Exploring Dover Stone Church

Fall is the perfect time to go hiking! I highly recommend exploring Dover Stone Church in Dover Plains, NY for a day of outdoor family fun. Back in the spring, my daughter and I enjoyed a nice visit here.

Let me be clear right at the start, Dover Stone Church is not actually a church. It’s actually a cavern, formed over the years, in a silhouette reminiscent of a cathedral’s stained glass window. The property was originally private but was purchased by the Town of Dover in 2002, when it became available for sale. Through grants and donations, the property has been renovated and expanded. In the summer of 2015, three miles of nature trails were opened for visitors to enjoy.

But let’s back up. Before you get to the cavern, you must park across the street in the school parking lot (only when school is not in session). After crossing the street, a sign helps point you in the right direction.

A giant sign welcomes you the Dover Stone Church!

And then you encounter this amazing view! This was taken back when we visited in May. I’m sure the view with the fall foliage is just as spectacular!

You pass another welcome sign and a display that gives a short history of the Dover Stone Church.

It’s a short 0.25 mile hike from the pedestrian path to the trails. On the way you cross a footbridge where underneath, the Stone Church Brook flows.

As you approach the Stone Church will pass a sign directing you to the hiking trails towards the left. Stay to the right to visit the Stone Church.

The path toward the Stone Church is pretty rocky. As you get closer to the Church, the rocks are also wet and slippery.

There are some pretty neat views of the brook.

But, of course, the Stone Church is the main reason for this visit!

The cavern was briefly closed in July of 2019 due to rockfalls in the cave. It has since reopened, but you are warned to use caution and enter at your own risk. If attempting to enter the cave, be cautious and wear appropriate footwear. Some minor rock hopping is needed to get inside. But I highly recommend going inside if you can. How often can you see a waterfall inside of a cave?!!

The Stone Church Cave Trail is only 0.3 miles round trip. After we got our fill of the cave, my daughter and I went off to hike. The red trail and yellow trails are each 1 mile round trip and the blue trail is 1.5 miles round trip. The trails are well marked with colored trail markers. We hiked the red trail which was an easy hike with no notable features.

I’d love to visit the Dover Stone Church again with the whole family, since only my daughter and I made this trip. The four of us can try out the other trails.

The Details:
Dover Stone Church
3128 NY-22
Dover Plains, NY 12522

Parking: Park across the street in the Dover Elementary School parking lot (when school is not in session) and at Frescho 22 Plaza, 3156 NY-22 (when school is in session)

Hours: Open 7 AM to 7 PM, weather permitting

*No swimming is allowed
*There is a carry in, carry out policy
*Pets must be leashed
*Altogether, our visit took a little over an hour including photos at the Stone Church and a one mile hike on the red trail.

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A Visit to the Hudson Valley Food Hall {Beacon}

Our family loves food halls! Food halls are an upscale equivalent to a mall food court. We love having a variety of food options available but being able to eat together in one location. We’ve been to City Kitchen and Urbanspace Vanderbilt in New York City multiple times. So when we heard that Hudson Valley Food Hall was opening in Beacon, we of course had to check it out.

Hudson Valley Food Hall is located at 288 Main Street in Beacon. The building was formerly inhabited by the Roosevelt Theater. The food hall is directly across from the Howland Public library and Glazed Over Doughnuts. From northern Westchester County it was approximately a 35 minute drive.

We planned to have a late lunch at the Hudson Valley Food Hall and arrived at 1:45 PM. The place was fairly busy when we got there. There are several food options from six different food vendors:

Bombay Wraps

Green House Salads

Hudson Valley Seafood

Katie Rose Bakery

Miz Hattie’s Southern BBQ

and Momo Valley.

Our first stop was Bombay Wrap, which also had the longest line during our visit. We opted for The Big Meal which includes rice with a choice of sauce, roti, two subji (fillings/mains), a samosa and a drink for $12.99.  For our subji we got the Chicken Curry and Paneer Tikka, on the recommendation of the cashier. When we asked for his suggestions, he mentioned that these are two of their popular dishes. Everything was delicious but a bit spicy. That was fine with us, but the kids aren’t huge fans of spicy food. Overall, I think it’s a great value for the price.

