County Executive Mike Hein along with Director of Ulster County Tourism Rick Remsnyder visited Keegan Ales in Kingston to unveil a new tourism video that showcases the increasingly popular craft beverage industry throughout Ulster County. The sector has grown in recent years resulting in Ulster County being a popular tourism destination for those interested in craft beer, hard cider, wine tasting and distillery tours.
“Ulster County has a wonderful collection of breweries, wineries, cideries and distilleries, all of which produce high quality beverages,” said County Executive Mike Hein. “Besides producing some of the best beer, wine, cider and spirits, they also contribute to our vibrant tourism industry by hosting festivals, combining food offering with tastings and tours, and providing beautiful outdoor spaces for picnics while visitors enjoy time spent with friends and family. Ulster County is quickly becoming the premier craft beverage destination for tourists in the Northeast.”
"Ulster County’s craft beverage industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years," said Ulster County Tourism Director Richard J. Remsnyder. "Our location 90 minutes from New York City makes Ulster County a convenient and fun choice for a weekend of winetasting, picnicking and enjoying first class meals prepared with fresh local ingredients.”
"One important measure of the success of Tuthilltown Distillery and other farm distilleries is the increase in tourism activity. In 2015 we welcomed about 35,000 visitors who came to enjoy the Hudson Valley,” said Ralph Erenzo of Tuthilltown Spirits. “Ulster County has become the newest destination for day trippers and travelers out of the New York Metropolitan area. Together, the artisan producers in the Hudson Valley have an enormous impact upon the economy including: tourism, agriculture, job creation and tax revenue. We're eager to see what the future brings for the economic health of Ulster County as a result of the productive work of the County Executive Hein's Office of Economic Development. And we're excited to be a part of the growing success of the Valley."
According to Tommy Keegan, Owner and Brewmaster at Keegan Ales, "County Executive Mike Hein has been a huge advocate for our entire tourism industry and Keegan Ales. He is doing the things and taking the actions that draw tourists to our community and improving the economy.”
"I have been making hard cider since 1997 and am very pleased with the growing interest in this product. As an apple grower, I fully understand that selling cider can create significant economic benefits, especially in years when the apples are not cosmetically perfect,” stated Elizabeth Ryan, Owner of Stone Ridge Orchard, Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider and Breezy Hill Orchard. “We are pleased to be expanding our craft cidery in Stone Ridge and expect to open a tasting room this Spring. Ulster County is very up-and-coming because it has incredibly historic hamlets, a great small city, arts tourism, food tourism, historical tourism and farm tourism as well as very supportive local government officials. It is therefore uniquely positioned to benefit from this growing industry."
"Our cider mill has been producing great fresh pressed apple cider for 6 generations of my family in Clintondale,” said Christina DeMaio of Clintondale Brewing Company. “To make great hard cider you must start with great fresh cider, which we have. We are looking forward to expanding into the production of hard cider for numerous reasons including creating more year-round jobs for our current seasonal employees and creating new jobs. Right now we are not open to the public, but once our cidery opens we will host a tasting room and tours. This is a very exciting time in the cider making business."
Ulster County’s craft beverage industry has seen tremendous growth over the past five years with the number of producers doubling during that time, and Ulster County is now home to over 26 craft beverage producers. Statewide, there are over 600 producers that have a collective annual economic impact of $27 billion on New York’s economy. New York ranks third in wine production across the United States.
The tourism video can be viewed at http://ulstercountyalive.com/videos and please visit http://ulstercountyalive.com/landing/craftbeverages for a list of craft beverage producers, locations and events.