farm Bureau, New York was the national leader in growing hops in the 1800s. In recent years, more attention has been paid to that niche. Hop production has risen 400% in the past two years to about 60 acres statewide. A provision in the legislation calls for 90% of the hops and 90% of the ingredients in the local beer to be New York grown by 2024.

“This legislation is important for our members, as it makes simple financial sense,” said Dean Norton, Farm Bureau president. “Farm breweries are a growing segment of agriculture in New York and new markets are needed to sell their products and continue their progress. Since farm breweries can use crops from New York farms to craft their products, the agricultural industry overall receives an economic benefit as well.”

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Brewery, Legislation/Regulation


Proctors On Tap bringing back brews, blues

SCHENECTADY — The 2nd annual Proctors On Tap Brews and Blues is getting close.

The event, which will offer visitors the chance to try samples from among 75 different beers as well as food from local kitchens, is set for Saturday, July 14.

The tasting areas and live entertainment by Folding Sky and Bobby Vanness will be spread over indoor and outdoor spaces at the downtown Proctors complex.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $10 for designated driver admission. No one under 21 will be admitted. All proceeds will go directly to Proctors.

Tickets may be ordered by calling (518) 346-6204 or online.

Brewers scheduled to participate:

  • Sam Adams
  • Saranac
  • Magic Hat
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Long Trail
  • Otter Creek
  • Adirondack
  • Brooklyn
  • Olde Saratoga
  • Switchback
  • Ithaca
  • Peak
  • Ommegang
  • Steadfast
  • Founders
  • Palm
  • Narragansett
  • Lake Placid
  • Harpoon
  • Woodchuck Ciders

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Beer Event, Capital Region


B.A.M. beerfest and competition set in Saratoga

SARATOGA SPRINGS — “B.A.M.” has nothing to do with chef Emeril Lagasse.

It’s the B.A.M. Fest, the initials standing for beer and music.

The beer portion includes beer sampling and a homebrew competition. The music portion includes New Regime and Will Severin.

The inaugural event is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at the Saratoga Polo complex, 2 Bloomfield Road. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the gate, and are available online. Tickets include five beer samples, although extras can be purchased at the event.

The deadline for entering the homebrew competition is May 25. Brewers can get full details by calling 669-4396. The overall event is a fundraiser for The Creative Place International, a non-profit organization that provides arts-in-education resources to young people and their families.

Speaking of Saratoga Polo, the 2012 season is set for July 6 through September 2, with matches scheduled for Fridays and Sundays at 5:30 p.m.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.


Ithaca Beer facility expansion nears completion

ITHACA — The powers that be at Ithaca Beer Company are expecting to have an even higher profile some time his summer.

The craft brewery is nearing completion of a $3 million expansion plan that will include new manufacturing facility — delivery of the new silo several weeks ago is seen at right — housing a restaurant, pub and tasting room.

The result will mean a tripling of the brewing capacity to 100,000 barrels a year, and a beer garden will be added to hold small festivals, concerts, dinners and other special events.

Owner Dan Mitchell told local media, “This will allow you to actually come in and have some nice, locally grown food in our pizza pub and still see the manufacturing facility. I think everybody knows what beer is but not necessarily how it’s made and this will give you a great opportunity to see how it’s made and really enjoy our product inside our facility, which is kind of neat.”

Ithaca Beer, now 13 years old, has shown a 20% growth over the past five years. The new location is behind the current facility, on former farmland. The company is located at 606 Elmira Road (Route 13), just south of Buttermilk Falls. Phone: (607) 273-0766. Current tasting room hours are noon to 6 p.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Free brewery tours begin on the hour starting at noon Saturday and Sunday.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Brewery, Finger Lakes


New NYC Brewers Guild takes over craft week

NEW YORK — The New York Craft Beer Week will have something different when the fifth annual event kicks off next month.

Founder Josh Schaffner has passed the baton to the newly-formed New York City Brewers Guild (NYCBG) which will announce the festival’s schedule on May 22 when it holds a debut event at the Brooklyn Brewery in the Williamsburg section.

