Matt Whalen and Carrie Blackmore believe people care more about a product they’re connected to.
Good Nature Farm Brewery & Tap Room uses local ingredients in its farm-to-glass beer to give a sense of ownership to their ever-growing fan base. That commitment has built a community around Good Nature and upped the capacity of the brewery 10-fold in a short time.
Matt’s background as a chef gives him an adventurous spirit and intense attention to detail when crafting his recipes. And just to think: He and his wife could have been making soup.
They met at a farm-to-table restaurant, where Matt headed the kitchen and Carrie handled the ingredients grown nearby. When devising a food-related enterprise to call their own, organic soup made the short list.
Thankfully, they switched their vision from tin cans to kegs and bottles. In addition opening Madison County’s first brew house in two centuries, Good Nature lays claim to being New York state’s first licensed farm brewery, which flags it as a producer committed to using locally grown ingredients.
Good Nature produces a number of limited releases in addition to its core line and they tend to get a little adventurous. Rabbit in the Rye PA, a collaboration with a favorite local band, blending music with brew. Good Nature’s 10 percent ABV stout pays tribute to the “Great Chocolate Wreck” of 1955, when a train bound for Nestle derailed just yards from where the present day brewery is located.
In a way, every release is limited.
Everything’s done in-house, from corking their own bottles to delivering their own kegs.
Like Whalen says, life’s too short for bad beer. So it’s important for this small team to keep that personal touch.
Good Nature’s tasting room in downtown Hamilton – crafted in large part by Matt himself – is open 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to midnight Fridays, noon to midnight Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.
Scrumpy Ewe makes their ciders akin to a fine wine, in laboratory-like controlled setting for a juice that is bright, clean, complex and acidic, pitched with a champagne yeast in stainless steel tanks at specific temperatures, lightly filtered and bottle-conditioned.
They also make ciders in the age-old farmhouse tradition – where wild yeasts work in tandem with brettanomyces stains. In these ciders, nature does most of the work as it slowly ferments in our French and American white oak barrels. These unfiltered Scrumpy ciders appeal to the farmhouse crowd who doesn’t mind getting their taste buds a bit dirty.
Regardless of the cider making method they employ in a given batch, one thing is for certain: Scrumpy ciders come from unique, individually-picked, New York State-grown apples, never from concentrate.
Each batch is pressed, fermented, painstakingly blended, aged and bottled with care. They are made once a year, each batch with its own unique characteristics based on season, the cider varieties and style of fermentation used.
Open: Saturdays 11-5 p.m., starting May 12.
Michelle and Joe’s Alig’s love of distilleries led them to purchase and renovate an 1870’s German Bank barn.
The barn had a history as part of the moonshine trail used by bootleggers during prohibition, so it is a perfect setting for this NYS Farm Distillery to produce and serve their unique brand of “Grain Neutral” flavored spirits using local ingredients.
Take a tour, do a tasting, or enjoy a signature cocktail at the rustic bar.
Be sure to try Salted Carmel Maple, which uses local maple syrup, and Jalapeno Ginger made with fresh ingredients chopped by hand!
Tioga County’s first NYS Farm Winery specializes in dry and semi-dry red and white wines and offers tastings of their fine wine.
They also pour cider and three NY craft beers. Visitors can tour the small, natural vineyard and heirloom apple orchard.
The production, tasting rooms, and loft seating area are housed in a rustically beautiful building that was purpose built by local craftsman.
Glen Park Vineyards takes a minimalist approach to wine making with the common belief that the quality of the grape provides the quality of the wine.
The building is purpose-built by local artisans as a winery with production and tasting rooms, and a loft seating 45 comfortably.
The Farmhouse Brewery pours their “Farm Fresh from Ground to Glass” beer in their taproom in the heart of the historic village of Owego.
This New York State Farm Brewery sources all of their grain from qualified small grains farmers in NYS and processes it in their artisanal micro malt-house.
They also use local, seasonal ingredients for distinct flavors such as Mama Llama Maple, Peas Porage Hot, Cuke Skywalker, and The Genovese.
A combination of the freshest ingredients and Master Brewer Marty’s excellent palate produces art in every pint. The Farmhouse Taproom is dog and musician friendly!
