Peekskill Brewery

We took a short drive up the Hudson River from New York City to visit Peekskill Brewery recently. As you might have guessed, their beers were definitely the highlight. The Eastern Standard IPA and a Simple Sour had made its way to my lips in NYC before and our recent access to a vehicle was a great excuse to check out their new brewing facility.

As chance would have it our visit happened to be on a Saturday and we landed at the brewery early afternoon. Being the beer dork that I am, my primary interest was in tasting as many of the beers that I could and seeing what styles they had to offer that I hadn’t tried. It became clear to us right away a weekday might have been a better choice to do this. I’m sure I will sound like a NYC beer snob saying this, but Peekskill is a relatively small town and I got the impression that there wasn’t a lot of other activities available in town as the brewery was pretty packed on the first floor with people more interested in hanging out than sampling the beer. There’s nothing wrong with that I guess, but I feel like I was working too hard to try beer at an actually brewery and started wondering if I was in a pub.

The brewery pours wine, spirits and served food along with their own beers and offered a second level with more sit down type dining. Nerd alert, since ALL I cared about was the beer it was a bit tough to deal with the wine drinkers next to us tying one on, a bunch of mixed food smells and a staff that looks like they could have used one or two extra people behind the bar. I know this sounds like a dis, and it shouldn’t, but the layout and decor didn’t help anything either. I know, I know, my problem not theirs and I am sure the register receipts tell another story at the end of the day.

We ordered two flights from some servers who were working hard to keep up with the pace of everything – think making bloody marys, serving food, filling growlers, pouring flights and pints all at once. The flights came with 6/8  of the beers we wanted, which wasn’t such a big deal as all the beers were good and they pace was pretty hectic. It also kept us guessing a bit on trusting our taste buds vs. what we originally ordered. Some of the standouts we tried were Dream of the 90′s and Amazeballs (which after our visit medaled at the GABF), but again – all the beers were pretty solid. Note: Back in the city, I was later told their brewer (Jeff O’neil) brewed at Ithica for years before recently moving to Peekskill which seemed to explain a lot.

Bottom line for me was that the beers were the best thing this brewery had going and weekends were a bit to hectic of a day to go if all you are interested in is the beer. We left after two quick flights and might have stayed for a third or filled our growler if there was somewhere to stand and another server or two to expedite things. I know the facility is new, but they could definitely do with an interior decorator or somebody that could lend a bit of style and personality to the place. Probably a good place to go to hang out and have a bar food experience, but if you are a super beer nerd it might just be easier to wait for a tap takeover somewhere in the city and enjoy the beers that way. All in all we had a good time and despite the minor flaws.