We then stopped at the Momo Valley stand.  Momos are South Asian dumplings native to areas like Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal.  Established in 2018, besides momos, Momo Valley offers a noodle soup bowl, a chicken over rice bowl and an Everest platter (Nepal’s national fish that includes lentil soup, rice, veggies, dry curried meat, fermented daikon or carrots, and sautéed greens). 

We opted to share a mixed momo bowl, which includes two grass-fed beef, two chicken and two spinach and cheese momos for $10. The momos are served steamed, though you can get them fried for an additional cost. We liked how each momo flavor is wrapped differently to differentiate them.

The Hudson Valley Food Hall doesn’t have a liquor license yet, so no alcohol is served.  The plan is for the Roosevelt Bar to serve cocktails which showcase local spirits made in the Hudson Valley. At the time of this posting, the food hall still did not know when they will receive their liquor license. For now, it’s an ice cream and soda bar.

We tried a peach and basil soda. The syrups come from More Good, a local Beacon company that, besides hand-crafted soda syrup concentrates, also sells a variety of teas and bitters. A 16 oz. soda is $2.95 and besides Peach and Basil, other flavors include Concord Grape, Cherry Cola, Root Beer, Ginger Ale and Cassia Kream.  We loved how the serve the sodas in a glass with a metal straw.

Although we did not try any ice cream, the menu looks delicious! The ice cream is homemade from the Mapleview Cafe in Poughkeepsie.

The food hall is narrow with limited seating. There is an upstairs dining space with a couple of additional tables and chairs.

We enjoyed the couple of items that we tried during our visit. We like how the food hall aims to showcase chefs and food from around the Hudson Valley. However, we wished that there was more unique food offerings. Overall, we are very happy to see a food hall in the area and wish the Hudson Valley Food Hall great success!

The Details:
Hudson Valley Food Hall
288 Main Street
Beacon, NY 12508

Hours: 11 AM – 9 PM, 7 days a week
Hudson Valley Seafood is open 9 AM – 6 PM
Once the Roosevelt Bar opens, food vendors will be staying open later

Parking: Street parking – see tip below

Tips:
*Expect to wait a few minutes for your food, especially during busy times.

*Main Street on a weekend in Beacon is BUSY! We recommend taking the first available parking spot you find and hope you are good at parallel parking! We parked a few blocks down from the food hall and made the short walk.

* The Beacon Farmer’s Market takes place on Sundays from 10 AM – 3 PM, right down the street from the Hudson Valley Food Hall. After you enjoy lunch at the food hall, you can make a stop at the market to stock up on veggies, baked goods, cheese and much more!

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Dennings Point Distillery

Dennings Point Distillery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Dennings Point Distillery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Dennings Point Distillery is located on North Chestnut Street, in Beacon.  The Distillery has been open since September of 2014 and is housed in a former mechanic shop.

When we visited during a summer weekend, founder Karl was relaxing in the Distillery. Because, doesn’t his shirt say it all?! He took us on a tour and gave us a bit of the Distillery’s history.  Similar to many of the people that we have met in the craft beverage trade, distilling started as a hobby for Karl.  He previously had a career in healthcare management and in 1990 bought his first moonshine  still.  Once craft distilling was legalized, many years later, he decided to give it a go professionally.

Denning’s Point makes several different products, though their best seller (and Karl’s favorite) is their bourbon.  The Distillery tries to source as many local ingredients as possible.  The bourbon is made from grains sourced in New Paltz and rye from the Finger Lakes region.  Another great example of their “the closer, the better” philosophy is the apple brandy made with apples from Wappingers Falls.

They make a vodka and their gin is an American-style gin that is more citrusy than the traditional.  Maid of the Meadow is a wheat-based spirit infused with wild herbs and honey. All three are distilled from NY State wheat.

