By Mark A. Marnell
The first, official NY-sponsored Craft Beer Competition takes place July 29 in Rochester. It is sponsored by Taste NY, The New York State Brewers Association and the Great New York State Fair. Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals will be given out in 20 style categories and the overall winner will take home the new Governor’s Excelsior Cup.
Crossroads Brewing should be making beer at their new Catskill production brewery in August. At their Athens brewpub they have new beers: 4.2% Lane4 American session IPA brewed with Ahtanum, Mosaic and Galaxy; a DIPA made with Amarillo, Galaxy, and Nelson Sauvin; and Slack Tide Red IPA singly hopped with Mosaic. Newburgh Brewing is expanding again, this time with a canning line that will be pumping out beers in August. Look for year round cans of MegaBoss IPA, Cream Ale, and Brown Ale, more one offs and monthly specialty beers like NanoBoss session pale ale, due out in late August.
Keegan Ales in Kingston just came out with Fun IPA's little cousin, 4.6% Citra-hopped Little Bit of Fun session IPA. They recently acquired a new 1-bbl pilot system to release new monthly seasonals and will use it to engage in a new NY State grain evaluation project that entails a partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension, Keegan Ales, From The Ground Brewery in Red Hook, Hudson Valley Malt in Germantown and Hudson Valley Farmhub, a local nonprofit center with over 1,200 acres of farmland in Hurley dedicated to research and implementation of resilient NY State agriculture. Several varieties of barley, rye and wheat are being grown, will be malted by Hudson Valley Malt, and brewed by the two breweries and evaluated to help determine which varieties are most efficient and best suited for growth here in the Hudson Valley.
Rushing Duck in Chester will turn 5 years old on August 19. Check their website to see the details on their big bash that will showcase plenty of special beers that are barrel aged, cellared and experimental. Helderberg Mountain Brewing in East Berne is expanding into a new taproom in early August. It has a large outdoor covered pavilion and will have four taps for their beers, four rotating taps for other local farm breweries and two taps for local ciders. They will also have a selection of local farm wines. Their latest beers include all NYS Helderburgh Hills IPA and Fox Creek Copper Ale; a hybrid ESB with a traditional English malt bill, Americanized with all NY Chinook and Cascade hops. Look for new local collaborations like their Helles lager made with Crossroads Brewing and a juicy IPA made with CH Evans Brewing.
The Brooklyn Brewery at the CIA in Hyde Park in late August will have a new Class Project beer, 6% Citra and Galaxy dry-hopped Saison. In September look for an Oktoberfest. Tickets are now on sale for their 2nd Annual Brew U festival taking place Oct. 7 with more breweries, more educational seminars and more great food offerings. Mill House Brewing in Poughkeepsie recently expanded into NYC and Long Island. In August, look for 7.5% ShipRock IPA, a beer that was brewed to raise awareness for the Hudson River. Some of it was placed on a boat on the river where it rocked for a month through temps that ranged between 42 and 96 degreesF. Next year they will do it again on a larger scale. In August and September, look for new beers that include a new DIPA, Shiso Ace Down; a rice pilsner made with Sorachi Ace hops and dry hopped with the Sushi garnish Shisho; Citra Bridges Yogurt Sour, a brown ale, and all NYS How Gose It? made with Thai ginger sea salt.
CH Evans Brewing Co in Albany has an Ales For ALS beer on tap using their hop blend, 6.2% Lou's On First American IPA. 7.2% Handsome GuyPA is back, made this time with Lemondrop hops. Their tradition of collaborating with local Hudson Valley Breweries continues producing three new beers: Short, Tart & Handsome: Our Eyes Are Up Here will be the last in a series of sours made over a 2-year period with Crossroads Brewing. It is a 5.6 % Norwegian Raw Ale made with local boysenberries and rhubarb, fermented for seven weeks and dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin and Galaxy. Another Hill Williams beer, an IPA was made with Helderberg Mountain Brewing. The third is a 5.1% lambic made with Indian Ladder Farms Cidery & Brewery (ILF). The turbid mash was made with NY Conlon Malt from Hudson Valley Malt and ILF unmalted oats and hops. After spending a night in the coolship, it fermented for a few weeks before transfer into barrels. Look for it in a year.
Brown's Brewpub in Troy brewed a whopping 20 beers in two months. Look for all NY wet-hopped Harvest IPA, Iron Horse Ale, (an ALE for ALS beer using a Citra, Loral and multiple HBC experimental hops blend); Triad IPA, and Brewers Reserve #10 oak aged sour blend conditioned on rhubarb, pink rose petals, and vanilla. In September, Raspberry Sour will be on tap in-house and it will also be distributed off premises. The production brewery in North Hoosick Falls will release 12 packs of Brown Ale in August as well as 4-packs of Double IPA. Pine Island Brewing launched a summer-fall fruit series. First up is 5.8% Son of A Peach brewed with Pilsner and Wheat malts, fresh peaches, and Amarillo hops and it will be followed by a Cherry Ale in September. New draft beers at Rip Van Winkle Brewery in Catskill are a Double IPA and a West Coast Porter. At Yard Owl in Gardiner, 9.8% local coffee infused Casa Diablo Belgian dark strong ale is on as well as 5.7% 270 IPA, 4.8% Owlet Belgian pale ale and 6% Farmhouse Ale. Glenmere Brewing released a farmhouse ale and you can drink it in their newly expanded outdoor seating area while listening to Bluegrass music on most Sunday's from 2-6pm. Hudson Valley Brewery in Beacon's taproom is open Thursdays through Sundays serving up barrel-aged sours and fresh hoppy beers. Periodically, they do release 16-oz cans of some of their specialty beers.