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Eat and Drink

Upstate New York breweries to visit this fall

Instead of jet-setting off to Germany this Oktoberfest, celebrate locally.

With more than 200 breweries, New York is the fifth-largest beer-producing state in the nation, according to the New York State Brewers Association. That means a lot of great beer to taste.

Grab a designated driver, get out of the city and explore some of the best brews the Empire State has to offer at these New York breweries.

Prost!

The FarmHouse Brewery

Visit the taproom of this small brewery in
Photo Credit: Melissa Kravitz

Visit the taproom of this small brewery in the sleepy town of Owego for tastes of splendidly unique beers made almost exclusively from ingredients grown in New York State, including ones with impressively high ABVs. Expect to sip glasses of cucumber-infused beer, a tomato and basil blend or barrel aged brews at $1 per sample and $6 per pint. The dog-friendly brewery's spent grains are turned into dog biscuits, and board games will keep you occupied as you taste your way through the sustainably-sourced selection. Bring a cooler to take some growlers home. (14 George St., Owego, New York, 607-227-0638, thefarmhousebrewery.com)

Ithaca Beer Company

Leave it to a college town to be
Photo Credit: Ithaca Beer Company

Leave it to a college town to be home to one of New York's great breweries. In addition to the brewery's notable Flower Power and Apricot Wheat bottles (found prominently in NYC), taste special barrel beers, exclusive Thursday night casks and seasonal brews. A cheesy soup made with New York state cheddar and Ithaca's pale ale will give you a beer-sipping break. If you're in the collegiate spirit, pre-order a keg to take home. (122 Ithaca Beer Drive, Ithaca, New York, 607-273-0766, ithacabeer.com)

Empire Farmstead Brewery

The flavor-forward brewery, which has a 42,000-square foot
Photo Credit: Empire Farmstead Brewery

The flavor-forward brewery, which has a 42,000-square foot brewhouse, on 22 acres of farmland in Cazenovia, and pub in downtown Syracuse, is all about interesting concoctions. Its Deep Purple Pilsner is infused with local grapes for a mauve-hued beer; Two Dragons is made with exclusively imported Chinese tea; and the seasonal Roasted Pumpkin Ale is made from 250 pounds of pumpkins cooked on-site. (33 Rippletown Road, Cazenovia, New York, 315-655-2337, empirebrew.com)

Keegan Ales

This buzzy brewery in the Hudson Valley offers
Photo Credit: Keegan Ales

This buzzy brewery in the Hudson Valley offers free tours of its beer-making facilities from Friday through Sunday, on the hour from 1 to 6 p.m. Live music throughout the fall will give you something to drink to in the bar, where food is also served to sustain your drinking throughout the night. (20 Saint James St., Kingston, New York, 845-331-2739, keeganales.com)

Genesee Brew House

One of the earliest breweries in the beer-heavy
Photo Credit: iStock

One of the earliest breweries in the beer-heavy town of Rochester, Genesee Brew House was founded in 1878, rebounded from Prohibition and thrives on as a nationally recognized brewery today. Free tours and tastings are available daily, so you can see how the classic beer is made and what's next on tap for the historic brewery. (25 Cataract St., Rochester, New York, 585-263-9200, geneseebeer.com)

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