As the weather turns in our part of the world, our tastes shift from the rich and hearty to the crisp and refreshing. To ease the decision-making process, we’ve selected a list of New York-brewed beers that represent tried and true and emerging style categories: NEIPAs, Lagers, Farmhouse Ales, and more. These represent high-quality options from NY, and while we encourage you to seek them out, we also believe in supporting similar efforts from your local breweries. All the below are available within days to locations across New York State and some within hours (through delivery partners like Caviar or TapRm) to parts of NYC. From the classically bready to the tantalizing and tart, here are just a few of our favorite beers for sipping in the spring sunshine.
Dutchess Ales’ Ghost Beer (G.B.)
A pale ale that fuses West Coast and European influences, Wassaic-based newcomer Dutchess Ales‘ G.B. (aka Ghost Beer) boasts relatively little bitterness (42 IBU) and plenty of hop and malt character. There’s a brightness about it that you’re met with immediately, but a refreshing finish reminiscent of a Kolsch (straw-colored German ales) leaves the palate feeling clean and not coated in hops. Plus, at 4.8% ABV, the G.B. hits the spot without going overboard.
Hudson Valley Brewery’s Good Old Neon
Industry darling Hudson Valley Brewery releases sour IPAs with regularity and plenty of fanfare. In fact, most releases sell out in minutes. But the brewery’s most recent tart IPA harkens back to wildly fermented Farmhouse Ales of yesteryear. The brewers use Motueka hops (formerly known as Belgian Saaz) as a bready foundation to build upon. Those hops provide a savory, sort of peppery bite that’s balanced out by a house-made culture. Together, they ferment to form Good Old Neon, a 6% ABV beer with complex layers of traditional, saison-like notes and new-age tartness.
Threes Brewing’s All Together
Occasionally, the brewing industry bands together to share recipes and support causes universally cared about. Right now, breweries are using Other Half‘s All Together to raise funds for essential workers. “The recipe is open-source, the artwork is public, and the name is yours to use. The goal is to provide you with the tools to make the beer at the lowest possible cost,” Other Half Brewing Co owners wrote in a statement. The only condition is that a share of each brewery’s iteration’s profits are donated. A version by Gowanus-based Threes Brewing acknowledges a style popularized here in the Northeastern US, the “juicy” IPA. At 7% ABV, it hits with bitterness and a bit of booze. And, 100% of its profits are going directly to the brewery’s temporarily unemployed bar staff.
Grimm Ales’ Maypole
A deviation from the brewery’s favoritism for IPAs, fruited beers and stouts, Maypole is Grimm Ales‘ standard Maibock-style lager. Vienna, Pilsner, and Munich malts meet here to fill out the beer’s body. But a slight honeycomb sweetness lifts the beer and offsets the bite lent by the toasted malts. At 6.5%, this beer is easy-drinking and an excellent representation of a category largely devoid of craft consideration.
Drowned Lands Brewery Lookout Mountain Low
Warwick, New York’s new terroir-driven brewery, Drowned Lands, emphasizes the characteristics and ingredients (and preferences) of their corner of upstate. Embracing the minerality of their local water, the brewery produces farm-style beers with modern twists. The Lookout Mountain Low embodies these ethos. Biscuity yet bright, low in ABV and bitterness, this IPA deviates from the double and triple IPAs that dominate the market in favor of a more palatable beer. Lush tropical fruit rounds out each sip and richness from oats and wheat provide body.
Little Blind Beer’s Zone Expansion
Brewed in Brooklyn, Little Blind Beer‘s straightforward sour ale Zone Expansion spotlights fresh peach and tangerine purees. Using their home-grown wild culture of Lactobacillus spp and ale yeast, the team formulated a beer with equal percentages savory and sour. Chinook and Cascade hops provide its bite, but the piney, rind-like flavor of the former comes through clearly, rather than mellowing out into a more uniform punch.
Non Sequitur Beer Project’s Same As It Ever Was
Bronx-based Non Sequitur Beer Project produces Same As It Ever Was, an exemplary execution of the New England IPA style. NEIPAs are bitter, hazy, dense and lush—and overpowering for many. But, the subtle fruit flavors from the chosen hop varietals bestow a delicate passionfruit essence upon the beer. It arrives late, at the very end of a sip, but alleviates much of the dank granted by the double dry-hopping process.
Drowned Lands’ Gather House
Prompted by a survey circulated among brewery staff—”If you were stuck on an island for the rest of your life with only one beer, what beer would you choose? For the majority of our team, the answer is Allagash White”—Drowned Lands attempted to recreate the beloved Allagash White, a Belgian Wit beer with subtle notes of hay, pepper, honeydew, and honeycomb. Their iteration, Gather House, features coriander and orange, and many of the yeast and malt preferences of the aforementioned brewery. “We couple these traditional ingredients and processes with a few new-age tricks and tweaks of our own that we feel innovates the beer, yet still pays homage,” the brewery explains alongside an announcement of it winning Gold at the New York Craft Brewer’s Competition.
Hero image courtesy of Hudson Valley Brewery, all others from respective brands