Craft beers, microbreweries flow with changing times, tastes

Craft beers, microbreweries flow with changing times, tastes

It’s a celebration for brewers — and beer enthusiasts alike — as each marks National Craft Beer Week, which runs through the weekend.

With a variety of potential incentives for microbreweries — and a host of thirsty local residents — craft brewers and microbreweries are having a renaissance across the region.

Copper City Brewing Company, 1111 Oneida St., was established to bring Rome’s rich brewing history back to life and now the brewery is canning that history to make it more widely available to the public.

Owner Dan Frieden said Coppery City Brewing has begun canning its brews made on premise, which can be picked up at the brewery, with hopes to one day make them available at local grocery stores.

“We started some leg work to try and get our cans out there, and get them more available,” Frieden said. “It will be great if one you can pick them up at Hannaford or Price Chopper, but the machines are quite expensive.”

As for anything special planned for 2021, Frieden said it will be mostly “business as usual” at Copper City, because much like other local small businesses, it will be recovering from the economic downturn of the pandemic, and not many local residents have planned yet for any large gatherings or events.

Copper City Brewing made local history when it became the first microbrewery to open in the city since the 1930s, when prohibition effectively shut down the brewing industry. “We dedicated ourselves to bringing brewing back into the community and are proud to be the first local microbrewery in over eight decades,” said Frieden. “We’ve renovated a structure that was built in the 1960s as a barbecue restaurant and you can still see the ovens in the wall. This building has been serving this hard-working town for many years, and we’ll do just the same.”

In 2019, Copper City doubled its micro brew beer production with a 52-foot by 24-foot expansion on its East Rome property to increase its beer production.

Besides by the glass, Copper City offers a taste of their microbrews with their beer flights. Growlers and crowlers (cans) are also available for fill and re-fill. Brews currently on tap include the pilsner Linda’s Calling, O’Danny Boy Red (red ale), Return of the Midnight Rye’d stout, Schfifty Seven IPA (Indian Pale Ale) and the Barrel Aged Baltic Porter.

In its sixth year of operation,
Woodland Farm Brewery at 6002 Trenton Road, continues its tradition of advancing craft beer in Utica and central New York through its adherence to using state grain and hops, brewing classic styles, lagers, farmhouse ales, a barrel aging program, and the only dedicated cask ale
program from Albany to Syracuse.

• Woodland Farm Brewery, located at 6002 Trenton Road in Utica, is a locally owned and operated farm brewery offering a wide range of beer styles that promise to appeal to new craft beer drinkers and seasoned vets — from lagers to barrel-aged beers and everything in between.

As a farm brewery, the goal of Woodland Farm Brewery is to provide a great atmosphere for beer and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Woodland hosts acoustic music at 5 p.m. Tuesday, local bands and performers at 1 p.m. Sundays, and other happenings regularly, like Thursday Trivia Night at 6:30 p.m. The kitchen offers a menu of fresh and clean food sourcing many local ingredients.

Woodland’s ever-evolving brew list includes the Kolsch Karl the Great, Dusseldorfer Tutenuggel altbier, Not Bad pale ale, Principia IPA (Indian Pale Ale), Life Ain’t Fair dark ale and Judy’s Stout oatmeal stout.

Kicking up their offerings a notch, Woodland converted their office into a kitchen space back in 2018. Today they offer “Shareables” like the Tot Waffle — a waffle made of tater tots — with melted cheddar curds and choice of dipping sauce; grilled stuffed pretzels and Empire State Flatbread topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach, Parmesan and balsamic vinaigrette. “Sandwiches N’ Such” include the Betta Feta Wrap, Trenton Road Beef Sandwich and Woodland French Dip.

Woodland would later roll out a Sunday brunch menu, offered 10 a.m. to
1 p.m., that features Bloody Marys, Coffee

Bombs (made with Utica Coffee and Black Button Bourbon Cream), and Cider Mimosas. Their eats menu includes a Southwestern Breakfast Burrito, Bourbon Cream French Toast and Maple Glazed BLT with egg.