Tickets for the May 22 event are $75, which covers a souvenir tasting glass and unlimited samples of each brewery’s offerings. Food will be provided by Guild members Eataly Birreria and 508 GastroBrewery. An additional $50 will result in a discounted year-long individual Guild membership to the NYCBG. Regular membership after the festival will be $75. You can get tickets online.

Other members of the NYCBG are the Bronx Brewery, Chelsea Brewing Co., Harlem Brewing Co., Heartland Brewing Co., KelSo Beer Co., Shmaltz Brewing Co. and the Sixpoint Brewery.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Beer Event, Festival, NYC


‘Maifest’ in the works at NYC’s Pier 81

NEW YORK — It’s nearly “Maifest” time, when each year World Yacht turns Pier 81 into an outdoor beer garden for the afternoon.

The event is scheduled for noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 12, rain or shine, and will include beer, food and live music.

But, what good is being on the water without being … well, on the water? So, an optional hour-long cruise on the Hudson River from 2 to 3 p.m. will be available.

“Maifest” is a German festival marking the celebration of spring. German beers such as Paulaner and Hacker-Pschoor, including Mai Bock, will be available along with German-inspired foods such as sausages, classic and chicken bratwursts, hot dogs, hamburgers and uber pretzels.

Music will be provided by Die Spitzbaum, and the professional German dance troupe Schlierachtler Stamm will perform.

Tickets for pier admission only are $15, tickets for pier admission and the cruise are $20. They can be purchased online. Food and drink tickets will be available for purchase onsite.

Pier 81 is located on West 41st Street on the river.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Beer Event, Manhattan, NYC


Table-top beer taps a growing trend

• From Nation’s Restaurant News

Personal beer taps installed at restaurant tables not only brew up excitement for guests, but they also are helping boost beer tabs, operators say.

In addition, the pay-per-ounce dispensers encourage guests to linger longer rather than bar-hop, while allowing managers to monitor guests’ drinking and remain compliant with liquor laws.

Rob McGovern, general manager of Park Avenue Tavern in New York, said the restaurant’s six booths equipped with table taps make the operation’s lower level a popular private-party space and after-work spot.

“People really like the novelty,” he said. “They’re pretty wide-eyed when they see it.”

… Much of the activity in pay-per-ounce alcohol technology centers on on-table beer taps at casual restaurants. 
According to advocacy group The Beer Institute, beer sales at restaurants rose 9% in 2011 to $23.6 billion, accounting for about 24% of total beer sales in the United States.

At Park Avenue Tavern, the 50-cents-per-ounce price gives the restaurant a premium — a pint of beer suddenly costs $8 — and helps cut down on waste, McGovern said.

[Go here for the full article.]

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 20, 2012 in Beer


Tempers flare over Genesee Brewing project

• From

ROCHESTER — A group of Genesee Brewing Co. executives, labor leaders and city officials stood in November inside a partly boarded-up industrial building, saying that by April it would be home to a $2.6 million combination microbrewery, restaurant, visitor center and gift shop.

That scuffed building remains in the same state four months later. And Genesee’s owner, North American Breweries, is saying it may pull the plug on its plans.

” ‘Threatening’ is not the right word,” North American Breweries CEO Rich Lozyniak said Thursday during a news conference, a day after Rochester’s Preservation Board voted to nominate 13 Cataract St. for landmark designation. North American’s brewery plans include demolition of 13 Cataract.

“We want to do this really badly,” Lozyniak said, “but if we’re going to spend the next year in court, two years in court, we have much better opportunities within our company to invest.”

The Preservation Board decision was made without discussion. But afterward, the board said the century-old Cataract building fits the criteria for landmark consideration.

[Complete story here.]

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Brewery


‘Wall of beer’ planned at Casa Larga Vineyards

FAIRPORT — The folks at Casa Larga Vineyards certainly can’t be considered wine snobs.

Their latest project is “99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall” in their wine shop. Fittingly, it will be unveiled on Saturday, March 17, during St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

The wall will feature beers from brewers across the state. The day’s festivities will include a variety of complimentary events as well as $5 tours at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m., as well as paid tastings and corned beef sandwiches available for sale in the wine shop.

Free events all day:

• Custom brew tastings from 2 to 4 p.m. (Caged Alpha Monkey, Mac Bubba Scotch Ale, English Pale Ale).
• Playing of the bagpipes by Andrew Duncan from 2 to 4 p.m.
• Boland Irish Dance school will perform at 5 p.m.

