The Albany Craft Beverage Trail runs along Broadway in downtown Albany. Two breweries, a cidery, and a distillery will tempt your taste buds and leave you wanting more.
Start your afternoon with The Evans Family, whose brewing roots trail from Hudson, NY in 1786. The award winning ales of the past were extremely well known in the Northeast and were even exported to England and France. Today, The Evans Family operates the C.H. Evans Brewing Company within the Albany Pump Station in historic Quackenbush Square. After 225 years of brewing, you better believe that the suds available are award winning and, perhaps more importantly, delicious. While you're there, grab a bite to eat; their menu is fabulous and their calamari is out of this world.
After lunch, wander over to the Albany Distilling Company which just so happens to be right next door to the Pump Station! Albany's first distillery since prohibition, Albany Distilling is a small operation dedicated to creating their product one batch at a time. Sample their whiskeys in the incredibly cool space while you watch the production process. If you're interested and have the time, you can even take a tour to learn about the company, their process, and so much more. Oh, and don't forget to say hi to Cooper, the cat.
Next, make your way to Nine Pin Cider Works whose tasting room lies below the rose (which is painted on the side of the building next door). Nine Pin, which derives its name from the Dutch form of bowling that Rip Van Winkle was said to play while drinking hard cider, leading to his legendary slumber. While many ciders you taste are artificially sweetened, Nine Pin is set apart by their off-dry products. All of the apples are from Capital Region and Hudson Valley orchards to create entirely local product. Their list of cider is constantly growing, so stop in, get a sampler, and taste to your hearts content.
Last, but not least, stop into Druthers Brewing Company for a quality beer and a great dinner. You may want to consider making a reservation if you're looking to eat and you're in town on a weekend as it is a very popular spot. Located in an old warehouse, with a big bar area, a great place to wait if you didn't take the reservation advice, and a view into the area where the beer is actually made. Druthers claims to "brew choice beer for good-humored, freethinkers" and "reward extraordinary choices with choice beer." But in case that hasn't urged you to give it a try, the incredible food that they've paired with their extended list of "on tap" brews ought to do the trick.
Click here to see what other craft beverages in the area.