A guide to Hudson Valley breweries, wineries, cideries & distilleries

The Hudson Valley is one of the oldest alcohol-producing areas of the country. Dutch settlers and patrician farmers, free of New England’s Puritan restrictions, brewed, distilled and cidered all the way back in the Colonial era – remember Rip Van Winkle’s powerful drink? A number of factors, particularly Prohibition and the economic decline of most of the river cities, has meant that this legacy remains somewhat buried, waiting only for some local to uncover it once again.

Hence our beverage boom. In the previous few decades, and particularly in the last ten or so years, the Hudson Valley has seen exponential growth in breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries, many of them using exclusively local ingredients and most crafting their own particular twists on your drink of choice. From national canning operations to farmyard family operations, here’s the guide to all the drinks your backyard has on tap.

Walden

 

(Courtesy of Angry Orchard)

Angry Orchard

2241 Albany Post Rd., Walden, (888) 845-3311, www.angryorchard.com/our-orchard

One of the country’s most prominent cider brands opened its own wood-floored tasting room in Walden, on the site of a gorgeous 60-acre orchard, formerly owned by Crist Brothers. Take a tour of its washing, pressing and aging facilities, pick up a growler or try a specialty drink that you won’t be able to find in your local grocery.

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Newburgh

Newburgh Brewing Company

88 South Colden St., Newburgh, (845) 569-2337, www.newburghbrewing.com

Newburgh Brewing Company brews a range of beers, from seasonal sours and Irish stouts to standbys like its ultra-hoppy brand of Boss IPAs. Happy hours, trivia and weekend live music give its tasting room a convivial atmosphere.

 

Highland

Kortney Wilklow and Devin Britton of Bad Seed Cider. Co-owner Albert Wilklow is not pictured. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Bad Seed Cider Company

43 Baileys Gap Rd., Highland, (845) 236-0956, www.badseedhardcider.com

Unlike some of its competitors, Bad Seed sticks to a few basic hard ciders, fermenting its apples with fresh raspberries or hops for a little extra kick. It serves special small-batch drinks at its various tasting rooms, including its Highland Farm Bar, open September to October during picking season.

Fjord Vineyards

251 Ridge Rd., Milton, (914) 874-4537, www.fjordvineyards.com

This particularly scenic winery’s Rieslings, reds and chardonnays can be found in most regional liquor stores, and are served in local restaurants. Topping out at $25 a bottle, this is a very reasonable option for your next dinner party. Their tasting room isn’t open just yet, but if you’d like to be notified when it does, sign up on their website.

Pictured are the owners and brewers of Hudson Ale Works in Highland at 17 Milton Avenue. (L-R): Neil Trapani, Adam Trapani and Josh Zimmerman. Hudson Ale Works beer will soon be available at local bars and restaurants this winter. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

The owners and brewers of Hudson Ale Works in Highland. (L-R): Neil Trapani, Adam Trapani and Josh Zimmermann. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Hudson Ale Works

17 Milton Ave., Highland, (845) 384-2531, www.hudsonaleworks.com

Hudson Ale Works focuses entirely on small-batch brews to be served as a draft. Drop into their taproom – open weekends – for variations on German hefeweizen, Belgian Dubbel or a coconut vanilla stout.

 

Nostrano Vineyards

14 Gala Ln., Milton

(845) 795-5473

www.nostranovineyards.com

Nostrano’s locally grown grapes produce wines that are far from a no-go. In addition to providing tasting menus and special farm-to-table dinners, it is also a popular wedding destination.

 

Gardiner

Left to right are owners and siblings Samantha Boylan, Colin Boylan (who is also the brewer) and Mackenzie Dietz. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Gardiner Brewing Company

699 Rt. 208, Gardiner

(845) 255-5300

www.gardinerbrewingcompany.com

One of the Valley’s newest breweries – only a year old – Gardiner Brewing Company serves “beer from here,” brewed from fresh ingredients grown on the fifth-generation Wright’s Farm. The lovingly restored dairy  barn is now a popular tasting room, and it’s also a live music destination, hosting folk and Americana acts most weekends through the fall.