BREWERY HOURS: Thursday 2-8pm, Friday 2-10pm, Saturday 12-10pm, Sunday 1-5pm
As an NY State farm brewery, Red Shed Brewery uses mostly NY state hops and grains in all of our beers. They love buying from neighbors, and their beers represent the seasons and climate of NY as the weather changes from year to year. Handmade, traditional local beer brewed fresh in the hills of Cherry Valley, New York. Red Shed Brewery produces small-batch brews available only locally, focusing on quality, style, and drinkability of their brews.
Sahm Brewing Company is a one barrel brewing company in Syracuse, NY that will explore all styles of beer.
Craft brewery taking a Cicerone’s approach to brewing beer and always respecting the craft.
Elias Barber doesn’t care for vodka. So, the distilled spirit he creates from the family farm’s potatoes must be pretty damn good.
His 1857 Spirits distillery is a marriage of his penchant for academic rigor developed at Cornell University as an agricultural science major and his family’s 160-year legacy at Barber’s Farm more so than the product itself.
A member of the sixth generation to operate the farm, Barber wanted to contribute to that legacy. All the pieces happened to be there, right down to the water they draw from a natural spring on the property.
Over the many, many years, Barber’s has grown numerous crops from hay to corn. Potatoes became a staple in the 1940s, when Barber’s grandfather first planted them as part of a 4-H project associated with the local high school.
The Schoharie Valley was once known as the Breadbasket of the American Revolution, providing critical sustenance for George Washington’s army. The topsoil, estimated to be about 10 feet deep remains remarkably fertile all these centuries later.
Traditionally a bland vegetable requiring accoutrements at the kitchen table, Barber’s Farm spuds give 1857 vodka a creamy sweetness and floral aroma.
Armed with this exceptional natural resource and love of learning, Barber dove into the art of distilling. It’s his consistent drive to improve and persistent pursuit of perfection that makes it beverage worthy of his own palate.
One of the few potato vodka makers in the country, it’s appealing to the tastes of many others as well. Barber has plenty of plans to expand his line to gin and beyond while also upping production in the coming years and, likely, for future generations on Barber’s Farm.
On a recent Tuesday, the first Copper City Brewing Co. patron was an 87-year-old man who stops in every week. He loves hops, a conversion Danny Frieden witnessed right at his bar.
It’s experiences like these that give Frieden and his partner Eric Daniels the confidence they’re on the right track with their lineup of mostly classic craft styles. It’s the community they’ve built inside their copper-clad confines that assures this brewery is bringing his neighborhood in Rome, New York, back.
What is today known as Revere Copper Products put its stamp on Rome many decades ago, placing this small city on the map as a metal manufacturer.
Copper City Brewing snatched up the name as a tribute to not only Rome’s rich cultural history – the Erie Canal runs right through town – but it’s notable past in brewing. At its Canal-era peak in the 1850s, Rome was home to about a dozen breweries. Like so many others across the nation, they gradually faded away and disappeared during Prohibition.
Frieden became a business owner under the premise that one person can make a difference in the community. In this case, it’s two people, along with Frieden’s wife, Lori, who chose beer as a driver to revive a proud town.
It’s the social aspect of the beverage that continuously renews his commitment to his product daily. Pints tend to bring smiles to people’s faces, no matter their age, occupation or any other label they may have outside these doors.
Every day, Frieden watches and listens as folks in their 80s converse with people half their age who frequently chat with people half their age and everywhere in between. Beer brings people together.
Daniels can verify the same interactions from behind the glass that separates the brewery from the taproom. His day job as an engineer fuels his fascination with the beer-making process and constantly improving his craft.
The Copper City trio joins a slew of brewers that have been popping up around their stretch of the New York Thruway, Utica among them. Frieden calls the Heart of New York Beverage Trail a “brotherhood of good times.” And rightfully so, as they all share the sentiment that beer building community.
Frieden describes copper the metal is clean, bright and stands the test of time. The passion of the people behind Copper City the beer strive to give their brews those same attributes.
The main focus of Beer Tree Brew Co.’s beer menu is to highlight local ingredients, specifically hop forward beers that showcase hops sourced from Willet Hop & Grain. In addition, Beer Tree Brew offers a variety of local farm goods and products for sampling and purchasing.
At Beer Tree Brew Co. you will find a light and fun atmosphere with plenty of opportunity to enjoy some of NYS’s finest farm products.
