Molly Belmont, Marketing Director
Discover Albany
Phone: 518-434-1217 x 203

July 3, 2018


Beer historian beckons Albany’s boom time with brew tours
C.H. Evans Brewer Collaborates with Albany Beer Historian to Recreate Historic Beer  

Albany, NY – Did you know Albany was once at the center of the North American beer industry? Albany Beer Historian, Craig Gravina, co-author of Upper Hudson Valley Beer and co-founder of the Albany Ale Project, will be leading tours through Albany’s former brewing districts this summer.

The Historic Neighborhood Brew Tours will discuss the impact beer and ale had on Albany, and the impact Albany had on beer. “Beer and Albany go hand in hand. Brewing has been part of Albany's history and culture since the earliest Dutch settlers, and by the 1800s the city had become one of North America's most prolific brewing centers. Albany Ale could be found all over the Western Hemisphere!” says Beer Historian Craig Gravina.

Historic Neighborhood Brew Tour schedule:

  • June 22: 6:00pm – 8:30pm – South End, Albany. Meet at Excelsior Pub.
  • July 25: 6:00pm – 8:30pm – Center Square, Albany. Meet at Pint Sized.
  • August 22: 6:00pm-8:30pm – Warehouse District, Albany. Meet at Lost & Found.
  • September 8: 12pm-2:30pm – Downtown Albany. Meet at Olde English Pub & Pantry

Tickets for each are $10. The tours are offered in conjunction with local craft producers and pubs, and each tour will include exclusive drink specials.

Gravina is perhaps best known for his discovery – and recovery – of Albany Ale, a 19th Century double-strength XX ale that made Albany beer-famous.  With the Albany Ale Project, Gravina tracks down the history of this quintessentially Albany beverage and helped create a contemporary recipe. The ale was recently recreated at CH Evans Brewing Company by brewer Sam Pagano, and it will be available at the Albany Pump Station at the end of July.

The brewer strove for authenticity with this latest batch of historic beer – and you can taste it.

“Albany Ale was noted for its strength, and this variation is no different sitting at a lofty 9.5% abv,” says Pagano. “We used traditional, American-grown 6-Row barley, the most widely used form of malted barley for brewing/distilling at the time. We also used aged, low alpha acid hops to mimic the varieties they may have been using back then (we're not entirely sure what they used, but higher alpha acid hops came on later). Also, wildflower honey went into the boil to help boost the alcohol as well as provide some delicate, floral honey aroma.” Golden in color, somewhat sweet with a balanced bitterness, the beer finishes with a smooth crisp taste.

The Historic Neighborhood Brew Tours are sponsored by Discover Albany, and are part of “Tastes and Traditions”, a year-long initiative celebrating Albany’s culinary accomplishments and excitement.

“Albany has incredible history and beautiful architecture to back up it up, but food and drink humanizes these stories,” says Maeve McEneny, Education Coordinator at Discover Albany. “When we’re given the chance to taste what our descendants might have drank or we eat the food they would have had access to, it brings us that much closer to our past and a better understanding of our roots.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

ABOUT Discover Albany

The Albany County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. was established in 1976 to promote the civic and commercial progress of the community through increased development of conventions and tourism. Today, the organization is known as Discover Albany. Discover Albany currently represents more than 300-member businesses and assists each year in hundreds of regional meetings. Discover Albany also operates the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Henry Hudson Planetarium, and the Albany International Airport Information Center.  The Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau Foundation was established in 1993 to provide educational opportunities and work with other organizations to secure grants and funding to advance regional travel and tourism projects.  For more information, call 518-434-1217 or 800-258-3582 or visit