Ok – So the quickest way up to Hunter Mountain when driving from the south is to get off at NYS Thruway Exit 20 in Saugerties, then head up Route 32. Just before you leave Ulster County, at the flashing light you have a choice: Bear Left up Route 32A to through Palenville, or Bear Right and continue on 32 towards Story’s Corners.
Here’s A Great Reason to Bear Right at the Light
In less than 3 minutes, you’ll be at the most southern stop on the Catskills Beverage Trail, some of the tastiest brews you’ll ever find and arguably the Best Pizza ever! (not to mention a menu of amazing Italian-American fare) Joey LoBianco and his family are no strangers to the hospitality business with 3 restaurants across the Hudson Valley, and from the minute you walk through the door, that’s what you feel – welcomed and comfortable with a steadily growing appetite!
House-crafted brews on tap cover all the bases with a Catskill Mountain flair and names like Mountain House Helles, Palenville Pale Ale, Rip Van Wit and Kaaterskill Krush Double IPA.
Specialty menu items range from breakfast skillets & pizzas, to burgers, pastas & salads, to traditional Italian favorites, to signature dishes like braised pork-shank and the Mezz-a-Mezz (a delicious cross between a pizza and a calzone).
Every stop along the growing Catskills Beverage Trail is unique.
That’s the single thing they all share – and the variety of tastes and compliments are uniquely local to each community. So, let’s make the circuit.
From Rip Van Winkle Brewing Company, head north on Route 32, and turn left up the mountain at Story’s Corners onto Route 23A. In Tannersville, you’ll find Hudson Chatham Winery’s Farm Retail Store – featuring wines from Greene County grapes, Hudson Valley cheeses, and a line of all-local artisan farm products.
Continue up Route 23A through Hunter, turn left onto Route 42 in Lexington, then left again onto Spruceton Road to find West Kill Brewing – “a business with a deep commitment to the area – to its mountains, to its people, to it heritage, to its future”. The brewery is located on a 127 acre historic dairy farm and creates its unique craft brews from locally grown and foraged ingredients. Open to the public from noon to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, it’s a great weekend visit.
Heading out of West Kill, back up through Lexington, the turn right onto Route 23A , then left onto Route 23C to Jewett, then go straight onto County Route 17 until you reach Route 23. Take a right and head to the Cave Mountain Pub just west of Windham. While not an official stop on the Catskills Beverage Trail, you’ll find both local and other New York craft brews as well as great pub fare.
To reach the next stop on the trail, you’ll need to head down the mountain, east on Route 23 to Cairo. Here the directions get a little hairy, so use this link or GPS 376 E Honey Hollow Rd, Earlton, NY 12058 to find Honey Hollow Brewing Company and Brewmaster Matty Taormina. This sub-nano, farm brewery specializes in small-batch hand-crafted ales, featuring hops from their own gardens. The brewery is open Fridays from 4-7pm and Saturdays from noon to 7pm year-round, but on Wednesdays during the summer, you can find Matty quenching the thirsts of visitors to the Coxsackie Farmers Market.
Rounding out the circuit, it’s time to head to Athens and Crossroads Brewing Company in heart of this Hudson River Village at 21 Second Street. Recently voted "Best Restaurant in Greene County " for a 4th time, they feature a fresh, locally sourced menu in a casual, friendly atmosphere. Their quality brews have taken home several prestigious honors including World Beer Cup and GABF medals. Late this summer, they opened a new Catskill Taproom as well, which increases their production capacity with a 20 bbl brewhouse adjacent to the Catskill Creek and the new Catskill walking loop.
The craft beverage scene is booming in Greene County, and our growing community of producers is both welcoming and supportive. Make the circuit of Catskill Beverage Trail, or visit each stop one and a time, and you’re sure to enjoy!
If your dream is to start a Microbrewery or Distillery, you can download a couple of really informative eBooks at InvestInGreene.com.