Crafty Beverages: The Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries of Washington County
What makes craft beverages different? They're not mass produced. Craft beverages are created slowly, deliberately, and with care, resulting in a higher quality, better tasting product. If you're looking to sample never-tried-before craft beverages and support local businesses at the same time, head to Washington County!
Washington County is known for its rolling fields of farmland, scenic country views, and robust agricultural businesses, which includes breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Just as farmers are meticulous about the produce they grow, craft beverage producers put the same thought and tenderness into creating well-crafted, flavorful drinks.
Business hours change frequently, so be sure to confirm the hours below with each craft beverage producer you wish to visit before heading out!
Skip the Bud Light! Find Delicious, Local Craft Beers at These Breweries
Battle Hill Brewing Company
Battle Hill Brewing Company creates their delicious beer just seven barrels at a time in their 19th-century building in Fort Ann. They use local ingredients and refined recipes. Beers include the War Whoop IPA, which has piney and citrus hops with a malt taste, and Cocoa Porter for chocolate lovers - they add cocoa nibs during the brewing process.
Guests can also take advantage of their extensive food menu that includes a Farmers Platter with cheese curds from Argyle Cheese Farmer and several other appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and more.
Slate Town Brewing
If you've ever enjoyed the offerings at Slyboro Ciderhouse at Hicks Orchard in Granville, you'll want to check out Slate Town Brewing. This brewery is owned and operated by Glenn Wetherell and Susan Knapp, who have branched out from the Slyboro Ciderhouse. Slate Town Brewing opened on Labor Day Weekend of 2018 in a 1930s building in Granville.
They currently have eight beers on tap, including Not Your Average Main Street Blonde Ale, the brewery's flagship Blonde Ale, and Hop Shed DIPA, which has malted oats and Galaxy and Centennial hops. Slate Valley Brewing also has a brewery kitchen serving up handmade 12" pizzas and jumbo wings, among other eats.
Argyle Brewing Company
Argyle Brewing Company is all about increasing opportunities for area farmers, artisans, and entrepreneurs by using locally sourced hops and barleys, and by carrying locally made goods. They also pride themselves on using top notch brewing equipment.
A couple of their unique beers include the Woodland Ale, which uses fresh hops from early in the hop harvest season and has a touch of citrus flavor, and Oatmeal Stout, which is created from a blend of dark malts and has hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee.
This brewery has been so successful they opened a second location in 2017. Their Greenwich taproom is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 4pm-8pm, Saturdays from 11am-8pm, and Sundays from 12pm-5pm. Their Cambridge taproom is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 4pm-8pm, Saturdays from 11am-8pm, and Sundays from 12pm-5pm.
R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery
R.S. Taylor & Sons Brewery strongly believes that beer is an agricultural product, and that's why they're located in farm country in Salem. They use a combination of hops from their own Misty Bleu Farm, from Cold Spring Hops Farm located close by in North Hebron, and British-grown hops; the brewery is known for their English-style ales. Grains are also sourced both locally and from Britain.
Their beers include Willie's Nut Brown Ale, Golden Ale, Cashmiracle IPA, and several others, including seasonal offerings. Their hours are Thursdays & Fridays from 4pm-7pm, Saturdays from 1pm-7pm, and Sundays from 1pm-5pm.
Stuck in a Wine Rut? Cold Climate Grapes Produce Flavorful Wines at These Area Wineries
Victory View Vineyard
You know it's going to be a great product when the producers truly love their craft, and this is the case at Victory View Vineyard. Husband and wife Gerry and Mary Barnhart started this vineyard after retirement so they could truly hone their passion for winemaking; Gerry was the former director of New York State's Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources, so he already had a solid connection to agriculture and the great outdoors.
Victory View Vineyard has gone from a few hybrid test vines to a full vineyard and winery that grows a range of red and white cold climate grapes. They craft and bottle all of their award-winning wines.
Stop by for a tasting and a tour between 3pm-7pm on Fridays, and 12pm-6pm on Saturdays & Sundays.
Northern Cross Vineyard
Wine making is made simple at Northern Cross Vineyard, where they craft incredible wines from high quality grapes. In fact, they name their wines for the primary grape used in making them: their red wine grapes are Marquette, Frontenac, and St. Croix, and the whites are Lacrosse, La Crescent, and Prairie Star.
Although they certainly know their wines - and grapes - Northern Cross Vineyard believes that guests should be welcome to choose their wine and their experience at the vineyard. They love to share their knowledge of the wines, but they won't ramble on with complicated descriptions. The public is welcome to taste wines, take a tour, or simply "hit the pause button."
Northern Cross Vineyard is one of the oldest properties in Easton. You'll find them on Beadle Road, named for the Beadle family that once owned their land. Contact the vineyard for tasting hours.
Expand Your Palate With Handcrafted Spirits From a Progressive Distillery
Lake George Distilling
Local grains, artisan spirits, and Lake George come together in the delicious and expertly named products from Lake George Distilling. Their spirits have names like 32 Mile Moonshine, named for the length of Lake George, and Red Rock Rye, which references Red Rock Bay of Lake George's northern basin. There's also Adirondack Wildfire Whiskey, which has a pleasant, cinnamony finish similar to Fireball Whiskey.
As with the other Washington County craft beverage businesses, Lake George Distilling has a high focus on great tasting products that are handcrafted with care from local ingredients. They create all their spirits in small batches. Lake George Distilling is located in Fort Ann, although they also opened a Lake George storefront in 2016.
Think Washington County When it Comes to Craft Beverages
The next time you're itching to try something new and different, or you're looking for craft beverages to complement your next social gathering or party, remember Washington County. Take a scenic drive to one of the tasting rooms and bring home something special to share. Or, complete a full tour of area breweries, wineries, and more.