While the craft-beer movement might have had its start out West, there’s now no shortage of quality breweries here in New York. Just ask Joshua M. Bernstein, author of Brewed Awakening, a new book all about the origins of the craft-beer movement. “Sixpoint and Brooklyn Brewery get all the kudos, but it’s the smaller breweries that deserve mention,” says Bernstein. Here are his suggestions for the five New York beers that you probably don’t know about but should be drinking.
Barrier Gosilla — Located in Oceanside, New York, Barrier specializes in aromatic hop-forward brews, though Bernstein notes that they champion several different styles of beer. “Evan Klein from Sixpoint opened it about a year ago,” says Bernstein. “It’s a nano-brewery, which is a super-small brewery. They only make one barrel at a time, which is about two kegs.” The gosilla is a re-creation of the old German beer called gose. “It has sourness with some salt, which sharpens it and gives it a crispness.”
Empire Cream Ale (on nitro tap) — “Empire is a brand from upstate that’s getting a bit more press,” observes Bernstein. “Cream ale is thought of as cheap, but it’s a great American style.” The nitro tap helps create fine bubbles, creating a beer that has a nice, creamy top.
Crossroads Outrage IPA — “They’re a new brewery that opened a year ago and they do really balanced, flavorful stuff,” notes Bernstein, stating that this is one of the best IPAs being made in New York State right now.
Kelso Pilsner — Kelso is the brand of beer from Kelly Taylor, who was the brewmaster at Heartland Brewery, because he wanted to do his own style of beer. It’s a refreshing, crisp pilsner, declares Bernstein.
Greenport Black Duck Porter — For those who want big, bold flavors and a drink with a bit more substance, Bernstein suggests this porter, which has “a roasted complexity” and coffee flavors. “It’s a nice, balanced beer and you can drink multiple pints of it at a time.” Sounds like a good plan.