Tag Archives: Upstate NY

My Top Beers of 2015

As I was looking through my Facebook feed today, I noticed this list of the top beers enjoyed in 2015. Of the 50 beers on the list I had the pleasure of trying some of them. As much of the beer I consumed in 2015 came from small breweries along the Front Range, there were a lot that I enjoyed that never would have made the list. So that got me to thinking, “What were the best beers I enjoyed in 2015?” So I jumped over to UnTappd and looked it up. Without further ado, here were my top 10 beers in 2015 as determined by my ratings on UnTappd. I rated all of these beers as 4.5 or higher with the top three all earning ratings of 5 from me.

  1. HopSavant Sour IPA by Crooked Stave Brewing in Denver
  2. Swingin Udders Milk Stout by Copper Kettle Brewing in Denver
  3. Racer 5 IPA by Bear Republic Brewing
  4. Bourbon County Brand Stout, Goose Island Brewing, Chicago
  5. Runoff Red IPA by Odell Brewing in Fort Collins
  6. Holiday Cheer Winter Ale, Caution Brewing, Lakewood, CO
  7. Samuel Adams Adams Octoberfest, Boston Beer Company
  8. Odell IPA, Odell Brewing Fort Collins, CO
  9. High Noon Chili Pepper Ale, Freedom’s Edge Brewing in Cheyenne
  10. St. Lupulin Pale Ale, Odell Brewing in Fort Collins
  11. Brainless on Cherries, Epic Brewing in Denver
  12. Brainless on Raspberries, Epic Brewing, Denver
  13. False Alarm Jalapeno Cream Ale, Firehouse Brewing, Rapid City, SD
  14. Speed Goat Blonde Ale, Ten Sleep Brewing, Ten Sleep, WY
  15. Scuba Steve IPA, Black Bottle Brewing, Fort Collins, CO
  16. Belligerent Ass Nut Brown, Portneuf Brewing, Pocatello, ID
  17. Dale’s Pale Ale Blood Orange, Oskar Blues Longmont, CO
  18. Saranac Octoberfest, FX Matt Brewing in Utica
  19. Blueberry Wheat, High Hops Brewing, Windsor, CO
  20. Big LeBEERski Imperial Stout, Barrels and Bottles Brewing, Golden, CO
  21. Amidon Blonde Ale, Henneberg Brewing, Cazenovia, NY

That’s quite a list, but it doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of beers I enjoyed this year. It’s kind of neat to look at how it breaks down, 5 IPA’s 2 Blonde Ales, 2 Marzens, 3 Full disclaimer, many of these were enjoyed in taster flights and then a follow up pint as my favorite in the selection. What were your favorite beers of 2015? Share them with us in the comments, and as always, reach out to me on Untappd.


Friday Favs: Al Dente

Starting today we will be highlighting some of our favorite things on Fridays. Many of you know that my roots are back in Upstate NY, that’s why from time to time you’ll see NY stuff on this High Plains Blog. I’m a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and one of my fellow alums, Jared Paventi has what I consider to be the best food blog in the Syracuse region, Al Dente: an Eater’s Journey.

aldenteIf you want to keep up on what is happening in the Syracuse food scene, Al Dente is a must read. From beers to food trucks, recipes to restaurants, Jared covers it all, with personal story telling and good writing. Jump on over and check it out, even if you are not in the Central NY area, I’m sure you will find something of interest in the world of food.

America’s Craft Brew Destination Gets an Overhaul

For those who are regular followers of this blog you know my affinity for the exploding craft beer scene in Central New York State. Having promoted tourism and culinary experiences there for 12 years, its easy to root for the hard working people that are putting forth an awesome product. I was part of the team that green lighted the Brew Central project, and I’ve watched it catch fire from afar. This week they rolled out the next generation of Brew Central.

The Central New York Travel Region received a half a million dollars for this year’s campaign from the state of NY which allowed for the overhaul. The website looks sharp, is much more responsively designed and brings photos and videos to the forefront.

brew central screen shotThe coolest thing about the new updates is the new and improved Brewfinder mapping feature. As a craft beer traveler I’m always looking to see which breweries are near where I’m at, or are clustered together. This should be much more effective for the traveling public and a boon for the breweries, distilleries, cideries and wineries.

The website still features news and events from the region and new stories from 12 more producers this summer. Great job ABC Idea Based Marketing and Central New York Tourism.

What I Miss

Our family has now lived in Wyoming for more than two years, but there are a wide variety of things I miss from back in Central New York food wise. Mom and Dad are making the road trip in a couple of weeks for their first Cheyenne Frontier Days experience and they are bringing us things that we ask for. Right off the bat I asked for Hofmann hot dogs. We covered that a couple of weeks ago. I also asked for another bag of New Hope Mills buckwheat pancake flour. Which for those who are not familiar with them, it is the best pancake/waffle flour you could ever find.

Other considerations to have them bring us include Harvest Moon Cider, salt potatoes, Kreimhild butter and pure New York State Maple Syrup. I know that my brother has asked for vodka sauce from Pastabilities in downtown Armory square and even though he lives in Kansas City, he often requests Dinosaur BBQ products.

Think about it, if you moved away, what products would you miss and have to have delivered to you by people who still live where you are from. Tell me about it in the comments, maybe there is something I’m not thinking of that I’ll add to the list.

Hot Dog!

Since moving to Cheyenne, I’ve had to do without the only hot dog I would buy from the supermarket. Summers without Hofmann Hot Dogs in a lot like winters without snow. It just doesn’t seem right. When making a list of the products that I miss from Upstate, they’d definitely top the list along with New Hope Mills pancake flour and Harvest Moon Hard Cider.

While Hofmann has been expanding beyond its Syracuse roots, they have not made it our west and that has left me holding an empty bun. A few weeks back I was in the local Albertsons, which incidentally is my 2nd choice for grocery shopping, when in the deli case I spied packages of “Natural Casing New York Franks” from Dietz and Watson. Having turned up my nose consistently at Hebrew National, and Ball Park Franks, I figured they were worth at least trying out.

Friday night I took Loriana camping and we threw these dogs on long forks and roasted them over an open camp fire. I was impressed. The skins popped just like a Hofmann, the flavor was close to the flavor I missed so much from growing up and I proceeded to scarf down two of them.

I’ll continue to hold out hope that Hofmann strikes a deal with Kroeger or Albertsons to get their dogs out west, and I’ll be asking for a delivery when mom and dad come in August, until then, I’ll be buying and consuming my fair share of these Dietz and Watson dogs this summer.