Erie Canal Brewing Co.

Erie Canal Brewing Company promotes the use  of 100% local ingredients and the history of hops on the Erie Canal.  The brewery’s signature beer, Muleskinner Pale Ale, brewed along the  Erie Canal in Canastota reflects the light citrus aroma and flavor of  Madison County’s cascade hop. Our beer recipes use only the finest hops,  barley, and other ingredients.


Tap Room Hours of Operation:

Thursday & Friday 4-9pm

Saturday 1-9pm

Sunday 1-6pm

World of Beer

In 2007, best friends Scott Zepp and Matt LaFon were enjoying a couple of craft beers and talking about the future. Their conversation resulted in the decision to start a business together that involved something they both loved and was also a ton of fun.

1518349_1435963843288786_326363474_oTheir inspiration was the beer — and World of Beer was born. The original location began as a retail store and evolved into a neighborhood beer tavern when the founders realized that customers were pausing for some “beer talk” and looking for a place to sit and meet new friends. What they discovered is that they weren’t just selling beer, but an experience and natural connection for beer drinkers. This insight led to the opening of the first World of Beer in Westchase in Tampa, Florida, featuring 500 of the world’s greatest craft beers. World of Beer quickly became the place for craft beer, fun, live music, entertainment, and good times with friends. The template for growth had been established.

In 2010, Ben Novello and Jim Pollard brought their expertise to the team and stepped up the pace for growth. The team recognized that the challenge was how to grow while staying true to World of Beer culture. In 2013, we raised the bar by introducing spirits and food as good as our beer, fun, hospitality and entertainment.

The Syracuse location is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. everyday.

Food & Fire BBQ ~ Taphouse

Food & Fire is the Southern Tier’s home for authentic barbecue dining. 40 draft beers in a family-friendly atmosphere.

Stockdale’s Bar & Grill

stockdales-oriskanyA great craft beer bar that serves great homemade food.  Expect a wide variety of bottled craft brews and 12 taps that rotate daily.  Food ranges from beer-battered fried pickles to daily burger specials.  Stockdale’s is tucked away in the historic village of Oriskany and named after James Bond Stockdale, who was an Admiral on the USS Oriskany.

Eastwood Brewing Co.

Eastwood Brewing Co. is the newest micro-brewery in the Syracuse area.

Eastwood Brewing -- America's Craft Brew Destination
Eastwood Brewing Co., Syracuse, N.Y.

Using a one barrel brew system, owner Pete Kirkgasser is able to create a unique variety of specialized craft brews. Pete’s beers are only available locally at the Eastwood Brewing Company brewery. Customers will be able to visit the EBC tasting room and purchase beer in growlers seven days a week. Eastwood Brewing Co. proudly serves flights, half pours and pints.

Growler fill prices vary depending on style and growler size. 64- or 32-ounce growlers, pint glasses and other merchandise is available also.

Brewery located in back of plaza on Walter Drive. Look for the wooden ramp entrance and 108 by the door.


Monday-Thursday 4 to 8 p.m.

Friday 3- 9 p.m.

Saturday 12- 9p.m.

Sunday 12- 5 p.m.

Cooperstown Distillery

Longtime restaurateur Eugene Marra focused on food, wine and spirits as part of his profession, a career that’s lasted more than 45 years. A student of his winemaking grandfather, he took his appreciation beyond the glass when he started a vineyard in northern Georgia around 1991.

Eugene’s passion for fine spirits fueled his interest in becoming a distiller in the late 2000s, just as New York state was increasing its support of small-batch producers. Today the New York City native takes pride in the all-New York state ingredients that make up his whiskey, bourbon, gin and vodka.

The names reference Cooperstown’s baseball roots and other historic assets, but Eugene is always looking forward. The former chef continues to craft new recipes that contribute to New York’s growing reputation for high-quality distilleries.

Check out more of our “Stories on Tap” webisodes.

Eugene: Having been in the restaurant business most of my life, I’ve dabbled in food, wine, and spirits for the last 45 years actually. Coming to Cooperstown was an evolution of a great friendship in a business relationship where I was doing some consulting for a restaurant in Cooperstown, fell in love with the town. Simultaneously with that, New York State was rewriting most of their craft distilling legislation, which was beginning to get very interesting for me as an entrepreneur to come back to New York. I’m a native New Yorker. It was sort of a dream come dream true. The marriage of Cooperstown and spirits was always implicit in our business model from day one.

