by Katie Navarra
Craft breweries are big business. The number of craft breweries in the United States has practically doubled since 2010 with an estimated 3,418 nationwide.
To showcase the rapidly growing interest in craft breweries, the Albany Business Review hosted “Hoppy Hour: The Business of Beer” on April 2, 2015. The event, held at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga, was a high-end networking opportunity for Capital District professionals. Fifteen craft breweries local to the area, poured samples for the nearly 300 who came for their favorite beers to see what was new for the summer season. “One of the brewers told me that they used hops grown right here in New York, I had no idea that there were any hop farms in New York,” said Josh Poupore, an event attendee, “I really like the idea of not only supporting local craft brewers, but that they in turn are supporting New York farmers.”
Featured breweries included 1911 Cider, Adirondack Brewery, Brooklyn Brewery, Browns Brewing Company, Davidson Brothers, Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, Long Trail Brewing Company, Olde Saratoga Brewing Company, Otter Creek Brewing, Paradox Brewery, Samuel Adams, Saranac, Shmaltz Brewing Company, The Shed Brewery and Wolaver’s Fine Organic Ales.
“Our goal is to introduce our beers to the people who haven’t had it before and for those who have tried our beers before introduce them to a new variety,” said Alex Apful a representative for Davidson Brothers. Davidson Brothers has been operating its brewpub in Glens Falls, NY for the last 18 years, but officially opened a brewery onsite in April 2014. The traditional English Ale House brewery uses open top fermentation to achieve the desired hoppy, medium-bodied beer taste featured in its traditional IPA, its best-selling ale.
Each brewery had a story to share about its founding, its brewing process and plans for the future. With a recent expansion of its distribution network, Adirondack Brewery in Lake George, NY anticipates production to increase to 10,000 barrels in 2015. The brewery is most known for its session beers.
“It is terrific to see the Albany Business Review supporting local craft breweries at their networking event,” said Jen Miller, an event attendee, “I really enjoyed being able to taste a variety of local and regional beers all in one place. If I had to choose one beer that stood out for me, it would be the Paradox Pilsner from Paradox Brewery out of Schroon Lake, NY. I would say it’s a simple but smooth beer for beer fans that like a lighter taste.” Paradox Brewery, a small scale microbrewery, opened in Schroon Lake in July 2013. The brewery occupies a 1,400 square foot log-sided building and includes a tasting room for sampling of the brewery’s core and seasonal beers.
“I came to hoppy hour because it looked like a fun event and something a little different from your standard run of the mill networking event. And of course for the beer,” Poupore concluded.