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 | dcazentre@nyup.com | www.newyorkupstate.com
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 http://www.RoscoeBeerCompany.com

Roscoe Beer Company’s latest brew is the perfect match for this Hunting Season

Written by TroutTown

A True Everyday Drinking Beer for the Great Outdoors

The Roscoe NY Beer Co, home of the Trout Town™ hand-craft beers in Roscoe, NY, is releasing its newest beer, the Trout Town Whitetail Pale Ale. This sessionable beer coming in at only 4.7% ABV, is the fifth beer in the Trout Town™ line-up available in bottles in stores. With the opening of hunting season, the Trout Town Whitetail Pale Ale makes for the perfect match for those long nights on the look-out and times by the camp fire.

Whitetail Pale Ale differentiates itself from the other Trout Town™ beers with its ever so lightly toasted flavor and gentle hop finish which makes it an easy, smooth everyday drinking beer. This beer uses an ultra clean fermenting ale yeast allowing the high quality ingredients to shine. Brew master Josh Hughes is using a light pale ale malt coupled with a variety of lighter kilned malts enhancing the flavor with nice clean notes of toast, but still allowing the beer to be extremely light in both – body and color. The delicate balance of hops consists of both american and european hops, giving the beer a clean smooth flavor.
“We’re excited about our new brew,” explains Josh Hughes, brew master for Roscoe NY Beer Co. and maker of Trout Town™ craft beers. “Craft beer is my passion and from the beginning it’s been our mission at The Roscoe NY Beer Co. to create brews that are unique and something we can believe in. We feel this beer is perfect for all beer lovers. It’s a true ‘everyone’s beer’.”

To honor the bond of the great outdoors and the Roscoe Beer Co, the Whitetail Pale Ale bottle features the story of Sonny’s Buck. Vince “Sonny” Romano from Brooklyn, NY hunted with family and friends in Roscoe, NY through the 1970’s and 80’s.  While unsuccessful in the woods for many years, he justified the time spent by connecting with the great outdoors and being part of a tight knit group at camp. After he overheard a story about a beautiful whitetail buck, roaming  near their hunting camp in Roscoe, his mind was set on meeting up with this creature.  “Sonny’s Buck” completed the journey in 1980 and the rest of the story is part of family lore. So next time you hit the Catskills visit us at the brewery, enjoy an ice-cold Trout Town hand-crafted beer and ask about Sonny’s hunt for the buck that has become legendary. Roscoe Beer Company: NO TALL TALES – JUST GREAT BEER!!!

With an aggressive plan in place, Trout Town™ Whitetail Pale Ale’s distribution will go far beyond its hometown point of sale. Whitetail Pale Ale is available now for a limited time on draft and in 12 oz. six-packs in stores. With the release of the pale ale, our brew will be widely distributed throughout Sullivan, Delaware & Orange Counties, Long Island, the five boroughs of New York City, and the Binghamton area. A partnership with the supermarket chain ShopRite will serve to bring our Trout Town™ Whitetail Pale Ale to all of its Hudson Valley stores. To get the most up-to-date information about The Roscoe NY Beer Company, and please check out their website http://www.RoscoeBeerCompany.com

Beer Release Party – Barrel Aged Two Headed Stout

Written by TroutTown

Wednesday, Nov. 23rd @ 11am
Two bottles per person

Limited Bottles Available – 400 all signed by our brew master Josh Hughes.

This limited release of our Two Headed Stout is extremely robust with strong notes of roasted barley and dark chocolate that are further enhanced by the unique and pleasant characters of Prohibition Distillery’s bourbon barrels. Don’t be scared, this stout is aged with Madagascar vanilla beans making it as smooth and creamy as it is dark, coming in around 10% ABV.

Aged in Prohibition Distillery Bourbon Barrels. Proudly Made in Roscoe, NY.

The Land That Time Forgot

Written by TroutTown

Roscoe, NY is a small town that has at least some significance to most of my family. For my grandfather it was the town where he was born and the town where he is now buried. For my Mother’s generation the Roscoe Diner was where you stopped to eat on the way to or from New York City.

For Mrs. Usedhair and I it was this mysterious land that time forgot. As we would drive past Roscoe cell phone signal was non existent and if you put the radio on seek mode it would run around and around searching for about 10 minutes as you cruised down the road before it could manage to find anything at all.

