Spring has Sprung so Get Outdoors! -- May 2015

Farm Based Beverages on the Rise in the Finger Lakes

Wine isn’t the only high-quality beverage the Finger Lakes have to offer. The farm-based beverage industry is booming in the Finger Lakes; craft breweries, distilleries and cideries can be found throughout the Finger Lakes region and are offering unique and great tasting beverages.

Finger Lakes Distilling got its start when founders Brian McKenzie and Thomas Earl McKenzie (no relation) met at a craft distiller’s conference in 2007. The pair set up shop just north of Watkin Glen on the east side of Seneca Lake and started producing some of the finest whiskey, gin, vodka, brandy and liqueurs the region has to offer.

Finger Lakes Distilling is not the only craft distiller in the region however; Black Button Distilling and Myer Farm Distillers also produce high quality spirits using ingredients found within the Finger Lakes.

Black Button Distilling opened up in Rochester less than 2 years ago. They are the only grain-to-glass distillery in Rochester, NY and produce gin, moonshine and vodka. After working in his grandfather’s button factory, Jason Barrett opened up his own distillery, taking into account lessons learned about hard work while in his grandfather’s factory. Black Button Distilling has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the Rochester Business Journal and has announced an expansion, doubling its production, and will be distributing its fine spirits in Michigan in addition to New York.

Myer Farm Distillers goes “from field to flask” growing their own grain to produce a variety of whiskey, gin and vodka. Farming has been in the Myer family since 1810, working the land Myer Farm sits on today since 1868. In 2012, brothers Joe and John Myer combined their extensive knowledge of farming with their other skills and started producing spirits.

Craft breweries have an even stronger showing in the Finger Lakes Region. Many of these craft breweries, not unlike the distilleries in the area, focus on producing small batches of high-quality beverage using locally grown ingredients.

CB Craft Brewers started small over 16 years ago and has gradually grown ever since. In 2011, they opened up their own brew pub at the same location as their distillery, called the Pint & Goblet Tavern. CB Craft brewers keeps 26 beers on tap at all time in their tasting room.

Nedloh Brewing pays homage to this region’s history of hops growing; they opened a hops museum, on the same property as their brewery, to put on display the days when New York produced over 90% of the nation’s hops. Beer brewing started as a hobby for husband and wife Nate and Josie Holden but as they refined their skill they realized the potential to sell their craft beverages and opened up Nedloh Brewing in Bloomfield.

The Finger Lakes Beer Trail organizes the many breweries of the region to make it easier for visitors to plan their next beer tasting in the Finger Lakes region.

1911 Tasting Room at Apple Hill Campus produces hard cider as well as vodka and gin and Beak and Skiff Apple Hill Campus farms apples and produces cider, both are located just south of Syracuse in Lafayette. They care for each tree in the Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard, ensuring their beverages are made with the finest ingredients. Their personal touch continues throughout the production process leading to a top-quality beverage.

Finger Lakes wine continues to grow in popularity and quality in the Finger Lakes but the rest of the farm based beverage industry continues to prove their worth in this region as well. With new distilleries, cideries and breweries popping up all over the region, there is probably one nearby and they will certainly not disappoint. Visit our Breweries, Cideries & Distilleries page for more information.


As Fresh as it Gets – U-Pick Farms and Farmers Markets

Agriculture is at the very foundation of what is great about the Finger Lakes. Many of the farms in the Finger Lakes give visitors first hand access to their produce, allowing you to pick fruit yourself or purchase their product soon after harvest at one of the many local farmers markets found throughout the Finger Lakes.

The Ithaca Farmers Market is one of the largest and most impressive farmers markets in the region. Featuring five locations throughout Ithaca, you can find everything from fresh fruit to flowers to local crafts. Open rain or shine through most of the year, over 100 vendors display their goods at the Ithaca Farmers Market.

At Grisamore Farms you can pick fruit yourself or pick up some in their farm store. They grow a number of fruits including strawberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberries. Located in Locke, Grisamore farms is located between Auburn and Ithaca.