Casa Larga is located at 2287 Turk Hill Road in this Monroe County community. Phone: (585) 223-4210

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Beer, Finger Lakes


TAP craft brew fest set for Hunter Mountain

HUNTER — Tickets have gone on sale for the 15th annual TAP New York Craft Beer Festival, scheduled for April 28-29 at the Hunter Mountain ski and events resort.

The event features hand-made craft beers rather than brews from large commercial vendors. Many of the invited brewers produce their beer for sale only in their location, be it a restaurant, brewpub or small brewery. Others are breweries large enough to distribute on a slightly larger scale.

It also is a competition with brewers vying for the Matthew Vassar Cup for “Best Beer” and the F.C. Matt Memorial Cup for “Best Brewery” in New York State.

Festivities will be held in the Hunter Mountain base lodge in this Greene County community. Admission is available only to persons 21 and older. You can access a list of invited and registered breweries here and order tickets here.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 8, 2012 in Beer Event, Brewery


NYS Fair seeking amateur brewers, winemakers

So, you think your homemade beer or wine is good stuff? The competition organizers for the Great New York State Fair would like to talk to you.

Amateur homebrewers and winemakers 21 and older can submit entries in home brew, commerical wine and amateur wine categories. There is a range of entry fees. Competition rules, entry deadlines and fees have just been posted online and can be downloaded here.

The Fair is a 12-day celebration of New York agriculture, entertainment, art and commerce held in Geddes, near Syracuse, and attracts nearly one million people each summer. This year, it will take place August 23 through September 3.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2012 in Beer, Competition, Wine


One time its OK to say ‘Beer me!’

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Nine New York breweries will be participating in the inaugural Saratoga Beer Week that runs this Thursday through Saturday.

The first event is a launch party scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Olde Saratoga Brewery, 131 Excelsior Avenue. Former Springwater Bistro owner/chef David Britton, now better known as the shorter of two assistants to Robert Irvine on TV’s “Restaurant Impossible,” is signed up to bring his Pies on Wheels mobile pizzeria. Admission is $7.

Breweries involved: Brown’s Brewing, Adirondack Pub and Brewery, Lake Placid Brewing, Brewery Ommegang, Brooklyn Brewery, Davidson Brothers Pub and Brewery, Saranac Brewing Co., Shmaltz Brewing Co. and Southampton Public House.

Go here for the complete Beer Week schedule.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Beer Event


What do these beers have in common?

They are part of the lineup Esquire magazine has designated the “Healthiest Beer to Drink.” Go here for the details.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Beer


NY Beer Co. puts craft breweries on the map

NEW YORK — The New York Beer Company is nothing if not an equal-opportunity beer plugger.

People who drop in for a mug at the craft beer emporium should feel welcome no matter what part of New York they call home. That’s because of a wall-size map of New York, showing the location of every craft brewery in the state.

The huge beer hall, created by the craft brewmasters from the House of Brews in Hell’s Kitchen, also boasts a running stock market-style ticker displaying all sorts of information, from sports scores to current beer prices. Some of the communal tables have their own beer taps.

The beer list includes 40 taps and 50 bottles and focuses largely on a lot of lesser-known brews.

The New York Beer Company is located at 321 West 44th Street. Phone: (631) 475-6944.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Beer, Brew pub


‘Bia Maith’ beer dinner in Troy

TROY — The folks at Brown’s Brewing never seem to run dry of ideas for their monthly beer suppers, especially since Luca Brunelle took over the kitchen last year.

The latest is called “Bia Maith,” Celtic for “good food,” scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 — sort of a St. Patrick’s Day adjacent date — at Brown’s Revolution Hall event space. Reservations, which must be made by March 2, are $60 per person, $55 for Mug Club members.

