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Mill House Brewing Company grows its hops right on its own grounds.

Mill House Brewery proprietor and brew master Jamie Bishop at work.

MILL HOUSE BREWING COMPANY

KEEGAN ALES

As Poughkeepsie’s premier brewpub since 2013, Mill House Brewing Company brew masters Jamie Bishop and Larry Stock, along with brothers Chris and Daniel Crocco, have established a destination for lovers of great beer and great food alike in their masterfully renovated 1836 historic building. The new design showcases historic details. One look at the massive bar looping around sloping brick archways proves their hard work paid off. The menu includes local ingredients and house-made brews. Check out Mill House’s fish and chips, which are battered with Alpha Ale, a hoppy red ale balanced out with a strong malt backbone. But the best brew to try is arguably the amazingly rich and smooth Velvet Panda Stout.

Keegan Ales was founded in 2003 thanks to owner Tommy Keegan’s need to build “a clubhouse that I would want to hang out in.” Today, Keegan’s beers are distributed from Washington, D.C., to the Canadian border. Keegan’s unpretentious atmosphere makes it a great place to kick back, and there’s always a good chance of running into Keegan and his brewers, who like to meet their customers. Keegan’s renowned Mother’s Milk Stout retains a hint of sharpness to bring its deep, rich character into stark relief. Keegan also offers enticing draft combinations born of clandestine experiments in the taproom. For instance, mixing Old Capitol (a flavorful blonde ale) with Mother’s Milk is called an “Old Mother,” while adding Old Capitol to Hurricane Kitty (considered the definitive Hudson Valley IPA) is dubbed “Florida.” Keegan packages the combos in a Chemistry Set gift box—a 12-pack featuring its four most popular beers, ready for mixing.

289 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie / (845) 485-2739 / MillHouseBrewing.com

ROUGH CUT Rough Cut opened last June in Kerhonkson, but is already making a splash. While its rustic décor suits its off-the-beaten path location, Rough Cut’s decadent beers and local cuisine make it a destination it its own right. Its ambitious tap program features rye-based Mortise & Tenon Belgian Double; Roseability BPA, brewed fresh with rose petals; and Pomme D’Orange Belgian Tripel, brewed with orange blossom honey. The menu offers hyper-local pairings like lamb from Vly Farm in Stone Ridge and a rib-eye with a green peppercorn and brandy cream sauce. Chef Bart Cummings says his goal is to ensure that Rough Cut “is a place where people go to indulge.”

5945 Rte. 44-55, Kerhonkson / (845)626-9838 / RoughCutBrewing.com

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20 St. James Street, Kingston / (845) 331-2739 / KeeganAles.com

THE HOP Although The Hop in Beacon only brews occasionally, it’s practically a church for craft brew fans, offering over 200 bottles and a regular rotation of 16 drafts, and hosting pilgrimage-worthy events. Last spring, for example, co-owners Matt Hutchins, Chris Kavanagh, and John Kelly paired 16 expertly curated taps with some of the Hudson Valley’s best local cuisine, and opened a separate room for hard-to-find retail beers. Then there’s the food. The Hop’s regular menu of smallplate, artisanal fare showcases local produce and grass-fed meats from Hemlock Hill Farm in Cortlandt Manor. Because he’s constantly being asked, “What’s really local?” Kelly stocks up on beer from locals like Crossroads and 2 Way, and brews collaboratively. The Hop’s most recent creation, with Rushing Duck Brewery in Chester, was Gimme Samoa That, a milky brown ale brewed with cocoa and toasted coconut, mimicking the flavors of the famous Girl Scout Cookie. This coming spring, The Hop’s longtime bar manager John-Anthony Gargiulo is set to open Hudson Valley Brewery in an 18,000-square-foot decommissioned factory in Beacon. If the new brewery is on par with The Hop, it’ll definitely be a game changer.

554 Main Street, Beacon / (845)440-8676 / TheHopBeacon.com

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Upstater Winter 2015  
Upstater Winter 2015  
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