On our vacation in the Southern Tier of New York we decided to drive out to Long Island for a few days. On the way there we noticed that Roscoe had cell phone signal, radio stations galore, and… A brewery!

Now this is something I had to see. On the trip back we made a point of stopping in. I assumed the sign visible from the highway meant that the brewery would be right by the road as well. So we pulled into downtown Roscoe looking to find it without bothering with the help of a map. What we found there had me quite worried.

To Read More Click Here.

Plenty of good spirits at Spring Fling Festival in Roscoe

Written by TroutTown

ROSCOE — It was a Spring Fling Festival, on a day that didn’t feel much like spring, following a winter that didn’t feel much like winter. But on Sunday, hundreds of people came out for a celebration hosted by the Roscoe NY Beer Company because, hey, every day feels like a good day for a beer. The brewery, which started up in Roscoe just three years ago, already hosts several seasonal festivals annually, but this was the first year for the Spring Fling, said Shannon Feeney, director of marketing and events for the beer-maker. Feeney estimated as many as 500 people had passed through by mid-day, a remarkable turnout given Sunday’s cold, damp weather, she said.
Twenty-five vendors were set up under tents, selling everything from farm market items and produce, to artwork and photography, to jewelry and handcrafted goods, to food and wine. Also on hand were Nicole Guite, Sullivan County region manager for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, and puppy raiser Barbara Ward-Blank. The two brought along Otter, a 6-month-old female black Lab; and Fuchsia, an 11-month-old female German shepherd, to help persuade folks to sign up to become puppy raisers for the visually impaired.  Continue reading “Plenty of good spirits at Spring Fling Festival in Roscoe”

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Boulders continue to feature “Captain Lawrence” beer at House that St. Lawrence Built

Written by TroutTown

The Rockland Boulders baseball team has featured craft beers with Boulders-inspired recipes at home games in Pomona the past three seasons, including ones brewed by “Captain Lawrence.”

It is not clear whether the man who loves to see his name everywhere, Ramapo Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence, is involved with the team’s decision to partner with Captain Lawrence, but the name similarity is at least ironic. St. Lawrence was, after all, the ‘captain’ of the project that brought the Pomona ballpark into being, even allegedly going so far as to risk the town’s financial health and his own freedom to do so.

The Boulders confirmed in a press release this week that Captain Lawrence remains a featured brewery on the menu despite the possible negative name association due to the recent arrest of the local real Captain (St.) Lawrence.

And for the third out of four seasons, the Rockland Boulders will add a new specialty beer at the annual “Beers Around the Bases” Craft Beer Festival. That event is taking place Saturday, May 14 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m. at the Pomona ballpark, now known as Palisades Credit Union Park.

Krankee Yankee, a brew produced via Roscoe NY Beer Co with a 5.5 percent alcohol level, will be added to the menu, the third craft beer the Boulders have created, and the first IPA. In 2013, the Boulders debuted Bottom 9 Brew in conjunction with Captain Lawrence and they followed that up in 2014 with a joint effort with Long Ireland Brewery in the form of 2nd Base Blonde.

Boulders owner Ken Lehner has profited off the House that St. Lawrence Built in Pomona, while Ramapo taxpayers have lost tens of millions. Could it be that the Boulders’ alliance with “Captain Lawrence” breweries is meant as a nod to the man who manifested the Boulders ballpark?
Boulders owner Ken Lehner has profited off the House that St. Lawrence Built in Pomona, while Ramapo taxpayers have lost tens of millions.
“For the past two seasons, our fans have proven that they appreciate the Boulders Beers that we have had the pleasure of producing in conjunction with local breweries and Dana Distributors as both limited releases of Bottom 9 Brew and 2nd Base Blonde have sold out,” said Ken Lehner, Boulders Team President. “We are always listening to our fans and it was evident that they wanted an IPA added to the lineup in 2016 and we have delivered with Krankee Yankee.”

Tickets for the Beer Fest are $35 in advance, $40 on the day of. Those who wish to be designated drivers can get admission for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Following the Festival, the Rockland Boulders baseball team will face off against NYPD’s Finest in their fourth annual exhibition game starting at 6:30 p.m.

New Brew System

Written by TroutTown

The brewery is receiving an update. Our new brew system expected be up and running by the end of April. We will be reproducing a handful of our specialty seasonal and a few specials beers that might be available in specialty bottles at the brewery. So make sure to stop by our tasting room.