Gilded Otter Brewing Company
3 Main St. New Paltz, NY 845-256-1700
New Paltz is a laid-back, funky college town whose residents turn out in droves to support the hometown brewery, which typically provides entertainment on weekend evenings. It's perched near the Wallkill River in an airy building made of stone and light wood with lots of windows. Brewmaster Darren Currier crafts about 20 varieties a year. A tasting might include as many as eight beers, all of which, we found, tasted better once allowed to warm up a bit from the temperature at which they were served.
What's on tap: The Rail Trail Pale Ale has a zesty citrus flavor and mild bitterness. The Düsseldorf Altbier is a brown ale with a toasted biscuit flavor that is a two-time bronze medal-winner at the Great American Beer Festival.
Good to know: Try some of the Otter's spent grain brewery pizza - a novel way to repurpose the excess grains used in some beers - or another dish from its full menu.
While you're there: New Paltz's Historic Huguenot Street (845-255-1660, huguenotstreet.org) is a nearby tour-able street with quaint 17th century stone houses. The Gilded Otter pays tribute to it with the Huguenot Street American Lager, a very light Pilsner with a lip-smacking corn flavor. -Alison GregorHours: Mon-Th: 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat: 11:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun: noon-9 p.m.