Craft beer has transformed from a stuffy weekend pastime to a flourishing industry as the movement takes hold globally. Every nation and city can claim to have its own customs and microbrewery scene. But New York has a particularly strong variety of up-and-coming businesses making large, bold beers to be consumed in their very own taprooms. The top 15 are listed below.
There are countless top-notch breweries in New York State, and New York City, in particular, produces some of the best craft beer in the nation. The Big Apple is full of choices when it comes to craft beer. With options ranging from extra-juicy IPAs to tuned-in farmhouse ales.
This Middletown brewery’s core values are science and research. Equilibrium‘s beers are the result of experimenting with ingredients and production methods, trial and error, and eventually, a taste test to discover what they would like to drink, according to the company’s founders, two professional scientists.
This strategy has obviously been successful for them. As followers of the brewery queue up hours before a scheduled can release to drink their most recent creations. Many of the beers are named after concepts connected to science or math, such as the MC2 or Photon. It’s well-known for its hazy, New England-style IPAs, but it’s also well-known for its sours. There and Back Again Sour Cherry, one of its sour ales, won the Governor’s Cup in 2018.
Genesee Brewing Company
One of the oldest brewing enterprises in the US, Genesee has been operating continuously since 1878. The award-winning beer Genesee Cream Ale, which is brewed by, you guessed it, Genesee must be known among beer enthusiasts. It is among Upstate New York’s top breweries!
Genesee produces more than 200 different types of beer. But their specialty Ruby Red Kolsch, a Kolsch beer with fruity flavors of juicy grapefruit, is one you simply must try! It is only available from March through July.
Beer Tree Brew Co.
Since Beer Tree is a farm brewery, the majority of the hops and other components used in the finished product come from nearby farms. And given that the majority of their hops come from their own family farm, Beer Tree, whose motto is “Beer with Roots,” takes particular delight in that distinction. The picturesque Port Crane facility, situates directly off the Chenango River, was as a result of what initially started as experimenting with using their own hops in homebrewing.
Even just to sip your beverage within the brewery’s high-ceilinged, wooden building, which features glass windows showcasing the brewing process, or outside on the expansive patio area or neighboring pasture is worth the stop. While you’re there, stop by the Fox and Farmer food truck for a bite to eat.
Hudson Valley Brewery
The newest brewery on this list, Fidens, has been operating for just over a year, but it has already established a reputation. It is most known for its well-liked IPAs. Which draw beer enthusiasts from all over the capital region to its tap room. Its double IPA, Necessary Means for a Necessary Means, won a medal at the 2020 New York State Craft Beer Competition in the category for New York State Beer. Which acknowledges beers made with at least 20 percent New York ingredients. You can buy a growler fill to go or stop by the tap room to sample some of their newest brews.
District 96 Beer Factory
The first brewery in the hamlet of New City by creator John Potenza and his business partners in response to a demand for locally brewed craft beer from Burger Loft (the nearby restaurant) patrons (only 18 miles from New York City, making it a doable and worthwhile day trip). To ensure that there is always a range of genres accessible, District 96 consistently produces new innovations in smaller batches that frequently rotate, including IPAs, stouts, kolsches, and more. Since it is named after an election district, the names of its beers have also been influenced by politics; early names included Silent Majority, The Wit House, and Sexual Relations; more recent names include West Wing and Social Anxiety.
Torch & Crown
Congratulations to the only production brewery and restaurant in Manhattan. For fans of both beer and seasonal, elegant American eating, Torch & Crown, located on the West side of Soho and only a few steps from the Spring Street subway station, opens its doors in October 2020. They provide a wide range of beer genres. All from New York City, as well as specialty cocktails, wine, and spirits that are all solely from New York State. They are famous for local favorites Almost Famous IPA and Tenement Pilsner. Not able to enter? Don’t worry; they provide free four-pack neighborhood delivery seven days a week. For indoor or tented outside dining, a reservation is not required, but you are welcome to do so.
Strong Rope is the typical New York State brewery. With outlets in Gowanus and Red Hook as well as a seasonal taproom in the Adirondacks. All of their brews are from solely 100% New York ingredients, including wine, cider, and spirits from the state. This family-run business serves a variety of beers. From seasonals made with the best ingredients from nearby farms to classics that have been updated. At all sites, you can choose to sit indoors or outside and enjoy sporadic food vendors. However outside food is good too Both partial and full leases are available at all sites, and tables can be requested in advance.
