The year is over and it was an interesting one in craft beer. Lots of growth and lots of innovation. What will be the next revived style? What new breweries will pop up and what others will expand to our area? If you know or have met me, you probably heard me say that we live in good times for beer, a real wealth of riches. I feel that it will only get better, which is hard to believe. It’s been a little over 6 months into my tenure at The Ruck and I already a bunch of great moments and memories to reflect upon. The NEBCO event in November (Fuzzy Baby Ducks!), pouring for Industrial Arts at the Beer Invitational during Troy craft beer week (Wrench!), the Black Friday Geek out (Focal Banger & Sip of Sunshine + that draft list), not to mention all the new beers and breweries I have learned about right alongside my new friends on the other side of the bar.
As we embark on our 20th year at The Ruck, we have some big plans, so I would like to look ahead in this 1st post and might reflect further on 2017 next time. New York continues to grow with new and exciting things happening in every corner of the state. Here are a few New York State breweries that you should keep an eye out for if they are not on your radar already, in no particular order:
Thin Man Brewery
The only brewery operating in Buffalo’s historic Elmwood Village.Their offerings are versatile and innovative, while striving to improve on more traditional styles.They have been fortunate to brew with some friends in the industry, including: Mikkeller NYC, Gun Hill, KCBC, Collective Arts, & Sloop. They are currently expanding their barrel aging program and will be in full distribution to start 2018. Go go Buffalo!
The North Brewery
Father and son homebrewers Eric and Zach Pedley have been brewing and selling their beer just outside of Binghamton since 2013, they are well known for their imperial stout God Complex and are constantly pushing the envelope when it comes in innovation in other beer styles. Maybe someday, their brews will make it up to Troy, maybe in 2018.
For years they brewed light German lagers until expanding and opening a taproom in the heart of Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens neighborhood. They continue to focus on European styles and source hops from a family farm in upstate Michigan. Their head brewer is ex-Torst barman and Evil Twin posterboy Joe Pepper.
Sand City Brewing
Barrie Brewery is not the only brewery killing it out on Long Island. About an hour outside of NYC, on the North Shore, is Sand City Brewing. Specializing in NEIPA’s they are regularly selling out can releases and just did their 1st collaboration with Other Half. It is one of my goals to be serving their beer here next year. You have been warned
Prison City Brewing
Ben Maeso has been brewing some amazing beer out West of Syracuse in what is now being referred to as the “Beermuda Triangle”. Their Mass Riot IPA is world class, and they have GABF medals to prove their skills in other styles. Hopefully they have enough liquid to send some our way in 2018.
This is not a new brewery. You have probably heard of this brewery, but you may not have heard that they have a new head of R&D/innovation. He is none other than Eric Bachli, former head brewer at Trillium near Boston. The brewery has reopened their doors in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn and are releasing brewery only beers that can be purchased thru an app and picked up at the brewery. I look forward to seeing some fresh draught from Sixpoint to show us all the innovations to follow.
I am sure that there will be other breweries growing and expanding, but this is a good jumping off point. I also look forward to other breweries outside of NY that plan to grow their reach out to our area. Keep an eye out for more Springdale from Massachusetts, Platform from Cleveland, Funkwerks from Colorado, Funky Buddha and Cigar City from Florida, Deschutes from Oregon, and maybe some smaller regional ones like Foam, Burlington Beer Company, Exhibit A, West Kill and Burly Oak. Time will tell. There is plenty more to discuss, but let’s wait until next time. Happy New Years and I look forward to the next time I see you at The Ruck.