Brewed in New York – Thousand Islands Full Episode

Brewed in New York – Thousand Islands Full Episode


– [Matt] Coming up
in Brewed in New York, the Thousand Islands. It’s a road trip to remember
on New York’s Seaway Trail. And we learn about a
former Marine on a mission to open a new
brewery in Watertown. Keep watching right here. at Taste New York locations
throughout the state. Whether you’re at a
state park, sporting event, or stopping at one of our
New York welcome centers, it’s never been easier
to choose local and buy New York. Unalam, a family owned business
in upstate New York serving the building industry
for over a century. You can spot Unalam’s finely
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New York’s finest grain growers to produce locally sourced,
high quality malt. for farm and craft breweries. The Northeast Hop Alliance Farmers, brewers,
and educators working together to
provide high quality, locally grown hops
to craft beer consumers in New York and
the Northeast. (rock music) – Hello and welcome
to Brewed in New York. A series all about the
craft beer you can enjoy in every corner of the state. – Few things go together like being out in
the water and beer. And if you’re in New York’s
Thousand Island region there’s abundance of both. – [Matt] The area
actually has 1,864 islands. But since that’s a
little hard to say the locals shortened it to
just the Thousand Islands. – These islands dock
the watery border between New York and Canada. Many are uninhabited, while others are home
to year round residents and seasonal visitors. Some of the islands
were once even home to New York’s wealthiest families. – Boldt Castle
near Alexandria Bay was named after George C Boldt, owner of the famous Waldorf
Astoria Hotel in New York City. It was commissioned
as a summer home for his wife Louise
until her untimely death halted construction. – [Maya] Singer Castle on Dark
Island was the summer home of the Bourne family, owners of the Singer
sewing machine company. Both homes are now
open to the public and offer visitors a glimpse
of New York’s gilded age. – I had the opportunity
to take a little road trip to Thousand Islands and I discovered that it’s
an area rich in history, scenery and great beer. (upbeat music) It’s early autumn in the
Thousand Islands of New York. The lake shore region
that stretches along the St. Lawrence Seaway, separating the state from
our neighbors to the north in Ontario, Canada. The area is a vacation hotspot for boating and New
York state wine. But today we’re here
to explore the growing local beer scene. I’m standing on the
Great Lakes Seaway Trail. A 500 mile national scenic byway that stretches along Lake Eerie and here on Lake Ontario. Today we’re going to be
driving up the coast, stopping off to sample some of the regions best
beers along the way. There’s going to be
a lot of sampling so I’ve enlisted the help
of a designated driver, Ed Hurley, from the
Highway Legends Car Club in nearby Watertown. Hi Ed, thanks for
joining me today. – Hi Matt. So tell me what car
have you brought for us? – Matt, this is a 1954 Ford
Customline four door sedan. – It is a beautiful
car and I think it’s the perfect thing
for our brewery crawl. So let’s go. – Good. – The part of the Seaway
Trail we’re exploring today traces it’s way along the mouth
of the St. Lawrence Seaway, from the town of Sackets Harbor, through Cape Vincent,
and up to Clayton. We’re starting in
Sackets Harbor. This small town played a
pivotal role in the War of 1812. It’s taken a while for craft
beer to really take hold in this part of the state, but there’s at least in the area that’s been in business
since the 1990s, Sackets Harbor Brewing. The brewery has a great
view overlooking the marina where I sat and shared my
first sample on the tour with brewery owners Matt
Scozzafava and Pearl Ashcraft. And I learned right
away that the beer was full of flavor
and local history. I am really enjoying this beer. What am I drinking here? – You’re drinking the
War of 1812 amber ale. – This beer is
really easy drinking. I’m trying to go
as slow as I can because it’s very tasty. – It’s very smooth. It’s not too hoppy. If someone’s just kind of
stepping into the craft beer industry as a consumer
that’s a great beer to start that journey. – And to someone who’s
firmly planted in it it’s a good one for me too. – Good. – So tell me a little bit
about the history of the beer. – Yeah, the history of the beer is linked to the
history of the village. Sackets Harbor is a
natural deep water port became a naval shipyard to launch many of
the big battleships that were canvasing
the Great Lakes region. – Pearl tell me how and
why you moved to the area. – Tom and I were
in New York City and we had been there since ’96 and both of us were
there through 9/11 and through the
economic hardships and we just said maybe
it’s time for a change. And we’re both big
craft beer fans. This became available
and we just said hey, let’s do it. Let’s make the move. Let’s go for it. – It’s a very
