Erica and Brian Weiss were searching for a place to escape. But, once they found it, they just had to share.

Their backyard biergarten at Weiss Ferments in Conesville, New York, serves as a respite for all who enter. It’s a place to drink a beer, eat some bread, enjoy good company and just soak in the peaceful surroundings.

“The biergarten concept originates in Germany. It’s a gathering place of community and like-minded individuals to really share a beverage and food,” Erica said. “You really are coming into our home. And for us, the concept of a beer garden and its history kind of ties into what we’re trying to offer.”

As their tagline suggests, they offer a place to “Reflect. Realign. Restore.” The opportunities to do all three calls to action abound on their bucolic property.

“We are just caretakers of this property. We can only control so much. And for us, it’s controlling this little piece of earth that we belong to at this moment,” Erica said. “We want to make people aware of that as well. When people come here, our hope is that they will relax and that they will unwind.”

And, of course, enjoy a beverage or two. Erica tends to brew traditional styles that are lower in ABV. For example, you won’t find many IPAs among her bottles. Instead, you’ll discover several rye-based recipes. It’s a grain both Erica and her husband Brian love to use in the beer and bread they create respectively.

“It was really an organic decision to bring them both into the business,” Brian said. “I really love the full process of bread making because it is both artistic and scientific.

“It just caught me. It’s the simplicity of it and just sort of what it is – the sustenance of life,” he said.

Erica started her career as an engineer before becoming a sommelier and eventually a brewer. She was always fascinated by the ability to make four ingredients into so many different experiences.

“I love brewing because I feel really connected to what I’m doing here. I feel like I have to I have to believe there’s a reason, there’s a purpose for everything,” she said. “And for me, I think it’s about creating things and being able to share them.

“I think what’s amazing about Central New York is that we are still a little bit unknown. And I think there is still a new discovery for people to make,” Erica said. “People are going to come and discover and try all these new places and feel like they’ve found something themselves. And to me, I think that that’s very exciting.”