Central New York is America’s Craft Brew Destination and Oneida County is at the heart of it.
That’s why the Getaway Region created the Heart of New York Craft Beverage Trail, which unites nine craft breweries, distilleries and wineries in the Utica area and throughout the county. All are part of the larger Brew Central initiative that includes more than 70 craft producers and pubs. It’s a slice of paradise for those who appreciate craft beer, wine, ciders or spirits.
Craft Beverages with Heart
An obsession with local ingredients makes this trail worth the trip. Adirondack Distilling goes so far as to use Herkimer diamonds – a unique quartz found only in the nearby foothills of the Adirondack Mountains – in its spirit filtering process.
“There’s a renaissance of the upstate culture and the demand for local products,” Master Distiller Jordan Karp says. “That’s a big part this. The fact that it’s made with care by the people that live here says something.”
Woodland Hop Farm and Fermentation Co-Founder AJ Spado shares that philosophy with his Heart of New York Craft Beverage Trail-mates.
“We wanted to be involved in the brewing process as much as possible,” Spado explains. “Just like a winery grows its own grapes, we think it’s important to produce our own ingredients.”
Setting the Bar with Craft Beer and Beverage Heritage
Central New York has an extensive history in hop production, something that many brewers here embrace.
If Oneida County Brew Central members aren’t making craft beverages, they’re serving them. A half-dozen craft pubs make for a crawl that ensures visitors they get a true taste of Central New York.