Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul takes tour of Roscoe Beer Company

Written by TroutTown

Oct 20, 2017

By Rich Klein – reporter/photographer

By: Rich Klein | DemocratLt. Governor Kathy Hochul at Roscoe Beer Company on Wednesday

ROSCOE – Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul toured the Roscoe Beer Company Tuesday afternoon with brewmaster Josh Hughes, in a visit that was prompted by the brewery earning a tie for the top prize at the Taste New York Inaugural Craft Beer Challenge held in May. New York is now home to approximately 321 microbreweries, farm breweries, and restaurant breweries, up from only 50 total breweries in 2011, according to Governor Cuomo.
Hughes, who is also head of operations, told Hochul about how the business launched in 2013 when it was splitting its building with an electronics company before it later occupied the entire space.
“We are very much a seasonal, tourist-type town with many second homeowners but our weekends are always busy (beyond summer months),” Hughes said, noting that this is a year-round destination. He added that they recently added its beer garden to accommodate overflow crowds (The brewery also this year opened an outpost at Liberty’s Downtown Barn).

“People that come in want to come back,” Hughes told Hochul. “We want to create a quality experience for people because it’s not just about experiencing us it’s about experiencing the area.” He also credited year-round locals for their patronage and support of the business.
Hughes showed the Lieutenant Governor the high tech machines in explaining the brewing and distribution process. Near the end of the process he said its bottling line machine can fill “1,800 to 2,000 bottles an hour.”
When asked by Hochul about distribution, Hughes said they distribute to 14 counties throughout the state.
“We found that shifting local (after initially distributing outside New York) helped us to strengthen. Our customer base is primarily local.. so we tailored our sales network much closer to home. He said the brewery’s products are now old at about 750 locations, which clearly impressed Hochul. “We play a good game for a small brewery,” Hughes said. “It’s exciting to know we are making waves in the industry. “
Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potesek, who attended the tour, said: “They (Roscoe Beer Company) have done a great job in Roscoe. I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Asked how the county helps small businesses like Roscoe Beer, Potosek said: “We got the big fish in the casino but our day to day jobs are helping businesses like this with revolving loans or helping them apply for grant funds.” He pointed that the County’s Planning Department, Industrial Development Agency, the Partnership for Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce along with local business associations all play a role in helping small businesses across the county.
Town of Rockland Supervisor Robert Eggleton, also on hand, said people are increasingly realizing that the Sullivan County Catskills are a great destination regardless of a resort/casino coming in March 2018. Part of the appeal of Roscoe, he said, is that people can easily walk to the various attractions and to its business district.
On her tour of the Roscoe Beer Company, Lieutenant Governor Hochul said, “Governor Cuomo has made it a top priority to make it easier than ever for breweries and wineries to sell and promote their products across the state, and that has allowed some of our smaller upstate cities and towns to flourish. The Roscoe Beer Company, a Taste NY favorite, is a great example of this success.” 

The best eating and drinking in the Catskills

Written by TroutTown

Great food and drink is easy to find in the Catskills, if you know where to look. We shed some light on our favorite diners, cider, upscale dining and more.

Time Out in association with Visit the Catskills Posted: Friday August 25 2017
Natalie Chitwood

Yeah, you can get any cuisine you want in the city—but if you crave your food just-picked fresh, it’s worth driving the two or three hours to where it’s grown. The Catskills have long been known for family farms, roadside farmstands and loads of classic diners. Now inventive new restaurants showcase homestyle tastes too. In the past few years, chefs have opened notable spots featuring the Catskills’ seasonal fare such as squash in the fall and maple syrup in early spring. The drink scene is expanding as well, branching out to include more and more craft beers and distinctly New York takes on beverages like cider, gin and absinthe. Whether you find yourself perched in a booth, at a banquette or on a barstool, you’ll definitely be satisfied with the Catskill fare.



Brandenburg Bakery

A husband-and-wife team bake up traditional German pastries like butter cake from heirloom recipes at Bradenburg Bakery. They sell espresso, artisan chocolates and local honey.



Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room

A restored farmhouse in the town of Big Indian now hosts, appropriately, a farm-to-table restaurant. Local produce like celeriac and lacinato kale often pop up on the menu at Peekamoose Restaurant & Tap Room along with hearty mains like leg of lamb or rainbow trout.



Wayside Cider

The young guy-girl pair behind Wayside Cider started to gather up wild, heirloom and dessert apples around the Delaware County town of Andes back in 2014. The incredible Catskill cider that results creates a unique new cider that bucks the current trend of European-inspired ciders.



