This content was originally published by The Hop Review, a digital magazine that joined the Hop Culture family in March 2020.
This piece was written by Jack Muldowney.
“DETOURS” is a travel series by The Hop Review. Being a weary traveler almost always calls for a reward in the form of a pint at the end of the day. Here, we document those beer breaks–as we travel the U.S. and beyond–with quips, photographs and Q&As.
3149 Sweet ROAd, Pompey, NEW YORK 13138
On a hill overlooking distant Onondaga Lake in upstate New York, you’ll find Palladino Farms, a generations-old farmstead that’s a well known entity in the area. And as of fall 2018, owner Dan Palladino is now a proud surveyor to a new brewery and restaurant as well, aptly dubbed ‘Heritage Hill’. The town of Pompey where the property sits is a quick 15-minute drive northbound through country road to the more bustling college town of Syracuse–where the patrons are plentiful.
Upon arrival to the vast space, Palladino informs us of who patronizes the space, assuring us folks do make the trek up. “We have pretty good population just around us, up here. Even though it looks like you’re in the middle of nowhere. Just far enough in the middle of nowhere, but not too far at all from the city.”
Middle of nowhere or not, this is truly a ‘farm brewery’ worth visiting.
Head Brewer John Frazee made his way back to his home state to take on the position at the new brewery, after several years spent living and brewing in Colorado. Says Frazee, “Colorado is maybe five to 10 years ahead of brewing here, in upstate New York. It can be frustrating at times. But, in a way, it’s kind of nice, because the trends are being established out there, but they’re just hitting here–it means that I’ve already had the chance to play with creating a lot of those styles when I was out West.”
During our visit, it was a refreshing break, to be honest, from the otherwise hazy-dominated menus we’d seen elsewhere in our travels. “I love IPAs, but I also love just German lagers as well,” quipped Frazee. And when you have boundless ingredients and inspiration at your disposal just outside the door, why would any brewer stick to just the DDH and DIPAs?
And what’s outside those brewery doors really is plentiful; from the cattle that aides in supplying beef to the restaurant, to the aforementioned barley malt, to the organic corn that makes its way into the Pompey Born Lager. Heck, there’s even a donkey pasture, as well as a small band shell for summertime entertainment.
Palladino’s approach to the farm’s new venture is simple. ”My philosophy is to find the right people and let them do their thing. John brews great beer, and chef Alicyn [Hart] makes great dishes in the restaurant. She came here after having her own restaurant, and was one of the first great local food purveyors in the area.”
It’s obvious why this place is such a point of pride for the community. And why people trek it out to the farm store, restaurant or even just a quick pint.
What We Drank
Pompey Born Lager [Lager, 5.2%] – Brewed with New York grown 6- and 2-row barley and flaked corn, as well as locally sourced Pre-Prohibition era wild hops, this lager is chock-full of flavor–most notably its sweet corn finish. And pulled right off the brite tank by John, it was even nicer.
Dutch Hill Maple Amber [ESB, 5.1%] – This English-style ale was also brewed with local malted barley and hops (specifically, NY-grown Willamette hops). The most notable and obvious addition to the beer was the local Dutch Hill maple syrup, making for a great chilly-weather sipper that was perfectly sweet.
Photography by Nick Costa and authored by Jack Muldowney of The Hop Review, in partnership with Visit Central New York & Brew Central NY. Check out the rest of DETOURS series as we travel the world looking for unique beers and where to drink them.