Living in New Paltz, NY, can mean a number of things; beautiful sights, great food, and don’t forget about the town’s beer selection. New Paltz is the home to a variety of restaurants and pubs that offer a large selection of craft beers, whether they are made locally or imported. The hardest part about dining in this town is the decision of where to eat because it always comes down to what’s being served on tap. When visiting, there are three locations that must not be passed up, including Bacchus Restaurant and Brewery, The Gilded Otter, and Huckleberry. These restaurants are sure to satisfy anyone’s craving for hops.
This diverse town has incorporated a lot of changes over the years, with new businesses coming and going. This isn’t the case for Bacchus Restaurant and Brewery. Bacchus has been standing strong since 1974. This restaurant offers a very warm environment, with its cozy wooden booths and friendly staff. There is also a lot to choose from, with fourteen different types of beer on tap, four of which are their own.
Their home brews range from sweet stouts to sour German style ales. This season, they have introduced their imperial stout “Holy Mole,” a full flavored stout which includes Mexican drinking chocolate and a blend of cinnamon and chili powder. According to brewmaster, Mike Renganeschi, “We try to make all of our home brews stand out.” They do this very well by incorporating fresh fruit into their house blends, like their blonde ale “Et Cetera.” This is a light ale that incorporates the citrus flavors of orange and grapefruit. You can visit this pub on 4 South Chestnut Street.
Are you a fan of a casual atmosphere and hand crafted beer? If you are nodding with agreement, then The Gilded Otter is definitely worth your time. This restaurant and brewery came into the picture in 1997 and has truly made a name for itself. While inside the Otter, you are placed right in the middle of the brewing action. They are very open when it comes to their brewing process. The beer on tap at The Otter is brewed in-house and is guaranteed to be fresh.
There is a large selection of ales and lagers that are served according to season. In the spirit of winter, they offer their “Winter Wassail,” a strong ale brewed with six different malt varieties, ten pounds of dark brown sugar, and imported hops. If you’re not into sweet, maybe an IPA will do the trick. The Otter’s “Three Pines Indian Pale Ale” is a full bodied copper ale loaded with hops. Too light for you? Maybe you’re a stout person? Their “Stone House Cream Stout” is a dark ale that incorporates milk for a rich and creamy flavor. No matter what you are in the mood for, this is a tap house that always delivers. The Gilded Otter is located on 3 Main Street in downtown New Paltz.
Between Bacchus and the Otter, the beer scene in this town has a great reputation. Attempting to add to the town’s unique culture is the new restaurant and bar “Huckleberry.” This establishment is making a name for itself with its homey atmosphere, tasty food, and, of course, its great beer selection. Be prepared to socialize, as this restaurant has a game area upstairs, a beautiful bar downstairs, and two fire pits outside. Huckleberry has 12 different beers to offer on tap. Their selection is specifically limited to local and craft beers. Co-owner, Julie Dabbs, takes pride in their selection, saying it is guaranteed to be “interesting and funky.”
One of the beers they offer is the “Other Half IPA.” This is a west coast IPA that packs a serious punch with 7.1 percent alcohol content. It’s a tasty brew that incorporates a pine and grapefruit hop character. One of their more popular beers is “Captain’s Kolsch.” This ale is brewed by Captain Lawrence Brewing Co., located in Elmsford, N.Y. This ale has the perfect amount of fruitiness, topped off by a clean and crisp flavor. Captain’s Kolsch pairs very well with all types of pub food and is sure to set the mood for the social atmosphere that Huckleberry offers. They are located at 21 Church Street.
Whether you decide to stop at Bacchus, The Gilded Otter, or Huckleberry, you will not be disappointed. They all include a great beer selection, complimented by unique atmospheres to socialize and just relax. Keep in mind to pay a visit to New Paltz to embrace the sights, sounds, and tastes.
John Iuzzini at SUNY New Paltz
March 4, 2016