The city of Syracuse has a deep-rooted history in the beer brewing industry dating back to the 19th and early 20th century, as it is home to some of the largest breweries in Central New York and surrounded by hops-producing farms that dominated the domestic market for decades.
Though many of these historic and once thriving breweries met their demise during Prohibition, the city has experienced a significant boom in craft breweries in recent years, putting it back on the map for beer enthusiasts everywhere!
If you’re a beer lover who’s exploring Upstate New York, you’ll want to make sure the charming city of Syracuse is on your travel list. Here, you’ll find some of the best brewery experiences in the state. From dark and malty stouts to light and refreshing wheat beers, there is something for everyone at these establishments.
To aid your search, we’ve comprised a list of what we deem to be the top eight best breweries in Syracuse, along with recommendations of their most delicious beers. Each brewery has its own unique atmosphere and style, so be sure to visit them all and find your favorite. Cheers!
- Buried Acorn Brewing Company
- Full Boar Craft Brewery
- Heritage Hill Brewhouse
- Hot House Brewing
- Middle Ages Brewing
- Red Hawk Brewing
- Talking Cursive Brewing Company
- Willow Rock Brewing Company
Buried Acorn Brewing Company
A great way to start your beer adventures in Syracuse on a high note would be to visit the Buried Acorn Brewing Company. This brewery specializes in barrel-aged mixed-fermentation sour ales and farmhouse-style beers for those of you who prefer these styles. Of course, they have other options amongst their 32 varieties you can enjoy in their cozy tasting room by the harbor.
Since sours are style, the Buried Acorn is passionate about, we recommend trying at least one while you’re there. The Vincent is an excellent option, although it is technically a red wine hybrid. Those of you who prefer an ale or something darker should try the 1000 Tiny Michael Jacksons Breakdancing in Your Mouth or the Oktoberfest With Coffee.
Full Boar Craft Brewery
One of the best breweries to visit in Syracuse, NY if you’re on a brewery-hopping spree is Full Boar Craft Brewery. While they don’t offer any food options, this brewery has a diverse selection of beers ranging from Irish Dry stouts to Hazy New England to Czech Pilsners and more. The best part is you can order in a variety of sizes, like an 8-ounce sampler, a standard 16-ounce glass, or even a 64-ounce Growler to go.
Arguably the most popular item found on Full Boar’s draft menu is their Black Boar Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter, closely followed by the Burning the Ships Deuces 2022 IPA Milkshake, but the Mixed Berry Smoothie Sour is a viable alternative if you want something fruitier.
Heritage Hill Brewhouse
When you’re ready to sit down for a quality meal while sipping some exceptional craft beers, head over to the Heritage Hill Brewhouse. Visiting this venue located in the spacious hills of Syracuse gives you a breath of fresh air from its cramped city streets. It offers ample indoor and outdoor seating where you can relax for an hour or two, dig into mouthwatering smokehouse/pub food, and chat over a crisp, cold beer.
It might not be everyone’s favorite brew flavor, but there’s no denying that one of Heritage Hill’s greatest creations is their Oh My, Pumpkin Pie, a tasty pumpkin and yam beer conditioned with Vietnamese cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. The Alota Colada fruited sour is another fantastic selection alongside their hazy New England IPA, the Route 20 East W/ Phantasm.
Hot House Brewing
While the variety and flavors of a brewery are undoubtedly the most important factor when it comes to ranking one’s experience, having an interesting aesthetic never hurts. This is one thing the Hot House Brewing has over its competitors, as it operates in an actual hot house. This means you can munch on the bistro’s best and then stroll through the brewery’s conjoined greenhouse and smell the roses while sipping their best brews.
Giving recommendations for Hot House can be tricky since their tap changes weekly and they have a relatively small selection of canned options. The Sorachi Blond Ace and Neepah Creek (NEIPA) are both staples they have year-round, but most locals will tell visitors to try whatever seasonal or quirky brew they happen to have that day.
Middle Ages Brewing
If you’re in Syracuse, NY for a short while and only have time for one brewery, the go-to choice is definitely Middle Ages Brewing. As the oldest, locally owned and operated brewery in Syracuse and one of the oldest in New York, Middle Ages has had ample time to perfect its brews, and it shows. It might look unassuming from the outside, but the interior is a medieval blast from the past, and this aesthetic carries over to it’s famous brews.
While you sit in front of the Middles Age’s roaring fireplace, release your inner knight and sip either their Dark Knight porter or the Bourbon Barrel Aged Dragonslayer. If you happen to be there during their renowned music and/or trivia events, you’ll want to loosen up with their Dinosaur Ape Hanger Ale or Just Peachy smoothie sour.
Red Hawk Brewing
Those of you who enjoy the more traditional styled beers or aesthetics will love Red Hawk Brewing where they specialize in the old-world farmhouse and abbey-style ales/lagers/ciders. This microbrewery has a farmhouse aesthetic paired with vintage glassware and classic décor that adds to the experience of drinking their high-quality brews.
Red Hawk Brewing excels at rich flavors as seen in their Black Sea Stout and Bavarian Doppelbock. Those of you looking for lighter and/or fruity options will want to try their unique Figgy Pudding imperial or Bogberry Ale.
Talking Cursive Brewing Company
The usual chain of events with a brewery is that it receives recognition for its beers months or even years after opening, but Talking Cursive Brewing Company blew that precedent out of the water when it started winning awards before even establishing a venue. Inside this quaint and classy brewery are some of the most iconic beers in Syracuse.
If you’re a nurse, teacher, firefighter, or a member of the military, police, or a similar occupation, be sure to visit between 4pm-8pm on Thursdays for “Hero Night” where you’ll receive a BOGO deal on your first beer. In our opinion, those first two beers should be their Rhubarb Raspberry Pie and whatever seasonal option they have on offer.
Willow Rock Brewing Company
If there’s one brewery that Syracuse locals can agree to offers some of the region’s most delicious beers, it’s Willow Rock Brewing Company. They’re mostly known for their flagship, the Congress Beer, which has become a staple in nearly every Syracuse beer lover’s refrigerator, but Willow Rock also offers an impressive selection of innovative creations for those with an adventurous palate.