The menu:

Four Leaf Clover Scotch Egg

Fried golden atop potato nest with bearnaise and fried leek twigs
Paired with Hefeweizen

Claddagh Chopped Salad

Mixed greens with tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, glazed carrots, capers, red potatoes and smoked salmon in a dill buttermilk dressing, finished with a Parmesan crisp
Paired with Tomhannock Pilsner

Smoked Barbecued Brisket

Served with bacon-caraway sauerkraut, white bean cake, Jack Daniel’s BBQ and fried pickles
Paired with Porter

Lucky Charms Crispies Ice Cream Sandwich

Paired with Cherry Raspberry Ale

Reservations: By phone at (518) 273-2337 or online. Revolution Hal is located at 425 River Street, just north of the Green Island Bridge.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Beer Event


Fueling up has new meaning at Sunoco

Sunoco is in the process of expanding its “Craft Beer Exchange” program at its APlus convenience stores across the state.

I first reported on the program last summer back when it began as a pilot program in the Buffalo market. (Details here.) Now, it has been expanded to the Albany, Syracuse and Rochester markets.

It offers a rotating selection of up to 12 craft beers available to-go in 64-ounce growlers. Customers also can create their own six-packs from a range of 12-ounce single bottles for $9.99. Selections change seasonally and include beers from such microbreweries as Long Trail, Ithaca, Victory, Flying Bison, Troegs, Red Hook, Smuttynose and Brooklyn.

The Albany area Sunoco stores in the program are located at 62 Exchange Street at Everett Road and 1465 Washington Avenue.

The tap list at the Exchange Street location includes Stone Arrogant Bastard, Bluepoint Blueberry, Magic Hat #9, Samuel Adams Winter Lager, Davidson Brothers Oatmeal Stout and Old Burnside Ten Penny Ale.

The tap list at Washington Avenue includes Kona Longboard Lager, Old Burnside Ten Penny Ale, Brooklyn Monster Barleywine Ale, Widmer O’Ryely IPA, Adirondack Beavertail Brown, Magic Hat #9, Sam Adams Alpine Spring, Bluepoint Blueberry Ale, Ommegang Hennepin, Southern Tier IPA, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Davidson Brothers Oatmeal Stout.

A complete tap list for all the 50 or so locations across the state is available online.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Beer


Study: Draw one, mix one for health

I‘ve been struggling to keep up with the regular stream of studies suggesting wine has all sorts of magical, mystical medicinal properties that will lead to better health, longer life, etc. Now, brews and spirits are getting some extra support.

A two-decade study published in the January issue of The Journal of Studies On Alcohol and Drugs reports on connections between the moderate consumption of all types of alcohol and increased longevity.

It also supports the findings of prior studies that wine has more beneficial effects than any other alcoholic drinks. However, in a twist that always seems to pop up in any study, researchers said that may because the people who choose wine tend to be more naturally healthy anyway. Go figure.

The study of 802 men and women ages 55 to 65. Of that number, 281 “low wine drinkers” consumed less than one-third of their alcohol intake from wine, 176 “high wine drinkers” consumed two-thirds or more as wine, and 345 abstainers. The drinkers had one to two drinks per day, and researchers followed them for 20 years.

Among the findings: Wine drinkers lived longer than abstainers, and high-wine drinkers lived longer than low-wine drinkers.

Charles Holahan, a psychologist at the University of Texas and lead author of the article, said there may be benefits for older moderate drinkers no matter what kind of alcohol they consume. But, he cautioned, “The study does not encourage initiating wine consumption as a pathway to better health.”

Gotta love those disclaimers. You don’t hear that sort of comment from vitamin manufacturers.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Beer, Research, Spirits, Wine


A porkalypse coming to the Big Apple

NEW YORK — The 3rd annual Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival, promising 60 beers and 40 bourbons, is planned for Saturday, January 28, at LA.Venue, 608 West 28th Street.

The all-you-care-to-taste event will be divided into two sessions: The Bacon Session, from noon to 4 p.m., and the Whole Hog Session, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Ticket holders will receive a souvenir glass.

Seminars from master distillers, master brewers and pitmasters will provide the tastings along with Southern cuisine. A Tasting Theater will feature tasting classes and seminars on various topics. To date, Harlen Wheatley, master distiller for Buffalo Trace, Chris Mattera, master butcher from Sausage Craft, Gable Erenzo, master distiller for Tuthilltown Spirits, Rob Robillard, master distiller for Cabin Fever Maple Whiskey, pitmaster Bill Eason from Lil’ Red Pig in North Carolina, and pitmaster Steve Klobitis of Kloby’s Smokehouse in Maryland, as well as brand ambassadors from Angel’s Envy and Makers Mark are scheduled to speak.

