Nothing says “spring has sprung” like stepping outside and popping open a cold beer or bottle of rosé. Right now, all across Upstate New York, breweries, restaurants and hotels are sprucing up their patios, beer gardens and outdoor spaces for the spring and summer months that are just getting, er, warmed up. At first glance, it can be a little dizzying trying to decide which bar’s outdoor patio or beer garden to visit—especially in the Capital Region, which has a burgeoning microbrewery and pub scene. But that’s why you’ve got saratoga living to help you make the hard decisions easier. So sit back, relax and, of course, toast a new sunny season of suds, ciders, spirits, wines and more.
The Adelphi Wine & Beer Garden
The Adelphi Wine & Beer Garden is a hidden gem at the historic, luxury hotel on Broadway in Downtown Saratoga. Situated at the rear of the hotel, next to the ballroom, it offers guests an elegant experience in an intimate space filled with well-kept plants, flowers and the hotel’s signature comfy furniture. As if that weren’t chic enough, the garden also provides an impressive menu of specialty sushi rolls.
Druthers Brewing Company
OK, this one’s a bit of a no-brainer, especially considering it was just announced that Druthers’ CEO Chris Martell is going to receive the Small Business Person of the Year Award. Druthers, whose flagship in Saratoga opened in 2012—with a sprawling patio space—now has two other locations, one in Schenectady (with a spacious, outdoor beer garden) and Albany (sans beer garden but with plenty of indoor seating). Home-brewed Druthers’ beers and some addictively tasty mac-and-cheese and wood-fired pizzas? What’s there not to like?
City Beer Hall
Enjoy the lovely hanging lights and foliage of City Beer Hall’s charming alley beer garden. Housed in Albany’s beautiful, old telephone company building, this gastropub offers 18 rotating beer and cider taps plus a very inventive and diverse selection of food. What’s on the menu? Everything from Indian couscous and falafel to no-broth ramen and even kushari (a traditional Egyptian dish of rice, pasta, lentils and spicy sauces). Of course, for those looking for more traditional pub fare, burgers and fries are also available.
A pink neon sign at Sinclair Saratoga declares: “Together is a beautiful place to be.” It certainly is, especially with Sinclair’s German-inspired Bratwurst and burgers and its beautiful outdoor patio right around the corner from Caroline Street. The Maple Avenue bar also boasts a huge collection of craft beers, hard ciders and even house-made cocktails all on draft. (Yes, please!) Need more convincing? Sinclair has an old-school gaming arcade, complete with retro video and arcade games, pinball, skeeball, foosball and more.
The Hill at Muza
Right outside of Downtown Troy is The Hill at Muza, a year-round beer and wine garden, offering delicious Polish and American fare and a laidback, ski lodge-like atmosphere. In addition to European half-liter beers and a unique list of wines and ciders, Muza’s tiered, stone beer garden has one of the of most spectacular views of the Collar City skyline—and sunsets!
Adirondack Pub & Brewery
Lake George Village has its own award-winning home-brewed beers to offer the Capital Region via Adirondack Pub & Brewery. Adirondack produces more than a dozen year-round and seasonal beers and ciders brewed with spring-fed water and locally sourced ingredients. Equally impressive is the pub’s cabin-inspired decor and covered deck, in addition to its red-brick beer garden complete with hanging lights, beautiful conifers and plenty of stone fire pits. Oh, and did we mention it’s just a short walk away from Lake George and Million Dollar Beach?
You can get a lot more than just a glass of wine at the Saratoga Winery. The local winery and tasting room, just four miles outside of Downtown Saratoga, not only sells house-made wines, but also local beers, cocktails, fresh wood-fired pizzas and, perhaps best of all, mimosa flights on Sundays (five different mimosas for just $20). Enjoy all of this on the winery’s rustic Adirondack-style deck and patio, plus its large lawn area, where there are chairs to sit back on, sip some wine and enjoy the season.
Dog Haus Biergarten (Coming Soon)
Opening in Clifton Park later this month is Dog Haus Biergarten, a franchise founded in California, with spots peppered throughout the United States, which puts a new twist on some classic American staples: hot dogs, sausages and hamburgers—with, of course, cold local beers and plenty of outdoor seating to enjoy it all. This will be New York State’s first Dog Haus, which serves all its main menu items on toasted King’s Hawaiian rolls with exotic toppings and ingredients such as the Old Town, a bacon-wrapped dog with caramelized onions, chipotle aioli and pickled jalapeños. Yum!