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Cheers to Skinny Atlas Light!


It’s #FlagshipFebruary and we’ll be toasting to Skinny Atlas Light all month long! Anything but trendy, our number one seller for a quarter century hasn’t earned it’s success by craft glitter or in vogue beer styling. This classic, light craft delivers big Kölsch character, weighing in at only 120 calories. Skinny is our most decorated recipe and founder David Katleski’s favorite pint. Simply put, this beer rocks but don’t take our word for it, grab a 6 pack or some farm fresh draft and judge our flagship for yourself!

We’re farmers as well as brewers and we understand the value in clean water. This brew pays homage to one of the purest lakes in the USA. Skaneateles Lake is the water source for Syracuse, New York and has been the lifeblood for all our hand-crafted ales and lagers since we opened shop back in 1994. Crack a bottle and relish in the clean, crisp flavor of our best selling Kölsch ale and three-time consecutive gold medal winner in it’s class at the Great American Beer Festival®. Now the largest farm brewery in New York State, we take great pride in our ingredients and we hope you enjoy this beer as much as we enjoyed brining it to you. 5.3% ABV

Big Leg Emma 11.2%

We’ve got a big, bad new brewpub brew now on draft at both Empire locations! This limited edition brew wont last long, grab a pint while you still can but be careful… this beer bites back.

Named in homage of the band Big Leg Emma who played at our Empire State Brewing and Music Festival in 2008, this big legged, high octane brew leaves a lasting impression like great music. Madison County Cascade Hops, Belgian Abbey Yeast and a blend of four chocolate malts make for an intense Russian Imperial Stout. Flavors of chocolate, roasted coffee, and dark fruits will cover your pallet and eventually make way for the piney cascade hops.


Sweet Fire 2019

At a Brooklyn beer event in October of 2014, 5 friends decided to join forces in a unique beer collaboration by beer industry women. The brew was so successful that the tradition has continued each year since! Look for the 2019 batch, this year with more Belgian chocolate and a hint less chili.

Syracuse Brand Ambassador, Jocelyn Feldmeth, gives us the scoop on the brew: “Our additions of the five chili spice blend and coca nibs brought the perfect amount of chocolate sweetness on the initial taste with the chili powder giving it a fiery finish.  I am proud to be a part of this all-women craft brew.  Before I became the Brand Ambassador I was an assistant in the brewery and am grateful to Empire Brewing Company for making my dreams of being a brewer come true.  In a male dominated industry, our Sweet Fire Stout shows that women with ambition and innovative ideas can bring something new and exciting to the table.”

Sweet Fire is an imperial stout that is brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend, giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma and flavor with a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice, 8.2% ABV. The liquid is available at a limited release while supplies last.


Available on draft in the Syracuse area and the following NYC locations:

Blue Smoke Battery Park City
•255 Vesey St, NY, NY
•116 E 27th St, NY, NY

Fools Gold
•145 E Houston St, NY, NY 10002

Treadwell Park
•301 South End Ave, NY, NY 10280
•510 West 42nd, NY, NY 10280
•1125 1st Ave, NY, NY 10065

Spring Lounge
•48 Spring Street, NY, NY 10012

Blind Tiger
•281 Bleecker St., NY, NY 10014

Bobs Your Uncle
•929 Columbus Ave, NY, NY 10025

Porchlight Bar
•271 11th Ave, NY, NY 10001

Pony Bar
•1444 1st Ave #75, NY, NY 10036

The Stagg’s Head
•252 E 51st St, NY, NY 10022

Empire Launches their ‘French Kiss’ Barrel Aged Series

Empire Brewing Company has released a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout, the first bottled brew to come out of their cellar program which features over 50 Grand Cru oak wine barrels from the Burgundy region of France.