I always knew that part of the strategy of developing this brand in Cooperstown was predicated on that we could marry baseball and spirits. Of course, we started the strategize on the baseball bottle, the decanter bottle, which is our hands down most significant marketing tool that we have is our Abner Doubleday baseball decanter, which has been a huge success for us. We spent almost a year in prototypes with a mechanical engineer. It took a lot of planning. We got it down, right down to the 108 stitches on the baseball seams like a regulation baseball. We gleaned Doubleday’s actual autograph from the archives. If you turn it upside down, it’s got the baseball diamond. It’s got an ash-finish top, just like a baseball bat. Even the box is a period-style baseball box like the old baseballs used to come in. We really thought that that was a key piece of our marketing strategy: the baseball bottle.

Rory: New York is doing great things with this craft distilling movement. I’m originally from Pennsylvania. It’s a little bit more state controlled to liquor. New York is saying, “We see this chance for revenue here. Go for it, guys. Make some great spirits. There’s demand for it. We’ll help you out.” You have the state on your side which is a great thing. Then I feel New York State as a whole, there’s a lot of people that are agriculturally driven here. Ninety-five percent of ingredients come from the state. All my grains, right now, are coming from Canajoharie. I’m getting my grains 20 miles north of here. Hopefully, within anybody another month, there’s going to be a cooper coming online, a cooperage, a place that builds barrels. Within about another month, I won’t have to go more than an hour drive to get grains for bourbon and whiskey. I won’t have to go more than an hour drive to get those barrels. I think New York is going to be known for making some great bourbons here in the future.

Eugene: Being in Cooperstown was a very important piece of our business model. We knew this was a great place for us. We knew that the village would support us. We knew that it was ripe for the picking: marrying baseball and spirits. We think we’ve done a great job with it.


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Apple Barrel Cafe

apple-barrel2The Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe is located in the scenic Schoharie Valley.

The Apple Barrel Country Store was opened in 1983 with the cafe opening in 2009.  The Apple Barrel Cafe focuses on farm-to-table food and drink as much as possible and has been voted best restaurant in Schoharie County. It was also awarded a 2012 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence.

The cafe offers a large selection of New York craft beers including Browns, Adirondack, Captain Lawrence, Ommegang and many more as well as a selection of fine wines.  When the weather is nice, patrons can dine on the deck with gorgeous views of the valley.

The Apple Barrel Country Store and Cafe is open daily for lunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:30 to 8 p.m.  Visit for specials.

Lost Dog Cocktail Lounge

Sometimes one sets out to do one thing and ends up with something all together different. Circumstances, life, fate and maybe a little magic step in and deliver something unexpected, yet totally fun and delightful. Such has been the case for us, Marie McKenna and Elizabeth Hughes, and our place called Lost Dog Café.

lost-dog-2Once upon a time we were in an all-female band in NYC. The band was called The Derangelles (yes, deranged angels). We had grown up in Binghamton, N.Y. and moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn with two sisters we met who attended Binghamton University. Our goal was to pursue our lifelong dream of creating music. We played at the now defunct CBGB’s, The Bitter End and Speakeasy. In the meantime, in order to pay for studio rehearsal time and rent, we worked in restaurants in NYC. Liz started as a prep cook, moved up to sauté and before long had mastered many aspects of the fine art of cooking. Marie had virtually no waitressing skills but managed to get her first job at an Italian restaurant on 34th St. Though it was obvious that she didn’t know how to open a bottle of wine with a tableside corkscrew, the owners let her stay, probably because of her natural instincts for hospitality and making people comfortable.

Thus began a life-long love of cafes. We had many favorite haunts in the East & West Village of NYC like Café Orlin, Yaffa Café, Florent, Kiev, Odessa, Pyramid Club, King Tut’s WaWa Hut, Holiday, and Downtown Beirut. Where did we go to celebrate great moments of our lives? To a café. Where did we meet up with friends? In a café. Where did we go when we were bored? To a café!

After over a decade in NYC, we decided to move back to our hometown of Binghamton, NY. Liz noticed that there weren’t any places in town with that comfy, “café” feeling. She suggested we open a place of our own and bring something from all the great spots we loved in the city. In our planning stages we learned that Carla Bruce & Ravi Prakash were interested in our pipedream, and the four of us decided to set off on this journey together.

Lost Dog Café opened in an old garage on Main Street in Binghamton on October 24, 1994. It was named after Liz’s wayward 2 ½ lb. Chihuahua Clarese who had gotten lost on some of Liz’s visits to Binghamton. Clarese always turned up even if each disappearance lasted for weeks at a time, which we decided was a good omen. Our goal was to create a comfortable, unassuming place where people could hang out, eat good food and drink great coffee. On opening night there were over 200 people sitting at tables, on the floor, on couches…some of whom had gotten word that we opened from an interview on WHRW at Binghamton University, others who had naturally gravitated towards the hub of light and activity. We’ll never forget the endless cappuccinos we made that evening while Patti Smith’s “Gloria” blasted in the background. We, with the help of our friends, family (including Marie’s children Carson then age 6 and Farrell, age 4) and staff (who were really more like friends) managed to create a place that was special. It was more than food, more than coffee, more than music…it was a great place, and it was our own.