 

Gardiner Liquid Mercantile

128 Main St., Gardiner

(845) 633-8764

www.gardinerliquidmercantile.com

In addition to stocking local products, alcoholic and otherwise, from surrounding producers, Gardiner Liquid Mercantile distills its own fruit brandies from produce grown on Dressel’s Farm. Its Farm Bar is a smörgåsbord of regional delicacies, drinks and products.

 

Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee created Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner in 2003.

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillers

14 Grist Mill Ln., Gardiner

(845) 419-2964

www.tuthilltown.com

Tuthilltown is New York’s first whiskey distillery since prohibition, and it leans into that old-fashioned feel, from its National Register of Historic Places-acknowledged location to its historical tours. They make a variety of bourbons and rye whiskeys as well as their “Indigenous” vodka brand, distilled entirely from New York State-grown ingredients.

 

Yancey Stanforth-Migliore and Michael Migliore of Whitecliff Vineyard. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)

Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery

331 McKinstry Road, Gardiner

(845) 255-4613

www.whitecliffwine.com

It’s been 20 years since Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore launched Whitecliff Vineyard & Winery in Gardiner. But it was 20 years before that Michael, shortly after beginning a career with IBM as a semiconductor engineer, first began experimenting with planting grapes on the land. The family-run winery has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years. Recent recognition includes a 2018 Double Gold Medal from the San Francisco International Wine Competition (SFIWC) for their 2016 Cabernet Franc and a 2018 Double Gold at the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition for their Gamay Noir. A Double Gold Medal is earned when every one of the more than 50 professional  judges of a competition  judge the wine at the gold level.

Whitecliff’s most significant achievement so far was winning best of show for white wines at the annual San Francisco competition in 2010, when their 2009 Riesling beat out 1300 other white wines entered by winemakers from 27 countries and 28 states. To put the honor in perspective, Best of Show is awarded when the judges re-taste all of the white wines that earned a Double Gold against each other and unanimously choose one as the best overall. “In the context of our goal to make wines that are respected and have the Hudson Valley region taken more seriously,” Yancey says, “we were pretty happy with that award.”

 

James Walsh and Kristop Brown of Yard Owl Brewery (photo by Lucia Civile)

Yard Owl

19 Osprey Ln., Gardiner, (845) 633-8576, www.yardowlcraftbrewery.com

Yard Owl focuses on Belgian-style beers, served in its taproom alongside traditionally pickled vegetables, eggs and charcuterie. Its owners also run New Paltz’s popular Mudd Puddle Café.

 

New Paltz

Bacchus

4 Chestnut St., New Paltz, (845) 255-8636, www.bacchusnewpaltz.com

This popular collegetown hangout and poolroom has begun brewing its own beers. While still a work-in-progress, they currently serve a double IPA and berry jam sour.

 

Brooklyn Cider House at Twin Star Orchards

155 North Ohioville Rd., New Paltz, (845) 633-8657, www.brooklynciderhouse.com

Brooklyn Cider House brings a bit of the borough upstate, serving delicious European-style ciders as well as brick-oven pizza, burgers and more. The tasting room is open through November. There’s also an open-air pavilion and pond in the back with a picturesque picnic area that often features live music. Mannerly dogs are warmly welcomed, and kids and adults are free to play cornhole and other lawn games.

 

Clemson Bros. Brewery and owner Kenan Porter (Erik Christian Photography)

Clemson Bros. Brewery at the Gilded Otter

3 Main St., New Paltz/22 Cottage St, Middletown, (845) 256-1700, www.clemsonbrewing.com

For 20-plus years, the Gilded Otter was a path-breaking Hudson Valley brewpub and New Paltz favorite for food, live music and more. Since its spring 2019 purchase by Clemson Bros. Brewery, the menu has expanded to include Clemson Bros. beers, burgers and pizzas, as well as seasonal brews like a blueberry-and-pomegranate sour ale, cherry wheat and mango pilsner. You can find the Clemson Bros.’ takes on IPAs and stouts in craft stores, as well as in their Middletown brewery and taproom.

