Out of town – home to (up) Upstate New York

… no, I’m not talking about the Hudson Valley.

Photo courtesy of cs2901 on Flickr

I recently made a (mostly) annual trip back home with The Missus to the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. While it’s certainly no Green Bay, you should notice the pride my hometown takes in its claim to fame (aside from that whole Gym Class Heroes thing).

While my hometown of Geneva and its surrounding cities/towns have been forever known as bustling wine country, beer is slowly becoming a fad. As with any trip outside of the Triangle, I tried hard to sample some local/regional beers that I can’t find in North Carolina.

If you happen to find yourself in or around Upstate New York, hit the jump to read about a few that stuck out you may want to try…

Naked Dove 45 Fathoms Porter – Aside from the fact that I got a real, live 16-ounce pint of this, it was surprisingly good. Naked Dove is located in Canandaigua, NY and recently received attention due to hometown and Olympian hero Ryan Lochte. At least Canadaiguans have something else to cheer about. The porter lived up to its name and poured absolute pitch black. The brewery doesn’t have any details of the beer on its website, but the grain bill gave it a fantastic roasted chocolate flavor and smell with just a hint of coffee. I couldn’t drink much more than one glass of this, but it’s a hearty, full-bodied porter worth seeking out.

Ithaca Beer Pale Ale – Perhaps like Dogfish Head’s festina peche, it’s probably rather hypocritical of me that I haven’t had Ithaca’s pale ale. My adoration of Ithaca beers is no secret, yet I’ve almost exclusively stuck to drinking their apricot wheat or more recently, Cold Front, their winter warmer. Oddly enough, this version of an American pale ale comes close to my love for the version made by New Glarus. Ithaca’s pale ale has a wonderful hop crispness, thanks to a healthy heaping of Cascade hops in both the brewing process and in dry hopping. It pours nice and clear and has nice pine and citrus notes on the nose and tongue. A great American ale.

Troegs Sunshine Pils – Until my trip, I had never seen Troegs in or around Upstate New York. Based out of Hershey, Penn., it’s about time considering the close proximity. I grabbed a glass of this while out with some friends and it worked as a great thirst quencher on a warm summer evening. As you’d want with any pilsner, it pours clear and easy with a taste to match. Saaz and Hallertau hops offer some herbal notes, but they otherwise help this beer go down smooth. I generally don’t care for pilsners, but this was another hit for me.


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