Casual comfort dining for all to enjoy! Lunch 11-4, Diner 4-9. 16 taps and live music on weekends. Kids eat free (rules) apply. Private banquet room and outdoor patio available. We specialize in sandwiches, hand cut steaks, fresh seafood, clams & beer served in a fun atmosphere!
Sherburne, New York, is a one-stoplight town. But, that red circle isn’t the only reason for pause.
It’s not unusual for drivers to make a U-turn when they see the large sign that reads “BEER” on the side of Bullthistle Brewing Co. And those otherwise passers-through are rewarded for their efforts.
There’s nothing trendy about the craft beer Charlie Anderson makes here or the creative dishes Co-Owner Brad Taft creates. It’s simply food and beverage for the people served in a welcoming atmosphere.
“We set the place up to be homie, comfortable, pub-y,” Taft says. “We try to do beers that are approachable. If you come in and you [like] beer, there’s something here you’ll drink.
“We’re a small, community-based brewery,” he says. “We just wanted a place where the neighborhood could come, have a beer, relax, be comfortable and have a good time.”
The core beers were developed for the everyman palate, Anderson says. Bullthistle tends to stay away from the hop-heavy ales. The flagship “Beer 30” is a traditional lager meant to impress someone stepping outside their mass-produced comfort zone.
At the same time, Anderson and Taft have been known to push their own boundaries.
“The different flavor combination you can put together … the different recipes, the different ingredients you can use. I love that,” says Anderson.
His skill combined with Taft’s culinary background have produced some pretty interesting stuff like their lemongrass and basil sour or ginger peach wheat.
Sometimes inspiration comes from their own – or a neighbor’s – backyard. When the fellow next door started tapping his maple trees, Anderson started devising how it could be used in his beer.
Bullthistle is fiercely local like that, sourcing hops and malt from as nearby as possible.
“Staying local is important,” says Anderson. “I was born and raised here and I want them to evolve with us.”
Bullthistle is Sherburne’s first brewery and rural Chenango County’s first in a very long time. Appropriately, the idea to establish it came over a couple beers.
Taft and Anderson had been homebrewing (a lot) for a few years. Family member and now-business partner Amy Jeffery had been dreaming of opening a brewery or restaurant.
“One night we just decided to go for it,” says Taft, whose culinary career included stops in Nashville and New Orleans before settling in Chenango some 20 years ago.
At Bullthistle, he focuses on the food.
“I like simple dishes with a twist, taking something basic that everybody knows and doing a little something different with it,” he says.
The philosophy has worked for both the eats and pints in this bucolic, blue-collar community. And it fits perfectly in the tight-knit family of brewers in Central New York.
“It’s cool that you can go to every brewery around here and not find the same beers on tap,” Anderson says. “And there are so many breweries in this area. It’s incredible you can do that.”
6 Stone Brewpub is the Mohawk Valley’s newest entry into the fast-growing world of microbrewing. Located along the Heart of New York Beverage Trail, 16 Stone Brewpub occupies the old Butterfield House on Main Street in Holland Patent. Brewpub co-owner and kitchen manager Eric Constable, along with members of his family, says the new brewpub represents an exciting mix of historic flavor and a hip, trendy environment. “16 Stone Brewpub is the culmination of our Butterfield House restoration project”, Constable says. “The building is now called The Manor. What used to be a hotel and restaurant, and later apartments, has been completely renovated and restored to its (nearly) original state, complete with the original hand-carved wooden bar from the Butterfield House.” The Manor now serves as a centerpiece to the Village of Holland Patent, housing the brewpub along with a banquet facility, Cape and Cup Cafe and Zennergy Studios.
The brewpub serves a wide range of 16 Stone signature brews, as well as local favorites, including ciders.
For those who like to pair their microbrews with delicious food, 16 Stone Brewpub also offers a variety of pub food, including flatbread pizzas, burgers, perogies and gourmet hot dogs. During the Grand Opening of the brewpub, which coincides with 16 Stone’s popular “Weenie Wednesday” event, Constable says they’ll host a complimentary build-your-own gourmet hot dog bar with a social media “sharing station”. “We’re excited to be brewing our own beer, and we’re excited to share it with everyone.”
16 Stone’s brewmaster is Holland Patent resident Randy Vitullo. Vitullo has been brewing for more than 20 years after taking a five-week trip to Europe. A former chemistry teacher, Vitullo maintains 16 beers on-tap in his own home at all times. His expertise was a perfect match for the Constables, who have always felt that closer to home is better.