By Ken Sturtz
The number of breweries in the state has soared over the last decade to more than 500. New York now has the second most breweries of any state.
The heaviest concentrations are found on Long Island, in the Hudson Valley and in the Finger Lakes. New York’s breweries tend to be smaller mom-and-pop operations that focus on serving the communities they’re located in and new breweries have been popping up in areas of the state that haven’t previously had them.
That’s the case here in Oswego County. You no longer have to travel to Syracuse or beyond to find a brewery. Here are three breweries operating nearby.
Junco Brewing Co.
37 Cemetery Road, Oswego
One of Central New York’s newest farm breweries, Junco opened in April with a taproom in a refurbished dairy barn southwest of the city of Oswego.
The rustic brewery makes small batches with a 1-barrel brewing system and has several hand-crafted ales and lagers on tap and available for take-out. The taproom also includes a small event space that can accommodate as many as 60 people.
Junco is named after the North American snowbird because the owners are themselves snowbirds, heading south for winter. That means the brewery is a seasonal affair, operating from May through the end of October. Junco is open 3-9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday.
Eleven Brewing Co. at The Cellar Door
17 West Cayuga St., Oswego
The city of Oswego’s only brewery was established in 2015 on the west side in the renovated basement of the historic Woodruff building. Modern décor and a hole-in-the-wall quality make it a popular place to relax.
The Cellar features a rotating menu of pub fare and a large selection of craft beverages including plenty of pilsners, IPAs and hard ciders. If the food and drinks weren’t enough of a draw, The Cellar holds events just about every night. There are poker nights, movie nights and trivia nights, as well as live music.
The Cellar is open year-round 4-10 p.m., Monday through Sunday.
6 Acres Farm Brewery
114 Potter Road, Mexico
The Behling family operates a fifth-generation orchard in Mexico and New Haven, growing more than 80 varieties of apples, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cherries.
In 2019, they started 6 Acres using a 1-barrel system to make more than a dozen varieties of fruit-infused beer such as a shortcake ale called “At the Berry Patch,” and a blonde ale named “Ray of Sunshine.” They supply a few local businesses and, in the fall, sell their beer to the apple-picking crowds that visit their orchard and farm stand. The name comes from the 6 acres of land the family orchard originated on.
Though they still sell their beer in the fall, 6 Acres is in the process of opening a tasting room separate from the orchard and farm stand.