Embrace Winter Beer at
Abominable Snowfest 2020
Defiant Brewing Co.’s annual Abominable Snowfest returns Saturday, January 25th, and with it comes copious amounts of regional craft beers from the Hudson Valley, all five boroughs of NYC, and Northern New Jersey. General admission gets you a custom tasting glass, access to samples from all the participating breweries, all-you-can-eat BBQ, and live music. VIP tickets include the general admission package, a VIP Hour with special beers from 15 breweries, and other goodies.
Defiant, the generous host of this beer fest, has been around for over a decade. Recently, their Abominable Snow Beer was the main beverage for a Boozyhops house party—it was a hit. The notes of banana spring up as you take that first sip, and then the citrus takes over leaving trace amounts of spice.
In addition to their large tap selection, they offer cans, bottles, growlers, and even half-kegs. All are available for the times you don’t want to socialize (a.k.a. put on pants). Defiant has a full Smokehouse BBQ menu and will be supplying the all-you-can-eat food during this fest. Their wings and cornbread are delish.
Two Villains of Nyack opened their doors just last month and it’s quickly become quite the destination. As soon as you walk in, you’ll see the hard work and passion that went into this project. Tall windows paired with high tin ceilings brighten up the space, while the brewing tanks glisten against brick walls and dark wood beams.
Brewers Jonathan and Sean are long- time friends and co-workers. Building on their experience as homebrewers and brewers at Brix City, the duo is producing beers that are uniquely flavorful. One of our faves, “gummy world,” is a fruited DIPA that resembles the taste of—wait for it—a gummy worm! If this seems too “out-of-the-can” experimental for you, they have six more beers on tap, from IPAs to full-flavor stouts. We’re looking forward to tasting their next ingenious idea!
District 96, located on Main Street in New City, opened its doors in 2017 as an addition to Burger Loft. Though they have separate entrances, they share a menu—you can order the same beer and food on whichever side you choose. The Burger Loft side has a sports-bar vibe, while the District 96 side feels cozy.
Brewmaster Chase and Assistant Brewmaster Sal are known for some of the best hazy and fruity IPAs in Rockland. They often do collaborations with other breweries, like the Even Mo Sexy with Sand City Brewing Co., and their collaboration with Boxer Donut of Nyack, the Jelly Donut IPA. Yes, this is a raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry beer with the flavor profile of a jelly donut. Insert heart eyes. We swear we like beer that tastes like beer; we just have a soft spot for breaking boundaries (and donuts). Who says beer has to be boring!
If you’re looking for a more intimate space, Naptime offers a warm and mellow vibe. Along with their draft selection, they also have cans available. No food here, but you can always bring your own or order in. There’s no way to get bored with the plethora of games on hand, especially in the summer when things can be moved outside. The staff is friendly, patient, and knowledgeable (even when we spilled a beer that one time). So don’t be afraid to ask questions or to sample a beer if you’re unsure!
About 25 miles from Rockland, Peekskill Brewery is nestled in a sweet spot with great views of the river. It’s also within walking distance of the train station (wink-wink). They offer a substantial selection of beer with their Simple Sour being a long-time favorite. Crowlers, growlers, and cans are also available for purchase.
Since opening in 2012, Newburgh Brewing Co. has brewed over 70 styles of beer. Located in a 160+ year old brick building overlooking the Hudson River, this space is perfect for getting together with friends.
The interior of the second floor is reminiscent of the cool loft apartment in the city that 90s movies always promised us— arcade games, a pinball machine, shuffleboard, billiards— and still plenty of room for the long community tables that guide you to the bar. Weekends here are even greater for socializing; you’ll get to enjoy their selection of live music. The kitchen offers a menu of locally-sourced food, along Christopher Basso began his brewing career at Brooklyn Brewery after graduating from Boston University and The French Culinary Institute. His culinary background shows in his delightful pairings of beer and food.
This is an all-around favorite of ours, from the beer to the atmosphere. Located in an original 1830s barn on a gorgeous farm in Poughkeepsie, this is the perfect spot to just sit back and enjoy some beer—beer cultivated from 100% New York ingredients, most of which are grown on the farm. Driving into the brewery, leaving the outside world far away, you get a real sense of that fabled quiet life in the country.
Owners Evan and Emily Watson had long harbored dreams of a 100% sustainable brewery. Armed with Emily’s experience growing up on a farm along with Evan’s experience as a brewer for Captain Lawrence, they decided to make this dream a reality. They first moved from New York City to a small farm in Fishkill, then in 2015 relocated to their current spot on a 25-acre farm in Poughkeepsie.
The brewery offers some of the most unique styles of beer— farmstand ales, wild ale, sours, saisons, fruited, and herbed beer to name a few. Every time we’ve visited, there’s a new style of beer to fall in love with, and just like a first love, Tulsi Blue is still in the back of our minds. This fruity, tart, funky sour (yet sweet) beer is the wild ale we take home with us whenever they have it available.
And make sure to say “Hi” to the donkeys if you visit!
Long-time friends Adam Watson and Justin Taylor began Sloop by selling their homebrews at local farmers’ markets. They first opened shop in 2014, and acquired a huge 25,000 square foot facility in East Fishkill in 2018. Sloop’s Juice Bomb IPA is a favorite of ours and can thankfully be found in many places—though we definitely don’t mind visiting the brewery. In fact, we’re due for a visit. There’s an option for everyone here, from heavily hopped DIPA, to crisp easy-to-drink lager. They also have a limited series NEIPAs—which consists of a new beer release every week. This is exciting for patrons and also allows the brewers an opportunity to play with different trends and flavor profiles. Be on the lookout for events happening here, or come join us sometime for movie night.
In 2015, Pete Reuther and Joe Delcalzo opened Brix City as the first brewery in Bergen County. It has since become one of the most popular tasting rooms in New Jersey. Pete and Joe have been friends since high school and decided to do something with their love for beer, which started as a home brewing hobby. Brix City is best known for their New England style IPAs, but we suggest trying anything from their Jams lines which are mind-bendingly creative and filled with tons of fruit flavor. Yacht Jams Volume 3 is a current can—a Coconut Cream Pie style DIPA with Banana Puree, bursting with notes of coconut sorbet and a tropical smoothie with hints of zesty lime and banana cream pie.
There are so many more participating breweries (and cideries) beyond what we can fit here, but you can taste them all for yourself at the Abominable Snowfest. We’re beyond excited—see you there!
When you work at three separate jobs over the course of six years with someone, you get to know them pretty well. Now add beer into the mix. We’re just two Rockland ladies who enjoy drinking beer on the weekends–and weekdays. Our day jobs are a little different: Jonna has a position in marketing & social media and Sara is a tattoo artist.