interesting building. Tell me a little bit about it. – [Tom] It’s the old train
station from the village, which actually was moved
closer to the water when it was repurposed
as a restaurant. It used to be a little
bit closer to the road. We actually have pictures
of it as a train station in the dining room. – Amazing, Andy is your
full time brewer here. – Yes, Andy brews 30 to
40 different varieties throughout the seasons. But there’s a few main
12 months a year beers and the Railroad Red,
the St. Stephens Stout, 1812 Amber, Thousand
Islands Pale Ale and we’ve also introduced
a new double IPA, the Malicious Intent. And the name says it all. – It’s aggressive. – It’s a 10% ABV. – Love it. – Extremely hoppy. – Well I want to
try this double IPA, and I’d also love a
chance to meet Andy and learn a little bit more
about how the beer is made here. – Great, we’d love
to have him do that. – Andy as it turns
out is the only member of the brewing staff
at Sackets Harbor. And remember he’s churning
out between 30 to 40 different kinds
of beer each year. That’s amazing. To do this you’d
expect to have at least eight arms and two heads. Instead he’s just got
a lot of experience and a real passion for variety. You have been brewing for
a long time in this state. – Yup, I started back in ’97. So roughly about 20
years I’ve been brewing. – Wow, and how long
have you been here? – I’ve been here for 13 years. I started in 2004. – So there are a
lot of core beers and I really liked
the 1812 Amber Ale. But this is something
a little bit different. – Yup, the Malicious
Intent Double IPA. – So tell me a little
bit about this one. – It’s brewed with pale
malts and Vienna malt and it’s hopped with
warrior, centennial, simcoe and some cascade in there. – I love about this double IPA is that I can tell that
this is high alcohol but it doesn’t hit
my tongue hard. The heat isn’t hitting me. It’s just I can
taste that flavor, it actually enhances
it somewhat. – And that’s what
I was looking for. I was looking for something
that the higher alcohol, but you get the
malt and the hops and was nice and balanced
and easy to drink. – Over the 10 years plus
that you’ve been here how has the beer drinking
scene changed here? – As far as this place has gone, it’s been kind of interesting because when I
first started here people really weren’t
interested in hoppy beers that might have
mildly hopped beer but now as time’s gone
by the hoppier it is the faster it sells. – So this IPA, this double IPA we’re drinking is very poplar? – Yup. – So what are some
of the projects that you have planned
for the winter? Very exciting stuff I’m sure. – I got a porter
I’m looking to do. Possibly an imperial stout and the once the new year
kicks in I’m probably going to work on a maibock
for the early season. – Cool. – And I’ll probably have
maybe a pilsner or two. – Do you wish you had
three times the taps so you could experiment more? – Oh I’d love to. (Matt laughing)
– Andy, it’s been a pleasure. I wish I could stay to
have more beers of yours but Ed is waiting
for me in the car. So I’ve got to run. – Awesome, thanks
for stopping by. – Cheers.
– Cheers. – I headed north with
my trusty sidekick. Or maybe since he’s
driving I’m the sidekick. Anyway our next stop was in
the town of Cape Vincent. Traveling north
from Sackets Harbor, the highway twists and
turns along the coast. Sometimes right
along the waterline where the horizon
stretches all the way to the wild and exotic
lands of Canada. At other times the
road turns inland taking you past
fields and farms. Along the way you can
stop and check out Tibbits Point Lighthouse. One of the number of historic
lighthouses along the coast. Today it mainly serves
as a tourist attraction but you’ll understand
why they needed it back in the day when you
see the size of the ships and the amount of
boat traffic here. This is a major shipping
lane for all merchant vessels entering the Great Lakes. Minus the smell of
salt in the air, you’d swear you
were at the ocean. When we arrived at Cape
Vincent Brewing Company we met husband and wife team Roland Sherman and Laurie Hanna. They’d only been open
for about a month and you could still smell
the new construction. The couple is no
stranger to construction because that’s exactly
what they’ve been doing professionally before
changing careers. After the dime tour we
settled in for our tasting and to learn what
drew them to the area. This is my first
time in Cape Vincent, can you tell me a little
bit about the town here. – Yup, so Cape
Vincent is the entry of the Thousand Islands. We’re located at the delta
of the St. Lawrence River. We’re a village of
primarily seasonal residents. A lot of snow birds, so
they come here in the summer and then they go elsewhere
in the winter months. We have the ferry
right across the way. So we get a lot of
Canadian traffic as well. Because this is the entrance
to the St. Lawrence. Raiders come through,
they do a captain change because there’s a