Lost Dog Café moved to a much larger space in and old cigar factory on Water Street in April 1997. At the time, there weren’t many restaurants downtown and we had a tough time getting financing for our vision. We wanted more space so that bands could perform, art could be hung and we could accommodate more customers. This meant that we were turning into a real restaurant. We had to strike the balance between the small, bohemian café that we started as into the larger, more spacious restaurant with a full bar.

We’re now in our 18th year and there have been many changes along the way. Carla and Ravi moved on, a deer crashed through our window in 2008 and we were flooded in 2010 which closed us for 7 weeks. We can honestly say we’ve enjoyed just about every moment of being at Lost Dog Café. We love the people we’ve met, the friendships we’ve made, the talented & creative individuals who have worked here over the years and became friends, the artists, musicians, poets, writers, activists and speakers who have shared their talents and ideas . We love feeding people and making them happy, giving everyone a home away from home. So if you’re ever “lost” in Binghamton, you know where to find us.

Marie McKenna & Elizabeth Hughes
February 2012

1911 Spirits

Peter Fleckenstein does the work his father, grandfather and great-grandfather did before him at Beak & Skiff Orchards, home to 1911 Spirits. The hundred-year legacy of cultivating the apples here ensures the family ownership maintains complete control of hard cider and spirit production from “tree to bottle.”

One of only a few in the country distilling gin and vodka from apples, Beak & Skiff debuted its cider and spirits in the early 2000s, allowing a new family legacy to grow.

Check out more of our “Stories on Tap” webisodes.

Peter: Beak & Skiff Apple Farms was founded in 1911, the first trees went in the ground that year, by two families that got together. One had been a potato farmer. One owned some land here on the hillside. They met down at the market in Syracuse and said geez, we could grow apples and make some money at it. That was the start of what is now a 103 year old business.

Every generation has put something into the business that’s added some value. The first generations put in the apple trees. The second generation put in the packing line and the trucking and the shipping and the distribution. A third and fourth generation worked on the cider mill. Now that we’re the fifth generation here, we’re doing the spirits business. Every generation has built on what was left before them.


The initial thought of the spirits business was that it was a good diversification. It was another value-added product that we could sell and have complete control over. The intent was just to sell it at our own retail store. We had no intention of selling it through distributors or even regionally at the time when it was developed.

Tree to bottle really is our way of saying we own the entire process. We own the trees. We own the land. We make the cider out of our apples. We ferment it into hard cider and then we put it through the still using our own recipe from top to bottom. We’re one of the few, if the only, people that grow the apples, press the cider, ferment the cider, and then distill it into either vodka or gin. I don’t know if anybody else out there, especially not in the Northeast, that has control of the entire process. The fact that we have that control plus we’re family-owned and operated makes us pretty unique.


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Kitty Hoynes

kitty2Kitty Hoyne’s friendliness and unique atmosphere appeals to all age groups, whether for dining, sipping a pint or enjoying great live Irish/Celtic music.

Kitty Hoynes is everything you would expect from a genuine Irish pub – the warmest hospitality; 100,000 welcomes; a perfect pint of Guinness; fine, creative food and friendly service, along with terrific music that will ensure a great time had by all.

Home to the largest selection of Irish whiskey in upstate New York, Kitty Hoynes offers pairings with beverages and foods as only they can!

Blue Tusk

What started as three taps and a menu with a couple of sandwiches now boasts 69 offerings and a full kitchen.

The Blue Tusk has been bringing an impressive variety of popular and rare craft beers to Central New York since 1995, when Michael Yorton moved in across the street from his father’s sandwich shop.

The Blue Tusk, named one of All About Beer magazine’s “125 Places to Have a Beer Before You Die,” remains very much a family affair with Mike’s mom, Sandy, prepping eats behind the scenes with bread baked fresh on Syracuse’s Northside.

A well-traveled brew enthusiast, Mike made many personal connections with brewers coast to coast, later coaxing them to bring their brands to Syracuse.


Dogfish Head founder and well-known craft beer character/advocate Sam Calagione brought his beer from Delaware to the Blue Tusk himself in the early days. He remains pals with the heads of iconic West Coast breweries like Rogue Ales.