Live bluegrass music also will be presented, and exhibits of such things as hot sauces, BBQ sauces, brewerania and other food items are planned.

Ticket details are available online, or by calling (800) 830-3976.

This is the first such event of 2012 sponsored by the Trigger Agency. Others are coming to Atlanta (March 3), Timonium, MD (March 23-24), Charlotte, NC (May 12), Richmond, VA (June 9), National Harbor, MD (June 15-16), Cary, NC (August 3-4), Nashville, TN (November 3). Details on those also are available online.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Beer Event, Cuisine, Distillers


Schumer pushes ‘I Love NY Brew’ campaign

Schumer at Brown’s Brewing in Troy in February.

Earlier this year, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer toured a series of Upstate New York breweries to display his support of the industry. On Wednesday, he took the lead role in announcing creation of his “I Love NY Brew” campaign.

The campaign was created, says Schumer, to place more locally-brewed beer in restaurants, bars and store shelves around the state.

In a letter to the National Association of Convenience Stores and Fuel Retailing and to the New York State Restaurant Association, Schumer urged both associations to offer more beer brewed at the 77 micro-breweries, regional craft breweries, and brewpubs across the state that supports what the senator says is “nearly 60,000 New York jobs.”

“Craft breweries have catapulted New York to the top shelf of beer states,” the statement said, “and our beers are more than ready for prime time. Whether you are searching for a six-pack at your local 7-Eleven or grabbing Buffalo wings with a beer after work, you should have a wide assortment of locally brewed beers to choose from. I’m strongly urging New York restaurants, bars and convenience stores alike across the state to take a close look at New York’s beers, and consider putting them on their shelves or on their menu. It would be a win-win, both for those selling the beer, and for the breweries making it.”

David Katleski, president of the New York State Brewers Association, chimed in, noting, “The growth of the craft brewing industry in New York State is tremendous. Continued growth will greatly contribute to the number of jobs, tax dollars, and economic benefit to New York. Of all the beer sold in New York State, New York craft beer currently represents a 7.5% market share. One can only imagine the economic impact to our state if craft beer sales here reflected that of craft beer sales in Oregon, where they’re 30%.”

Schumer is asking the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) to encourage member restaurants to offer locally-brewed beer on their menu. In addition to getting more beers into restaurants close to where it is brewed, Schumer will be pushing the New York City members of the NYSRA to consider offering beers brewed across Upstate New York and Long Island. While some beers like Genesee and Saranac have gained popularity in the downstate market, Schumer and New York brewers believe this market is vastly underutilized and represents the chance to dramatically grow craft brewing across the state.

Here is Schumer’s breakdown of local brewing businesses and their production levels by region:

• In the Capital Region, six breweries brewed 4,922 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open two new breweries.

• In Central New York, six breweries brewed 287,883 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open three new breweries.

• In the Rochester-Finger Lakes Region, four breweries brewed 511,063 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open three new breweries.

• In the Southern Tier, 11 breweries brewed 42,279 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open seven new breweries.

• In Western New York, four breweries brewed 31,349 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open two new breweries.

• In the Hudson Valley, seven breweries brewed 11,895 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open seven new breweries.

• In the North Country, five breweries brewed 8,728 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open at least one new brewery.

• In the New York City, five breweries brewed 132,073 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open nine new breweries.

• On Long Island, 10 breweries brewed 54,122 barrels of beer last year, and there are plans to open five new breweries.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 15, 2011 in Beer


Where (some of) your tax dollars are going

ALBANY — The recipients of grants from New York State’s “Open for Business” program have been announced. For the most part, local media around the state is concentrating on what money is being sent to its reading/viewing/listening areas, but a broader look better shows the scope of the grants.

Since I deal with drinks, I culled from the list the following grants for enterprises in that field.

One of the more interesting is three-quarters of a million dollars for a new brewery in Schoharie County. Not to be left out, nearby foreign-owned Brewery Ommegang is getting $140,000 to help it expand.

Herewith the excerpt list, using descriptions taken from the grant applications.