 

Coppersea Distilling

239 Springtown Rd., New Paltz, (845) 444-1044, www.coppersea.com

Coppersea advertises such “heritage” distilling methods as floor malting, direct-fire copper heating and open fermentation to produce its spirits. It also runs a sustainable pig farm, feeding them the spent mash.

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Kettleborough Cider House

277 Rte. 208, New Paltz, (845) 255-7717, www.kettleboroughciderhouse.com

Tim Dressel harnessed his family’s four generations of apple-growing knowledge for his take on small-batch ciders, growing over 20 varieties specifically for pressing. The unfiltered Huguenot Cider attempts a traditional flavor, drawn entirely from hard-cider apples like Esopus Spitzenburg and Kingston Black.

 

New Paltz Brewing Company

1714 Rte. 209, Wawarsing, (845) 419-3040, www.pfalzerbrau.com

Pfälzerbräu produces entirely German-style beers, calling back to the region after which the original Huguenot settlers named their settlement. Expect a Maibock, hefeweizen or kölsch from your visit to the brew-focused taproom.

 

Edmund Tomaselli with Yankee Folly Cider. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Edmund Tomaselli with Yankee Folly Cider. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Yankee Folly Cidery

69 Yankee Folly Rd., New Paltz, (845) 255-1155, www.yankeefollycidery.com

Yankee Folly Cidery, based at Jenkins & Lueken Orchards, already enjoys a wide distribution: from Albany to Long Island. Yankee Folly presses Northern Spy, Winesap, Gala, Golden Russett, MacIntosh and Empire apples to make its single line of cider, which is available for purchase in many markets and beer stores throughout our region.

 

Accord

Jacob Meglio in the new Arrowood Outpost tasting room on Church Street in New Paltz. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Arrowood Farms

236 Lower Whitfield Rd., Accord, (845) 253-0389, www.arrowoodfarms.com

The gorgeous grounds of Arrowood are inviting for beer-drinkers and music fans alike, having played home to two Dirt Farmer Festivals and serving this fall as the new Hudson Valley grounds of indie-rock Mecca the Woodsist Fest. Its beers are brewed in a three-barrel, solar-powered system.

 

Harvest dinner at Fabio and Laura Chizzola’s Westwind Orchard on Lower Whitfield Road in Accord. (courtesy of Westwind Orchard)

Westwind Orchard

215 Lower Whitfield Rd., Accord

(845) 626-0659

www.westwindorchard.com

Westwind is uses “holistic bio-intensive” methods to grow the cider-variety apples from which it presses its European-style ciders. The tasting room hosts live music and serves fancy pizzas and pasta.

 

Stone Ridge

Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider

3012 Rt. 213, Stone Ridge, (845) 266-3979

www.hudsonvalleyfarmhousecider.com

Farmhouse producer Elizabeth Ryan learned the fruit-growing ropes in England, and has a Pomology degree from Cornell University, bringing an unusual level of expertise to her work. She is widely credited with starting the hard cider boom in the Hudson Valley. In addition to her standard dry, sparkling and scrumpy varieties, HVFC also serves special drinks made from single-apple varietals.

 

Marlboro

Benmarl Winery

156 Highland Ave., Marlboro, (845) 236-4265, www.benmarl.com

Benmarl presses its wines from 37 acres of Hudson Valley-grown grapes, producing small-batch reds and whites. They also host weddings and have a bed-and-breakfast on-site.

 

Glorie Farm Winery

40 Mountain Rd., Marlboro, (845) 236-3265, www.gloriewine.com

Glorie produces a small amount of wine – about 2,000 cases – every year on its long-running farm, growing around 90 percent of all grapes right on its mountaintop property. Visitors can take a guided tasting of six wines for $9.

