3 must-visit breweries just outside NYC

Plan Bee Farm Brewery in Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Derek Dellinger

Escape the city heat this summer with one of these day trips.

Plan Bee Farm Brewery in Poughkeepsie.
Plan Bee Farm Brewery in Poughkeepsie. Photo Credit: Li Yakira Cohen

As if New York didn’t already have enough going for it, it also happens to be close to plenty of other fun day-trip destinations. Since many of these towns are also home to some of the best breweries in the craft beer game, we’ve rounded up three easy one-day journeys that promise delicious brews along with other enjoyable activities. 

Plan Bee Farm Brewery owners brew with local ingredients, many of which are grown on their own farm.
Plan Bee Farm Brewery owners brew with local ingredients, many of which are grown on their own farm. Photo Credit: Derek Dellinger

Plan Bee Farm Brewery: Poughkeepsie

Plan Bee is worth the trip not only for its beer but also for its escape feel. The brewery sits on sprawling land with goats and chickens, making it a mini getaway from city life. Owners Evan and Emily Watson brew with local ingredients, many of which are grown on their own farm. You may find a wild ale made with peaches and plums or a Bloody Mary-inspired beer made with heirloom tomatoes and Tabasco peppers. These refreshing wild and farmhouse ales are perfect to sip outside on a sunny afternoon.

How to get there: You’ll have to rent a car for this one. The ride can range from 90 minutes to two hours, depending on whether you’re leaving from Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan or the Bronx.

What else is around: The Vanderbilt Mansion is 22 minutes away. The Culinary Institute of America is 13 minutes away so you can check one of its acclaimed restaurants off your dining bucket list. Twenty minutes from Plan Bee is Sprout Creek Farm, known for its adorable animals, cheese and ice cream. Mill House Brewing Company is a great spot for a casual dinner, just 10 minutes away in town. You’ve also got all of New Paltz with its quirky shops about a half-hour away. 

Brews at Dark City Brewing Company in Asbury Park, N.J.
Brews at Dark City Brewing Company in Asbury Park, N.J. Photo Credit: Courtney Iseman

Dark City Brewing Company: Asbury Park

A day trip that combines a brewery and the beach — what could be better? Dark City Brewing Company boasts a modern taproom full of natural light with a laid-back vibe. Its menu is divided into hoppy IPAs, funky sours, and malty stouts and barley wines, along with straightforward kolsches and more experimental brews, so there’s truly something for everyone. Check its Facebook page ahead of time and you might catch an event, like a beer and doughnut pairing or a yoga class with dogs.

How to get there: Trains run between Penn Station and Asbury Park about every two hours on Saturdays and Sundays, and the trip is between roughly an hour and 50 minutes and two hours and five minutes. Adult tickets cost $16.25 each way.

What else is around: The beach! Asbury Park’s boardwalk features shops, restaurants both casual and elegant, a pinball arcade and a kids’ water park. Dog parents, check out Wonder Bar with its huge sand-filled outdoor area. In town, you’ll find vintage shops, record stores and more along Cookman Avenue, and there are plenty more dining options in this area. For more beer, check out Asbury Park Brewery, or Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten. Of course, you’re also by the legendary Stone Pony, if you want to end your night with a show. 

Sand City Brewing Co. 
Sand City Brewing Co.  Photo Credit: Sand City Brewing Co.

Sand City Brewing Co.: Northport

Sand City has a reputation for being the brewery so popular, its town shut its tasting room down. It’s been back in action for some time now, though, and that hiccup is now just a sign of this brewery’s well-deserved hype. The ambience is that of a bare-bones space humming with a crowd sipping pours and flights — plus maybe a few dogs, too. After you’ve tried all of the fruit-jammed sours and hazy hop-bomb IPAs you can, explore the surrounding town of Northport, which is a picturesque summer destination.

How to get there: Trains run between Penn Station and the Northport LIRR stop about every 90 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays. Sand City Brewing Co. is a 7-minute Uber/Lyft/cab trip from the train station.

What else is around: It’s a one-minute walk to landmarks like Tim’s Shipwreck Diner and the rest of Main Street, dotted with restaurants and shops. You’ll also find yourself near a farmers market on Saturdays and docks where you can stroll out on the water. If you’re in the mood for theater, the John W. Engeman Theater is known for its high-caliber performances, while the Bare Bones Theater mounts more experimental productions.

Courtney Iseman