By Mark Marnell
Plan Bee Farm Brewery is all abuzz with activity as Evan and Emily Watson expand into larger portions of their well hidden 25-acre Poughkeepsie Farm that sits on Underhill Road’s dead end. Their all-NY Farm Brewery makes wild ales that include local farm products and some of their own herbs and vegetables from the 1,000 seeds they have planted, honey from their apiary and fruits and wild plants and flowers that rise up on their acreage. The name, in part, stems from the fact that virtually all of their wild yeast comes from their beer hives. They offer draft beer and an extensive widely varied array of 750-ml bottled sour beers botanically tinged with just about everything.
The Farm has small goats that the kids can keep entertained with while the parents entertain themselves with the art of sours. On a recent visit, I counted as many as 25 different bottled beers being sold, including some barrel-aged varieties. Their tasting room, an 1830s-built barn is set to open by the end of the summer, or the first part of the Evan’s talent and art is not limited to the brewery; you might catch him practicing in his upstairs studio. He has performed at major music festivals, warmed up big acts like Heart and Def Leppard, wrote songs for Meatloaf, performed on The View and likes to play on his farm on Saturdays. He has a CD out entitled A Town Called Blue and if you are lucky, sometimes he offers it to visitors for free. I took home a copy and gave it a listen and really enjoyed the heavy Blues influences, mixed with intelligent lyrics and other American-rooted music genres. At Plan Bee Farm Brewery, Beer and Blues is a powerful combination.
Cofounder Emily Watson Cofounder Emily Watson with sour ales made by her husband Evan.
Their tasting room, an 1830s-built barn is set to open by the end of the summer, or the first part of the fall, and Evan will be able to perform for you in his upstairs studio. In August and September, examples of some available beers are: 4% Dandeliaison made with their honey, 4% Wild Mt. Honey made with raw wheat and Remsburger Farms raw honey; 5% Pepper made with habaneros, jalapeños, ghosts, thais, cherry bombs, cayennes, hot portugals, and tabascos; 6% Plums dark wild brewed with cold pressed local dark malts fermented on 600# of Bittner Singer Orchard plums; 5.5% Beets barrel aged sour fermented on local beets; 4.5% Tiny Acorn made with acorn squash, lemongrass, coriander & wild carrot seed; 7% Honey Pumpkin Lover made with fire roasted pumpkins and honey that has been barrel aging since October; and 6% Tree Beer, a dark sour ale mashed on spruce & flowering apple branches and aged in second use rye barrels with local maple syrup. If you are into spontaneous fermentation and wild ales, this place is funkalicious.
Plan Bee Brewery Evan Watson seeding barley near his beehives.