If you acquire the hiking habit, you may worry that you’ll become sculpted, fit and altogether too attractive. Fortunately, when you finish your hike you can avoid this fate (or at least forget it) by finding some liquid refreshment. We’re partial to small breweries, and we can be found in them after many of our hikes. We get pleasantly gregarious and the bears and rattlesnakes in our stories get bigger, fiercer and closer.
The area near Minnewaska, our go-to park in New York, offers several alternatives. We recently discovered Rough Cut Brewery in Kerhonkson. It offers excellent brews in many styles and has a good kitchen besides. The Gilded Otter Brewery in New Paltz is a huge hunting lodge type hall with a family vibe, lots of TVs, and a large menu. New Paltz Brewing Company (actually in Wawarsing) is a tiny place with a few indoor and outdoor tables, offering German-style beers and free popcorn. This brewery is actually on the Long Path, so you can make it a stop along the way. Yard Owl Brewing in Gardiner makes its beers in the Belgian style. You can step off of the Walkill Rail Trail, have a quick one, and then resume your hike. Both trailside breweries are dog-friendly. There were even some horses at Yard Owl when we were there.
During our Appalachian Trail and Shawangunk Ridge Trail projects, we stopped at Westtown Brew Works (pictured above) in Westtown, NY. It has a lovely outdoor space, live music, a limited menu from a food truck. They make both beers and ciders. The Fox N Hare Brewing Company in downtown Port Jervis, NY has a full restaurant and is a surprisingly hip location in a town that has unfortunately seen better days. Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company in Catskill, NY offers reasonably priced beer and pub food, plus Italian favorites and pizza. The Barrington Brewery and Restaurant in Great Barrington, MA sits in a huge renovated barn and has a full menu. Besides the beer, you should try the (enormous) chocolate cake. Hamburg, PA’s 1787 Brewing Company is a relatively new brewery / restaurant featuring interesting flavor combinations (like “peppermint stout”), and a knowledgeable staff. Rushing Duck Brewing Company in Chester, NY is the only brewery whose products we had previously sampled elsewhere. Their offerings can be found in NY and CT restaurants.
A few places we like which just seem to be on the way home: 2 Way Brewing Company in Beacon, NY rotates its offerings frequently and they offer a discount on the beer of the day. Peekskill Brewery in Peekskill, NY is one of the larger places on this list. They have a busy bar, an upstairs restaurant, and an outdoor space with a food stand, yard games and frequent special events. Nearby River Outpost Brewing Company, also in Peekskill, is an affiliate of the larger Captain Lawrence Brewing Company. They have a beautiful outdoor deck right next to the Hudson River. They have table service and a good if slightly pricey menu. We often just end up at Broken Bow Brewery in Tuckahoe, NY because it’s the closest to home, and because they make really good beer.
Some odds and ends. If you want a beer in Moab, UT, you’ll probably end up at Moab Brewery. I can’t stop you, but I will tell you that they follow Utah’s guidelines for alcohol content. Byway Brewing Company in Hammond, IN is a fun place with both indoor and outdoor seating and a full menu. Last time we were there they had a good band. Golden City Brewery in Golden, CO bills itself as “Golden’s second largest brewery” (after Coors, which is probably a good 10,000 times larger). Jack Russell’s Steakhouse and Brewery in Bar Harbor, ME is a restaurant first and foremost, but they have an excellent bar and the best blueberry flavored beer we’ve had to date. To get to the strangest member of this list, you need to take a boat. Leave from Boothbay Harbor or Port Clyde, ME and take the ferry to Monhegan Island to get to Monhegan Brewing Company. The beer is good, and the island is wonderful.
I’ve been to a lot of these, haven’t I? Hmm. This entry is something of a milestone, since it comes after 25 more serious entries in the blog. Happy hiking.