When you visit breweries in the Catskills, you will notice something different – something fresh. It's not just hops and grains, it's local ingredients, grown and harvested with care by the breweries themselves and nearby local farms. It's water straight from mountain streams, and brewing methods powered by sustainable energy. It's beer that comes straight from the earth, as pure and natural as the Catskill Mountains themselves. The next time you're in the Catskills Region, make your way to these eight farm-inspired breweries, relax in their taprooms, and enjoy their unparalleled golden brews:
1. West Kill Brewing
West Kill Brewing is a 127-acre historic, family-owned dairy farm that has been transformed into a flourishing brewery committed to the Catskill Mountains, its people, its heritage, and its future. Made with locally grown, and even foraged ingredients, their carefully crafted brews are both delicious and innovatively complex. Sample a sweeter brew infused with maple sap or freshly harvested honey from onsite hives. Enjoy the fruity flavor provided by cherries from their orchard, or the earthy undertones of creeping thyme and carefully cultivated yeast. And, in every one of their varied brews, there is one constant – pristine water straight from the Catskill Mountains. Stop in to their tasting room to sample hoppy IPAs, rich Belgian-style ales, and malty stouts. Taps rotate regularly and brews are seasonally dependent, so every experience will be as unique as the beer itself.
2. Honey Hollow Brewing Company
Honey Hollow Brewing Company is passionate about their beer, and the ingredients they put in it. A New York State Farm Brewery, they use local farm ingredients and homegrown hops to produce small batches of hand-crafted ales. Honey Hollow's philosophy is "brew to share." They believe the experience is as important as the beer itself, and they strive to share their experience with the local community. In addition to supporting local farms, they are also frequent financial contributors to the local food pantry. Stop in to their tasting room for a pint and share in the experience.
3. Arrowood Farms
Arrowood Farms is its own mini-ecosystem. The chickens enrich the soil, which grows the hops and grains. The pigs eat the leftover grain, and the garden fuels the bees whose honey sweetens the beer. It's a sustainable brewing model in the shape of a charming Catskills farm. Stop in at their Accord Tasting House on the weekends to sample the beer and tour the farm. Meander among the towering hop poles and make friends with the resident livestock. Their beers are inspired by the seasonal availability of ingredients, so there is always something new to try. Or, make your way to the Arrowood Farms Outpost in New Paltz where they serve an irresistible combination of their own craft beers, freshly harvested honey, and other local, seasonal farm goods.
4. Catskill Brewery
At Catskill Brewery, the land provides both the ingredients that go in the beer and the energy that produces it. Their "Honest Hardworking Beer," uses as many locally sourced ingredients as possible, as well as pure Catskill Mountain water, and is produced in a Gold LEED-certified building. Their sustainable brewing practices are powered by energy from the sun and earth, creating impactful beer without leaving a trace on the environment. In an effort to protect the surrounding Catskill Mountains, they recycle, reuse, and re-purpose as much as they can. Not only is it beer that tastes good – it's beer that feels good, too. By stopping in their Livingston Manor tap room to sample their brews, you'll be taking a stand for Honest Hardworking Beer and everything that means.
5. Shrewd Fox Brewery
Pure, clean, local beer – that's what you will find at Shrewd Fox Brewery. A local farm brewery serving up craft ales and lagers, they use all-natural, locally-grown, and non-GMO ingredients in all of their brews. Even their barrel-aged recipes are brewed with New York State barley, hops, and Catskills water. Shrewd Fox Brewery doesn't stop at their ingredients, though. They even use innovative natural brewing methods so they can avoid using obscure chemicals, additives, and preservatives commonly found in industrially-produced beer. They recently expanded their operations with a second location in Glen Spey, where they serve food and drink in the Tap Room, and produce, barrel-age, and store their specialty dry-hopped ciders! Their original Eldred location remains in full scale production mode, and has added a Tap Room available for tours and special events by reservation.
6. Muddy River Farm Brewery
Relax along the banks of the mighty Susquehanna River at the Muddy River Farm Brewery. Serving their own beer, brewed from the hops they grow onsite, as well as other local beers and ciders, their comfortable outdoor space is perfect for tasting the region's best brews. To accompany their delicious drinks, they offer food specials and regularly host events. Muddy River is open April through October.
7. Crossroads Brewing Company
An award-winning craft brewery, Crossroads Brewing Company has made a name for itself throughout the Catskills and beyond. In 2011 they were named Tap NY's "Best Brewery in the Hudson Valley" offering the "Best India Pale Ale in New York." Their legacy has continued to grow, and in 2013 they took home a bronze medal from the Great American Beer Festival. Stop into their Athens Brewpub or Catskill Taproom for a pour from one of 10 rotating taps, tastes of local NY wines, homemade soda, and a unique pub menu featuring locally-sourced meats, produce, and cheese. Take home freshly-canned products and a growler as a souvenir!
8. Roscoe Beer Company
The region's rich legacy of fly fishing is combined with delicious brews for a true Catskills experience at the Roscoe Beer Company. Founded by passionate locals who sought to pay homage to their love of the great outdoors, their community, and quality beer, Roscoe Beer Co. serves up a wide variety of year-round and seasonal brews. Their success has been undeniable, leading to significant expansion. A new combined tasting room, brewery, store, and beer garden features a self-serve tap wall, full-service tasting bar, lounge area, and more. It's the perfect place to meet a friendly local face, have an authentic Catskills brewery experience, and relax with a fresh, cold brew.
The fertile soil of the Catskill Mountains lends itself to bountiful harvests of bold, intensely flavorful ingredients. Those same crops have been crafted into some of the region's best local brews at these eight Catskills breweries. Stop in for a taste, and see what a difference farm-fresh and locally-inspired can make to quality beer. It's a pint and an experience you won't regret.