Distilling takes place during the week with weekends dedicated to tours and tastings. Much of the equipment and machinery has been cleverly repurposed by Karl to suit his needs for each particular task.  However, their 250-gallon hybrid still was hand hammered in Louisville, Kentucky for its specific use.  They propagate their own yeast, which takes extra time, but makes a big difference in the flavor of their spirits.

To age their spirits, they use a variety of barrels including 10, 30 and 53 gallons.  Once the spirits are ready to be bottled, it’s an all-hands-on-deck operation. All of their spirits are bottled and labeled in a small room in the back.

After our tour, my husband enjoyed a tasting.  Their tasting room is  small and only seats about six guests.  He tried the 100 proof Beacon Bourbon, Maid of the Meadow and their Blueberry Gin.  The Blueberry Gin is a seasonal product, made with wild blueberries.  As I mentioned, the Beacon Bourbon is one of Denning’s Point Distillery’s most popular spirits.  Of the three that he tried, my husband’s favorite was Maid of the Meadow. He’s always been drawn to honey, whether a spirit infusion or cocktail ingredient.

Denning’s Point Distillery was voted Hudson Valley Magazine’s  “Best Hudson Valley Distillery” in 2015, 2016 and 2017.  Karl would like to continue growing a local presence but increase widening distribution of their spirits.  Most visitors come up from the city, as Beacon is easily accessible by train.  We recommend Hudson Valley residents, too,  make a visit to the Distillery. If you can’t make it, their products are distributed through Manhattan Beer at locations throughout the Hudson Valley.

The Details:

Denning’s Point Distillery
10 North Chestnut Street
Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 476-8413

Website: http://www.denningspointdistillery.com

Tastings & Tours:  Friday 2 PM -8 PM (Tastings only), Saturday 2 PM – 8 PM (Tours at approximately 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30 PM, except for the second Saturday of each month when tours are at 2:30 and 3:30 only), Sunday 2 PM – 6 PM (Tastings only)

Price:  Tastings & Tour $5

2

A Visit To Hudson Valley Brewery

(Thank you to Hudson Valley Brewery and Dutchess Tourism for hosting us. As always, all opinions are our own.)

Hudson Valley Brewery is currently one of three craft breweries in Beacon, New York.  Located on Main Street, the brewery resides in a white painted brick building that was formerly a metal dinghy factory.  You enter the brewery through a garage door that opens into a large, warehouse-type tasting room. Visitors can start a tab at the bar with a credit card.  The bar is strictly for ordering beers, as there are no seats to sit at, and it’s constantly bustling with guests.  However, there are plenty of picnic tables, both inside and out to sit at and relax while enjoying your beer.

Hudson Valley Brewery specializes in sour IPAs.  They have a 30 barrel system and last year released 65 different beers.  They rarely make the same beer twice, so there’s plenty of reasons to visit often.   The descriptions of these beers make me want to try them all!  The brewery doesn’t offer flights, but most of their beers are available in three different sizes (4 oz, 8 oz or 16 oz).  Each guest is allow to order two beers at a time, but multiple trips can be had.

The day of our visit, my husband tried two different beers.  He tried the Holocene and the Motueka Incandenza.  The Holocene is a 6% sour IPA that, according to the menu,  tastes like, “poundcake, mango drink and funfetti.”  The Motukea Incandenza is also a 6% sour IPA and the tasting notes include “limoncello, green Boston Fruit slices and Glacier Freeze Gatorade.”  This was my husband’s first time trying sour beer, but after this tasting he has become a big fan.  He enjoyed both of these beers but liked the Incandenza a little bit more.  The Fauna seemed to be a popular beer, as it was ordered several times while we there.  It has an enticing light pink color.

If you enjoy the beer, you can purchase cans to bring home with you.  The colorful, pastel-colored cans are designed by artist Evan Cohen. They have a can release every two weeks, alternating Fridays and Saturdays.  New releases are very popular, and some sour beer fans even camp out before the day of a release to ensure they get to be one of the first to sample it.

