Eating local produce and food is a powerful movement for the foodie community, and drinking alcohol beverages from craft producers is certainly not excluded from eating local. But what goes into crafting these local beers, wines, and spirits?
Over the last few years, New York has seen a growth in the number of people involved in home winemaking and brewing. Wine and beer aficionados are stepping up their game at home and experimenting with new production methods, local ingredients, and—of course—family involvement.
We live in seemingly divided times: across the country, and on all manner of subjects, an “us vs. them” mentality has become our default mode. The days of merry disagreements about everything from sports to movies and politics at the water cooler have gone the way of, well, having time to stand around the water cooler and chat.
For the regional brewer looking to produce a more sustainable beer, finding a local source of hops is key.
Beer has a long history in New York, stretching back almost 400 years to the time of the first Dutch colonists. From that point, the state took a leading role in brewing in the country, and by the time of Prohibition, New Yorkers made more beer and drank more beer than any other state in the Union.
Remember when going out to grab a drink meant a mass-market beverage trucked in from afar? So 2008. These days, it’s all about #drinkinglocal, and bars and restaurants not just carry, but feature, New York-made wine, beer, cider, and spirits.
If you’ve ever driven extensively around the Hudson Valley, chances are you hit a GPS dead zone en route to your destination, only to find yourself delighted to be wherever you ended up.
I’m not just a wine and cheese professional, I’m a culinary hedonist, open to exploring flavors, aromas and textures not familiar to me.
Wineries used to be places where grown-ups went to escape children, but as our culture, and our relationship with craft beverages has evolved, they’ve become places where the presence of toddling mini-humans isn’t just tolerated, it’s actively encouraged.
When the sun comes out to play in the Hudson Valley, our palates tend to follow suit. Thankfully, the producers here are in the mood for tinkering, too.