Although they don’t yet properly brew their own beer, they do play a significant role in the community. By teaching and introducing outstanding beers from all over New York. As the only Black-owned craft beer bar in Harlem, Harlem Hops has collaborated with a number of renowned brewers. Including Brooklyn Brewery, Hackensack, Harlem Blue, and Four City. They also stock a variety of Black-owned breweries’ and distilleries’ beers and spirits. And they established the HBCU educational nonprofit Harlem Hopes, to which they donate the proceeds from their collaboration sales. The enclosed back patio and interior seats don’t require reservations and a variety of small appetizers. Including pretzel bits, brats, and hot crab pies, are offered.
In business since 2016, ICONYC has a production brewery with a 15-barrel brewhouse, a taproom, and a beer garden on the 12th Street Pedestrian Plaza in Long Island City. Bring the entire family, including the dogs, as all beer is made on the premises. And they also provide non-alcoholic choices, cider, and wine. Wednesday through Sunday, rain or shine, enjoy local pop-ups inside or outside by bringing your own food; beer is also available for pick-up. Have a sizable crowd? There is so much seating that you can usually find a spot, or you can make an online reservation for a table.
Druthers Brewing Company
One of the most well-known breweries in Upstate NY, is Druthers Albany, also known as The Warehouse. Opened in 2015 and is housed in a more than 17,000-square-foot warehouse that allows it to produce enough beer for its restaurant as well as other sales. And yes, you read it right. It also includes a restaurant that, according to its owners, offers a little something for every type of foodie because inclusion is key in the twenty-first century.
One of their top-rated beers is Sour Currants. A wonderfully distinctive beer blend, it is brewed with Thai basil and then soured and fermented with raspberry and black currant puree.
Finback is a little difficult to reach because it is in The Middle of Nowhere, Queens, but the journey is worthwhile. It is by founders Basil Lee and Kevin Stafford with an emphasis on creativity, diversity, and experimentation. Small exhibitions are also in the taproom’s makeshift art gallery, which has walls that are completely white. Along with a variety of stouts, sours, and even smoked porters, Lee and Stafford have managed to develop high-quality IPAs.
SingleCut North and Side Stage Tap Room
Ever since in Astoria, Queens, in 2012, SingleCut Beersmiths maintains a solid reputation. In Clifton Park, New York, there is now a second site for its tap room (just north of Albany). Singlecut started out making lagers and hop-forward ales. But as it evolved, it added more varieties to its roster to broaden its appeal, including stouts and sours. Music aficionados will particularly enjoy this place because many of the beers have names that refer to artists, instruments, or songs. And the brewery’s name, SingleCut, is a guitar body style.
When you visit Singlecut Brewery, you can tell that creator Rich Buceta is passionate about beer and music because he even sells his collection of vintage guitars to pay for the opening of the Queen’s facility.
Other Half Brewing Company
Other Half Brewing Company has only been operating since 2014. It has already amassed a sizable cult following of beer enthusiasts who queue up around the block outside of its main Brooklyn site to purchase cases of its most recent offerings. It has become so famous that there are now a total of four locations, one of which is in the Finger Lakes region of New York (as well as Washington, D.C., and a second Brooklyn spot).
Other Half will mostly appeal to hop enthusiasts. As the majority of its beers are IPAs of the traditional, double dry-hopped, and high-density hop charge varieties. The latter of which is a style by the OH team (to try it, order the HDHC Roc Showers or the HDHC Dream City). The Finger Lakes region might be famous for its many wineries, but take a break from the vineyards for a day to head to the spacious outdoor Other Half Location in Bloomfield to sample their popular IPAs, pale ales, and other hoppy offerings.
This brewery, whose most popular brews are sour and fruit beers, experiments with mixed cultures. Which allows for greater originality and complexity in each of its creations. Given their location in the Finger Lakes, many of their creations have a wine connection. Examples include Crushed, a mixed culture Saison made with grapes from their own vineyard. A variation of Batch 1 that has been aged longer in white and red wine barrels and is conditioned with local honey.
Interboro Spirits & Ales
Jesse Ferguson, a co-founder of Interboro, had a well-known hip-hop label before entering the beer business. Ferguson established Interboro with Laura Dierks after helping to found businesses like Carton and even spending time at Other Half. Dierks introduced his expertise in distilled spirits to Interboro Spirits & Ales. Which helped to establish Interboro as one of the top craft distilleries. As well as one of the best craft breweries in the city. Make a beer crawl out of it and stop by the taproom for one of the canned drinks or a fantastic, juicy IPA that is always on tap. It’s only a short walk from Grimm.
One of the top US destinations is New York. We hope you enjoyed reading about the top breweries in New York. Whenever you go, make sure to check out a few of them. As a final thought, here’s a fun challenge: if you love beer as much as we do, try visiting every brewery on this list on a single trip to New York! Happy drinking!