We visited on a summer Saturday and the brewery was bustling even shortly after the 2 PM opening time.  Visitors come from all over to sample their sour beers.  The brewery is doing some brisk business and within the next year they have plans to expand into the building next door with a restaurant and tasting room.

The Details:

Hudson Valley Brewery
7 East Main Street
Beacon, NY
(845) 218-9156

Website: http://hudsonvalleybrewery.com
Hours: Thursday & Friday 5 PM – 10 PM, Saturday 2 PM – 10 PM, Sunday 2 PM – 8 PM

 

 

 

 

Walking Tour of Bannerman Island

(Thank you Dutchess Tourism and Bannerman Castle Trust for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

As life-long residents of the Hudson Valley, my husband and I both heard of Bannerman Island, but only recently got to visit the castle ruins and hear the history of the infamous site.  While many, like myself, refer to it as Bannerman Island, Bannerman Castle actually resides on Pollepel Island.  This 6.5 acre piece of land sits amidst the Hudson River.  Over 100 years old, the island and castle are only accessible via tours by the Bannerman Castle Trust and the New York State Parks.

Tours depart from either Beacon or Newburgh.  We took a tour from Beacon, which departs right near the Beacon train station.  Visitors board the Estuary Steward for an approximately thirty-minute boat ride to Bannerman Castle.  Once you arrive on the island, your tour guide greets you for a seven stop, 1.5 hour walking tour of the island.

The story of Bannerman Castle is an interesting one.  On your tour you will hear the story of how and why Francis, “Frank” Bannerman VI had the Castle built.  I’m not posting many photos of the island or writing about the history of the Castle in this post.  It is more fun to hear and see the story in person.  Although Bannerman Castle is part of the Hudson Highlands State Park, the repairs and upkeep of the Island and structures all come from the Bannerman Trust. They really appreciate visitors coming to take the tour and see the Island.

You get to walking inside the family’s summer residence, which acts as a Visitor Center and also houses a small gift shop.  This is a renovation that was recently completed, though the second floor, pictured above, still remains off-limits to visitors.

As you tour the island you will see breathtaking views of the Hudson River and surrounding Hudson Valley.

You will also see beautiful gardens and flowers throughout the island.  These gardens are maintained by a team of volunteers who weed, plant and water them.

Unfortunately, you do not get to walk inside the Castle.  As you can see, support beams are attached to help protect the remaining structure of the Castle.  While this experience is family-friendly and recommended for children ages 11 and up, there were no children on our tour.  My husband and I purposely chose to do this tour on a summer day when our children were with their grandparents.  However, there are plenty of family-friendly events hosted on Bannerman Island throughout the season including Broadway and Theatre shows, movie nights, musical performances and more.  Be sure to check out the calendar of events!

The Details:

Bannerman Island Walking Tours

From Beacon: Saturdays at 11 AM and 12:30 PM, Sundays at 12:30 PM
From Newburgh:  Sundays at 11 AM

Admission:  $35/adults, $30/children under 11

Parking:  Free parking is available on weekends at the Beacon Train Station

Tips:
*Make sure to wear sneakers or comfortable walking shoes.  You will climb 70 steps from the dock up to the beginning of the tour.

*You can bring your own beverages.  Water and drinks are also sold on the boat and at the Visitor’s Center.

*The tour is not wheelchair or stroller-friendly.

 

Dinner and a Beer Flight at Mill House Brewing Company

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Mill House Brewing Company for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Mill House Brewing Company is located on Mill Street in Poughkeepsie, right off of Rt. 55.  Surprisingly, the restaurant was never actually a mill and was most recently a Chinese restaurant! My husband and I didn’t realize until visiting that we’ve driven by this place multiple times on our way across the river!  Now that we know that it’s there though, we will be back.  Mill House Brewing Company is a brewery and a pub.  When we talked to people at other stops on our Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail tour and mentioned that we were visiting Mill House Brewing Company, they always commented on how good the food was here.  And they weren’t wrong!