Spruceton Inn

Bed and breakfasts might not conjure up too much excitement, but the Spruceton Inn in West Kill describes itself as a “bed and bar,” which immediately has our attention. Owned and operated by a husband and wife duo, this nine-room inn boasts a long history. Crack open a brew and sip it by the fire while hearing more tales of the inn’s historic past.



Prohibition Distillery

In Roscoe, the birthplace of American fly fishing, several guys’-guy distillers took over the town’s handsome brick 1929 firehouse a few years back to open Prohibition Distillery. They now make robust Bootlegger vodka, gin, and whiskey for inclusion in cocktails like a Catskill Manhattan—and all within two hours of the city!



Sweet Sue’s

This homey breakfast-and-beyond café, a Phoenicia standard since 1984, offers what may be the best stack of pancakes in the Catskills. Other faves at Sweet Sue’s include the poppyseed-swirl French toast.



Roscoe Beer Co.

This new 1,600-square-foot timber-frame brewery and tasting room has a rough-and-tumble mountain feel, with fish and game mounted on the walls. Roscoe Beer Co. brews like Trout Town Logger, a Bohemian-style lager, evoke the great outdoors, too.




A rambling Woodstock farmhouse is now home to a warm, modern Italian restaurant. Plunk down at a 24-seat communal table and feast on dishes like pork scallopini in true famiglia-style at Cucina.



Northern Farmhouse Pasta

This scrupulously authentic family-owned Italian shop in Roscoe makes special homemade pasta varieties like garginelli and squid-ink fettucine. They stuff their ravioli with seasonal ingredients like garlic scapes or zucchini blossoms. Northern Farmhouse Pasta is also the first to use 100 percent New York-grown wheat, keeping things as local as possible. For a real Italian fix, twice per week the shop turns into a restaurant where guests can sample the pastas in a rustic farmhouse setting.



The Bull & Garland

The Bull & Garland, a British-inspired gastropub in Hobart serves up all the pub classics (Scotch eggs, hanger steak, maple sticky-toffee pudding) but with modern updates and local touches (like a Ceasar salad with quail egg). It’s all set in an understated white country inn, with picnic tables and strands of white lights out back.

Victoria’s Secrets: Rocking out at Bethel Woods

Written by TroutTown

By Victoria Schneps / / Sunday, August 6, 2017 / 9:00 AM

After visiting day at Tyler Hill Camp with my grandchildren, I spent the weekend with my friend Linda DeSabato at her getaway in the Catskills near the camp and to see the concerts at Bethel Woods. It was a weekend with a perfect combination of love and friendship.

Waiting for me at the Tyler Hill gates was my dear friend Linda, who has a home perched on Lake Wanaksink in Rock Hill. She had dropped me off for visiting day and in between, we were off with our friend Marge McGowan to Bethel Woods for concerts Friday and Saturday nights.

Linda’s family has roots in the area, a bus company, Big V Entertainment and an interest in the Roscoe NY Beer Co., producing craft beers in what is considered Trout Town because of the many streams and lakes that has turned the town into a mecca for fishermen.

The beer is sold on the East Coast and is worth looking for at your local beer distributor. Linda’s sister-in-law created Creekside Cabins along a pristine stream on their hundreds of acres of lush property for a getaway for fishermen and hunters.

I also visited their “Prohibition Distillery.” It’s a cafe and store that sells the gin, vodka and bourbon that they make on their Roscoe premises. At the cafe, I ordered their aged deli meats and assorted cheeses served with a warm baguette to eat with my ginger and vodka drink while listening to the music of a rock band. Make a trip to Roscoe and enjoy these great discoveries. It’s only about an hour and half from the city.

Another landmark in the area is Bethel Woods, which was built on the famous site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival. The festival had been planned for Woodstock but because the town had forbidden them from holding it there, the organizers were desperate and found a farmer, Max Yasgur, who allowed them to use his property in Bethel. And, as they say, the rest is history!

Linda’s family has season tickets and her brother, Phil Vallone, for decades has had a seat on the board of the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts for decades. We were fortunate to sit in a center stage box where we ate dinner in our seats, served by attentive waitresses.

Friday night, I was in awe of the performances of music legends Cyndi Lauper and Rod Stewart. Their spectacular, nostalgic performance brought back many of my all-time favorite songs — Stewart’s “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” and “Forever Young,” and Lauper’s “Time after Time,” “True Colors” and, of course, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun!”

I hadn’t realized that Cyndi Lauper has encouraged the use of her song, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” adapting the last word to be FUN-DAMENTAL RIGHTS! Pictures appeared on the gigantic screens behind Lauper to show women and girls marching for women’s rights, carrying signs from her lyrics.

