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Upper Depot Brewing Company
Courtesy Upper Depot Brewing Co.

2 Microbreweries Open Shop on Hudson’s State Street


Upper Depot Brewing Co. and Return Brewing make beer lovers very, very happy in Columbia County.

By Micaela Warren and Megan Wilson

Upper Depot Brewing Co.

708 State Street

Two best friends and Columbia County residents, Monty Bopp and Aaron Maas, opened their dream brewery in Hudson last year in a historic train station. Maas first started making beer in college at SUNY Cobleskill and after interning at the Dutch Ale House in Saugerties, he fell in love with the industry. “Since then, it’s been a longtime goal to open our own brewery,” says Maas. Combined with Bopp’s experience working at a variety of restaurants in Hudson, the duo worked with their landlord to restore a circa-1871 building, began crafting their own brews, and formally opened Upper Depot on December 28, 2022. The upgraded aesthetic of the station is modern-industrial, a cool-looking space that also honors the building’s roots: high ceilings, tall windows, original wainscoting, and plenty of steel equipment. “It hits on both honoring Hudson’s history while looking forward to the future,” says Bopp.

Upper Depot’s spacious wrap-around deck is a great spot to sip a cold one.

Upper Depot’s spacious wrap-around deck is a great spot to sip a cold one. Courtesy Upper Depot Brewing Co.

Visitors can choose from four flagship beers: Upper Depot IPA, Shop the Cooler Stout, No. 999 Steam Ale, and Upper Depot Kolsch. The best-selling IPA is a bold West Coast-style with citrus and piney aromas. The Kolsch is a crisp and yeasty golden beer. If you’re a fan of malty notes, the amber-colored ale is for you. Maas’ favorite is the stout, a coffee- and chocolate-flavored brew with dark-roasted malts and oats. Other beers on tap are poured seasonally. Hudson’s own Whale Belly food truck is there Wednesday through Sunday, serving up a range of sandwiches with freshly smoked meats. More trucks may stop by over the summer.

Return Brewing

725 State Street

Brewing and selling cans since summer 2021, Return isn’t new to the beer scene—but now you’ll finally be able to visit them in person at their recently unveiled taproom and beer garden. The former warehouse space has been renovated and features hand-hewn wood benches, communal German-style biergarten tables, and an outdoor bar. In the words of Jack Liakas, a co-founder and the brewery’s creative director, “we couldn’t be more excited.”

Return Brewing

Courtesy of Return Brewing

Three co-founders—Mikey Lenane, JD Linderman, and Liakas—are alums of Brooklyn’s Sixpoint Brewing, with over 20 years of combined brewery experience. Lenane, who grew up in Coxsackie, also enlisted help from longtime friend Robert Wise, who heads finances, to launch Return Brewing. They’ve released 18 beers to date across three main brewing methods: tavern, garden, and archive. Tavern beers are brewed in common styles (think: lagers and stouts), including bestsellers like Polished Pilsner, Come Back NYS Kolsch, and the Impactful IPA. Garden styles are driven by seasonality and feature fruits, herbs, and grains harvested from local farms. For example: Lush Portal, a sour ale, has peaches and apricots from Mead Orchards in Tivoli. The archive series are small batches of barrel-aged and blended beers. Return’s cans are also available at DeCicco & Sons, certain locations of Beer World, and Half Time Beverage in Poughkeepsie.

Polished Pilsner and Come Back Kolsch are Return’s bestselling brews.

Polished Pilsner and Come Back Kolsch are Return’s bestselling brews. Courtesy of Return Brewing.

Related: Spring Beer: The IPAs & Sours We’re Sipping in the Hudson Valley

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