(Cazenovia, NY) –  If you haven’t been to the Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia, you might already expect an impressive production facility but you might be surprised by what you’d find in the cellar. Lined in bricks salvaged from the original Syracuse Haberle brewery, the cellar of the Farm Brewery in Cazenovia, NY is home to over 50 oak barrels. Vineyards typically burn their wine barrels after 3-5 vintages but Empire’s oak barrels were saved from the Burgundy region of France to furbish their ‘French Kiss’ cellar beer program. The first barrels were filled with beer back in 2016, and the Empire brewers have been experimenting with the complexities of barrel aging ever since.
The first release from the ‘French Kiss’ series is a mixed fermentation Russian Imperial Stout, aged for two years in five-year vintaged Echezeaux Grand Cru Burgundy Red Wine French Oak Barrels. Echezeaux Grand Cru vineyards are esteemed for the highest classification and favorable reputation in wine production. Additions of rich Belgian dark chocolate and chilies give this limited release a dark, rich wine flavor with a tart, dry finish. A new format and fresh look distinguish the premium brand, wax dipped in 22 oz bomber bottles you can pick up just in time to ring in the new year! Look for them at both Empire locations and select bottle shops in Syracuse, NY.

Brewmaster Tim Butler discusses his plans for the French Kiss series, adding that he looks forward to barrel aging a big, rich, Brown Ale. “The wine characteristics pulled from our Burgundy oak barrels will blend really nicely with dark, ‘roasty’, strong beers.” Market research and the production team’s personal preference dictate which beers are destined to be a part of Empire’s cellar aging program. Tim explains the learning curve is infinite. “Each individual barrel has it’s own set of variables, constantly changing with time.” The team is careful to maintain the barrels at a steady temperature and moisture level, sampling regularly. “I’m incredibly proud of this first release from the ‘French Kiss’ series. It’s very exciting for me to wrap up 2018 with an elevated brand that we’ve been slowly maturing for over 18 months. Not to mention my signature is on the label.”


Oktoberfest 2018 at the Farm Brewery

Our first annual Oktoberfest at the farm was a huge hit with adults and kids alike! Saturday’s weather started a little gloomy but by the time the festivities started the sun came out and didn’t disappoint! Entertainment was bountiful throughout the day beginning with pumpkin painting and carving, a keg toss, brat eating contest and the kids went nuts for the balloon artistry provided by Jeff the Magic Man. The day rounded out with live music by The Sideways. Oktoberfest wouldn’t be complete without some traditional Bavarian dress and we were pleasantly treated to multiple dirndl and lederhosen sitings.

Accolades go to our winners!!!
The McLean sisters won the pumpkin painting with 2 beautifully colored pumpkins.  Michael Grannis for the win with his creatively e-carved pumpkin. Jim Sessler tossed his keg 30 feet to beat last year’s record of 26 feet! Last but not least this year’s weiner warrior, Jonathan Tibbits put away 7 brats in 6 minutes!  Can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

Thanks to all of our customers for your support and to our friends at Our Farm Pumpkin Farm for sponsoring this year’s event!



The Oktoberfest Beer Pairing event in the barrel aging cellar was a great success! From Butternut Bisque with chili truffle creme and crunchy sage paired with the Sesh Squatch IPA to Stout Braised Baby Back Ribs paired with Burgunday Wine Barrel Aged Imperial Stout, there was not a single station out of 10 that didn’t deserve a repeat visit… or two. Thanks to everyone who came out for the opportunity to flex our culinary beer muscle!


Get to know the Brewer

Get to know Matt Ducey, the newest addition to our 7BBL Brewhouse at the Syracuse Brewpub! Read on for an exclusive interview and a little shop talk.


How long have you been with Empire?
2 glorious months.


What made you want to become a brewer?
Growing up my mother instilled in me the confidence to make things myself. For example, when I was a kid I wanted a loft bed. So instead of buying one my mother and I made a loft bed out of a fallen tree. It came out so cool. When I came across beer I was intrigued by all the differently styles and history. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any way of accessing anything other than the usual suspects so I decided to explore the world of beer by brewing it myself. The rest was history as they say! 


What’s it like brewing downtown?
We call it ‘the fish bowl’ because there are so many windows to look in on, during lunch there are people just inches away from me on the other side of the glass. It’s very cozy down there. The brew house is relatively small compared to our farm facility, which allows us to be more playful at the brewpub and a little more risky. I get the chance to help refine and discover new techniques. I love it. 


Do you have a favorite Empire brew, or a favorite style you enjoy brewing?
The Cream Ale. I had my first Empire Cream Ale years ago at the Foggy Goggle, at Toggenburg Mountain. I had just dragged myself in from a cold dark run, the mountain had schooled me. I was into craft beer but at the time I lived in Maryland so was unfamiliar with Empire. When I saw the Cream Ale on draft my spirits where immediately lifted. I’ve always wanted to make one and I’ve never seen a craft brewery produce one. The taste for me was exquisite. Truthfully that moment is one of my favorite beer memories.  Now, years later I can’t believe I get to say I brew Cream Ale. It fills me with pride. 


