Thursday, July 14, 2016

Six Places to Drink Local in the Capital Region

Hoppy? Malty? Wheaty? Fruity? How do you describe your favorite beer? As if New York didn’t have enough to be proud of, the brewery scene is continuing to grow at a rapid pace.

If you agree with Stephen King’s wise words, “I work until beer o’clock,” go ahead pack it up, and head out the door to one of these delicious local hot spots and enjoy a cold one.

Adirondack Pub & Brewery
Adirondack Pub & Brewery opened its doors in 1999 and has been happily brewing ever since. With a planned five-year, $5 million expansion, the brewery continues to make changes to add to its history. They have a 4-vessel, 15-barrel brew house with 480 barrels of fermenting capacity.

The brewery offers more than 25 non-pasteurized craft ales to impress even the hardest to please beer connoisseur. With year-round ales and a lager to choose from, there is always something brewing. Adirondack is similarly praised for their seasonal choices, which are welcomed by raving fans in lines waiting outside the brewery door.

Beer Diviner
Beer Diviner is New York’s first farm brewery. Beer Diviner is passionate about drinking local, sourcing nearly all of their ingredients from New York. “We have always recognized the importance of the local – from the farmers who we buy barley and grains from to the hops we pick outside the brewery’s front door,” according to their website.

Their strongest brew is their signature ale, The Divinator, which has 11 percent alcohol content. Or, if you want to taste something totally different, you should try the Got Your Back Coffee Oatmeal Stout, which includes a local grinder’s cold brewed Sumatra French decaf. Check out their events, or invite them to your next event!

C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station
With a history to top almost all breweries in New York, C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station's story begins back in 1786 with the Evans Family. The brewery bottled its own beer at one of United States’ earliest bottling facilities until prohibition ended the fun in 1920. Neil Evans, also called C.H. Evans IV, revived the brewery in 1999, and the brewery reigns once again.

“I got to speak with my great uncle, who was the last surviving family member that worked in the brewery back in the day,” Neil said. “We have tried our best to recreate what the brew used to be like with today’s ingredients.”

With 12 in-house brews, there are many to choose from. However, the most beloved brew is the Kick-Ass Brown Ale. This ale won three gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival and even received the Governors’ Brewers’ Cup for best individual beer in New York.

C.H. Evans Brewing always has great events going on, so be sure and check out a Beer & Brat(wurst) Night!

Druthers Brewing
Chris Martell saw the need for a brewery and pub in Saratoga Springs, and thus Druthers Brewing Company was born. Chris, alongside the other three owners, opened their first brewery four years ago in Saratoga Springs and have been growing at a rapid pace ever since. After one year in Saratoga Springs, the team decided to work on opening another location in Albany, where they could have control over all conditions and a bigger brewery. Contract brewing wasn’t their thing.

“We are the fastest growing brewery in the region and have no thoughts of slowing down,” said George De Piro, chief pub officer and brew master. “We have managed to grow greatly in the past four years and find it super important to remain aggressive. If you’re not growing at 10 percent a year, you’re doing something wrong.”

George couldn’t say which beer was his overall favorite. He drinks dependent on the weather and his mood. “On a hot day, I enjoy the Dare (Gose) German sour ale. On a cooler day, I enjoy our malty Druthers Dry Stout, which has won two major awards.”

They will be celebrating their fourth anniversary in August at the Saratoga Springs location. Check out the other events they have on tap.

Nine Pin Cider Works
While Nine Pin Cider Works isn’t a brewery, it’s an ideal place to relax and enjoy an alcoholic beverage. Who knows? You may find a newfound love for cider. You may even see the Cider Monster.

Albany is in the middle of the diverse New York apple crop and is a great place to create fermented cider. While only three years old, Nine Pin is the first farm cidery in the region. According to, New York is ranked second for top ten apple producers.

“If you’re new to the cider scene, we will start you off with our Signature Cider and we can tweak from there dependent on if you like something drier, sweeter, etc.” said Alejandro Del Peral, founder of Nine Pin.

Their mission is a simple one – to create great cider. “We have many ciders on tap, and they are constantly changing, besides the core products,” Alejandro said. “Our off dry, sparkling cider is our most popular.”

Be sure and check out their events because something fun always seems to be going on at Nine Pin. This August, there will be a wild mushroom forage that ends at the cidery, where mushrooms and cider are paired for a tasting.

Rare Form Brewing Company
Rare Form Brewing Company is passionate about exploring and experimenting with finely made craft beer. Combining experiences from the Midwest, West, Northwest and Northeast, the owners view brewing as a personal art form.

Rare Form is sure to inspire your desire to create your own home brew. With their Scale Up project, you could win a chance to brew your own with the Rare Form head brewer. If chosen, you will proudly see your beer gulped pint by pint in their tasting room until the very last drop is gone.

Where will you go next for a local pint? Contact a HUNT sales professional today to find your dream home near your favorite pub.