Strawberry Fields Hydroponic Farms may be the most unique u-pick farm in the Finger Lakes. Strawberry Fields Hydroponic Farms grows their strawberries and vegetables by providing all the necessary nutrients in the water rather than in soil, leading to dirt-less growing. This method of farming means the strawberries are ever bearing, meaning they will produce berries from June all the way until the first hard frost.

Whether you’re looking to find the freshest and finest produce available or do so while spending a day with family in one of the u-pick farms in the region you are sure to have a great experience at one of the many agricultural attractions in the Finger Lakes. For a full list of agricultural attractions in the Finger Lakes click here.


Have an Unforgettable Father’s Day in the Finger Lakes

We’re sure your dad would love any of the farm based beverages we mentioned above but the Finger Lakes offers so much more that will bring a smile to dad’s face this June 21.

If your dad loves golf, check out the Finger Lakes Golf Trail. The Finger Lakes Golf Trail provides packages including four different courses and will cater to your needs if they don’t already have a package right for you. For even more golf ideas, you can visit the golf page on our website.

You could also get on the water this Father’s Day for a day of fishing or just to enjoy the water on one of the Finger Lakes. Playin Hookey Charters will take up to four people onto Lake Ontario for a day (or half-day) of fishing. Catch a wide variety of trout and salmon with Captain Aaron Dingy.

If fishing isn’t your thing, you can rent a boat and just relax on the water. Morgan Marine in Penn Yan offers a wide variety of water vessels to take onto Keuka Lake including everything from a canoe or kayak to ski boats. Stivers Seneca Marine offers kayak and paddleboat rentals as well as pontoon and houseboat rentals on Seneca Lake.

If Dad has a need for speed, check out Pole Position Raceway or Watkins Glen International. You can race side-by-side in electric go-karts that can reach 45 mph at Pole Position Raceway, located in Rochester and Syracuse. Watkins Glen International hosts the biggest race series in the United States including IMSA, during the Sahleen’s Six Hours of The Glen (June 25-28) and NASCAR, during the Cheez-It 355TM at The Glen (August 6-9). Or, for $25 you can take your own car around the 3.4 mile road course for three paced laps of this historic race track.

No matter what your dad’s favorite activity is, the guy has got to eat! There are a number of great places to eat throughout the Finger Lakes. Whether he prefers fine dining or a local pub, it is sure to be close by and you can find it at our dining page.


Find Your Style - Shopping in the Finger Lakes

From discount shopping to high fashion, the Finger Lakes region has it all. Find new trends or discover your own style while shopping your way through the Finger Lakes.

Eastview Mall in Victor is best for those seeking upscale fashion. Featuring stores like GUESS, Coach, Vera Bradley and Von Maur, the selection at Eastview Mall is of the highest quality. However, Waterloo Premium Outlets offers a wide selection of brand names at uniquely low prices. Brands like Nike, Puma, Calvin Kline and nearly 100 others offer discounts ranging from 25% to 65%.

Destiny USA in Syracuse offers a mix of great shopping and world class entertainment. Pole Position Raceway, Wonderworks and a number of other attractions are found alongside fantastic shopping options like Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor and Lord & Taylor. East of Destiny USA, you can find the Fingerlakes Mall in Auburn. The Fingerlakes Mall is home to the only Bass Pro Shops in New York.

From fishing gear to high-end name brands, you can find it in the Finger Lakes. It doesn’t matter if you are a visitor or if the Finger Lakes are your backyard, the best brands and best prices can be found in this region of New York. Visit our website for a full list of shopping locations in the Finger Lakes region.


Find a Personalized Touch During Your Next Stay in the Finger Lakes – B&Bs in the Region

If you’re visiting the Finger Lakes, don’t go rushing to the big name hotels and motels, there are a number of top notch bed & breakfasts found throughout the Finger Lakes. Find the comfort of home waiting for you during your next trip to the Finger Lakes. The Finger Lakes region boasts a large selection of B&Bs throughout the area.

Bed & breakfasts offer specialized personal service for their guests. Their unique amenities will make your next trip to the Finger Lakes unforgettable. You can find a list of great Finger Lakes bed & breakfasts here.

You can plan your next trip to the Finger Lakes using FingerLakes.org and even make reservations using Book a Room Now on our Places to Stay page.


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