different license between seaway pilots and
open water pilots. So they take a smaller boat
out and change captains. One goes up the ladder,
one comes down the ladder and off they go and it’s
got a very nautical feel to the area. – This is wonderful,
what am I drinking here? – That is Tibbit’s Point Porter. That’s one of our
flagship dark beers. It’s a very easy drinking,
not as heavy as a stout. Five malts, two hops and yeah, a very successful beer for us. – Yeah, it’s reasonably
dry here too, but there’s a lot
of flavor in there. – Yeah, worked hard at that one. I’m not a big fan
of very sweet beers so I like the dry aspect to it. – So you too are like
the new kids on the block in the area, in
terms of a brewery. But there are some other
spots that are nearby and now you’ve kind of created
this brewery trail of sorts. And people are already
hitting all three. – Our dream when we
decided we wanted to open a brewery in Cape Vincent was that we would
connect this trail that we could
envision in our minds. It wasn’t here yet, but between
Sackets Harbor and Clayton there was this big gap
of a missing brewery. We are pretty much at
that halfway point. – It totally paid off. We’re very extremely
happy and it’s going well. And we look forward
to the future. – You’re right by a
ferry landing here and people come from Canada
and can try your beer. – It’s very easy for
them because they can actually walk onto this
ferry and come over. There was nothing here
and they would make their way up to Clayton
or Sackets Harbor the other end of
the brewery trail. So yeah, it’s fun for them. It gives them somewhere to stop. They tend to start
her and finish here before they go back. – Well Roland,
Laurie, I have to go and continue my crawl here. But thank you so much for
giving me some of your time. – Thank you for coming
in, we appreciate it. – Oh no problem,
thanks for stopping by. – So with no time to lose, we headed to the last
destination on our beer tour, Wood Boat Brewery in
the town of Clayton. Now before producing this story we did some homework and learned that the name of the
brewery is closely linked with an organization just
a short walk up the block, the Antique Boat Museum. And when we saw just
how fantastic it was we decided we had to
make a pit stop there before heading in
to do our sampling. The museum contains a
treasure trove of artifacts from the rich boating history
of the St. Lawrence region. Including some gorgeous examples of the areas iconic
wooden boats. So I said farewell to
my designated driver Ed and met up with curator
Claire Wakefield to check out some
of their exhibits. Wow, look at this room. This is really cool. – Yeah, so this is the
Dodge Launch building and right now our
exhibit on display is the National Motorboat Show. – How long has the
museum been here? – This is our 50th
anniversary actually. – Really? – Yup, so we were
founded in 1967. – That’s amazing. And what’s the
mission of the museum? – Our mission is to
collect, preserve, and interpret fresh water
recreational boating in North America. – There are a lot of
buildings that I saw as part of this campus. – Yeah, so in addition
to this building which we have a
small craft building that features things
from a dug out canoe to a sailing canoe, to skiffs, and then we also have
a race boat building across the street which
features all sorts of boats focusing on the
history of racing. – [Matt] How many
boats do you have? – [Claire] We have over
320 in our collections. – [Matt] Oh my gosh,
that’s amazing. I love being able to see
these boats up close. They’re really cool. – [Claire] Yeah, and they all
have a lot of really unique distinctive details as well. – I hear you have a
boat that’s connected to beer history as well. – Yeah we do. Would you like to see it? – I would love to. (acoustic guitar music) There’s a lot of boats here. How many are in the
water at a time? – We generally have around six. – So tell me about this boat. This is beautiful. – This is Zipper. She is a 42 foot
express commuter yacht and she was drawn by Neil
Perty for the Stroh family out of Detroit, Michigan
and Stroh Brewing Company. – Right, so this was
a boat built by beer. – Correct. – [Matt] Well I like that. – [Claire] That’s great. – [Matt] And how did you
get a hold of this boat? – They donated it to us. The Stroh family, it
came directly from them. – Amazing, so someone
who comes to visit the Antique Boat Museum could
take a ride on this? – Correct, you certainly could. – [Matt] That’s great, how
many trips does it take a day? – [Claire] It takes
about one a day, sometimes two on the
busier summer months. – That’s great, thank you
so much for your time. I would love to take a
ride in a boat like this. – Yeah you definitely can. Perhaps you can come
back later today. – Sounds good. From there it was
time to make the jump from sampling
finely crafted boats to sampling finely crafted beer. So I head over to
Wood Boat Brewery. Wood Boat was established
