The craft beer industry has taken the world by storm, and Syracuse has been no stranger to this. In the past few years, we have seen several new breweries pop up around town. So I thought it would be appropriate to give you the rundown of each of them so you can plan your own Syracuse brewery tour! And remember, always have a designated driver or other means of responsible transportation if you plan on doing several in one day!
Sidenote: Uber and Lyft are now operating in New York state! Get your first rides for free by using the links here.
Eastwood Brewing Company
Eastwood started in 2013 as Double Barrel Brewing Company. Due to copyright issues, the brewery was forced to change its name and settled on Eastwood, representative of the neighborhood where it is located. If you’re lucky, the brewery dog, Sally (a yellow lab), will be there when you visit!
Address: 108 Walter Drive, Syracuse, NY 13206 Hours: Mon 4-8pm / Tues 4-8pm / Wed 4-8pm / Thurs 4-8pm / Fri 3-9pm / Sat 12-9pm / Sun 12-5pm Food: No food made on premises; pretzels available to snack on. Food trucks on site for events. Other Drinks: Occasionally they have a craft root beer on tap! Games: A few board games. Tap Handles: 8; all their own brews. Flights: $3 for 4 beers / $6 for all 8 on tap Pints: $5-6 To Go: Growlers available Dog Friendly? Yes! Outdoor Seating? Yes – a few picnic tables Merch? Yes – growlers, shirts, hats Location: In the back of a warehouse in the Eastwood neighborhood. Near other shops and restaurants. Tap Room Size: Small/Medium – it can get pretty crowded when they have an event going on. (And don’t park in the church parking lot across the street!)
What makes them unique? Eastwood is full of Syracuse sports memorabilia. From the color of the paint to the decor on the walls, Syracuse is everywhere! Also, the tap list is always changing. Pete likes to experiment with different hops and flavors, so you’ll never know what will be on tap when you visit! Unless you visit their Facebook page of course. My favorite beers: Kubal Espresso Stout (using espresso from Café Kubal) and the Apple Pie Ale
Empire Brewing Company
Since it opened in 1994, Empire has been a long-time Syracuse brewery favorite. So much so that they’ve opened a second location (see below). Located right in the heart of Downtown Syracuse, the brewpub is a great stop for happy hour, late night, or Sunday brunch! You choose – it’s good for any occasion. While you’re there, check out some other things to do nearby. Empire is a stop where we always bring friends from out-of-town.
Address: 120 Walton Street, Armory Square, Syracuse, NY 13202 Hours: Mon 11:30am-9pm / Tues 11:30am-9pm / Wed 11:30am-10pm / Thurs 11:30am-10pm / Fri 11:30am-11pm / Sat 11:30am-11pm / Sun 10am-9pm Food: Yes! Empire is one of my favorite restaurants. They use all local ingredients and have a fantastic menu to choose from. I recommend the spicy pig burger, sweet fire (molasses glazed chorizo), and the blue cornbread with maple butter! For Sunday brunch get the malted waffles. Other Drinks: A full bar of options Games: No. TVs & live bands for entertainment Tap Handles: Too many to count! Flights: $10 for 6 beers Pints: price varies To Go: Growler fills available Dog Friendly? Unfortunately, no. Outdoor Seating? Not really; just some standing room for smokers. Merch? Yes – but more available at the farm location Location: In the heart of downtown Syracuse; surrounded by shops and restaurants. Parking may be difficult! Tap Room Size: Large
What makes them unique? Empire has truly succeeded in the brewpub standard, offering both great beer and delicious food. Always an easy choice when we want a drink or dinner. Live music plays during Sunday brunch. My favorite beer: White Aphro (an unfiltered wit with floral and citrus notes)
Empire Farm Brewery
Because of their success in downtown Syracuse, Empire opened the farm brewery in 2016. Now the largest farm brewery on the east coast of the US, the brewery is absolutely gorgeous all year long. Overlooking the hills of Cazenovia, it’s impossible not to fall in love with the views. The farm brewery is also one of only two Syracuse breweries to offer brew tours.