 

Royal Kedem Winery

1519 Rt. 9W, Marlboro, (845) 236-3651, www.kedemwinery.com

The Herzog family traces its winemaking back to Slovakia, where their grandfather was supposedly made a baron for his skill. They make a variety of kosher and non-kosher varieties.

 

Stoutridge Vineyard and Distillery

10 Ann Kaley Ln., Marlboro, (845) 236-7620, www.stoutridge.com

Growing most of its own ingredients, Stoutridge is perhaps most unique for producing most of its wine via “gravity flow,” meaning that pumps and filters, let alone sugars and gelatins, are never added into the winemaking process. They also cool their cellars with passive geothermal energy and use solar electricity.

 

Weed Orchards & Winery

43 Mount Zion Rd., Marlboro, (845) 236-2684/7848, www.weedorchards.com

Weed is one of the most popular U-Pick orchards in the region, and can be swamped on fall weekends. They also produce a number of white and red wines as well as a single 6.5 percent ABV cider.

 

Kingston

Great Life Brewing

75 Clarendon Ave., Kingston, (845) 331-3700

The area’s smallest brewery started as a hobby, but expanded recently to a Clarendon Avenue tasting room where you can try their special saison and IPA as well as more classic takes on cream ale and milk stout.

 

Keegan Ales

20 St. James St., Kingston, (845) 331-2739, www.keeganales.com

Keegan’s is a brewing pioneer. Its Mother’s Milk has become a national favorite, winning awards and New York Times recognition, and can be had fresh, along with others like the Old Capital golden ale and Hurricane Kitty IPA, at their ultra-popular Midtown bar.

 

Kingston Standard Brewing Company

22 Jansen Ave., Kingston, (845) 853-8152, www.kingstonstandard.com

On the other side of the table is Kingston Standard, a brand-new, small-batch brewery serving mussels, lobster rolls and more in their “pilot bar and test kitchen” over by the high school.

 

Phoenicia

Woodstock Brewing

5581 Rt. 28, Phoenicia, (845) 688-0054, www.drinkwoodstock.com

Actually out by the Phoenicia Diner, Woodstock occupies a big-but-lovely roadside spot, with substantial focus put on its hearty brewpub menu of tacos, salads and burgers both meat and veggie. They focus on IPAs, with the occasional cider or porter thrown into the mix.

 

West Kill

West Kill Brewing

2173 Sprucetown Rd., West Kill, (518) 989-6001, www.westkillbrewing.com

West Kill is Out There, making it perfect for those looking to put their feet up and (responsibly) whet their whistle after a particularly challenging traverse of the Devil’s Pathway. Its seasonally dependent menu is heavy on hoppy beers, but there are a few malts and crisp beers, and they’ve tried their hand at a few barrel-aged varieties of late.

 

Kerhonkson

Rough Cut Brewing Company

5945 Rt. 44, Kerhonkson, (845) 626-9838, www.roughcutbrewing.com

This brewpub serves tacos and seafood along with its own selection of ales, porters and saisons.

 

Beacon

2 Way Brewing Company

18 West Main St., Beacon, (845) 202-7334, www.2waybrewingcompany.com

2 Way is probably one of the most conveniently accessible breweries in the Valley, serving $6 drafts six days a week right in the heart of Beacon. They also go all-in for barbecue, with a heavy selection of ribs, brisket and more.

 

Denning’s Point Distillery

10 North Chestnut St., Beacon, (845) 476-8413, www.denningspointdistillery.com

This reasonably new distillery uses grains from throughout New York State, blending it with groundwater and aging it in barrels of American oak. They offer a tour-and-tasting package for $5.

 

Hudson Valley Brewery

7 Main St., Beacon, (845) 218-9156, www.hudsonvalleybrewery.com

Visitors to the very top of Main Street have probably wondered what the hubbub down by the creek was all about. HVB knows its way around a hoppy beer, incorporating flavors like lemon/lime that accent the kick without making you wince with every sip. Get drafts and wide cans in its big, functional space.

