Upstate New York has a guaranteed recipe for relaxation if you love scenic views and small crowds. What more could one ask for other than a cold glass of the best beer you’re going to find? And for that, you can trust the countless breweries in Upstate New York.
Upstate NY has one of the best craft beer scenes in America and includes amazing breweries, such as Genesee Brewing Company, Heritage Hill Brewhouse, Community Beer Works, Middle Ages Brewing Company, and Roc Brewing Co.
Here’s a list of some of the best breweries in Upstate NY that you can check out on your next trip!
- Genesee Brewing Company
- Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co.
- Heritage Hill Brewhouse
- Community Beer Works
- Druthers Brewing Company
- Middle Ages Brewing Company
- Roc Brewing Co.
- Big Ditch Brewing Company
- Talking Cursive Brewing Company
Genesee Brewing Company
Genesee has been up and running continuously since 1878, making it one of the oldest brewing companies in the US. If you’re a beer enthusiast you must be aware of Genesee Cream Ale which is an award-winning beer brewed by, you guessed it, Genesee! It is one of the best breweries in Upstate NY!
Though Genesee brews around 200+ beers, one beer you must try is their specialty Ruby Red Kolsch, a Kolsch beer with fruity notes of juicy grapefruit, seasonally available from March till July!
Lunkenheimer Craft Brewing Co.
Located in the heritage museum of Erie Canal Village, Lunkenheimer is an award-winning, small-batch brewery that doubles as a pizza parlor as well. You can enjoy the hand-crafted beers on their beautiful patio and some delicious pizza prepared in wood fire ovens.
This brewery has won awards for its German Kolsch-Style Ale named Buster, so that is definitely worth a try along with their Peanut Butter Habanero Brown Ale which will take you on a spicy ride across Flavortown!
Heritage Hill Brewhouse
Heritage Hill Brewhouse is a relatively new brewery as well as a restaurant located on a hilltop just outside Syracuse. However, its wide range of food options, from smokey BBQ to vegan selections, has made it one of the best breweries in Upstate NY.
When visiting Heritage Hill, be sure to try Route 20 East, which is an IPA full of citrus flavor and aromas, making it a fan favorite. While you’re at it, try the Tropical Blizzard IPA as well!
Community Beer Works
As the name suggests, Community Beer Works plays a vital role in making the community aware of the craft beer scene, which makes it one of the best breweries in Upstate NY! This brewery has also won several awards and provides some of the best beers available in the state, where you can choose from a variety of colorful options.
A beer worth mentioning is The Snow, which is the 2020 Gold-winner in the Imperial Stout category at the Great American Beer Festival. That award certainly warrants you crushing that beer! Oh, and while you’re at it, try their 10th anniversary Double IPA for some hoppy action!
Druthers Brewing Company
Druthers Albany, also known as The Warehouse, opened in 2015 and is one of the most popular breweries in Upstate NY. This is actually located in a warehouse that is over 17,000 square feet, which enables it to produce enough beer for its restaurant as well as other sales. And yes, you read that correctly, it has a restaurant as well which as they claim, has a little something for all food lovers because the 21st century is all about inclusivity!
Sour Currants is one of their top-rated beers. It is brewed with Thai Basil, then soured and refermented with raspberry and black currant puree – a truly unique blend of beer!
Middle Ages Brewing Company
This brewing company offers handcrafted ales inspired by traditional British brewing techniques, and the brewery even imports malted barleys from England. Middle Ages also hosts a grand annual anniversary party which is a festival you don’t want to miss! And we’re not going to give you any spoilers either, so you need to see it for yourself!
While visiting Middle Ages, be sure to try Fearless, a double coffee stout that is brewed using a blend of specialty grains, including crystal malts, oats, and roasted chocolate malts.
Roc Brewing Co.
Founded in 2011, this brewery is a hot spot for foodies and craft beer lovers as well. With the versatile beer and food menu, you cannot leave hungry or unsatisfied.
Their Barrel-Aged Tsars Wars is a Russian Imperial Stout, barrel-aged for 14 months in Bowman barrels. The smooth and velvety drink has rich notes of chocolate, burnt sugar, and dried fruit.
Big Ditch Brewing Company
Big Ditch is a chic taproom brewery providing comfort food, small plates, and obviously, beer. It is a massive industrialist setup with eccentric dishes that will refresh your taste buds. Signature beef with chicken wings or beef sandwiches. What more could you ask for?
For beer, there is a wide variety to choose from, but be sure to try their A Little Short of Madness and Galaxy Mosaic, both refreshing and smooth IPAs. The golden ale and rye brown ale are also worth mentioning.
Talking Cursive Brewing Company
Last but not least, Talking Cursive is a woman and veteran-owned brewery with uniquely crafted beer. It is a company that considers brewing art and that every beer shares a unique story. It has weekly food and drink specials that shouldn’t be missed. Located opposite the Niagara Mohawk building; good food, good beer, and good views are all available here.
Their Crispy Girl beer recently won Silver at this year’s NYS Craft Beer Competition so it is worth trying. Two other important mentions are the Stache Strong Phantasm IPA and the And Now the Sun’s Coming Up, which is a dark ale.
Upstate NY is one of the best places to visit in the US. We hope you loved this list of the best breweries in Upstate NY. Be sure to check out some of them whenever you visit. On an ending note, here’s a little challenge: if you’re as obsessed with beer as we are, how about checking every single brewery off this list in one NY trip? Happy drinking!