Best Breweries in the Capital Region

March 11, 2020 in Capital Region Living

In the past five years, craft breweries have exploded, taking over the Capital Region and offering residents numerous options for high-quality beer. With a new brewery opening every couple of months (or so it seems), we’ve rounded up our favorites across the Capital Region. From well-known brews to the new kids on the block, here are some of the best breweries in the Capital Region.

Best Breweries in Saratoga Springs

Artisanal Brew Works

Started by two high school teachers, Artisanal Brew Works offers customers local, fresh, handcrafted beer. They feature local ingredients in their unique recipes and are constantly developing new beer. Visit their taproom to try over 15 unique brews or take some home by purchasing a 4 pack.

Beer to try: DDH Double IPA – “Hazy, super juicy double India Pale Ale abound with flavors of citrus, apricot, melon and tangerines. Double dry hopped (DDH) with Citra, Rakau, and Michigan Copper hops.”

Druthers Brewing Company

Druthers has been a staple in Saratoga Springs since it opened in 2012. Now with three locations throughout the Capital Region, Druthers is a household name. The award-winning brewery keeps several beers on tap year-round and features a selection of seasonal options “when the time is right”. 

Beer to try: Golden Rule Pilsner  – “This lager beer is a hybrid of sorts: it’s got the dry malt character and bitterness of a German-style pilsner but American hops give it a citrusy, apricot-like aroma.”

Unified Beerworks

Unified Beerworks opened in October 2018 and has quickly made a name for themselves. Located off of Route 9 in Malta, the brewery and taproom feature a large bar for visitors to relax while they discover new beer! Choose from beer by the glass, growler, or a flight of 4 varieties.

Beer to try: The Throne of Odin – “A double IPA with heavy amounts of oats, and loads of our favorite hops added to the whirlpool and dry-hop. A powerhouse of tropical fruit. We taste mango, papaya, and pineapple.”

Best Breweries in Albany

Fort Orange Brewing

Established in 2017, Fort Orange Brewing focuses on crafting beers with fresh ingredients that showcase the different styles being brewed across the country. The large taproom allows visitors to hang out while enjoying trivia and food from local food trucks on Thursdays. Beer is available in flights, pints, or growlers to go.

Beer to try: Fort Orange IPA – “Our flagship IPA is rich with floral, citrus and pine notes.”

Nine Pin Cider

While not a beer, Nine Pin Cider is well-loved throughout the Capital Region and New York. The business is New York’s First Farm Cidery and is constantly developing new and exciting cider flavors. Take a tour of the production facility before stopping at the tasting room to try one of 18 New York ciders and beers on tap. The tasting room also offers a rotating menu of locally sourced and house-made food.

Cider to try: Signature – “This is our flagship product using a blend of apples from Samascott Orchards. It is an off dry sparkling cider with a crisp, bold, and refreshing taste.”

Best Breweries in Troy

Browns Brewing Company

Easily recognizable as the giant warehouse on River Street, Browns Brewing Company has been brewing beer in Troy since 1993. Now an established business, their Troy taproom has 15 beers on tap, with new brews being added regularly. Their food menu hosts a variety of options, with each item annotated by which beer pairs best with it. Enjoy a drink or two at the taproom or bring some beer home with 12 packs, 6 packs, and growlers.

Beer to try: Oatmeal Stout – Browns Oatmeal Stout is one of their most well-known beers and features chocolate malt and multiple types of oats. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout took home a Gold Medal at the World Beer Cup held in San Diego, April 2004.

Rare Form Brewing

Rare Form Brewing has called Troy home since 2014. The business is brewer owned and operated and they aim to offer new takes on traditional beers. Rare Form Brewing features a rotating beer menu with local snacks available as well. The labels and posters promoting each beer are designed by artists, both local and cross-country.

Beer to try: Freshy Hoppy Lager – “Freshy puts a modern twist on the classic lager and offers a big, satisfying burst of American hops. Combined with a pleasant true-to-style malt backbone, Freshy tempts the craft connoisseur and still keeps the purists happy.”

Best Breweries in Schenectady

Great Flats Brewing

Great Flats Brewing brings quality, farm craft beer to downtown Schenectady. Open since 2017, Great Flats brews each of its beers with New York State grown ingredients. Bring your own food or have something delivered to the brewery and enjoy one of the 14 beers available on tap.

Beer to try: Lafayette IPA – “Awarded BEST IPA in the Hudson Valley at 2019 TAP NY! This is a full bodied copper colored IPA, double dry hopped with NYS Cascade, NYS Centennial, NYS Columbus and Mosaic hops.”

Frog Alley Brewing

Frog Alley Brewing opened at the end of 2018 and has quickly put itself on the map as a respected brewery. Located in the new Mill Artisan District, Frog Alley Brewing features its brews on tap and in cans available for purchase. The brewery frequently hosts live music, events, and trivia as well.

Beer to try: Wit Your Mom – a New Belgian Wit style beer

Mad Jack Brewing Company

Mad Jack Brewing Co. is Schenectady’s original craft brewery, opening its doors in 2011 in the historic Stockade district. They were awarded the “Best Brewery in the Hudson Valley” award at TapNY in 2018. Visitors can enjoy over 10 unique beers on tap, including Porters and Pilsners and everything in between.

Beer to try: Pinhead Pilsner – “Our award winning German Pils is made with Hallertau Blanc hops, lending notes of white grape. Crisp and slightly fruity with a dry finish.”


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