Cayuga County:

$4,022,845, Cayuga Marketing LLC, DDiMAI training. Existing association of dairy producers will create a new company and construct a 106,000 square foot milk and dairy ingredients processing facility. New products will displace foreign imports, create new export opportunities, and increase profitability.

Chautauqua County:

$200,000, Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association, Grape Discovery Center final phase. The Center will educate visitors about the historic development of the region and the role grape growing played in the region’s cultural landscape and communities. The plan proposes 19 exhibit panels in the display room and 14 exhibit displays, free standing and wall mounted, for the reception/gift shop space, as well as exterior exhibits and an orientation pavilion.

Erie County:

$14,400, Buffalo Blends Inc., industry specific equipment training. Will provide on-the-job-training to 12 long-term unemployed workers in the operation of an agglomerator/instantizer required for processing hot cocoa mix.

Greene County:

$280,000, New York Spring Water. Assist in the expansion of NY Spring Water, creating 23 new jobs, 91% of which will be made available to low-to-moderate income individuals.

Madison County

$994,000, Owera Vineyards. Establishment of a new winery and community farm on 58 acres, including new construction, purchase of machinery and equipment, and site improvements to support wine production, tastings, farm and winery tours, and other events to promote regional tourism and agribusiness.

Niagara and Orleans counties:

$30,000, Niagara Wine Trail. Purchase and installation of signs on designated Niagara Wine Trail route. Project also includes marketing and training.

Otsego County:

$140,000, Brouwerij Belame Ltd. Brewery Ommegang. Brewery located in Cooperstown is in the early stages of a 6-year $16,000,000+ expansion of the current facilities. This expansion involves the use of multiple architects to design new buildings, expand the current brewing and beer packaging operation, as well as construct a new water and waste treatment facility. The expansion of the brewery will include a restaurant and an expanded store. These will add to the 30,000+ tourists that the brewery already draws annually. The restaurant will be serving local foods and promoting the local farmers. The current store sells local cheeses and condiments in addition to beer. The expanded store plans to provide a larger variety of locally produced products in addition to the beers produced on site.

Schoharie County:

$750,000, Cobleskill Brewery. Independently owned spin-off of Butternuts Beer and Ale, Inc. of Garrattsville will open a contract brewing manufacturing plant at the site to be acquired from Schoharie County. The site is the long vacant industrial development park in Cobleskill. The contract brewing company will open with a capacity of 25,000 barrels per year and expand within five years to 100,000 barrels. Excess space in the industrial park will be offered to local for-profit and not-for-profit entities until the brewery can assume full occupancy of this 460,000 square foot building.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 13, 2011 in Awards, Brewery


Resurgent Genesee Brewing eyes restaurant

A vintage print ad.


ROCHESTER — The Genesee Brewing Company has a long and storied history. It also has received a $20 million investment in upgrades over the past two years by its comparatively new owner, North American Breweries.

So, what next? How about a place to dine?

The company, established in 1878, has decided to convert one unused building on its manufacturing to a two-story bar/restaurant and visitors center to be called the Genesee Brew House.

The $2.6 million project would also see demolition of a cluster of two other unused buildings at the St. Paul Street site, according to a report from WHEC-TV.

Rich Lozyniak, CEO of North American Breweries, said that while North American has invested heavily in the once-struggling brewery, that spending has largely been on efficiency and product quality upgrades and the Genesee Brew House project would be the first “serious investment in connection with our consumers.”

Under North American, Genesee has returned to its roots with its iconic “glass can,” the stubby bottle it made famous decades ago.

It recently released the Genesee Heritage Collection, a limited-edition pack featuring Genesee Beer, Genesee Cream Ale and 12 Horse Ale. The latter is the brewery’s most requested legacy beer. It was first brewed in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition. It has not been brewed for years.

“We’re seeing all generations responding to the nostalgia and tradition,” said Janine Schoos, brand manager. “Genesee is taking off all over the country. We hope to be where we were back in the ‘80s when we were synonymous with good times and great American traditions.”

Genesee Cream Ale, also in the Heritage Collection, was first brewed in 1960 and has won numerous awards, including two gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival. All three beers in the Heritage Collection are embossed with a signature letter “G” for Genesee, and adorned with classic labels reminiscent of the packaging used at the height of the beers’ popularity.