The restaurant has an extensive menu, filled with so many delicious options.  My husband and I debated making a meal out of Appetizers and Bar Bites, because there were so many dishes that we wanted to try!  In the end we took our server’s recommendation and shared the Fried Calamari Salad.  The portion was humongous and could have been a meal in itself!  I had never heard of a fried calamari salad before, but it was so good.  The calamari was so tender and the chili-lime vinaigrette and Srirarcha Ranch aioli complemented the arugula so well.

For our entrees we shared the Fig and “Pig” pizza and a Deep Fried Scallop and Oyster Po’Boy.  The sandwich was messy good!  Unfortunately, it was a daily special and not something that they serve every day.

The pizza Fig and “Pig” is one of five pizzas that the restaurant serves.  This has smoked mozzarella, housemade duck bacon, black mission figs, arugula and aged balsamic.  We were getting full and took most of the pizza home with us!

Mill House Brewing also has several burgers on their menu, including the 50/50 burger being the winner of the Hudson Valley Burger Bash, three years in a row.  They also make several different sausages and offer a variety of pasta, seafood and steak dishes.  There is something for everyone at this Mill House and I can almost guarantee you that it will be delicious.

We were seriously too stuffed for dessert, as much as we wanted to try some of them (I’m talking about you, Peanut Butter Sundae and Cannoli Profiteroles!).  Just another reason for us to go back!

“….our A-Team here, who make “holy s#*t” moments happen at Mill House day in and day out.”

But of course, besides serving amazing food, we can’t forget that Mill House is also a brewery!  They have 16 taps and are always changing the beers that they serve.  My husband enjoyed a flight, where you can choose 5 beers for $15.  His flight included Kold One, which is their most popular beer, Cross Reference Blackberry, Cucumber Blessings, Velvet Panda and Northwest Territory. Although he enjoyed them all, his favorite was Cucumber Blessings. This award-winning cream ale is crisp and dry with notes of cucumber.  Basically, a perfect summer beer!

Assistant General Manger, Chris, told to us that the brewmasters Jamie Bishop and Larry Stock have become more experimental with their beers since they acquired the additional space down the street that houses 20 additional barrels.  According to Chris, asking him to name his favorite beer is like asking a parent to name their favorite child.  However, at the time of our visit, his current favorite brew was Zoe.

Brewmaster Jamie works with a local artist to create unique badges for each new beer.

If you really enjoy your beer, hopefully it is one of five that are sold in cans.  Kold One, Cucumber Blessings, Hubar I DIPA, Grocery Getter and Northwest Territory Imperial are their five beers that you can find in stores like Whole Foods, some local beer distributors and even Grand Central Station.  Otherwise, you can purchase some on your way out of the restaurant to take home with you (along with some of their home homemade sauces made with their beer).

Stop by The Mill House Brewing Company for a delicious meal and a cold brew (or flight)!

The Details:

Mill House Brewing Company
289 Mill Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 485-2739

Website: www.millhousebrewing.com

Hours: Monday – Thursday 11:30 AM – 9 PM, Friday 11:30 AM – 10:30 PM, Saturday 11 AM – 10:30 PM, Sunday Brunch 11 AM – 3 PM, Sunday Dinner 3 PM – 9 PM

A Day of Contemporary Art at Dia: Beacon

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Dia:Beacon for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Dia:Beacon opened in 2003, bringing a significant collection of contemporary art to the Hudson Valley.   Housed in a former Nabisco box-printing factory, this art museum has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a short walk from the Beacon train station, and on weekends it is filled with visitors traveling up from the city.    NY Foodie Family visited Dia:Beacon a couple of years ago.  However, our most recent trip was a day date, sans kids, and proved to be an entirely different experience! My husband and I were able to view the exhibits at a much more relaxed pace.

Artist Dan Flavin is well-known for his work with florescent lights.  He has several works on view at the museum, but untitled is one of my faves.

