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Sip Your Way Across New York State
If you are a libation lover, Upstate New York is calling your name. Here are some of the best beer, wine, cider, and spirit stops you should check out as you sip your way across New York state.
Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC) has a few locations, including one in Bemus Point and Fredonia, NY. EBC is known for its award-winning craft beers, including (my) favorites like Blueberry Wheat, Blood Orange Hefe, Stainless Steel IPA, and Mow Master. Their Bemus Point location sits right on Chautauqua Lake, making it the perfect spot for an evening of delicious food paired with hand-crafted beers. They even create experimental, specialty, and small-batch brews right on-site.
Interested in a festival featuring hundreds of local, regional, and state-wide craft beers? Look no further than Flour City Brewers Fest being held on Friday, August 18. In addition to good brews, there will be cider and wine tastings, live music, and food trucks.
If you need even more inspiration, read Top 5 Craft Beverage Joints You Need to Check Out.
JD Wine Cellars, located just minutes from Rochester, NY in Macedon, features red, white, and 100% whole fruit wines handcrafted on-site. Sample some wines in their tasting room and then move to their back deck where you can enjoy a glass (or bottle) with your friends and loved ones. Plan a visit in May through October and visit Long Acres Farms, adjacent to the winery. Their farm offers seasonal activities including an ice cream shop, farm market, Amazing Maize Maze, and more!
For a real treat, visit GRAFT Wine + Cider Bar in Watkins Glen, NY. This cozy wine bar exclusively serves and sells a variety of New York State hand-crafted wines and ciders. Grab a seat and enjoy a drink paired with simple yet creative small-bites, snacks, salads, sandwiches and desserts.
As farmers first and foremost, Embark Craft Ciderworks understands that great cider comes from high-quality and unique apples. Visit their taproom in Williamson, NY and order a tasting flight to sample a range of ciders from dry to sweet. Or pair one of their ciders with a cheese and charcuterie board, or their lunch and dinner options.
Cider Creek Hard Cider, located in Canisteo, NY, serves 100% natural, gluten free, craft cider. The company turned a family recipe and home brewing passion (with maybe some creative and funky brewing methods…) into a mission to produce high-quality cider with authenticity - like fresh from the mill. Some of their “core products” are Premium Farmhouse Cider, Saison Reserve Cider, and Cran Mango Saison.
Head to Black Button Distilling in Rochester, NY for a relaxed place to gather with friends. Take a tour of the distillery, learn how craft spirits are made, and try some delicious craft liquor, including their varieties of gin, vodka, moonshine, and bourbon. I can personally vouch that their bourbon cream and apple pie moonshine are delicious!
Pull up a seat at Four Fights Distilling’s tasting room in Corning, NY, open Thursdays through Sundays. They’ve crafted a variety of spirits, including vodka, moonshine, bourbon, and coming soon - gin. My recommendation is to sip on their sweet and savory Emperial Cinnamon: a combination of strong corn flavors of New York whiskey with woodsy, aromatic spice of cinnamon.
If you still haven’t found something that tickles your taste buds, check out Brew Central. Don’t let the name fool you - this trail celebrates Central New York’s hard cider, spirits, and wine in addition to craft beer.