For more information on beer, food, and upcoming events, follow Woodland on all social media platforms through @woodlandbeer or

• The 16 Stone Brewpub is expanding this year with a second location to be opening at the new Live It! Fitness Mill complex on Oriskany Boulevard in Utica.

After opening in 2014, the pub turned brewery/seltzery has been brewing its own craft beers and seltzers at its Holland Patent location, 9542 Main St., for four years.

Company founders Adam and Eric Constable said they were excited to add their brews, seltzers, and the 16 Stone brand to the beer making legacy of Utica.

16 Stone Brewpub is one of several local companies to be included in the new “Live It” Fitness Mill building in downtown. They are planning to offer some of their signature brews and fitness-focused meals that will pair with their VIBE hard seltzers, officials said.

16 Stone Brewpub’s head brewer, Adam Constable, is on schedule to pour the first glass from the new Utica location in late spring to early summer.

The pub’s tap list includes the 16 Stone Irish Red, 16 Stone Hopeye the Sailor, 16 Stone Trash Panda Stout and 16 Stone Basement Pig PB Porter. Their hard seltzers include the 16 Stone Vibe mango, pumpkin and lime seltzers. Flights and growlers are available.

Their menu of eats includes the 16 Stone Hoppy Meal with sandwich, tenders and tater tots, flatbread pizzas and baked chicken wings that range from medium to garlic, bourbon, Lucifer’s Ghost Pepper and General Tsao’s.

The original Holland Patent based location, as listed on the Heart of New York Craft Beverage Trail, will continue to keep normal hours at its current location.

• Making their own home brews grew from hobby to passion for friends Keith Richards and Matthew Taylor, and that would be how their brew house 7 Hamlets Brewing, 26 Seymour Lane in Westmoreland, would be born.

Richards and Taylor started brewing in June 2013 on a five-gallon homemade system. After a few years of brewing on their homemade system, they decided to purchase an electric one-barrel system consisting of three 55-gallon stainless steel kettles with a goal to perfect their craft and open their own brewery. 

It was in 2019 when that dream started to become a reality when the pair purchased a building in their hometown of Westmoreland. With the help and support of friends and family, Richards and Taylor transformed that building into 7 Hamlets Brewing Company, officially opening for business on March 27, 2020.

“We’re excited to share our craft beer with you all and offer a warm and inviting place to spend time with your family and friends,” they said.

Both the Richards and Taylor families live in Westmoreland, and grew up in the small rural Oneida County town.

“We are a close-knit family and value our community. So, when we bought our building in Westmoreland, we knew that we wanted our name to hold meaning for us and our town,” the owners said on their website. “When researching the history of our town, we discovered that Westmoreland had seven original Hamlets (small settlements). Picking a name for our brewery was quite the process, and we were so relieved and happy to find something we love as much as we love 7 Hamlets.”

Richards and Taylor said they use the 7 Hamlets name as inspiration in their brewery from using it for naming some of their craft beers to their establishment’s decor, specifically using maps of Westmoreland.

7 Hamlets is open 3-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday; from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday; and from 1-6 p.m. Sunday. It’s closed Monday through Wednesday. It also features foods available through the Come and Get It local food truck, and “live music” by local musicians on Sundays.

Brews on tap include Wale’s Tale Blonde Ale, Rib Slap Amber Ale, Bartlett Belgian Blonde Ale, Spice, Spice Baby spice beer, Hec’Ya Pale Ale and Hop Soup! New England IPA (Indian Pale Ale).

• Inspired by a trip to Dusseldorf, Germany in 2014, Bagg’s Square Brewing Company is located in the Doyle Hardware building, inside the Bagg’s Square district of Utica.