His long-running relationship with nearby Middle Ages Brewing Co. ensures they always have one of their casks on tap at the Tusk. His love of cask-conditioned ales explains why he’s always got two “on the engine.”

“It just drinks so smooth,” Mike says sampling some exclusive Stone beer from the cask he just tapped. “It’s alive!”

Blue Tusk featured Sierra Nevada, Newcastle stout and Labatt Blue. California, Britain and Canada were about as far as that selection would take you. Eventually, Mike would stock the shelves with some 250 bottles of mostly imports as the pub began to grow. Blue Tusk expanded with a bar dedicated to wine and Mike’s favorite, Belgian beer.

He’s made the pilgrimage to Belgium – and several other world destinations – many times to nurture his love of suds.


“It’s amazing to me. Back in the day, a majority of the beers here were European,” Mike says. “Now the Belgians are making American styles.”

It truly is a good time to be a craft beer fan in America and particularly in Brew Central, where local styles stand up to some of the world’s best.

Mike’s incredible tap collection is available 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday with special events happening throughout the year.


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Middle Ages Brewing Co.

Marc Rubenstein remembers the early days of Middle Ages, the brewery he founded with his wife, Mary, in 1994. At that time, he essentially went door-to-door trying to get bars to carry his traditional English-style ales.

“If they had Sam (Adams) on tap, we knew we’ve got a shot,” Marc says. And before the craft beer boom of the 1990s, that was about all you could get. Part of Marc’s uphill battle was convincing Central New York publicans that brew from they’re own backyard was, well … good.


“There was this perception that ‘If it’s brewed here, how good can it be?’” he says.

It ended up being better than good, actually, as more and more pubs started carrying tap handles with medieval-inspired titles like Grail, Wizard’s Winter and Beast Bitter ales.

Early on, he formed a key partnership with Syracuse dining landmark Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. Now boasting seven locations in three states, Dino offers the Middle Ages-crafted house ale dubbed Ape Hanger.

Today Middle Ages Brewing Co. enjoys an envious following of dedicated fans and touts itself as one of the largest suppliers of casks in New York state.


The brewery uses a 160-year-old strain of Ringwood yeast from Yorkshire, England, and employs an old-school open fermentation process. Everything is done by hand, automation-free.

It’s just the way Marc intended. The former home-brewer and Syracuse native left behind the scrap metal business to craft beers he loves for the city and region he’s so fond of.

Marc got his professional start in Portland, Maine, under the tutelage of famed craft brewer Alan Pugsley, a biochemist who came to the States in 1986. He brought with him the Ringwood yeast so important to Marc’s process.

To this day, Marc uses Pugsley’s trailblazing direct-fire, brick-sheathed brew kettle system. Besides the yeast and brewing equipment, Syracuse water gives Middle Ages beers a unique flavor profile, Marc says. The thick walls of the brewery – a former ice cream factory – allow his fermenters and casks to age well year round with little temperature control.


In the tasting room, it’s all about education. Marc is happy share knowledge about his beer and talk about others with visitors. The philosophy for Marc and so many others in Brew Central is simple: “We’re trying to get people to drink better beer.”

Stop by Middle Ages for tastings and growler fills 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

For the past several years, Middle Ages has invited the community and fans to celebrate its anniversary in August with music, food and drink in the neighborhood park across the street from the brewery.


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Gordon Biersch

Gordon BierschGordon Biersch is a delectable dining experience. Located on the first level of Destiny USA’s Canyon area, Gordon Biersch brews its own beer and always has a new variety of brews and drinks to choose from. Gordon Biersch is known for their famous garlic fries and delicious pub fare.

Syracuse Suds Factory

Alan Smith wanted to try something different when he opened up Syracuse Suds in the early 1990s. The brewpub was the city’s first beer producer to open in three decades.

Alan brought on the late Norman Soine as brew master after attending one of his home-brew classes. For nearly 20 years, Norman upheld the great beer tradition of Syracuse, home to dozens of breweries at the turn of the 20th century.

He tapped into another great legacy as well, using hops from within Onondaga County – a premier producer of the crop before Prohibition. Today Suds counts Empire Brewing Co. and Blue Tusk as neighbors in a city re-establishing a reputation for great beer.

Check out more of our “Stories on Tap” webisodes.