Another interesting display is On Kawara’s Today series.  The paintings were completed on the date depicted on the surface in the language and date format of the country where the artist was at the time.

The art at Dia:Beacon is not just paintings that you see on the wall.  There are exhibits on the ground like Robert Smithson’s Map of Broken Glass.

You can walk on a set path through Francois Morellet’s No End Neon on the bottom floor of the museum.  You can also walk inside Richard Serra’s series of Torqued Ellipses exhibition. On nice days, you can walk out to the gardens designed by artist Robert Irwin.

 

The museum is large and you can spend a couple of hours looking at the exhibits. I’m going to be honest, some of the exhibits perplexed me.  Strands of yarn, different shaped holes in the ground, a pile of rubber……please don’t ask me to explain or understand it.  But, it’s all definitely interesting to look at!  Many of the pieces are on long-term view at the museum.  However, they also continuously bring in new exhibits.

After visiting Dia:Beacon, I highly recommend traveling into the town of Beacon.  There are lots of great restaurants, shops and the Hudson Valley Brewery, which are all a short drive away.

The Details:
Dia: Beacon
3 Beekman  Street
Beacon, NY

Hours:  January – March, Friday – Monday 11 AM – 4 PM,  April – October, Thursday – Monday 11 AM – 6 PM, November-December, Thursday – Monday 11 AM – 4 PM

Parking:  Free parking

Admission: $15/adult, $12/students and seniors, Free/children 12 and under and members

Additional Info:

*There is a cafe and bookstore/gift shop onsite.

*Public tours are given on Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 PM and 2 PM, free with admission.

*The museum is a short walk from the Beacon train station.

*On the last Sundays of the month Hudson Valley residents receive free admission with proof of residence.  City of Beacon residents, as well as residents of the adjoining communities of Fishkill, Glenham and Chelsea receive free admission every Saturday and Sunday.

Enjoying Locally Made Spirits at the Taconic Distillery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and the Taconic Distillery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Distillation is the process of selectively boiling and condensing a liquid to separate the components, in this particular case, the alcohol. The Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail currently has three distilleries.  The first one that we visited is the Taconic Distillery located in Stanfordville, NY.  The Distillery was established in 2013, originally known as the Millbrook Distillery.

Driving up to the Distillery, the first thing you notice is the giant dog on the side of the building.  This is an image of Copper, the owner’s beloved dog who passed away.  It is also Taconic Distillery’s logo and is found on everything from its bourbon and whiskey bottles to the tasting glasses and stickers.

Taconic Distillery’s founder, Paul Coughlin, is a big hunting fan and lover of the outdoors.  The decor of the tasting room reflects this love.  The wood lined walls and leather furnishings give the space a rustic and cozy feel.

My husband, the spirits drinker, enjoyed a tasting at the Taconic Distillery.  We asked the bartender for her recommendations.  She started him off with the Dutchess Private Reserve, a 90 proof straight bourbon whiskey.

Next, he had the 90 proof Founder’s Rye Whiskey.  He finished with her favorite, the 115 proof Barrel Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The bourbon and ryes are made onsite and after the tasting, our server took us into the back so we could see the actual distillery. To be considered NY state grown, 75% of the ingredients used must be made in New York.  Taconic’s products are 100% New York state sourced, from the grains to the spring water.  The Distillery performs their bottling every Tuesday.  As a small-run operation, bottling is an all-hands-on-deck affair.   Although the operation is small, their products are available in liquor stores in 12 states.

The spirits are stored in barrels to age.  The maple syrup that they produce from their nearby farm, Rolling Hills Farm, is also aged in their barrels.

While the Taconic Distillery doesn’t serve food, they do have a carry-in/carry-out policy.  There is plenty of outdoor seating, including a lovely fire pit, and a grill is available for public use.  Who could say no to enjoying a cocktail with this view?!

