Wine tours are the professor emeritus of booze tourism.
Considered and cordial, sure, but also the type to reprimand you if you forget to address them as “Doctor.”
You won’t find that nonsense at a Hudson Valley brewery tour.
Since 2012, the suds scene Upstate has nearly quadrupled.
To help navigate those hoppy waters, we’re serving up the five that merit closer inspection, from mom-and-pop operations to live music hybrids to something called a “lager cave.”
And before you ask, yes, we found you a place to stay near each as well.
West Kill Brewery
Specialty: Funky ales brewed with foraged produce and a soft spot for local history
The brewery experience: Cozy and family-forward, with a measure of backwoods charm. Events not to miss include the Meet the Brewer Drive-In and the Bread Alone Pizza Party.
Where to stay nearby: The Eastwind
The one beer you've gotta try: Dusk, a fruited sour made with blackcurrants and locust flowers
Hudson Valley Brewery
Specialty: Their signature is an ongoing series of limited-run sour IPAs canned with drop-dead labels from illustrator Evan M. Cohen.
The brewery experience: Be forewarned, their new brew releases will draw hundreds of suds-slurping folk from near and far. Also on offer is a rotating roster of pop-up kitchens for soaking it all up.
Where to stay nearby: The Beacon Hotel
The one beer you've gotta try: Inflorescence, a DIPA with raw wheat, milk sugar, malted oat and vanilla laced with Simcoe and Azacca.
Plan Bee Farm Brewery
Specialty: Off-the-wall ales made exclusively with New York-sourced ingredients
The brewery experience: A historic little dwelling nestled in Underhill Farm with loads of radness on the horizon, like: a lager cave, a fishing pond for leisurely afternoons, farm-to-table dinners with rotating chefs from the community, music events, live theater and guided hikes.
Where to stay nearby: Buttermilk Falls Inn
The one beer you've gotta try: Barn Beer, the house favorite, made with wild, zesty fruit finishes.
Hudson Ale Works
Specialty: Highly seasonal small-batch brews
The brewery experience: They’ve got a killer lineup of brew-friendly eats, like a Tuscan Grilled Cheese and Pretzels with (showstopper) Sriracha Mustard.
Where to stay nearby: Hasbrouck House
The one beer you've gotta try: This one was tough. Most will tout the Coconut Vanilla Stout as the winner, but we say the Check the Technique #2, which is aged in a Pinot barrel.
Suarez Family Brewery
Specialty: A departure from the typical hoppiness of Hudson Valley brews, this family is expert in creating crispy, unfiltered lagers and varying fermentation ales.
The brewery experience: A clean, darling and very homey tasting room. It’s a true mom-and-pop operation.
Where to stay nearby: Tiger House
The one beer you've gotta try: Proclivity, a downhome country beer with a twist of fresh pineapple and sage.