Over the last several years, craft beer has burst on the scene in Upstate New York, and now there are more than enough Syracuse breweries to keep you busy for a long time, including some of the best Finger Lakes breweries that you’ll find in the region.
Having had a chance to scratch the surface of the city’s beer scene, I came away impressed with the few spots I was able to check out and anxious to come back and experience even more on my next visit to Syracuse.
Here are seven incredible breweries in Syracuse, NY, that I’ve had a chance to try so far.
Buried Acorn Brewing Company
Buried Acorn Brewing Company is located on the northern side of Syracuse, not far from Destiny USA and Onondaga Lake. While it would be easy to drive right past their small tasting room, this is definitely a spot that those looking for the best Syracuse breweries won’t want to miss.
Buried Acorn is best known for its barrel-aged sour beers and farmhouse ales, though they have a nice variety of styles that should tempt everyone’s pallet. In fact, even as someone that doesn’t particularly enjoy sour beers, I quite enjoyed the beers I had a chance to sample here.
That being said, I can appreciate a good sour beer in moderation, which was perfect with the sampler I got at Buried Acorn. So, even if you don’t think you like sours, make sure to try a small taster while visiting.
Heritage Hill Brewhouse
Heritage Hill Brewhouse is located in a rural part of the southeastern suburbs of Syracuse. Because they are atop a hillside, there are great views of downtown Syracuse from both their outdoor area as well as from inside their taproom.
Heritage Hill is known for both their delicious beers as well as its great food. During my visits, I’ve had a chance to try four different beers, all of which were very solid, including great IPAs, stouts, and hefeweizens.
For those with kids, there’s even a nice play space in the outdoor area, making this a great spot for parents to grab a beer and bite to eat.
However, even if you don’t have kids, this spot is definitely worth the 20-minute drive from downtown Syracuse to visit, especially since it’s right around the corner from the beautiful Pratts Falls.
Willow Rock Brewing Company
Located a short drive from downtown Syracuse is Willow Rock Brewing Company. Opened in early 2016, Willow Rock offers some incredibly delicious beers, as well as one of the most popular beer brands in the city’s history: Congress Beer.
Their tasting room is located in an industrial area just south of Syracuse University’s Skytop campus. Inside, there is a small tasting room that’s sectioned off, but most of the rest of the building is split between the brewing equipment and a large open room filled with picnic tables and ping pong tables.
Willow Rock features some incredibly inventive beers (though most are can only), as well as a steady line up of flagship and limited-release beers on draft. During my visit, I was able to try four different beers, including a few great options like the Kakaw Fruit Beer and the New North New England IPA.
Willow Rock is also responsible for bringing back one of the most iconic Syracuse breweries: Congress Beer. While this is a lighter beer that reminded me of Yuengling, lovers of that style will be sure to enjoy it.
Talking Cursive Brewing Company
Talking Cursive Brewing Company is located in the heart of downtown Syracuse, just across the street from the iconic Niagara Mohawk Building and near the popular Onondaga Creekwalk.
Talking Cursive features a small, but stylish tasting room that opened in early 2019. Despite being new, Talking Cursive features some fantastic beers, both with solid standard beers and some unique brews.
Probably my favorite beer was the Majo Riesling Pale Ale, an Italian grape ale that was both delicious and incredibly unique.
Middle Ages Brewing
Middle Ages Brewing is one of the oldest breweries in New York, having opened its doors in 1995 at the start of the craft beer revolution.
Their tasting room, which opened in 2017, draws inspiration from their name with a bit of a castle and Medival feel. While the Medival touches aren’t overwhelming, they add a unique touch to the brewery that gives it, in my opinion, a fun feel.
As for the beers, Middle Ages Brewing has a ton of different brews on tap (nearly 20 when I visited). This ensures that you will almost certainly be able to find a beer that you enjoy.
During my visit, the Pineapple Milkshake IPA and the Strawberry Milkshake IPA were the standouts of the ones I was able to sample.
Stout Beard Brewing Company
Stout Beard Brewing Company is on the second floor of a building in East Syracuse.
This is one of the smallest breweries in terms of physical size that you’ll find in the region, but they offer a nice selection of beers. In fact, they had 13 different beers on draft when I visited.
Despite the brewery’s name, Stout Beard doesn’t have an abundance of stouts. In fact, when I visited, there was just one on draft. Instead, they have a really nice selection of beers, including some very tasty IPAs. However, the stout that I was able to try, the Maurice Triple Chocolate Stout, was very tasty.
Stout Beard also features “The Original Pickle Beer,” called the Bill Pickle Ale. Brewed with pickling spices, this ale is definitely one of the most unique beers I’ve tried in all of New York.
Do you have a favorite Syracuse brewery we should try on our next visit? Let us know in the comments below.