Owner Jennifer Earl and her husband didn’t realize at the time that a trip to Germany would transform their lives. While experiencing the Altstadt (old district) of Dusseldorf, they found beautiful buildings and businesses that had been flourishing for hundreds of years.

“We noticed that that these establishments were cornerstones of the community. One place specifically caught our eyes,” Earl said via the Bagg’s Square Brewing website. “It was a brewery named Uerige. This brewery was always busy and full of patrons. It was quaint and old, unlike anything I had previously experienced.”

The idea behind Bagg’s Square Brewing Company was born from this trip.

“We wanted to recreate our wonderful experience tailored to the history and culture that already exists in Utica,” said Earl. “Bagg’s Square East seemed like the perfect home for this new project. We’re hoping to bring education on the brewing process and deliver memorable experiences for everyone to share.”

The Doyle Hardware Building is a historic factory building located at 330 Main St. It was the work of Utica architect Frederick Hamilton Gouge.

The Doyle Hardware building was constructed in three sections between 1881 and 1901. Built originally as a clothing factory, in 1934 it became a factory for the manufacture of spark plugs, in 1947 it became home to Utica Distributing Company, and then later Doyle Hardware. Besides for being home to BSBC, the Doyle Hardware building also houses a few other commercial spaces, as well as loft-style apartments.

An interesting feature of Bagg’s Square, and the basis for its name, is the Bagg’s Tavern. Bagg’s Tavern was founded by Moses Bagg in 1794. The tavern would host a number of historical figures including General George Washington, General Lafayette, Henry Clay, and General Ulysses S. Grant.

Bagg’s Tavern would eventually become Bagg’s Hotel and then Northern Hotel until its demise in 1870 due to a fire.

Utica has a long history with brewing and since 1801, Utica has seen 44 different breweries. Of these 44 breweries, two have lasted more than 100 years.

Oneida Brewing Company operated from 1932-42. F.X. Matt Brewing was incorporated in 1888 and still exists today, under the leadership of the third and fourth generations of the Matt family, the brewery is celebrating 133 years of brewing. Through a commitment to innovation and brewing excellence, the company has earned a reputation as one of the country’s most respected brewers of craft beers, including their Saranac Beers.

New York’s canal system and hop production helped breweries to flourish early on. During the mid 1800s, Central New York was the hop capital of America, and in 1855, New York was producing 3 million pounds of hops annually.

Hours at Bagg’s Square Brewing Company are: closed Mondays; 4-9 p.m. Tuesday; noon to 9 p.m. Wednesday; noon to 10 p.m. Thursday; noon to 11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Entertainment features a schedule of local performers as well as a Trivia Night on Thursdays.

• While it could be fun checking out all the craft beers available at your local brewpub, there are ways to purchase your favorite craft brews to enjoy at home.

For those looking for a wide selection of craft beers, Anticosti Beer & Beverage, 1124 Erie Blvd. W., tells beer fans to look no further.

Anticosti Beer and Beverage is a fully stocked beer store, whether customers are looking for craft beer, imported beer or domestic beer — they promise to have it covered.

Anticosti carries a large selection of beer that’s brewed locally as well. And if beer isn’t your go-to beverage, and instead you’re craving a refreshing hard cider or lemonade, Anticosti carries those too.

Call 315-533-5085 to order wholesale beer for your business. Anticosti promises that an expanded beer selection will help local restaurants attract new customers.

Store hours are: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

A wide selection of wholesale and retail beer is also available at Marcy Discount Beverage, 9270 River Road in Marcy.

Family owned and operated, since 1974 the Martel family has provided wholesale and retail beer sales to Central New York, being known to stock the area’s largest selection.

Whether looking for a domestic beer, an import beer, a craft beer, or a hard-to-find beer, chances are it can be found at Marcy Discount Beverage. The store stocks more than 45 kinds of keg beers. It also offers a variety of hard seltzers, hard teas and hard lemonades. To cover all those party or get-together needs, sodas and water are also available.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For more information or to make an order, call 315-736-3993.

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