 

Sloop

755 East Dr., East Fishkill, (518) 751-9134, www.sloopbrewing.com

Sloop’s big brewing plant on IBM’s old campus is not exactly the most scenic environment, but its drinks are the (Juice) Bomb, with all kinds of small-batch and wide-distribution beers constantly coming out of the tanks.

 

Treasury Cider

9 Fishkill Farm Rd., Hopewell Junction, (845) 897-4377, www.treasurycider.com

All cider pressed here comes from Fishkill Farms, owned by the same family. Their traditional method ciders use old-growth apples, marked, like wines, with the year of their vintage.

 

Wappingers Falls

Cousins Ale Works

1582 Rt. 9, Wappingers Falls, (845) 632-1319, www.cousinsales.com

The very American Cousins brews exclusively using New York-grown ingredients. Current small-batch brews include a chocolate strawberry stout, Freedom Fuel American Amber Ale and their special Wappingers Vienna Lager.

 

Obercreek Brewing Company

59 Marlorville Rd., Wappingers Falls, (845) 632-1078, www.obercreekbrewing.com

Obercreek is one of the newest breweries in Dutchess County, opening its doors in late 2017. Available beers differ week-to-week, and visitors to their taproom can sample, sip or fill up their growler on-premises.

 

Poughkeepsie

Blue Collar Brewery

40 Cottage St., Poughkeepsie, (845) 454-2739, www.thebluecollarbrewery.com

This brewpub strives for a “no-pretension” atmosphere, with $5 pint Happy Hours, simple furnishing and a hearty, reasonably priced menu. Its menu typically runs the gamut, so don’t expect a bitter flood of IPAs or sours.

 

King’s Court Brewing

40 Cannon St. #1, Poughkeepsie, (845) 697-3030, www.kingscourtbrewingcompany.com

KC is a more “cerebral” brew, with a UC Davis-educated brewmaster and verbose menu descriptions. There’s a definite focus on the bitter, with extensive pale ale and sour offerings, though the occasional amber ale or kölsch keeps things light enough.

 

Mill House Brewing Company

289 Mill St., Poughkeepsie, (845) 485-2739, www.millhousebrewing.com

Operating with an equal focus on “art + science,” the sizable canning operation and brewpub that have grown up around Mill House come on a sound foundation of very drinkable beers, particularly their Kilt Spinner Scottish ale.

 

Plan Bee Farm Brewery

115 Underhill Rd., Poughkeepsie, (765) 207-8589, www.planbeefarmbrewery.com

Plan Bee’s menu comes entirely from seasonally available ingredients, so you’ll rarely get the same beers from them month-to-month. They sell $100 membership packages that provide the season’s brews, along with an exclusive bottle available nowhere else.

 

Millbrook

Shady Knoll Orchard & Distillery

37 Brush Hill Rd., Millbrook, www.shadyknolldistillery.com

Shady Knoll’s specialty is its French Calvados-style apple brandy, blended from over 120 varieties grown right on the property and aged for a year in wooden barrels. They also turn their rye grain into an award-winning rye whiskey.

 

Hyde Park

Professor John Fischer (left) and Head Brewer Hutch Kugeman of The Culinary Institute of America teach the Art & Science of Brewing course.

Brewery at the CIA

1995 Campus Dr., Hyde Park, (845) 905-4728, www.ciachef.edu

This is the place for all things experimental – a test lab for beers of every order. In addition to brewing their flagship IPA and witbier, students also help to hone and craft brews during their undergraduate education, which are sold seasonally whenever finals finish up.

 

Hyde Park Brewing Company

4076 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park, (845) 229-8277, www.hydeparkbrewing.com

HPBC has been producing German-style beers across from the FDR estate since 1995. This means a focus on pilsners and lagers, with IPAs making only a recent arrival on the slate.

 

Pine Plains

Hillrock Distillery

408 Poole Hill Rd., Ancram, (518) 239-1023, www.hillrockdistillery.com

Distilling right from the barley grown on-site, Hillrock traces its history to the 19th-century farmhouse, once home of a distillery and barley farm, on the property. It keeps things appropriately simple, with three types of whiskey – aged bourbon, single malt and double-cask rye – produced in a copper still by its small team.