Address: 33 Rippleton Road, Cazenovia, NY Hours: Mon CLOSED / Tues 4-11pm / Wed 4-11pm / Thurs 11:30am-11pm / Fri 11:30am-11pm / Sat 11:30am-11pm / Sun 11:30am-11pm Food: Yes! Just like the downtown location, the farm brewery has a full (but smaller) menu. Get the truffle fries, you won’t regret it. The restaurant closes two hours before the bar closes. Other Drinks: Full bar Games: Lawn games in the summer; snowshoeing in the winter Tap Handles: Several! Flights: $10 for 6 beers Pints: Price varies To Go: Growler fills available / bottles are also found in local grocery stores. Dog Friendly? Unfortunately, no (as of July 17, 2017). Outdoor Seating? Yes – lots of tables overlooking an amazing view with a firepit to gather around. Merch? Yes – lots! Clothing, glassware, dog products, gift packages… Location: In the countryside east of the city, close to the village of Cazenovia Tap Room Size: Large
What makes them unique? Besides being the largest farm brewery in the area, Empire hosts several events at its gorgeous country location. From Tuesday trivia nights to Saturday morning yoga at the brewery, there are always many things to do! In the winter customers can snowshoe along the back hills. The farm brewery also offers free tours – and a free tasting at the end of the tour! My favorite beer: White Aphro… still.
Full Boar Craft Brewery
Started in 2015, Full Boar recently celebrated their two-year anniversary with limited edition releases, music, and food trucks. The closest brewery to our house, we are regular clients of Full Boar, and even members of their mug club! We’ve gotten to know Dave and Eric fairly well. Both local guys with a passion for beer, they are fantastic at what they do.
Address: 628 S. Main Street, North Syracuse, NY 13212 Hours: Mon CLOSED / Tues CLOSED / Wed 4-8pm / Thurs 3-10pm / Fri 3-10pm / Sat 2-10pm / Sun 1-6pm Food: No food made on premises. Snack bags of chips on every table. BYOF encouraged! Other Drinks: Local wines and cans of cider available. Games: Dartboard and pool table. Tap Handles: 14 – a mix of their own and other New York craft beers. Flights: $6 for 4 beers Pints: $5 for Full Boar beers / $6 for guest taps To Go: Growler fills available Dog Friendly? Yes! Outdoor Seating? Yes – a few tables Merch? Yes – growlers, glasses, hats, and shirts Location: Located near the village of North Syracuse, very close to several restaurants Tap Room Size: Medium
What makes them unique? They offer a variety of events at the brewery. Live music regularly; food trucks on site for events. They do collaborations with other local businesses. Most recently they have done a beer-and-donut pairing and a beer-and-wing night. While you’re there, say hello to “Heavy G” – the real boar’s head on the wall above the taps. My favorite beer: Bearded Boar – Black Bear (a porter from a collaboration with Stout Beard)
IBU is a unique venture located in North Syracuse. The small green building is behind the new pool hall and is easy to miss if you’re not looking! IBU’s mission is to provide brewing classes to homebrewers to help them learn how to make their own beer – a first for the area. Starting next week you can schedule time to use one of their workstations to brew your own creation on site.
Address: 3703 Brewerton Road, North Syracuse, NY 13212 Hours: Mon CLOSED / Tues CLOSED / Wed 5-9pm / Thurs 4-9pm / Fri 4-11pm / Sat 2-11pm / Sun CLOSED Food: Nope. Other Drinks: No. Games: Cornhole, giant Jenga, and lots of board games! Tap Handles: 11 Flights: $2-3 per sample Pints: $6-7 To Go: Growler fills available. Dog Friendly? Unknown. Outdoor Seating? None. Merch? Yep. Shirts, hats, and magnets. Location: In the village of North Syracuse, close to other local businesses. Tap Room Size: Small/medium
What makes them unique? They offer classes to teach you how to make your own beer! How much more unique can you get? Also, several of their beer names are school related, which fits their theme quite nicely. My favorite beer: Lunchbox Wit
Local 315 Brewing Company
Local 315 is another newer Syracuse brewery; this one is located out in the countryside south of the city. the taproom is a bit out of the way, but worth the drive! Plus, you can see some cool Syracuse artifacts in the taproom.
Address: 3160 Warners Road, Camillus, NY 13164 Hours: Mon CLOSED / Tues CLOSED / Wed 4-9pm / Thurs 4-9pm / Fri 3-9pm / Sat 12-9pm / Sun 12-6pm Food: No food made on premises. But sometimes they have free pizza! Other Drinks: Cider from Critz Farms on tap. Games: Cornhole. Tap Handles: 14 – a mix of their own and other New York craft beers. Flights: $6 for 4 beers Pints: $5 To Go: Growler fills available Dog Friendly? Yes! Outdoor Seating? Yes – a big patio with many tables Merch? Yes – growlers, apparel, tin tackers. Plus other items from local businesses. Location: Located out in the country; not very close to other businesses. Tap Room Size: Small/Medium
What makes them unique? They highlight the history of Central New York with artifacts and patents on the walls. Did you know that the foldable pocket knife and the adjustable shoe sizer were made in Syracuse? Well now you do! And they have a pink tractor. You can’t beat that. My favorite beer: Lawn Jockey Wheat
Middle Ages Brewing Company
Syracuse’s 2nd oldest brewery, Middle Ages, has been around since 1995. Located in the former Sealtest ice cream factory, Middle Ages has expanded from its small tap room to a beautiful new public house (right next door!). The picnic tables and fireplace make the place so warm and inviting – plus their hours have expanded!
