When I tell people I’m originally from Upstate New York, it typically comes
with a qualifier: an extra “up” tacked on as an awkward prefix to create
Up-Upstate New York. If I just stick to regular, old “Upstate,” there’s a
good chance people will assume I’m talking about some place in Westchester
It’s a never-ending discussion, trying to figure out non-specific
geographic boundaries, but the real reason it has importance is because it
paints the picture that there is so much more to New York than its namesake
city. The area where I grew up offers plenty, and for generations, its
drinking culture was based around wine produced in the Finger Lakes. Craft
beer was Genny Cream Ale or Saranac Black Forest, a beloved Schwarzbier.
But in recent years, the idea of what beer is and can be has rapidly
changed as local production has come to be defined by small businesses.
As I visited my hometown of Geneva, New York this summer, I was excited to
see how the beer scene has c