 

Taconic Distillery

179 Bowen Rd., Stanfordville, (845) 393-4583, www.taconicdistillery

Taconic’s bourbon has been lauded by the Culinary Institute of America and Maxim Magazine, so you know it has legs. All bottles are handmade and individually numbered.

 

Millerton

Kings Highway Cider

5409 Rt. 22, Millerton, (917) 226-1257, http://cider.nyc

Though exalting its Colonial forebears, Kings Highway is a decidedly experimental cidery, fermenting special drinks with ginger, guava, hibiscus and more in search of brighter, kickier flavors. They also salute the windfall with their special Lil Scrumpy fine cider, made entirely from foraged apples and pears.

 

Tivoli

From the Ground Brewery

245 Guski Rd., Tivoli, (845) 309-8100, www.fromthegroundbrewery.com

Sitting on the grounds of Migliorelli Farms, FTG uses almost exclusively barley grown on-site, as well as hops from throughout the state. Its primarily seasonal menu includes fresh fruit saisons and a local honey ale.

 

Germantown

Hudson Valley Distillers

1727 Rt. 9, Germantown

(518) 537-6820

www.hudsonvalleydistillers.com

This family-owned place is a popular stop, serving an array of specialty cocktails made with house spirits that can also be purchased in the front market along with an array of local foods and products.

 

Sloop Brewing Company co-founders Justin Taylor and Adam Watson hard at work when they built their operation in Elizaville’s Vosburgh Orchards.

Sloop Brewing Co. at the Barn

1065 Rt. 19, Elizaville, (518) 751-9134, www.sloopbrewing.com

The far-more-scenic half of Sloop (the other half is in an industrial space on IBM’s East Fishkill campus), the Barn is a small-batch brewery and homey tasting room serving a variety of house-made beers as well as local cheeses, pretzels and more. Stay until closing and you’ll find yourself in the dark, surrounded by fireflies and stars.

 

Catskill

Crossroads Brewing Company

201 Water St., Catskill, (518) 291-4550, www.crossroadsbrewingco.com

Crossroads started in a small Athens building in 2010, and its great brewpub is still there. But its main brewery, cannery and tasting room opened in downtown Catskill in 2017, from which its trademark Outrage IPA has spread out to conquer the world. Rotating food trucks make it an enjoyable-enough place to spend an evening.

 

Hudson

Hudson Brewing Company

99 S Third St., Hudson, (518) 697-5400, www.hudsonbrew.com

In a not-uncommon story, HBC started as three friends in a garage who eventually put in to start their own small-batch brewery. Their beers have won New York State TAP awards, putting this small business on the map.

 

Old Klaverack Brewery

150 Thielman Rd., Hudson, (518) 965-1437, www.oldklaverackbrewery.com

A New York State farm brewery, OKB uses Germantown-grown malts in locally inspired drinks like the Roxbury Hollow DIPA, Klaverack Kream and more.

 

Olde York Farm Distillery

284 Rt. 23, Claverack, (518) 721-8209

www.oldeyorkfarm.com

The Olde is extra-earned here: It follows in the footsteps of Jacob Rutsen van Rensselaer, who operated a distillery on the same property way back in 1805. With the distillery currently sitting in Rensselaer’s carriagehouse, these seasonal spirits include microbatch vodkas and a lilac liqueur, as well as a year-round bourbon made from Ghent maple syrup.

 

Suarez Family Brewery

2279 Rt. 9, Hudson, (518) 537-6464

www.suarezfamilybrewery.com

Anyone passing on Route 9 has likely clocked Suarez, a large-windowed two-story building right off the road. Stop in for a growler of its many unfiltered German-style beers, as well as hoodies, glasses and a friendly brewery dog.

 


Read more articles from the 2019 edition of Explore Hudson Valley: Fall in the Valley

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