The Genesee family of beers has the highest growth rate among the Top 10 selling brand families in its category between 2010 and 2011.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Brewery


• Cap Region awash in beer

Graphic by William M. Dowd

ALBANY -– There are, to be sure, some fine wine collections at restaurants in the city — Yono’s/dp, The Ginger Man and 677 Prime, for example. But make no mistake, this is a beer-centric city and getting more-so all the time.

The latest beer joint announcement concerns The Merry Monk, a bar/restaurant featuring Belgian beer. It is projected to open within the next few weeks at North Pearl and Sheridan downtown. It will offer 16 drafts and a lineup of bottled brews. It succeeds the very short-lived Corner Bar.

This no doubt will lead to even more beer-pairing dinners on the schedule, already in a dizzying number of establishments from watering holes to lah-di-dah establishments.

True, beer has always been popular in Albany — not unusual for a college town — but the establishment of such grownup watering holes as Wolff’s Biergarten certainly helped create the current frenzied level of activity. Wolff’s success with consumers undoubtedly helped sparked the creation of such other spots as Stout at 904 Broadway, The Barrel Saloon at 942 Broadway, The Olde English Pub & Pantry in the Quackenbush House at Clinton and Broadway, and the City Beer Hall in the former Lodge’s (and, later, Ballinger’s) restaurant at Howard and Lodge streets.

Also this year, there was a brief panic among drinkers when Mahar’s, the local beer mecca, closed briefly after a missed deadline cost it a delay in its license renewal. Many toasts when it re-opened got everyone calmed down.

Beer has gotten so popular that DeCrescente Distributing, the Mechanicville firm that is the leading Upstate beer supplier, has turned one of its websites into what the company says is “the ultimate mobile phone and internet search engine, designed to meet the newest needs of today’s beer consumer.”

A few other developments in the city this year:

• While it pursues a full liquor license, the new Capital City Gastropub at 261 New Scotland Avenue is relying on its beer list to make its mark. It has added a formal bar since its September opening, offering 12 draft brews and 20 bottled beers.

• The recent Albany Craft Beer Festival at The Armory sold out for the second straight year.

This news roundup doesn’t even count such new beer-centric establishments or programs in nearby parts of the Capital Region. Some examples:

• In Schenectady, the Van Dyke Restaurant & Lounge returned to brewing under new ownership that apparently has stabilized the establishment after years of being on a financial roller-coaster. The beer brand name: Mad Jack.

• The annual Conkling Hall fundraiser in Rensselaerville out in the Helderbergs this year added a homebrewers’ competition to its traditional chili competition.

• Power’s Irish Pub just opened at 130 Meyer Road in Clifton Park (former home of the Old Dater Tavern), offering 18 drafts.

• The Broadway Brew Pub & Grill in Troy opened with a beer-centric menu.

• Brown’s Brewing Company in Troy hired chef Luca Brunelle to rework its menu and create more beer-based foods.

• In August, The Proctors entertainment complex in Schenectady lifted the curtain on the new Proctors Brews & Blues festival.

• A new Mugs & Martinis Club has been instituted at the upscale Prime at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs.

• The initial Capital Region Craft Brewers Festival was so successful the first year, it was held again this year at Bruno Stadium in Troy.

• The in-development Martell Brothers Brew Pub project is going through the permitting process in Saratoga Springs.

• The Saratoga Race Course held its “Battle of the Brews” tasting and competition for the 14th consecutive year.

• In Columbia County, we saw the inaugural “Blues, Brews & BBQ” event as a companion activity to the first Hudson Music Festival in August.

• In Saratoga County, the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center initiated its first homebrewers’ competition.

• In Glens Falls, the Davidson Brothers Brewery renovated its restaurant to meet public demand that has made the spot such a success.

• In the same city, the Glens Falls Brewfest was held for the second year to great public acclaim.

So, while sales statistics in most countries say beer is falling slightly out of favor with consumers, the Capital Region continues to drink to a different drummer.

Check out my New York Drinks Events Calendar, the most comprehensive you’ll find anywhere.

Leave a comment

Posted by on November 9, 2011 in Beer, Brew pub


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.