What an eventful year it has been at The Ruck and craft beer in general. We brewed 20 collaboration beers with some of our favorite breweries, hosted over 50 brewery events, and started a kitchen renovation that will be finished soon! Singlecut came up to Clifton Park and has been brewing like crazy, Sloop opened up a new facility and taproom, and Other Half purchased the old Nedloh facility outside of Rochester and plans to open in 2019. We welcomed Fiddlehead & Lawson’s from Vermont, Great Lakes from Ohio, and Cigar City from Florida to name a few of the new out of state breweries to enter the market. New York state also had a lot of new breweries pop up and/or make their way up to the Capital District including but not limited to Westkill, Woodstock, Bolton Landing, Sand City, District 96, Beer Tree, Unified Beerworks, Stoneyard, Alewife, and Buried Acorn. Based on all this growth the beer bubble has not burst yet, but with over 400 breweries in the state we might be getting close.

At the start of the year, I mentioned 6 breweries to keep an eye on. Here is an update on four of them:

Thin Man Brewery - Three Orange Whips - The Ruck x Thin Man Collab - Buffalo, NY

Thin Man Brewery - Three Orange Whips - The Ruck x Thin Man Collab - Buffalo, NY

Thin Man has quickly risen to Buffalo beer relevancy making quite an impact in the capital district too. Our collaboration brew with them, Three Orange Whips vanilla cream ale, has been a tap staple since our tailgate event that kicked off Troy Craft Beer week. Their core beers like Bliss(DIPA), Pils Mafia, and Minky Boodle Raspberry sour are all top notch. They continue to brew some great collaboration including a recent one with LIC beer project. Sky is the limit for this outfit.

Kate and Dave brewing at Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, NY

Kate and Dave brewing at Sixpoint Brewery in Brooklyn, NY

Sixpoint did not let me down when I requested fresh hoppy beers this year. Hootie was a delicious hazy Pale Ale, Binary was a dangerously easy drinking Imperial IPA, and we even got some really tasty sours like Lil Raspy, Spritzer Bomb, & Citrus Jammer. Their app still allows you to order limited release beer for pickup, if you happen to be visiting NYC. If you like dark and roasty beer, they got you covered on that too with their coffee infused 4beans Imperial porter.

Prison City Brewing - Auburn, NY

Prison City Brewing - Auburn, NY

Sand City breweries made a few appearances on our draft list this past year with hits like Ooops! I Hopped my Pants, Putting Out Fires, and Second Wave. These juicy hazy brews did not disappoint. They will be available thru distribution next year, so expect to see more of this brewery around.

Prison City Brewery continues to win awards and grow. They recently started a 2nd facility in addition to their brew pub, expanding to a 10 barrel brewhouse with this expansion. They also started small canning runs in this past year along with expanding their barrel and sour program. We were able to pour a tasty collaboration beer they did with Barrier Brewing of Long Island called Bug Juice. There will be more Prison City in 2019.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and hope you ring in the new year with a tasty beer. Keep an eye out next year from some guest blogs, brewer Q & A’s, and more news about the new and fresh brews coming out locally. Keep an eye out for Common Roots and Zero Gravity having a greater presence in Troy and stalworts like Brown’s and Rare Form to grow. Cheers!