Add These Breweries in Hammondsport to Your Keuka Lake Itinerary
September 2, 2021
We all know that the Finger Lakes region of New York is famous for incredible wine. But that’s not all! The area also makes some excellent beer and cider. To be honest, a Finger Lakes wine tour is no longer complete without adding a brewery – or a few. Here are some breweries in Hammondsport that you need to add to your Keuka Lake visit.
Thank you to Corning & the Southern Finger Lakes for hosting me on my trip to Hammondsport.
Craft Your Adventure App
Before you visit the southern Finger Lakes, make sure you download the Craft Your Adventure app. Why? Because it will help you plan your trip! The app has been created by the local tourism boards to help visitors find places to go in the Southern Finger Lakes.
The app features breweries, distilleries, and outdoor activities for you to choose from. Each of the locations includes information about the place, plus their phone numbers and website links. Choose as many or as few places as you want and save them for your trip. The app allows you to view the stops as a list or on a map, depending on your preference.
My favorite part? The passport challenge! If you visit 25 out of the 35 places in the challenge – and check-in on the app – you can get a drink local t-shirt. Because who doesn’t love a good t-shirt supporting local beer?
Keuka Brewing Company
8572 Briglin Road Hammondsport, NY 14840
Keuka Brewing Company was the first brewery to open on Keuka Lake. The father-son team of Rich and Mark Musso established the brewery in 2008. And it’s remained a family operation since then, even after expanding the brewery and taproom.
Mark does all of the brewing on-site, using creative techniques and flavorful combinations to create some delicious beers! Most notably you can see his inventiveness in the polymorphic IPA series, whose recipe is always changing.
The brewery has a nice taproom and biergarten you can visit and enjoy your beers in. There are a variety of styles always on tap – wheats, sours, IPAs, stouts, and more. Plus, there is lots to keep you entertained while visiting – cornhole, darts, and that ring-on-a-rope game that you only ever find at bars and breweries.
If you’re visiting in the fall, be sure to try Keuka’s Pumpkin Cream Ale. It is their best seller for a reason! It’s honestly the best pumpkin beer I’ve ever had – and many people share that opinion.
Steuben Brewing Company
10286 Judson Road Hammondsport, NY 14840
If you are looking to enjoy your beer with some of the best views of Keuka Lake, you have to check out Steuben Brewing Company. In addition to their beers, the brewery has gained popularity for their excellent outdoor area and rotating food trucks. And yes, while you’re wondering, they are very dog-friendly!
Steuben specializes in brewing pilsners, which is a breath of fresh air. And since they are a New York farm brewery, they source almost all of their ingredients locally. You can even peak at the map they’ve drawn on the chalkboard which shows all of the different local hop and malt farms that supply the brewery. Any of the beers tagged as “Local Liquid” are made from 100% New York ingredients.
Not a fan of beer, or visiting with friends who aren’t? No worries, they have local wine and cider available too. There is something for everyone.
The Brewery of Broken Dreams
8319 Pleasant Valley Road Hammondsport, NY 14840
When you visit The Brewery of Broken Dreams, take a few minutes to chat with Doug and/or Shelly, the owners. They would love to share their story about how they founded the brewery. Long story, short, while searching for a new home and a place to open a brewery, the process dragged on. Struggling to find a place within budget that they liked, they lost out on the first one that seemed like a good fit. That was until they came across a property that they fell in love with but never thought they could afford. The building was built in 1887 as the home of Monarch Wine Company and sat upon an old vineyard. Spoiler alert: they could afford it! So The Brewery of Broken Dreams found its home in Hammondsport.
While you’re enjoying a pint or flight in the taproom, make sure to check out the historic photos and story of the brewery scattered around. Their story on their tap menu explains that “the name, The Brewery of Broken Dreams, comes from years of experience and a healthy dose of humor as we pick up the pieces and put them to good use!” The logo for the brewery is a loon with a tear drop. The loon because Shelly kept noticing them throughout the Finger Lakes – and in Native American culture, the loon represents the reawakening of dreams. The tear drop symbolizes the tears shed through both struggle and joy.
As for the beers, there are quite a few on tap, all brewed on location. No matter your style preference, you’re sure to find something you’ll love. It goes without saying that my favorite was the chocolate creme stout, aptly named ‘Hyperdeliciousness’!
Finger Lakes Beer Company
8462 State Route 54 Hammondsport, NY 14840
Finger Lakes Beer Company was established in 2009, after owner Mark Goodwin split from Keuka Brewing and decided to venture out on his own. Now, Finger Lakes Beer Company is a family-owned operation creating a variety of beers in Hammondsport.
Be it blonde, sour, fruited, dark, or hoppy, FLBC will have something on tap for you. Plus they create cocktails using local spirits and liqueurs. You can also enjoy live music at the brewery on Friday and Saturday nights.
The best part? If you’re staying overnight in Hammondsport at the Best Western, the brewery is literally next door. You can walk from the hotel and not have to worry about driving! Then you can walk across the street and get yourself some ice cream at Keuka Creamery.
While not technically in Hammondsport, this brewery is worth adding to your trip! RailHead Brewing Company pays homage to the history of the community. Hornell Brewing Company was a staple in the town for over 50 years. Mike McCumiskey & Dave Woolever wanted to bring a brewery back to the city. And in 2014 that’s exactly what they did.
Dave brews all of their beers on-site on a 3-barrel system, using traditional recipes for a classic taste. RailHead isn’t trying to be flashy or trendy. Their goal is to provide solid, quality beers. Their favorite? The altbier.
When you visit the brewery, make sure to get a wood-fired pizza with your pint or flight. They also offer homemade soft pretzels, cheese boards, and candied bacon. Yum!
Lastly, because RailHead operates on such a small system, they currently do not distribute their beer. So if you want to try it, you’ve got to go directly to the brewery. But it’s totally worth it. The beers are great and the staff is very friendly.
Krooked Tusker Distillery
10303 County Route 76 Hammondsport, NY 14840
While you’re visiting the breweries in Hammondsport, you’ve got to add in a stop at Krooked Tusker Distillery. Honestly, we stopped there on a whim to get a break from the beer, but it was phenomenal! I was pleasantly surprised at the concept of the tastings and the flavor of the alcohol.
Let’s back up a minute. Krooked Tusker Distillery creates a variety of different spirits, including vodka, gin, whiskey, and bourbon. When you visit the distillery, you can do a tasting of any 4 (and get a shot glass to take home). Or, choose from a long list of craft cocktails created using their spirits. Don’t see a cocktail you like? Unlikely. But, you have more options! They keep a list of all specialty cocktails they’ve ever created.
If you’re still undecided, they also serve local wine, beer, and soda. Plus there are frozen drinks!
The distillery has ample room inside, on the deck, and out on the lawn. They often have food trucks and live music, so it’s an all-around great spot to hang out and enjoy a drink – or a few. And yes, they are also dog-friendly.
Enjoy the Breweries in Hammondsport – and Maybe Some Wineries Too
Which of the breweries in Hammondsport is your favorite and why? Snap a photo and share it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #flxbeercountry.
If you’re using the Craft Your Adventure app, you’ll also discover lots of other neat things to do in the area. Hiking trails, waterfalls, wineries, distilleries, water sports, and more! Stay tuned to read about my visits to Stony Brook State Park, Pleasant Valley Wine Company, and Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery.