As the winter months continue along and the cold weather persists, spirits are a satisfying way to stay warm. Locally produced beer and cider take on the characteristics of liquors like bourbon after spending time aging in their barrels. Some producers even use barrels from local distillers and vintners to create fully Hudson Valley products. For bolder flavors and stronger beverages, turn to these barrel-aged beers and ciders.
Bad Seed Cider Company experiments with small batches of cider, with unique and interesting results. In addition to recent offerings aged in oak barrels and rum barrels, its Bourbon Barrel Reserve packs a punch like few other ciders do. It’s especially dry and full of the spirit’s signature notes.
South Glens Falls
Common Roots makes an incredible farmhouse saison dubbed In Bloom. True to its name, In Bloom has a floral aroma that is only enhanced by its time spent aging in oak foeder tanks. Herbal notes and a bit of tartness make this a great beer for the warm, sunny days to come.
Sometimes you can’t beat the classics. Graft’s flagship Farm Flor is instantly recognizable by its tart and dry farmhouse flavors. Aged in oak, Graft’s “table cider” has subtle complexity that pairs extremely well with food. American oak, French oak, and Spanish cedar create the earthy flavors in this extremely drinkable cider.
Hudson Valley Brewery experiments with a wide range of beer styles. Up the funk with its take on a farmhouse ale. Unique flavors come from the beer’s year in oak wine barrels, as well as from the local barley and raw wheat with which it’s brewed. Sour and bright, this HVB Vintage is one you shouldn’t miss.
Garnerville and Beacon
Industrial Arts Brewing Company brings back its chocolatey stout, this time with a bourbon barrel upgrade. A select amount of Black Is Beautiful was reserved to spend some time in the barrels for a new release several months later. Brewed with cocoa nibs, the chocolate flavor is big, with undertones of toffee, vanilla, and of course, bourbon. Industrial Arts donates 100 percent of this beer’s profits to Campaign Zero.
A dark moment in the Hudson Valley’s past inspired the name behind Newburgh Brewing Company’s newest Russian imperial stout. Right in Newburgh, George Washington stopped a planned revolt by members of the Continental Army in 1783. This stout has a whopping 12.5-percent ABV and was aged in Coppersea Distillery’s bourbon barrels for two years. Dried fruit and licorice flavors join tons of roasted malt for a delightfully warm winter beer.
The staff at Obercreek Brewing Company take advantage of their location in the Hudson Valley to produce incredible beers, using local fruits and produce as much as possible. For this Emergence release, they used Millbrook wine barrels. After resting for a year, this farmhouse ale developed beautiful fruitiness, funk, and oak, with a delicate acidity.
Aging beers is nothing new for Plan Bee Farm Brewery. Pepper (made with freshly grown hot peppers) has made appearances in the lineup before and offers a spicy take on the typical sour/farmhouse styles that the Watsons have perfected. With the added complexity of aging in bourbon barrels, there are very few beers available with these characteristics. Online ordering and curbside pickup are available for this vintage.