Hudson Valley Brewers Share Their Favorite Local Beers

Photo by Derek Dellinger

We asked Valley brewers: What’s one local beer you love to drink that’s not your own? Here’s what they had to say.

“I’ve always been a sucker for beer fermented with real, whole cherries, and Plan Bee’s Kärnet delivers with a hefty dose of juicy-yet-dry, tart Montmorency cherry vibrancy. This beer is ripe with toasted almond, cinnamon, nutmeg, and bready characteristics that I crave year-round.”

—Dan Suarez, brewer/owner, Suarez Family Brewery


“My good friend Jeff O’Neil makes great beers at Industrial Arts. Torque Wrench is a mouthful of modern-day hoppiness — creamy, smooth, and bursting with flavor and aroma.”

—Scott Vaccaro, founder, Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Brown's Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Brown’s Brewing Co.

“While it’s fun trying all the great aromatic IPAs out there, sometimes you want a simple beer that showcases the malt, without haze, sour or fruit. Just an honest brew. Like Brown’s Brewing Co.’s Brown Ale.”

—Tom Crowell, co-founder, Chatham Brewing

Photo courtesy of Suarez Family Brewery
Photo courtesy of Suarez Family Brewery

“One of my favorites is Backroads by Suarez Family Brewery. A ‘country beer,’ brewed with staghorn sumac and marigold flowers, and aged in wine barrels, I find it wonderfully balanced with acidity; citrusy, herbal notes; and an oaky, mineral complexity that captures the essence of a late summer day in the Hudson Valley.”

—Matt Schulze, head brewer, Arrowood Farms

Photo courtesy of Sloop Brewing Co.
Photo courtesy of Sloop Brewing Co.

“I’m really proud to be friends with the guys from Sloop. Juice Bomb is driving their train the way Mother’s Milk drives mine. [I remember] when they were so small, they were brewing in their garage, but they’ve grown that into something regionally famous.”

—Tommy Keegan, founder, Keegan Ales


Barn Beer from Plan Bee has a nice balance of acidity and fruity funk. I also love that it’s an authentic farmhouse ale, coolship cooled with New York ingredients.”

Mike Kraai, founder, The Drowned Lands

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Photo by Enormous Creative

“I wholeheartedly endorse Captain Lawrence’s Effortless Grapefruit IPA. It deftly straddles the line between beer and soft drink and embodies the very definition of being sessionable — packed with interesting flavors but low enough in alcohol that you can have a few without worries.”

—Jeff O’Neil, founder, Industrial Arts Brewing Co.


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