The Details:

Taconic Distillery
179 Bowen Road
Stanfordville, NY 12584
(845) 393-4583

Website: https://www.taconicdistillery.com

Tasting Room Hours: Saturday 12 PM – 6 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 5 PM, Closed in January

Tasting Price:  $15 for 3 tastings of your choice and a souvenir glass or $8 for a cocktail

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Milbrook Vineyards & Winery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is one of four wineries in Dutchess County.  This was the only winery stop on our recent Craft Beverage Trail visit.  I have to be honest, my husband and I are not regularly wine drinkers and have not visited many wineries.  However, I can see why the Millbrook Vineyards & Winery has been voted “Best Winery” in the Hudson Valley.

As you drive up to the winery, you pass some of the 30-acres of vineyards, as Millbrook grows most of their own grapes.  You can even take a tour of the vineyard and learn all about their grape growing and wine making process.

Because we had so many stops that day, we were limited on time and visited the winery for a tasting only. I was impressed by the elegance of the tasting room.  The tastings are held in a restored 1940’s Dutch style barn, which is bright with two different bar areas.

Millbrook offers two tasting options.  The portfolio tasting, which we enjoyed, includes a cross-section of six wines as well as an olive oil tasting at the end.  Reservations are not required, but space is limited. The winery also offers a reserve tasting, which includes the “upper tier” of their wine portfolio.  Reservations are required for the reserve tasting.

We arrived at the 12 PM opening and, during our tasting, the entire bar was filled with approximately 12 guests.  Since I was the designated driver for the day, only my husband participated in the wine tasting.  The tasting started with white wines and ended with red.  The first wine was a 2017 Hunt Country White. This is a table wine and the lightest and sweetest they offer.  It is also one of Millbrook’s most popular wines and was my husband’s favorite as well.  The next wine was a 2017 Tocai Fritulano Proprietor’s Special Reserve.

We then sampled a 2017 Dry Riesling Proprietor’s Special Reserve. This is produced Mosel-style, in a green bottle. Keeping wine in green bottles helps prevent oxidation, which can make wine taste dull or vinegary.

A 2016 Chardonnay was next.  Several restaurants in the Hudson Valley serve this wine.  Then the reds were served which included a 2016 Pinot Noir. Of the two red wines sampled, this one was my husband’s favorite.

The tasting ended with the Hunt County Red.  All of the featured wines are available to purchase by the glass, bottle and/or case.

 

The winery has made many award-winning wines and the ribbons and medals are proudly on display in the wine shop area.  There are also other locally made products available for purchase.

The winery is beautiful and is set up for guests to stay and enjoy the afternoon.  There is an approximately one mile vineyard walking trail.  The route leads through the vineyards up to the top of the estate.

The vineyard also has a volleyball net and corn hole boards set up in the front of the winery as well as plenty of seats for those that just want to sit back and relax.

The Vineyard Grille is located next to the winery. The tented outdoor space is open on the weekends and serves burgers, sandwiches, salads and more from local catering and gourmet shop, Slammin’ Salmon. Everything is reasonably priced from $8-$15 dollars.

There are several ponds on the property as well, which help create a tranquil environment. Throughout the summer, the winery hosts several different events including Friday Night Food Trucks and Jazz at the Grille Concerts on Saturday evenings.   Millbrook Vineyards & Winery is a beautiful location here in the Hudson Valley.  If you are looking to visit a local winery, we highly recommend stopping here.

The Details:

Millbrook Vineyards & Winery
26 Wing Road
Millbrook, NY 12545
(800) 662-WINE or (845) 677-8383
Website:  www.Millbrookwine.com

Hours:  Open daily 12 PM – 6 PM, Saturdays 12 PM – 7 PM

Prices:  Portfolio Tasting – $12.50/person (includes a souvenir wine glass)
Portfolio Tasting and Tour – $15.00/person
Reserve Tasting – $25.00/person (includes souvenir wine glass)
Reserve Tasting and Tour – $27.50/person

 

A Visit to Blue Collar Brewery {Dutchess Craft Beverage Trail}

(Thank you to Dutchess Tourism and Blue Collar Brewery for hosting NY Foodie Family.  As always, all opinions are our own.)

