Agriculture, Business

Farm Brewed Beer is a Growing Trend in Central New York

By Robin Deehan CAMILLUS, N.Y. – New York was named “wine region of the year” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine this week.

But what many don’t realize is the growing number of farm breweries in the region.

New laws set in place by Governor Andrew Cuomo last year has allowed local farmers tax breaks if they source 20 percent of their ingredients from New York State.

These tax breaks have allowed the number of local farm breweries to reach more than 150 in the state.

One person taking advantage of this growing trend is local Judge Dan Matthews.

Matthews is the owner of Local 315 Brewing Company, one of three farm breweries opening in Onondaga County within the next few months.

Matthews started growing the hops four years ago, after planting them in hopes to attract deer for hunting.

“After putting in 600 plants in the ground, I found out that deer don’t like to eat hops, so we had to figure out something else to do with them,” Matthews said.

Matthews is now going to use the hops to brew six different types of beers out of Local 315 Brewing Company.

The barn used to house the barrels, will be completed in the next six weeks, and a few more weeks after that, Matthews hopes to be up and running.

Local 315 Brewing Company will use a ten barrel system to brew their original beer, that will be available to try in a tasting room and outdoor patio.

Matthews is also putting in a pumpkin patch and lavender field as part of his home grown ingredients.

Syracuse resident and craft beer enthusiast Seth Fillioe said he loves local craft beers.

“I think it’s important for the area,” Fillieo said. “Home grown always helps people come here and it helps people stay here.”

Matthews hopes to take his brewery beyond his own tasting room.

“I go into the Sunoco and they’re selling all sorts of craft beers, I’d love to see our tap handles there,” Matthews said. “And in local restaurants, Armory Square and restaurants all around town having our tap handles.”

Local 315 Brewing Company is located on 3202 Warners Road in Camillus and is aiming for a Spring opening.