Alan: “This was all part of the warehouse district down here at one time, and this was a merchant and dry-goods warehouse. That’s what it start out as. It’s gone through a couple of transitions. We moved from Waters Street up in the Amos building, started up there 1993. We’ve been here since ’99. My ex-partner and I went to a brewing class that was held by our original brewer. We sat down and talked to him. He was teaching a brewing class up at Webber’s. Through the conversation after the class, tapped into him and he was all excited about the idea so we hired him and he was our brewer for 18 years. He worked at Shlitz. He worked at FX Matts. He worked at both those for quite some time. He was chemist by nature. He knew his stuff. I was able to, I guess, gain most of my knowledge through osmosis. Everything we did here, we kind of built ourselves, from the racking to the kegging operation. Everything, we designed it from the ground up. All we basically had was the equipment itself.” “Syracuse has a tremendous history in brewing, from Greenways to Haberle. There’s 30 some-odd breweries in Syracuse at one time. With the hops growing that was close by and the farms and draineries that were around here, it kind of came second-nature. This climate, I guess, is very inducive to growing the hops. It was more a drive to make something unique, make something different that wasn’t here. Trying to separate ourselves from everybody else and we’ve kind of made a unique situation where we try and please as many people as possible. Something we’ve been proud of and something we continue to be proud of.”

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Empire Brewing Co.


David Katleski was a restaurateur willing to take a chance on a new trend in the 1990s. His Syracuse brewpub became a cornerstone of the budding New York state craft beer movement and David became a leading advocate for growing the industry to national prominence.

Head Brewer Tim Butler also came from a culinary background before becoming an exceptional brewer, getting his professional start at nearby Middle Ages. He used to stop into Empire for a pint after his shifts there and David eventually tapped his talent that has taken the brewpub to the next level.


Empire’s soon-to-be completed Farmstead Brewery will up the brewer’s capacity from 800 barrels to 65,000 and introduce a bottling operation to the company, ensuring craft beer connoisseurs across the state will get a taste of Tim’s stellar brews.

Tim shares David’s commitment to using nearly all-local ingredients in both the beer and restaurant fare. The rich hop and agricultural history of Central New York gives a unique character to Empire’s beers that no doubt help feed the growth of New York’s craft beer niche.

Check out more of our “Stories on Tap” webisodes.

Tim Butler:  People ask me what do I enjoy most about being a brewer. One of the greatest things is when you create something and you see someone come out and they put their hard earned dollars on the bar for it and they take it and they enjoy it, they drink it. You see the smile come across their face. You know, that’s really, really rewarding. I don’t think that’s ever going to change for me. I always enjoy watching people enjoy our product.

I think that we are on track to become one of the best brewing states in the country. There are a lot of new breweries popping up but the quality of the beer is, I think, maintaining a very high standard. I think there’s a lot of room for all of us. I think as a whole, as a New York state beer, we have a lot of potential and a lot of room to grow together and become one of the best brewing states in the country.

I think that New York state in general and Central New York in general, has very passionate farmers. I know farmers from dealing with them through here at the restaurant. Be it beef suppliers or vegetables suppliers. They can be as passionate or are as passionate as brewers are. I think there’s definitely a common connection there. Their growing something, creating something that then their passing on to us to put in our product. Now that I’ve been more and more using New York state ingredients, there’s definitely a different characteristic to them. As opposed to ingredients that are grown in other parts of the country or other parts of the world for that matter. I do think it’s giving us a local flavor, a local character that you’re not going to be able to emulate in other parts of the country unless you come to New York state and buy New York state ingredients. They do give us a unique flavor and give us a unique style of beer.

David Katleski: The thing different hat you will know about a New York state beer is, you know the French liken the term to terroir. You can actually taste the ingredients from Central New York. It’s kind of odd but the hops tend to be slightly different citrus flavor. The barley tends to be a little, bolder in flavor. There is a character, a central New York characteristic that you get definitely out of this.

So far, we’ve done really well with our brand. Notably we do the flagship beer for the Waldorf Astoria. It’s a honey brown with honey that they cultivate off of the twentieth floor apiary area that they have at the hotel. We also make the exclusive beer called Empire Green for Tavern on the Green in Central Park. We have the flagship moniker brew for them. The brand has done really well on the high end scale. It’s also in a lot of dive bars too. In fact, one of my favorite places in New York to go have this beer is a place called The Dive Bar, so go figure.

To be able to go to your local mom and pop bar in a corner, to very high end restaurants and be able to fill within that, shows the versatility of our brand. We do things with a lot of passion, with a lot of love. That’s how we make our beer. That how we make our food and that’s how we try to run our business.

Tim Butler: The craft beer drinker now is very savvy, very understanding. They know what they want, they know what’s good and they know what’s not good. You can’t pull wool over anybody’s eyes anymore. You got to brew quality if you want maintain. I think Empire had always done it. They’ve always had quality beer, quality food, quality atmosphere. It’s just a brand that people, once they latch on to, they don’t let it go.


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