Address: 120 Wilkinson Street, Syracuse, NY 13204 Hours: Mon 12-8pm / Tues 12-8pm / Wed 12-8pm / Thurs 12-10pm / Fri 12-10pm / Sat 12-10pm / Sun 12-8pm Food: No, but feel free to bring in your own food! Sometimes food trucks appear with the expanded location. Other Drinks: No. Games: No. Tap Handles: Several! Flights: $8 for 4 beers. Pints: price varies To Go: Growler fills available, pre-bottled bomber bottles, and kegs available for order Dog Friendly? No – the brewery has its own cats who walk around the taproom Outdoor Seating? No. Merch? Yes – glasses, tin tackers, candles, clothing Location: On the edge of downtown Syracuse, not too far from other restaurants. Street parking is easy to find. Tap Room Size: Small
What makes them unique? As the name suggests, Middle Ages is themed after the medieval time period, and most of the beers reflect that and are British-inspired. A full-size knight is there to greet you when you enter the brewery (unfortunately he is nameless; I asked). Every summer the brewery holds a huge anniversary celebration, complete with live music, food, and other festivities. They also offer a yearly membership which provides you with discounts on beer and merchandise. Lastly, Middle Ages also brews the Ape Hanger Ale and Smoked Porter specifically for another Syracuse favorite – you can find the beers exclusively at nearby Dinosaur BBQ. My favorite beer: Recess Coffee Stout (especially on nitro!)
Willow Rock Brewing Company
Willow Rock was started by a volleyball friend of ours back in November 2015. It has been a joy to watch Kevin and Rockney grow their business that began as a home-brewing hobby in their houses. Willow Rock has quickly become a favorite place to hang out to watch Syracuse sports and enjoy the local food truck fare!
Address: 115 Game Road, Syracuse, NY Hours: Thurs 4-8pm / Fri 2:30-8pm / Sat 1-8pm / Sun 1-5pm Food: No food made on premises; pretzels for snacking. Food trucks on site regularly. Other Drinks: No. Games: Cornhole, giant jenga, foosball. TVs airing Syracuse sports. Tap Handles: 12 Flights: $2 flagship sample / $3 special release sample Pints: $4 To Go: Growler fills and crowlers available Dog Friendly? Yes! Outdoor Seating? No, but people often stand around outside; a few picnic tables outside for food truck rodeos. Merch? Yes – glassware and clothing Location: South of Syracuse, not too far from the university or city. Tap Room Size: Medium/Large
What makes them unique? If you ask them, Kev and Rock say that they have the best brewery beards in Syracuse. If you ask me? The atmosphere and company is great! The guys are laid back and they are always looking to try out new events and get involved in the Syracuse community. They also host a food truck rodeo every week in the summer with rotating trucks available. Toss ‘n’ Fire Pizza is also available at the brewery year-round. My favorite beer: Brunch Stout
WT Brews has seen a lot of growth in the 3 short years it has been around. It began as a farm brewery on Patchett Road with a small taproom, then moved into the village with a pretty tiny taproom. Now they have a slightly larger space right on the waterfront – their best spot yet!
Address: 18 E. Genesee St., Baldwinsville, NY 13027 Hours: Mon CLOSED / Tues CLOSED / Wed 5-9pm / Thurs 5-9pm / Fri 5-10pm / Sat 1-10pm / Sun 1-6pm Food: No food made on premises; pretzels in bowls. BYOF encouraged! Other Drinks: A few cocktails made with local spirits. Games: A few board games and darts. Trivia night on Wednesdays (you might see me there!) Tap Handles: 8 Flights: $8 for 4 beers Pints: $5-6 To Go: Growler fills available Dog Friendly? Yes! Outdoor Seating? Yes – just a few tables Merch? Yes – growlers, glasses, and shirts Location: In the village of Baldwinsville; close to several shops and restaurants Tap Room Size: Medium
What makes them unique? They host limited release events for their beer throughout their year. If they announce the peanut butter beer or the Grodziskie, you better hurry! They don’t last long. My favorite beer: Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge (duh.)
Do you have a favorite Syracuse brewery? Which one and why? Tell me in the comments! Then get back out there and keep supporting out local businesses. 🙂