Stewart, a Grammy winner, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has sold more than 200 million records in his 50 years of performing, but he has seen pain, too. He suffered from thyroid cancer and had to learn to sing again.

I love his quote, “You go through life wondering what it is all about, but at the end of the day, it’s all about family.” Amen.

New York Craft Beer Competition and Governor’s Excelsior Cup Results

Written by TroutTown

Contact Email : | Paul Leone

In its 1st year, the 2017 New York State Craft Beer competition awarded 63 medals to some of the best craft beers in New York State, plus awarded the 1st ever Governor’s Excelsior Cup to the brewery who was voted to have the best beer in the State.

Overview: New York State Craft Beer Competition

The competition took place in Rochester NY on Saturday, July 29th where gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded to winning breweries in 20 beer categories covering 40 different beer styles (including all subcategories), establishing the best examples of each style in the state. Gold medals were not awarded in 2 categories, and multiple medals were awarded in categories where there was a statistical tie.

Winners were chosen from 707 competition entries from 143 breweries making this the largest beer competition in New York State and the second largest state competition in the country (behind California).

The competition drew a panel of 40 professional beer judges and beer experts from across the state judging all 707 entries. 243 passed the qualification rounds and were judged in the scoring rounds to produce the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners. The 19 Gold medal winners went into the championship round, and after 2 elimination rounds the top 5 went head to head for the Governor’s Excelsior Cup and best beer in New York State.

Overall Competition Highlights

Governor’s Excelsior Cup was awarded to Threes Brewing (Brooklyn) for their Vliet Pilsner
Most medals won:
Three (3) medals were won by War Horse Brewing, Geneva NY (1 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
Two (2) medals were won by 16 breweries
Style Categories

In its first year, the most-entered category was American-Style India Pale Ale (IPA), which saw 88 entries. The top five entered categories were:

Fruit and Spice Beer (66 entries)
Porter, Stout, Brown Ale (62 entries)
American Style Double India Pale Ale (51 entries)
Golden/Blonde Ale (48 entries)
Wheat Beer – American, Wit Hefe (39 entries)
Summary: 2017 New York Craft Brewers Competition and Governor’s Excelsior Cup

1st year
354 Breweries in New York State
707 beers entered
45 medal-winning breweries
63 total medals awarded
20 style categories judged, plus Governor’s Excelsior Cup
40 judges from across NYS
Category with highest number of entries: American-Style India Pale Ale: 88

Find the list of all winners here – Click here.

Local Brewery is a Centerpiece of State’s Craft-Beer Boom

Written by TroutTown

By Daniel Axelrod | Business Reporter | Times Herald-Record

Posted Jun 19, 2017 at 6:07 PM
Updated Jun 20, 2017 at 4:18 PM

ROSCOE – The Vallone and the Fettig families founded the Roscoe Beer Company in 2012 to honor a hallowed trout-fishing hamlet where time and troubles drift like dry flies cast among cold creek bubbles.

Five years later, the brewery is celebrating its recent first-place tie out of the 170-plus New York breweries that competed in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge.

That honor, shared with Cooperstown’s Brewery Ommegang, makes Roscoe a taste leader amid a boom that’s grown New York’s craft brewery total 542 percent, to 321 from 50 just since Cuomo’s 2011 inauguration.

The governor has successfully championed grants, new laws and tax breaks to incentivize and deregulate craft alcohol manufacturing and sales, while growing the number of breweries, distilleries and cideries to more than 900 and creating thousands of jobs.

New York’s 321 craft breweries are now the fourth most among the 50 states, as other forms of craft alcohol manufacturing – particularly farm-to-bottle or farm- based alcohol makers – have benefited.

Since 2011, the totals have dramatically increased for hard cideries (to 24 from five, plus another 34 on farms), farm distilleries (to 114 from 10), micro-distillers (to 49 from 12) and wineries (to 419 from 247).

New York’s breweries have led the way, and their increase also reflects a national trend. As consumers have sought more flavor and variety, America’s brewery total has risen to more than 5,300 today from 82 in 1981.

“We got to a point in America where 98 percent of what was produced was yellow beer,” said Fred Matt, president of the New York State Brewers Association and leader of the family company behind Saranac Brewery.

“That’s not to take anything away from big guys, because they’re very good brewers to make beer that thin and consistent day in and day out.”

“But it just got to the point that beer wasn’t very flavorful. I’d have to give the nod to Gov. Cuomo, because he’s made New York very business-friendly when it comes to brewing.”