in 2014 by Mike Hazelwood. In addition to being
the town brewer, Mike runs a successful
contracting business. He had watched this
building change hands several times over the years and every new venture
seemed to struggle and eventually fail. But Mike saw the gorgeous
view and close proximity to the Antique Boat
Museum and decided he could make a go of it. So he bought the building and
used his contracting skills to completely remodel
and redesign everything. And then he hit on the
winning combination beer and pizza. And not just any greasy
slab of cheese on bread. The restaurant serves up
gourmet brick oven pizzas with crispy thin crusts
and toppings like pulled pork or Thai vegetables. And don’t worry no classic
boats were sacrificed to fuel the flames. Of course I couldn’t have
pizza without sampling some of Mike’s finest. Nearly all the beers
have nautical names like Pardon Me Ale,
named after the world’s largest runabout, which
is housed at the museum. Or Old Town Stout named after a brand of classic wooden canoe. Ah, that is really flavorful. I love that sweet edge
of the malt there. Ah see, I want that
in a pint glass. This is like a tease to have
a stout in a four ouncer. What do you have next here? – The Channel Maker, named that after the
navigational aids we have, which you’ll probably
want to pay attention to after having a couple of these. – Yeah, because these
are seven plus percent. – It’s 7.3% IPA. – Oh man. That is really good. What kind of hops
do you use in this? – That is centennial hops. – [Matt] It’s all
New York state hops? – It’s 100% New York state hops. – Are people growing
hops around here? – Oh yeah, new hop yards
are springing up every year. And I get phone calls
almost every day people wanting to
sell their hops. – Wow. – Obviously if they call
me I’m willing to buy. I’ll find somebody that wants
them if I can’t use them. – [Matt] The restaurant here and brewery stays open all year. – [Mike] All year. – And around her that’s rare because this is a real
tourist town in the summer. The place is packed then. – It is and in the
summer time unfortunately locals don’t necessarily
come here as much because it’s so busy. So in the winter time, now
they can get out and enjoy coming to this place. Getting through the winter
sometimes can be complex. You have to be really careful. The majority of our
population leaves. So economically staying open
sometimes may not make sense but we’re going to do
it for the community. – Thank you so much for
spending time with me today. I love when the brewer gets to
talk me through a few beers. – Absolutely. – Cheers. – Cheers. (upbeat music) Well we’ve reached
the end of our journey along the Great
Lakes Seaway Trail. As you can see, we traded
in our wheels for a rudder. I’m sitting here in
the deck of the Gadfly. This is a wooden boat
built in the 1930s. Museum volunteer
Captain George agreed to take me out for a spin. When you come to visit
the Thousand Islands if you can’t find a
designated driver like I did. I recommend coming
for the whole weekend. Save some time for relaxation
in between brewery visits. All right, that’s
all the time I have. Captain George,
take us out to sea. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] Craft 101. – If you’re tried your
hand at home brewing and fallen head over heels, you may have done some
day dreaming about quitting your nine to five to take up beer
making full-time. But before you sign a lease
on that perfect downtown warehouse space, it’s worth exploring
some of the differences between home brewing and the
business of craft brewing. Number one, how good do
you look in rubber boots? But seriously, it’s
not a bad question. Since large scale brewing
requires much more sanitizing than home brewing be prepared
to spend a big portion of your time as a professional
brewer cleaning tanks. What about experience? When getting serious
about beer as a career, some people opt to
get a brewing degree. In addition to teaching
the science and craft of brewing beer, many
of these programs also delve into palate
training and culinary arts. And if you want to
open your own tap room, you’ll need to know more
than how to brew great beer. As with any start up, you’ll
be creating a business plan, filing for permits,
running financial analytics and hiring employees. So studying up on
business and management is definitely crucial. Many aspiring brewers
get hands on experience by working for an
established brewery before setting out on their own. Next consideration, how
big do you want to be? Brewing equipment needs
to be able to scale up to meet production
demands as you grow, but also costs way more
than home brew equipment. If you buy too much too soon, you could get saddled
with a giant loan and a whole lot of
pressure to succeed. Speaking of funding,
where will it come from? Getting a loan from a
bank to open a brewery can be tricky because
banks sometimes equate the craft beer industry with the volatile
restaurant business. For this reason, many
