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Photograph: Paul O'HanlonCaptain Lawrence Brewing CompanyCaptain Lawrence Brewing Company
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Photograph: Paul O'HanlonCaptain Lawrence Brewing CompanyCaptain Lawrence Brewing Company
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Photograph: Ben Stechschulte/ReduxTuthilltown DistilleryTuthilltown Distillery
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Photograph: Courtesy of TuthilltownTuthilltown DistilleryTuthilltown Distillery
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Photograph: Brandon M OsmanBedell CellarsBedell Cellars
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Photograph: Brandon M OsmanBedell CellarsBedell Cellars

Day trips: Breweries, distilleries and wineries

Hop a train or rent a car and visit the Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Brewery Ommegang, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery or Bedell Cellars

By Sarah Bruning and Jonathan Shannon

Captain Lawrence Brewing Company; Pleasantville, NY

Travel time: 40 minutes from NYC by train
Hop on the Metro-North Harlem line to quench your thirst for Empire State beer. Get two free three-ounce pours of each of the Captain's six tap offerings—like the hoppy, fruity Xtra Gold—in the small tasting room (Thu, Fri 4--7pm, Sat noon--6pm). Prepare to jostle at the bar with Westchester locals refilling their growlers ($12.50--$13.50, refills $9--$10), or escape the crush with a free tour of the brewing facility out back with founder and head brewer Scott Vaccaro (Sat 1, 2, 3pm). Make sure to ask him when his next limited-run beer is going to be released so you can get in line early: The Rosso e Marrone—an American sour ale made with zinfandel and merlot grapes, aged in red-wine barrels and available only from the brewery—sold out within an hour. Or go for the outdoor five-year-anniversary pig roast on Saturday 14 (noon--6pm; $30).

Brewery Ommegang; Cooperstown, NY
Travel time: Four hours from NYC by car
From Memorial Day through Columbus Day, a $3 trolley service stops at many of Cooperstown's main sites, including this Belgian-style brewery. Take a free tour (every 30 minutes) and sample Ommegang's six staples, including the Hennepin farmhouse saison and the rich Three Philosophers ale. Then it's time to hit the pub to try seasonal beers and, occasionally, experimental beers from the pilot system. To keep you on your feet, there's food like moules steamed in Witte ale ($9.50) or fondue blended with Duvel ale ($16). Visit in June to quaff this summer's raspberry-pear fruit beer—a month before it appears in shops.
Make it an overnight: Bed down at the 1874 Inn at Cooperstown (; rates start at $110), then visit the nearby Baseball Hall of Fame ( the next day.

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery; Gardiner, NY
Travel time: Two hours from NYC by car
Bribe a designated driver with the promise of Tuthilltown Baby Bourbon to take home, and ride shotgun to the first whiskey distillery to open in New York State following Prohibition. You have to reserve space on the 45-minute tour (Sat, Sun noon, 2, 4pm; $15), which walks you through milling, fermentation, distillation and bottling, and includes three tastes from the distillery's suite of spirits that run from corn whiskey to bourbon, rye, vodka and rum. We recommend leaving with a bottle of Roggen's Rum ($55); it's made with Louisiana blackstrap molasses and aged in whiskey barrels. After the tour, stroll down to Tuthill House at the Mill restaurant ( for a meal in the National Historic Landmark building or outside by the river.

Bedell Cellars; Cutchogue, NY
Travel time: Two to three hours from NYC by car or train
Oenophiles can savor cherry-tinged merlot or citrusy chardonnay as they relax in the airy, country-chic tasting room at this well-respected winery. If you're on a tight budget, opt for one of the affordable five-sample flights: The Estate costs $8, and the Premium will only set you back $12. For a more in-depth look at the production process, spring for a still-reasonable tour package (Sat, Sun noon, 3pm; reservations required). The VIP option (each person $35) includes a dedicated host who'll show you around the grounds and vineyard, explain wine-making procedures and guide you through a private tasting, after which you can raise a complimentary glass while noshing on cheese. Upgrade to the Proprietors Garden bundle (each person $50) and you'll be enjoying your refreshments in an immaculately landscaped cottage garden.


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