New York’s craft beer sales exceeded $500 million in 2015, with 11,366 full-time employees and a $4 billion statewide economic impact, according to the state brewing association’s most recent data.

Top suds

Cuomo’s new beer-tasting contest is helping to promote all the new local breweries.

After the Roscoe Beer Co.’s win, “It’s been another level of pride” in the hamlet, said Phil Vallone, 57, who co-owns the brewery with his wife, Donna, his sister Linda DeSabato and other family.

“We have a saying around town, ‘We’re Trout-Town proud,’ and this is another feather in the cap.”

In the fly fishing masterpiece “A River Runs Through It,” Norman Maclean wrote that good things like trout, “came by grace; and grace comes by art; and art does not come easy.”

Roscoe Beer Co. head brewer Josh “Kid” Hughes’ artfully crafted two-headed stout, a name which plays on a local legend about a two-headed trout, also didn’t come easily.

Beginning with a 2009 home-brew recipe, Hughes, 29, spent six years tweaking brewing temperatures and the fermentation process, from tank time to oxygen, yeast and carbonation levels.

With all its heavily roasted barley, the 8 percent alcohol brew could have been too strong and bitter. Instead, the competition’s judges loved the stout’s oat and barley balance, which provides a creamy, dark chocolate and coffee-like character.

After a screening round with more than 42,000 online voters in the recent statewide beer contest, the Roscoe Beer Co. reached the tasting round alongside Rochester’s Genesee Brewing Company, Auburn’s Prison City Pub and Brewery and Lakewood’s Southern Tier Brewing Company.

Each finalist presented one signature beer to a judging panel, including celebrity chef Mario Batali, former NFL star Thurman Thomas and beer experts.

“We decided we were either going to go bold or go home, so we selected our biggest, boldest beer, and we submitted it because it’s been an in-house favorite for awhile now,” Hughes said.

Besides creative beers, visitors to Roscoe and New York’s craft breweries come for fun atmospheres and events celebrating everything from collectible cars to singer-songwriters.

Inside Roscoe Beer Co.’s hunting lodge-themed tasting room, there’s a trout tank, an automatic beer-dispensing tap wall and a friendly bartender.

Outside, there’s a beer garden and Sullivan County legislator Mark McCarthy’s Hog Heaven BBQ stand, with his “Griller” dish – chicken or pork, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts and tomatoes baked atop a thin, crispy burrito shell.

On a recent afternoon in Trout Town, B.J. and Tina Lowther of Galeton were devouring a Griller near the brewery’s bar and sipping a hoppy ale called “Darwin’s Theory.”
They’ve made the Roscoe Beer Co. a regular stop whenever they come here to fish.

B.J. has a tattoo of a brook trout on the underside of his left forearm and one of a mayfly on his wrist with the words: “Do it while you can.”

“We can’t live anywhere there isn’t trout,” Tina said.

“Beer always tastes better after a long day of fishing,” B.J. added.

Statewide impact

With its beer, food and festivals, the brewery is an economic driver that gives back to the community through charitable acts, creating jobs and attracting visitors, said Vallone, who’s also known for owning the Rolling V passenger bus company.

That’s exactly what Cuomo hoped would happen with local breweries and other craft alcohol makers when he reduced restrictions on them by pushing the 2012 Farm Brewery Law and the 2014 Craft New York Act, said State Liquor Authority Chairman Vincent Bradley.

The laws have turned craft alcohol makers into tourist attractions by letting them host tastings and sell by the bottle or glass.

A new license for farm brewers bolstered a whole new business category.

Craft alcohol manufacturers can find followers by selling at festivals and farmers’ markets. They can release new brands without label fees. And Cuomo has offered funds to help the companies with marketing.

“The governor recognized from the beginning the value that craft producers have in this state, not just for the alcohol industry but for tourism,” Bradley said.

“Breweries are consistently opening across the state. It’s not just a New York City impact, it’s not a Buffalo impact.”

Taste New York Craft Beer Challenge: The Winners Are…

Written by TroutTown

NEW YORK CITY — A first-of-its-kind contest to name New York state’s best brewery ended Wednesday in a tie.
The Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge awarded its top prize to both Brewery Ommegang of Cooperstown and Roscoe Beer Co. (Trout Town) of Roscoe.

Five finalists had been chosen to enter today’s judging through an online poll conducted in the first two weeks of May. The finalists were invited to bring one beer each — a signature brew — to the tasting held near Battery Park in Manhattan.

