The Finger Lakes entered New York State’s Phase 4 of reopenings last month. This means that local beer enthusiasts will have the opportunity to gather in small groups to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors and some of the best beer New York has to offer. Seneca Lake is the ideal location to experience the best of both worlds. Keep reading to learn more about the natural beauty and top-notch beer found in the area.
Seneca Lake is not only the largest of the glacially-formed Finger Lakes, but is also the deepest lake within New York State. At 630 feet in depth, Seneca makes up 50% of the water in the Finger Lakes region. The depth of the lake helps moderate temperatures and contributes to the relatively mild climate every season. This creates the perfect environment for hops growing allowing brewers to source locally or grow their own ingredients. Seneca Lake’s southeastern shores are known as the “banana belt” because the afternoon sun lingers through the summer on its high, steep, shaley, west-facing slopes, making this small microclimate within the region unusually warm.
From kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, boating, or riding aboard the historic ‘True Love’ Schooner at sunset, there are tons of fun activities to enjoy on and around Seneca Lake. Explore the hiking trails along 19 cascading waterfalls in under 2 miles in Watkins Glen State Park. Drive along Route 414 in Burdett and come upon the gorgeous roadside attraction of Hector Falls. You can safely pull over and get a closeup view, and you can catch a glimpse of the lower cascading falls from the lake.
Breweries Along Seneca Lake To Visit:
Grist Iron Brewing
Overlooking beautiful Seneca Lake, Grist Iron Brewing is a MicroBrewery that produces on-site handcrafted brews that appeal to a broad spectrum of beer drinkers. Their signature menu of comfort food selections compliments any beer you choose. The goal of Grist Iron Brewing Company is to become “the place” you want to return to time and time again. Having Live Music helps GIB reach that goal and they have Live Music Events routinely scheduled. Grist Iron Brewing is open for both indoor and outdoor seating and service. In preparation for your visit, learn about the measures they’re taking to keep visitors and staff safe by visiting this link: http://gristironbrewing.com/covid19-reopening-guidelines
Burdett, NY 14818
Lucky Hare Brewing Company
Lucky Hare Brewing Company is Hector’s leading Farm Brewery dedicated to producing the highest quality Farm Brewed Beer on a daily basis. They are reviewed as offering fresh delicious beer that appeals to aficionados as well as the inexperienced, by brewing flavorful session ales. Their beer styles range from traditional ESB to a wide range of IPAs, kettle sours, barrel-aged Russian Imperial Stouts, and their interpretations of Belgian Style Saisons. Locally sourced grain and hops are used in every beer they create. Flights, pints, growlers, and growlers are all available for purchase. Call for information about seating and food.
6085 Beckhorn Rd Hector,
New York 14841
Climbing Bines Hop Farm and Craft Ale Company
Climbing Bines is committed to crafting fresh-off-the-farm brews. Their premium wet and dried whole leaf hops help to create regionally distinct tastes that they strive to perfect with every brew. The farm is currently a 1.5-acre hop yard that consists of seven cultivars (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Hallertau, Magnum, Nugget, and Willamette) and nearly 1,500 hills. Their practices are rooted in the philosophy of sustainable agriculture and environmental consciousness. Be sure to stop in for a tasting, pint, 32 oz. grenade or growler while you soak up the view of Seneca Lake, take a walk through the hop yard, or challenge your friends to a game of Corn Hole. The space is truly crafted for the community to come out, relax, and enjoy.
511 Hansen Point Road
Penn Yan, NY 14527
Wagner Valley Brewing Co
Wagner Valley Brewing Co, established in 1997, is the first craft brewery opened on Seneca Lake. WVBC currently has 9 draft lines with styles rotating often and is unique by adhering to the Reinheitsgebot of 1516, a German Purity Law that states: “Only the finest Malt, Hops, Yeast and Water can be used in the production of beer”.
Flights are available to enjoy while enjoying the view of the lake and vineyards from the deck or the tables in the brewery. Adjoining the winery at Wagner Vineyards, it is one of the region’s most popular craft brew and wine tasting destinations. Visitors to the brewery tasting room can sample each of the standard beers along with any seasonal & specialty beers available at the time. When planning a visit, review their COVID19 updates and safety measures by visiting this link: https://wagnervineyards.com/2020/03/16/covid-19-updates/
9322 State Route 414
Lodi, NY, 14860<
War Horse Brewing Co.
Part of the Three Brothers Wineries experience, War Horse Brewing Company offers an array of handcrafted microbrews, hard ciders, and sodas. War Horse started brewing on site after completing their production facility in May 2016. Year-round you can enjoy their Lieutenant Dan IPA, Royal Kilt Inspector Scotch Ale, and Breakfast with Churchill Oatmeal Coffee Stout. War Horse also produces a line of hard ciders called “Red Apple Bombshell” and is made using 100% New York State apples. As a whole, their priority is a superior customer experience and their philosophy unabashedly argues “we’ve got something for everyone.” The tasting room is part of the Three Brothers Wineries & Estates campus and connects to their brewing facility and cafe. The tasting room is themed as a British town during World War II. Tastings, pints, and flights are available daily and can be enjoyed with food from their onsite cafe. Seating is available both inside and outside when the weather allows.
623 Lerch Road
Geneva, NY, 14456
Seneca Lake isn’t just one of the well-known and beautifully scenic Finger Lakes, it’s a bonafide travel destination, perfect for exciting outdoor activities, enjoying breathtaking landscapes, and touring top-notch breweries. As the region opens up again, it’s our hope that you can plan a trip, always sure to take all necessary precautions. The BierGardeValise™ is the perfect travel companion. We are certain that as you tour the breweries, you’ll want to take home some of the beers you’re sure to taste. Plan a visit to one or all of these fine breweries soon. Be safe and enjoy!