owners have received help from outside investors, grants, and even friends and family. You’ll probably want
to get in touch with that guy from high school who moved to his parent’s
private island in Fiji. While there are many way to make your entrepreneurial
dreams a reality one things for sure, hard
work and perseverance are a prerequisite. Remember to do your homework and be certain you
want to turn your hobby into a career. But if craft beer
is your calling opening up a brewery could be
the adventure of a lifetime. – The St. Lawrence
region has military roots that go back to the War of 1812. And if you head
inland from the seaway you’ll find the small
city of Watertown. And the nearby Army
base at Fort Drum. Since the base was established, it’s been an important
part of the local history and economy. So it’s not surprising
you’ll find a craft brewery that celebrates the men and
women serving in uniform. Welcome to Boots Brewery, located in the historic
Lincoln building in downtown Watertown. Boots was founded 2017 by
Dan and Kelly Daugherty and has the distinction of being the youngest in our series. When we came for our
visit construction hadn’t been completed yet. Dan and Kelly spent the
last year and a half rehabbing their
section of the building into a functional brewery. It’s been a lot more work
than they bargained for. But they feel it’s
been worth the effort. The couple wanted to
join a growing movement to reverse a trend they
saw in the city’s center. – Downtown Watertown used to
be the epicenter of the city where everybody used to come. People started moving away
from the center of town along with business. Downtown needed
some revitalization and we decided this is where
we’re going to plant our flag. – [Maya] But for Dan
brewing wasn’t always the career path he had in mind. – My plan in life was to be
a career military officer. And I chose the Marine Corps. And I ended up deploying
to Iraq in 2006. At that point there was a
lot of heavy IED activity, heavy sniper activity. We were getting shot
at and mortared. There’s the morning
of September 14th, we’d just cleared a
Iraqi Army outpost. Got on the radio, was
looking out the window then everything went black. When I woke up a piece of metal was sticking out of my hand. And the the vehicle was on fire. My gear was on fire. My body had been
peppered with shrapnel. I have no use of my right arm. – [Maya] All of the
vehicles occupants survived but the nerve
damage to Dan’s arm forced him to retire
from the military. Eventually his
wounds healed enough that he was able to
become a firefighter for the city of Watertown. A job where he still feels as
though he’s answering the call to serve others. But during the time he was
recovering from his wounds, he also discovered a
love of home brewing. Which would eventually become
a different sort of call. – I was trying to figure
out, okay, what’s the name that would mean something. I look over and there’s
literally just a pile of boots of mine, you obviously
wear quite a few boots when you’re in the Marines. Being a firefighter you
where large bunker boots. I’ve got this pair
of firefighting boots that I do brewing work with. And I’m just like Boots
Brewery, Watertown, New York and I kind of said it out loud. And I’m like that sounds great. The picture that’s
undergoing trademark process, those are the pair of
boots that I was wearing the night I got wounded. That’s a pair of boots that
literally has my blood on it. So it’s got great meaning to me that I’m all in. You know, blood, sweat
and tears kind of thing. – [Maya] Despite the challenges Dan now feels confident that
they are nearing the end of the construction and the
beginning of something new. – We’ve done quite a lot. We put in bathrooms. We put in all new
concrete downstairs. And part of that was
removing the flooring that was downstairs. When we did that, we created
the bar that’s next to me and the seating and
tables that are behind me and the seating and
tablin the other room. me in the other room. This is wood that was here
when the building was built and we just couldn’t
bear to throw it away. This is well over 100 year
old reclaimed material that is going to continue
to be in the building. I definitely hope it is
a center for veterans and active people to
come and socialize because those are the
kind of people that we are and that we
feel that they would be comfortable in this
kind of establishment. I’ve kind of always viewed
breweries and taproomsnt. I’ve kind of always viewed
breweries and taprooms as a social center
and I definitely think that that’s something
that’s missing in Watertown in the downtown region. There needs to be a Renaissance
and a catalyst for change and that’s something
that we’re trying to do. – Wow, well best of
luck to Dan and Kelly on the new brewery. – That’s all the time we
have for this episode. – Until next time, enjoy those
craft beverages responsibly and take care. (rock music)

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