Founded by Garry and Kelly Brown in 1993, Brown’s is one of the pioneers of the Hudson Valley’s craft beer scene. The tap list balances hoppy IPAs with Euro-style lagers, fruity sours, and wheat ales. The menu provides suggested pairings for select dishes, so you’ll know that beef empanadas belong with oatmeal stout and that the spicy pulled pork mac ‘n’ cheese needs to be washed down with a malt-forward Czech dark lager.
Located inside the Albany Pump Station, C.H. Evans is known for three things: food, beer, and historic preservation. Founder Neil Evans earned an award from the Preservation League of New York by maintaining the ambience of the industrial building, and the brewery’s beers have won numerous awards at the World Beer Cup and Great American Beer Festival. Check out pub classics like the beer bratwurst, braised in Pump Station Pale Ale, or the beer-battered fish and chips.
Middletown and New Paltz
The Middletown location of this popular brewpub is located inside a brick-walled building that once produced the world’s best hacksaws. Now the building owners cut a different path, crafting IPAs, sours, and stouts — and a full menu of sandwiches, salads, and burgers at both locations. Try the Brewer’s PLT, made with pork belly instead of bacon, and the short rib sandwich topped with Clemson stout-soaked caramelized onions. Kid’s menus are available.
Crossroads opened a Catskill taproom in 2017, but their original brewpub in the renovated Brooks Opera House features a seven-barrel brewhouse and pub food, including locally sourced specials on Saturdays. Classics include the bourbon-stout burger, made with Kilcoyne Farm beef, the Brick Row BBQ Mac, and the Caprese-stuffed mushrooms. To drink, try the Black Rock Stout or the award-winning Outrage IPA.
A brewery with a smokehouse? Yes, please! Defiant is the perfect destination for the barbecue lover, with pulled pork cooked low and slow for a dozen hours, as well as chicken wings, baby back ribs, and smoked beef brisket, all of which feature the epic Defiant dry rub. Wash everything down with a Muddy Creek Amber lager or a Medusa IPA. Defiant also offers gluten-free options.
Two private dining rooms, off-street parking, and an industrial-chic taproom inside a renovated mill house make the perfect destination for intimate events. But even if you’re looking for a more casual outing, Mill House Brewing Co. makes a fun, scenic destination. Beers range from the 3.5% ABV Mill House Light Lager to the limited release 14.5% Brownie Batter Cookie Stout, and the menu is just as varied, with upscale pub food and charcuterie.
Since opening in 2012, Newburgh Brewing Company has brewed more than 70 styles of beer. The variety comes from the culinary sensibilities of brewmaster Christopher Basso, who attended the French Culinary Institute and began his career at the lauded Brooklyn Brewery. The food menu is simple but fresh, with tacos, quesadillas, and a killer Empire Smash burger. Pair the burger with a Mild Mannered English session ale and take home a four pack of InfinityBoss IPA.
The two friends behind Woodstock Brewing have come a long way from their original half-barrel pilot system. Now sporting a 15-barrel system and one of the most Instagrammable taprooms in the Catskills, Woodstock also has a robust food menu with several vegetarian and vegan options. Try one of their killer IPAs, or switch things up with the Sour Shandy, a combination of Woodstock sour beer and house-made lemonade.