By Jason Emerson
Critz Farms Brewing and Cider Company and Empire Brewing Company, both located in Cazenovia, are celebrating fall with new beverage offerings.
Empire recently announced that is has teamed up with Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards, of LaFayette, to brew a New York State apple beer. Apple Harvest Ale, brewed at Empire Brewing Company’s new farmstead brewery, uses more than 800 gallons of fresh New York State raw apple juice made from Empire and Honey Crisp apples to create a red colored ale with a crisp, tart apple flavor and a sweet caramel malt finish.
The limited release ale will be available at Empire Brewing Company’s brewpub in Syracuse, the tasting room at Empire Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia and the Beak & Skiff Tavern in Lafayette, along with a few select Central New York establishments.
Apple Harvest Ale will be packaged for retail distribution in 2017.
“This is what happens when two great New York farms collide,” said David Katleski, President, Empire Brewing Company. “What an incredibly tasty collaboration we have made here with our Apple Harvest Ale.”
“We first began discussing this project almost a year ago. Our two companies are committed to creating high quality hand crafted products, so the opportunity to work together has been very rewarding,” said Eddie Brennan, Co-Owner, Beak & Skiff and 1911 Spirits. “We believe Apple Harvest Ale has the potential to be a big part of both of our business in the years ahead.”
Empire also recently released its Deep Purple beer, made with New York State Concord grapes, for the first time in bottles; and soon will be brewing its Sweet Fire Chili Chocolate Stout at the farmstead brewery. The imperial stout is brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend, giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma and flavor and a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and hotness, according to the company.
For more information, visit empirebrew.com.
Critz Farms is also celebrating the fall harvest this year by offering a select few of its hard cider offerings — and its beers — for the first time, in cans.
“Cans are really popular now,” said Matt Critz, co-owner. “We started selling our cider in bottles, but canned cider is becoming really popular. And for beer, we knew we had to move beyond just selling in growlers and decided cans would be best way to do it.”
Critz recently utilized the services of the Mobile Can Man, who came to Cazenovia on Sept. 26 and set up his canning equipment at Critz Farms. At the end of the day, they had brewed 2,000 12-ounce cans each of Critz’s Four Screw and Double Vision hard ciders, and 1,000 16-ounce cans each of Critz’s Pig City Porter and “The Eleven” IPA.
If can sales go well, Critz said, they plan to can their blueberry cider and probably a honey blond beer for next summer.
Critz Farms grows its own barley, hops and apples, and have been and will be increasing their plantings recently to keep up with their beverage demands — including 1,000 new apple trees next spring, Critz said.
While Critz beer and cder has only been available in cans for a few weeks, the feedback so far has been excellent, Critz said.
“It’s been very well received,” he said. “Just last weekend we had someone come in and buy an entire case before the day had even started. So we’re real excited.”
Critz Farms canned hard cider and beer is available at Critz Farms on Rippleton Road and will appear soon in area Wegmans and Nice and Easy stores.
For more information, visit critzbrewandcider.com.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.