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NEW PALTZ’S OWN Smart Beer is New York’s first organic beer company. Within its first year of production, the company’s beers, which are physically brewed upstate in Saratoga Springs, already are available at Whole Foods Market, Citifield and Madison Square Garden, as well as at numerous restaurants throughout the Hudson Valley. Founder Gabriel Heymann, however, does not intend to rest on his laurels. “I like to say we’re soon to be America’s organic beer brand,” he predicts.

Heymann founded the company with the intent of crafting a beer that fit his lifestyle. “I just felt there was no reason anymore to feel like I had to compromise either my values or my healthy, active lifestyle just to celebrate and socialize with friends,” he says. He quickly found that many others felt the same. “The reception has been fantastic. It’s been amazing to me to see it spread so quickly.”

Heymann believes the key to Smart Beer’s success is the quality of the organic ingredients. “Right now it’s all U.S. organic grains and hops,” he says. “Our goal is to work with local farmers so that, over time, production can be as local as possible, but right now the organic production in [New York] just isn’t there.”

Smart Beer’s flagship product is a certified organic, non-GMO premium ale. “It’s a nice, pure, clean, fresh organic beer,” Heymann says. An organic IPA was recently added to the roster.

Heymann anticipates Smart Beer’s continued expansion. “In addition to creating the beer company of today,” he says, “we really feel like we’re creating the beer company of tomorrow.”

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!