In November 2014, Blue Collar Brewery opened on Cottage Street in Poughkeepsie, NY. The brewery epitomizes the concept of a small family business, with a small operation including father-son partners, Kevin and Randall.

Brewing has been a part of the Marquis family, long before Brew Collar Brewery opened. Kevin Marquis is a former Physical Therapist and was brewing at home since the 80’s.  Having a father interested in brewing meant Randall grew up in the craft beer world.  Childhood vacations always included stops at different breweries. Randall went away to college in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  While at college, he even spent some time working at one of the pour houses at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, before returning back to Poughkeepsie.  He is now a professional brewer, with credentials from the University of California Davis.

The brewery is located in what was a former factory dating back to the late 1800’s.  Before housing Blue Collar Brewery, the building was previously a garment factory, a meat packing factory and, most recently, a storage facility for a paper company. With assistance from the city of Poughkeepsie, the Marquises located the building, which was not in the best condition.  The father-son team did a lot of the renovations themselves to get the building to its current state.

We visited Blue Collar Brewery on a sunny, summer Saturday afternoon.  During our visit, there was a family with children eating in the dining room.  However, the majority of the crowd was comprised of singles, friends and couples of all ages, both at the bar and sitting in the dining area.

Although we didn’t eat here, the menu has a variety of offerings.  Cleverly categorized into “shifts”, the brewery serves appetizers and a variety of burgers, sandwiches, wraps and other finger foods.  The offerings are reasonably priced and there are plenty of kid-friendly options.

But, of course, this is a brewery and you want to know about the beer!  As you walk from the entrance into the dining area and bar, you pass the brewery, located in the basement level below.  Blue Collar Brewery is always changing the brews that they offer.  Since opening the brewery in late 2014, they have offered 40 different brews.  They always have 5-7 brews on tap, direct from the cold room downstairs.  You will always find the Cream Ale and IPA #8 on tap, as these are the most “mainstream” people-pleasers. However, the Marquises are always creating new experimental batches and one-offs (beers that are only made once), so you’ll never know what you may find on tap on your visit.

On our visit, my husband had a flight that included the five beers on the brewery’s draft list and a bonus.  Pictured (from right to left) is the Cream Ale, IPA #8, Irish Red Ale, Dry Irish Stout and the Pilsner.  The last beer on the left is a Saison, not listed on the printed menu.  You can sample five (5oz.) beers as a flight for only $12.  Of the six that he tried, my husband’s favorite was the Irish Red Ale. This is in line with the best sellers, which are the Irish Red Ale and the IPA.  While Randall’s favorite draft is constantly changing, at the time of our visit he was favoring the pilsner.

For those that may not prefer beer, the brewery also serves cider and wine, most of which are also made locally in the Hudson Valley.

A visit to Blue Collar Brewery is highly recommended. The brewery got its name from the “Blue Collar” atmosphere that Kevin and Randall wanted to create.  They wanted “a gathering place free of pretension, where American craft products can be enjoyed.” And I think they did just that.  The brewery is very casual and has a laid-back vibe.  You can sit at the bar and watch your favorite sports team on one of the many large screens.  Or you can relax at a table in the dining room.  Regardless, Randall is a superb and gracious host and treats every guest like a friend.  He has such a warm vibe and converses easily with all the patrons.  During our visit, Kevin was mostly on the floor, making sure all the dining room guests were taken care of.  He was super-attentive and always on the move.  They make a great team.  You can tell that the two are rightfully proud of the business that they have created.  NY Foodie Family wishes them much continued success!

The Details:
Blue Collar Brewery
40 Cottage Street
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
(845) 454-BREW

Parking:  Street parking is available in front of the brewery.  There is also a small parking lot next to the brewery.

Hours:  Monday – Thursday 3- 10 PM, Friday & Saturday 12 PM – 11 PM, Sunday 12 PM – 10 PM