If you find yourself in Beacon looking for a bite and a buzz, head to the corner where Main Street meets Eliza Street and pop into Paul Brady Wine, a one-stop shop—as Brady himself puts it—“to discover the history and the now of New York state’s most fashionable and delicious wines, beers, ciders, spirits, and more.” The shop celebrates the New York beverage scene, sourcing its selection exclusively from the Empire State.
From Guitars to Grapes
Before Paul Brady launched his eponymous business venture, he worked as a jazz guitarist, gigging in New York City and touring the country. Eventually, he lost interest in the musician’s life and yearned for something different. “I was falling out of love with being a musician,” Brady explains. “When I moved to New York City, I was like, ‘If this whole music thing goes wrong, I will stock shelves with bottles of wine at a wine shop.’ I had no wine background at all.” Once he decided to move on from musicianship, Brady found employment as a barback, then worked his way up to a sommelier position.
While working as a sommelier in restaurants around the Big Apple, Brady became “obsessed” with wines native to New York. “It seemed like they weren’t getting the attention that they should.” This discovery helped Brady find his niche in the wine industry and laid the foundation for his Beacon brick-and-mortar location.
When it came time to choose a location for the wine shop, Brady looked to Beacon. First and foremost, Brady was attracted to Beacon’s proximity to Marlboro, “one of the main locations of grape-growing” in the Hudson Valley. Additionally, the city is accessible via train. “Agriculturally, and culturally, it seemed like a good fit,” says Brady.
Bringing New York Wine to Beacon
Paul Brady Wine isn’t quite a bar, and it isn’t quite a liquor store, either. Inside, you will find wines, spirits, ciders, and beers from 50-plus producers around the state as well as bar seating. Hungry? Try the house-made charcuterie from Chef Brian Arnoff, chef and owner of the Kitchen Sink and Meyer’s Old Dutch in Beacon.
In offering a range of products derivative of the New York region, Brady aims to “promote this state’s agriculture,” the properties of which yield specific qualities to the products he offers. “New York wines and cool-climate wines are excellent food wines, and they’re very refreshing,” he muses.
To Brady, a great wine is “light on its feet,” low in alcohol content, high in acidity, and—more often than not—sparking. The storefront offers what Brady considers “an irresponsible amount of sparking wine,” like the signature “Rock and Roll Mouthwash” sparkling red, which gets its name from the guitarist and producer Nile Rodgers. “I never in my wildest dreams thought that would be our best-selling wine.” The “Mouthwash” is the shop’s first custom pétillant naturel, made with Finger Lakes winemaker Ben Ricardi in the style of a dry Lambrusco.
Find Your Happy Place
Above all, Brady is “violently devoted” to regional wines enjoyed in a comfortable space. “I love that there’s this renaissance to bring back this forgotten—but almost magical—age back,” Brady says, “to talk about the history, and a movement to use heirloom grapes that are native to northeastern North America.” As knowledgeable as Brady may be, he does not adopt the stereotypical snobbery of the garden-variety sommelier. On the contrary, he tells of a recent experience he had at a wine tasting:
“We’re on this boat with our young staff, and it’s really just a party. And I found myself repeating to my staff, ‘This is the best side of the industry.’ No one is blind tasting anything, no one is wearing a suit, no one is talking about tasting notes—people are just eating and drinking and hanging out together. You really need to find your happy place.”
You can visit Paul Brady Wine seven days a week at 344 Main Street, Beacon. Hours of operation are as follows:
Monday, Thursday – Saturday: 12 – 10 p.m.
Tuesday – Wednesday: 1 – 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Beacon Farmers Market; 12 – 8 p.m. in-store
Be sure to check out the list of custom wines, including:
2021 “Melody Harlow,” Pet Nat, Sparkling White, Finger Lakes (made in collaboration with Ben Ricardi of Osmote): $28 per bottle
2019 “Bug Dope,” Dry Finger Lakes White, Gerwurztraminer/Riesling/Chardonnay (made in collaboration with Nathan Kendall): $23 per bottle
2020 “Low Action Loud,” Dry Finger Lakes Rosé, Blaufrankisch/Cabernet Franc/Pinot Gris (made in collaboration with Peter Becraft of Anthony Road): $23 per bottle
2020 “Rock & Roll Mouthwash,” Pet Nat, Sparkling Red, Finger Lakes, Leon Millot/Marquette/Cabernet Franc (made in collaboration with Ben Ricardi): $28 per bottle
2020 “Fauxjolais,” Red Wine, Hudson Valley, DeChaunac/Gamay skins added to ferment (made in collaboration with Todd Cavallo of Wild Arc Farm): $44 per bottle