Four Events to Cheers the Beers of New York
By Michele DeBella
If you’re a fan of fantastic craft beer, you’ll the love the upcoming festivals and events that Oneida County has become famous for. Call your friends and clear your calendars to celebrate the best food and craft beverages in the region. And of course, expect to make some new friends, too.
Plan on evening your taste buds will brag about for months at the 8th Annual Brew Ha Ha. Dozens of craft beers and wines will be available for sampling, and Teddy’s Restaurant will provide the food for the eighth straight year. To change things up a little, Teddy’s will serve a variety of brats to pair with the brews. This isn’t the first year for food pairing, but brats are making their first Brew Ha Ha appearance. “We have done suggested pairings for different types of food in other years and wanted to return to that this year because we have found craft beer enthusiasts like that aspect of the event,” said Becky D’Aiuto, Executive Director of Rome Hospital Foundation, which sponsors the event. Ticket prices include all of the above, plus live entertainment by the band Work Related, and a commemorative event glass to the first 350 attendees.
September 22, 2018, 4:00-8:00 p.m.
Woods Valley Ski Area, Westernville, NY
Admission: $40 pre-sale or $75 for two.
Buy tickets online, at Teddy’s Restaurant, or by contacting Rome Hospital Foundation at 315-338-7181.
If Francis Xavier (F.X.) Matt hadn’t left Germany, we most likely wouldn’t have the pleasure of their stellar selection of beers and even better memories Saranac has created for four generations. So head on over to Varick Street and celebrate Saranac’s heritage with their Annual Octoberfest. Plenty of German influenced food and beer will available, as well as a slew of Brewery Games. Favorite local band Our Common Roots will amp up the fun with their versatile alternative rock music.
September 29, 2018, 3:00-9:00 p.m.
Saranac/F.X. Matt Brewery, Utica, NY
This one is for bicycle enthusiasts with a passion for beer, who also happen to enjoy beautiful scenery and Oneida County history. The 40-mile tour begins with a 15-mile ride along the historic Erie Canalway Trail. After a stopover at Fort Stanwix National Monument, the rest of the day consists of blissful hours of biking and beer, with stops at Copper City Brewing, 16 Stone Brewpub, and Woodland Farm Brewery. The final leg is an 8-mile downhill cruise directly to Octoberfest at Saranac/F.X. Matt Brewery. Cost includes lodging for the night of September 29, beer samples and snacks, and an Apres Bike party. Bikes can be rented for an additional $30.
September 29-30, 2018
$169 per person w/ double occupancy
Breweries from around the state will gather in one place to celebrate cask ale, an unfiltered—and often underappreciated—beer which is naturally carbonated and which many say is the best form of draft beer. Woodland Farm Brewery has invited some breweries to return for another year and added lots of new ones to keep things fresh, including Thin Man Brewery from Buffalo, Artisanal Brew Works from Saratoga, and many more. “This is one of the best cask ale festivals around,” said Bradley Gillett, of Seneca Lake Brewing Co. in the Finger Lakes. As the owner of the only dedicated cask ale brewery in New York, Gillett knows his stuff. He’ll be returning to the festival this year and said the event reaches beyond great ales. “The camaraderie, the fact that the event has grown so much, they really put on a nice festival.” Popular local bluegrass band Remsen Social Club will provide live entertainment, and guests will receive a commemorative souvenir glass (until they run out).
October 13, 2018, 3:00-6:00 p.m.
Woodland Farm Brewery, Utica, NY
$10 Designated Driver
$45 General Admission ($50 at the door)
$55 VIP includes entrance to the festival an hour early (2:00 p.m.), discounted food and merchandise, and a guaranteed commemorative glass.