The Hudson Valley has long been known as a leaf-peeping destination for folks eager to soak up the technicolor tree show mounted by the crisp advance of autumn. But in the past decade, the explosive growth of the region’s craft beverage scene has given the touristic draw of fall foliage a run for its money. But there’s no reason to choose. At these 11 scenic craft beverage producers you can take in sweeping hillsides and dramatic vistas of fall color while sipping wine, cider, spirits, or beer at the source.
Industrial Arts Brewing | Beacon
Located in a converted old factory building on the edge of town, the Beacon outpost of Industrial Arts Brewing serves up 10 taps of craft beer and views of the Hudson Highlands. Order your pint then head outside to stake out a spot at one of the orange picnic tables and soak up the rolling vistas. On weekends, the Eat Church food truck serves up a globetrotting best of menu including bao buns, tacos, chicken wings, and sesame noodles.
West Kill Brewing | West Kill
At 3,881 feet, West Kill Mountain is one of the Catskills High Peaks. The eponymous brewery at its base is the unofficial sponsor of this favorite fall hike. Work up a sweat hiking (don’t skip the views from Buck Ridge Lookout), then settle into a picnic table on West Kill Brewing’s bluestone patio, or throw down a blanket on their sloped lawn to take in the colorful mountainside from a distance. The beers here are brewed with crystalline mountain water and local ingredients, including many herbs, flowers, and aromatics from on the property. Order from the food truck before taking home a four-pack (or two) for later.
Zeus Brewing | Poughkeepsie
The city of Poughkeepsie is likely not your first instinct for a fall foliage destination, but head up to Zeus Brewing’s rooftop bar to find yourself pleasantly mistaken. Located in the city’s historic district, the brewery’s rooftop offers an Olympus-caliber vantage point with views of the city, the mighty river, the Mid-Hudson Bridge, and the Walkway Over the Hudson, all bathed in fall color. There are 20 beers on tap, a food menu including pressed sandwiches and fresh pasta, plus pizza on Wednesdays and brunch on Sundays. The rooftop is accessible by elevator, and open to walk-ins.
Rose Hill Farm | Red Hook
In the past three years, Rose Hill Farm’s fermentation program has gained recognition for its inventive, low-intervention fruit wines and ciders made with produce from the farm. Order a drink at the barn tasting room and sit on the patio or stroll the rolling 114-acre farm for breathtaking views of the Catskills. In season, you can pick your own cherries, blueberries, plums, apricots, nectarines, peaches, and apples at their orchard. And come fall, the farm stand offers honey from the hives, mulled hot cider, warm apple crisp, and cider doughnuts.
Treasury Cider | Fishkill
Treasury Cider offers a taste of place with traditionally crafted ciders made with produce grown onsite at Fishkill Farms. The spacious modern tasting room, with its ample covered porch, offers a view of the farm’s flower gardens, orchard, and the Catskill Mountains across the river. Selections in Treasury’s line of wild-fermented estate ciders get a colorful boost of flavor with co-ferments of peaches, cherries, sumac and apple blossom honey. Can’t pick? Order a flight. The food selection is limited to snacks with a local cheese and charcuterie plate, pita and humus, nuts, popcorn, and potato chips. The farm cidery offers sunset yoga on Fridays, live music during the weekends, Sunday brunch.
Seminary Hill | Callicoon
Set in the bucolic rolling hills of the Delaware River Valley, Seminary Hills’ certified Passive House tasting room has vaulted ceilings and a bank of windows overlooking the 12-acre property. The craft cider is made largely with fruit from the holistically managed orchard with over 60 varieties of heirloom American, English, and French apples and pears. Choose from one of the five dry and off-dry ciders on offer and sit on the expansive deck while taking in the rural landscape. The restaurant’s menu is locally sourced and seasonal, with dishes changing with the availability of ingredients.
Millbrook Vineyard | Millbrook
Soak up the bucolic landscape of eastern Dutchess Countys and the Catskill Mountains in the distance from the Millbrook Vineyard and Winery’s terrace while you sip on one of their wines by the glass or bottle. Stroll the property’s 30 acres of vineyards or throw down a picnic blanket by one of the ponds and watch the sun set over the mountains. During the week, you have to bring your own nosh, but on weekends the tasting room serves snacks like local cheese and charcuterie boards, pickled veggies, and pastries. The taproom also serves local beer and teas from Harney & Sons. Dogs and children are welcome.
Whitecliff Vineyard | Hudson & Gardiner
Husband-and-wife team Michael Migliore and Yancey Stanforth-Migliore produced their first vintage on the nascent 70-acre Whitecliff Vineyard in Gardiner in 1998. Now they have one of the largest vineyards in the Hudson Valley, growing over 20 varietals. Head to the Gardiner Whitecliff Vineyard location for a tour of the winery and a glass on the grass in full view of the Shawangunk Ridge, or scoot up to their newest tasting room in Hudson. Opened in June, the modern-industrial bar sits in the shadow of Olana on a slope overlooking the Hudson River. Order wine by the flight or glass, along with local cheese from McGrath Cheese Company and the occasional food pop-up, plus live music and epic sunsets over the Catskills.
Hillrock Estate Distillery | Ancram
Founded in 2013, Hillrock Estate Distillery harkens back to the heyday of the Hudson Valley’s craft distilling industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Using traditional, time-tested methods, grain grown onsite is floor-malted, distilled in a copper pot still, barrel aged, and hand-bottled for a line of estate whiskeys that have won the distillery numerous accolades. The property encompasses acres of rolling barley fields, with a c.1806 Georgian manor house sitting atop a hill and offering views of the Berkshires. While the distillery is not open to the public, you can book a field-to-glass tour for $28-$78, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the distillery, malt house, and rickhouse followed by a tasting of five whiskeys and snacks.
Hudson House | West Park
On a quiet stretch of Route 9W, an elegant Italian Renaissance Revival-style villa, constructed in the 1850s as a monastery, has found new life as Hudson House Distillery. The historic building sits on 27 riverfront acres with sweeping vistas of the Hudson and the Vanderbilt mansion across the way. The ground floor of the building houses the parlor, living room, library, bar, and a sprawling 5,000-square-foot deck with river views. Head directly to the bar to order a cocktail of your choosing or a glass of homemade Black Creek spirits neat or on the rocks. Or for $40, take the hour-long walking tour with a cocktail, wine, or beer, followed by a whisky tasting.
Taconic Distillery | Standordville
Taconic Distillery’s red metal-sided tasting room is a jolly landmark in the midst of rolling farmland with the brand name proudly printed on the ends of mounted barrels. Whiskey specialists, Taconic offers small-batch bourbons and ryes made with New York State grain and spring water from the farm. The tasting room has a bluestone patio with picnic tables, umbrellas, fire pits, and rocking Adirondack chairs overlooking verdant pastures lined by woods. Inside, order your whiskey, wine, or beer at the bar and get your merch, from Taconic Distillery hats and totes to ‘got bourbon?’ T-shirts.