The moderately priced and eclectic food menu is complemented by a diverse selection of hand-crafted ales and lagers. In addition to beer, the Empire offers cocktails and a large selection of wines.
The atmosphere is casual and festive. The brewing facility is housed in a glass-enclosed work area which provides a view of the massive copper and stainless steel brewing vessels. The food is prepared in a handsome open-performance kitchen allowing patrons clear visibility of the chef and his assistants.
The interior decor highlights the industrial elements of the microbrewery, the drama of the performance kitchen, and the architectural nuances of the building. The understated design — featuring exposed brick walls, wood beams, and columns — pays homage to the brewing tradition and the pre-existing architecture. With clarity the aim and materials and ambient lighting the accent, a warm and inviting environment has been created for customers to enjoy the music, food, and beverages.
Honors & Recognition
- “Top American Brewpubs,” Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, 2013
- “Certificate of Excellence,” TripAdvisor.com, 2012-2013
- “Best Chili in New York,” Spring Lounge Competition, 2012–2013
- “Snail of Approval,” Slow Food of Central New York, 2010
- “Top Twenty Brew Pubs In America,” The Beer Advocate, 2003
- “Top Twenty Brew Pubs in the United States,” The New Brewer, 2001–2003
- “Best Brewpubs in the Country,” Food Network, 2000–2001
- “Best Restaurants in America,” Magellan Press, Inc., 1996–2002
- “Excelsior Award, Best Restaurant,” The New Yorker, 1997–1999
- “Best Of,” Syracuse NewTimes, 1995–2004, 2013