Ommegang brought its Three Philosophers Quadrupel, a strong and dark Belgian ale that is blended witk a Belgian cherry beer called kriek. Roscoe’s entry was its Two Headed Stout, a strong (8 percent alcohol) and dark, robust stout.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo initiated the Craft Beer Challenge, through the state’s Taste NY program, to call attention to the booming craft beer industry in New York. New York state now has more than 300 breweries, up from about 100 five years ago.

The other three finalists in the challenge were Genesee Brewing Co. of Rochester, Southern Tier Brewing Co. of Lakewood (near Jamestown) and Prison City Pub & Brewery of Auburn.

“The Taste NY challenge was a great way to shine a light on the incredible craft beer industry in NYS,” Paul Leone, executive director of the New York State Brewers Association said in a text message from the judging. “Congratulations to Roscoe and Ommegang for winning this inaugural event, a huge thank you to Governor Cuomo for his continued support by creating this annual event.”

Judges for the final contest included celebrity chef Mario Batali, former Buffalo Bills star Thurman Thomas and several beer writers and other authorities.

By Don Cazentre | |
on May 17, 2017 at 6:43 PM, updated May 17, 2017 at 6:51 PM

Beat The Winter Blues With Trout Town’s Winterfest!

Written by TroutTown

Roscoe, NY (01/13/2017); Roscoe, NY could just be the place to cure your cabin fever. The Roscoe NY Beer Co, home of the Trout TownTM hand-craft beers in Roscoe, NY, will be hosting their second annual Trout Town Winter Festival on January 28th,
2017. Trout Town Winter Fest is a great way to get out and get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of Winter in the Catskills with family and friends. A day filled with fun, Roscoe Beer Company’s annual events have gained much popularity with every age group across the states.
It’s perfect for a quick weekend getaway from the city with family or friends, the ultimate destination to travel to when you need to let go of all of life’s worries and find some peace far enough, yet close enough. Try shopping at craft stores, antique shops, sporting good stores, and gift shops all which have something for everyone. From fishing, farm to table dining, historic music venues and breathtaking scenic views, Roscoe has every reason to escape the rapid commotion of NYC for a moment. Including the World Famous Roscoe Diner, which just was titled the Best Diner in New York. The Rockland House which provides exceptional food in which you won’t be disappointed, is worth checking out next door for dinner after the festival! The second annual Trout Town Winterfest is the perfect highlight for your weekend getaway.
The fun all begins at 12pm and will be happening at the brewery, 145 Rockland Road, Roscoe, NY. This year’s festival will be marked by the release of their winter specialty brews that are always highly anticipated. There will also be live music by Peter Florance and the New Kings featuring Albi Beluli, games, plenty of fun contests for all, plus a large bonfire and hot coco after the main event winds down. The special beer release

will consist of Bourbon Barrel Aged Breaking Point Barley Wine and Whittle Wee-Heavy. Both will be available for purchase by the bottle or 4packs with a limited quantity.
Make sure to get there early to sign up for the horse drawn carriage rides! Each ride will be enjoyed as the beautiful horses bring you through the Catskill Countryside. You can also partake in snow shoeing, tug of war along with a competition for the best snowman. Adults as well as the children will enjoy the activities going on, you will just have to choose which one to do first! A shuttle will also be offered for guests to be driven into the town’s skating rink! Gather around the fire pit with friends to warm up and enjoy one of the several Trout Town Craft Beers on tap at the brewery along with the exciting popular specialty releases.
No snow? No problem! If mother nature doesn’t cooperate, have no worries, Roscoe Beer Company has plenty of actives lined up. Winterfest will include many non-weather- related activities.
The party will continue inside the brewery after the festival outside winds down. Live music will continue inside with Sam Haiman performing. So you can grab a seat by the fire place or sit by the bar with friends and enjoy the night!

Make sure to RSVP on Roscoe Beer Company’s Facebook events page. To get the most up-to-date information about The Roscoe NY Beer Company, and please check out their website

Where the Beers Are: A Regional Guide to U.S. Craft Brews

Written by TroutTown

Offerings from smaller breweries are so vast and varied it’s hard to know where to begin. A guide to 21 top beers that deliver an intriguing taste of place

By William Bostwick
Dec. 22, 2016 11:38 a.m. ET
ON ALBUQUERQUE’S industrial northern fringe, down a side street flanked by auto-parts stores, I found the wellspring of American beer. I’d been traveling; I was parched. What I discovered rewrote my understanding of American beer.

The brewery was La Cumbre, the beer was a Scotch ale. A traditional Scottish beer, served on cask, 5,000 miles from Edinburgh? It was a taste of how deliciously unpredictable…Read More Here.