When it comes to New York beers, Brooklyn and Manhattan often get the spotlight. But those urban areas don't always have spaces large enough for experimentation and expanded beer offerings, not to mention brewery tours and brewpubs. In the Hudson Valley, brewers have have created award winning beers and built idyllic spots to enjoy them in.
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It's all too easy to talk about Utica, New York as the industrial town past its prime. Where have all the jobs gone? What's keeping this place alive? Utica's hardly the manufacturing hub of central New York that it used to be. But asking those questions as condemnatory rhetorical remarks ignores some truths. It ignores the locals who've developed small businesses to revitalize the community they love. It disregards the people who've moved to the area to start new companies. And it forgets about those who never left, like the 124 year-old FX Matt Brewery, the home of Saranac and Utica Club beers and the second oldest family-owned brewery in the U.S.
Matthew Critz never expected to become an apple cider maker. But then again, he also never expected to become an apple and pumpkin grower, or a maple syrup producer, or a host of a farm that draws visitors to Cazenovia, New York from all over.
The Hudson Valley of New York has a centuries-old custom of growing grapes and making wine—Brotherhood Winery was established in 1839 and is the nation's oldest continuously operating winery—but it's the new wave of winemaking that shows promise. Here are 5 Hudson valley wines to seek out this fall.
"When I eat them I know what animal I'm eating. I know their tag number; you start to recognize them." So says Anna Hodson, a shepherd at Kinderhook Farm, which has 1,200 acres of land in the Hudson Valley that is mostly devoted to livestock, including a herd of 450 sheep that she watches over. Take a look at the video to see what goes into raising them.
Pizza Luca teased Gothamites earlier this year when it debuted at few locations in Lower Manhattan. Since then, owner and head pizza man Dean Medico has centered his operations primarily on the lower Hudson Valley. But New Yorkers can try Medico's pizza when he rolls into town for Meatopia this weekend. Get a preview here.
Founder Jeff Baker dreamed of establishing a distillery that was a bit more like a small-production winery—a place where the spirit begins in the field and ends in the glass, all without leaving the complex. With the help of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell (formerly of WhistlePig Whiskey, and before that, Maker's Mark) and distiller Tim Welly, Baker has indeed created such a place.
With the in-laws in town and wanting to go shopping at the outlets last Friday, I had the perfect excuse to haul up to the Hudson Valley in the Serious Eats Edge (on loan from Ford) and check out some of the local hot dog scene. First stop, Soul Dog in Poughkeepsie.
If I lived in Beacon, New York, I would be hesitant to talk about Poppy's. After all, why blow up my spot just 'cause the burgers are hot? As it is, the small Hudson Valley city is already inundated with day-tripping NYC residents making art pilgrimages to Dia:Beacon. There'd be no reason I'd want to turn the masses onto this local gem.
The Hudson Valley is that beautiful, expansive chunk of land along the Hudson River that's home to many farms, some of which are represented at New York City's Greenmarket. The farmers trek into the city with their cherries, beets, goat cheese, and many other fresh goodies piled onto flatbeds to sell at farmers' markets and to some restaurants. We recently road-tripped with ABC Kitchen chef Dan Kluger, to meet some of the farmers that supply his ingredients. Here are snapshots of the goat cheese, squash blossoms, whiskey, radishes, and more from our day of cruising around in tractors (and convertibles).
We weren't especially hungry and definitely overdressed, but when you pass a sign for Weir's Ice Cream, you stop. Actually, sign does not begin to describe the nearly two-story high soft serve cone (with a vanilla-chocolate swirly top, naturally) next to the stand. It was visible from many a street light away, and potentially from space. Ed was driving our Hertz-rented car through the Hudson Valley last weekend when we saw it. I don't think a car has ever parked so fast.
"Our cows are happy cows--they get to eat a lot of hay which is what makes the milk froth so well." When we pick up a quart of milk in the supermarket, so many of us don't think twice about...