What is the determining factor on creating new Empire beers for market?
I’m just a brewer.  I’m not a salesmen or marketer so my first step is to forget the market. I focus on ingredients, flavors, and styles. I consider what we have on draft and which brews we have currently in fermentation. From there I try to pick or create a recipe that complements our portfolio. IPAs are awesome but so are stouts, and lagers… and Belgians! In other words, variety is the spice of life and my objective is to curate a fine blend. 


How do you feel about our recent summer seasonal, Peach Buzz?
I’m proud to say we brew that beer. We use real peach purée which gives the beer a true honest peach flavor, something completely unique in our craft market. It’s mature and not at all candy-like. A lot of bigger breweries would quickly turn to chemical extracts and the like for lower cost and faster production. For me however, it’s imperative that Empire brews with the genuine article. 


Coming into fall, which beers should we be looking forward to?
I am looking forward to our Barley Wine which is aged for an entire year before being released annually on Election Day. We’re also debuting a brand-new session IPA coming out of our top-secret Elektra project… details on that soon to come!




Empire Customer Appreciation Zydeco Boogaloo Party

We want to throw you a party! That’s right, it’s a customer appreciation Zydeco Boogaloo at the Empire Farm Brewery! For the first time ever, we’re throwing a concert in the brewery and best part is it’s FREE! The legendary Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha Chas is the first band Empire ever booked at the brewpub 24 years ago and we are thrilled to welcome them now at the Empire Farm Brewery. Must be 18 or older to attend, we’ll be slinging $3 Slo Mo’ IPA tall boy cans all night. Come hungry, the Empire brewpub was raised on creole and cajun food so you know the night’s specials will be off the hook.

More about Nathan Williams & the Zydeco Cha Chas:

Nathan formed The Cha-Chas back in 1985, and since then has brought his unique take on this regional South Louisiana music to all corners of the globe. From Lincoln Center in New York to The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Nathan’s music has crossed all barriers to speak to the very heart of his audience.

Inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and honored in 2015 with the Zydeco Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The Cha-Chas have been voted the top Festival Band in the country according to the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and USA Today and have won the coveted Big Easy award for Best Zydeco Band for several years running.

Nathan and his band have been featured in the New York Times, Essence and People magazines, and on the cover of USA Today. They’ve appeared in films like In The Electric Mist as well as the soundtrack sharing credits with Michael Doucet and Buddy Guy and The Kingdom of Zydeco, and worked with artists as diverse as Cyndi Lauper on the album Creole Bred.

Keepers of the Zydeco Flame, they are committed to keeping their Creole heritage alive.

Empire’s Anniversary Family Field Day & Canned Food Drive!

For our 2 year anniversary, we invited our friends, family and loyal patrons to join us in a Family Field Day event and canned food drive. It rained almost all day but we had a great turn out and raised $340 for local nonprofit Caz Cares with dunk tank ball sales and a mountain of non perishable donations! Thanks to everyone who came out, and an extra special thanks to everyone who attempted to dunk Empire’s Brewmaster Tim Butler and President David Katleski!

Check out videos from the event on our You Tube Page!

Tug of war never stops being fun. Thanks to Urban Life for lending us this super sweet rope!

This winning tug o’ war team won a free round on the house. Beer muscles paying off!

Interesting Keg Toss technique.

Truly a sport for the strongest men and women, united in competition for the Empire ‘Beer for a Year’ title prize!

Congratulations to Gabe Horton for throwing a winning distance of 95’2″ in the Keg Toss! Strength must run in the family because Gabe’s father Randy Horton made third place with 82’3″. You fellas earned those beers.

Lisa Butler winds up, as Empire’s Brewmaster Tim Butler holds his breath.

These two used to be friends…

The dunk tank water was not warm.

Empire’s President David Katleski was a good sport and took a turn in the dunk tank to raise funds for Caz Cares.

Take another little pizza my heart

Arguably the original food pairing, pizza and beer go together like… well, pizza and beer! Uno Pizzeria & Grill is teaming up with Empire Brewing Company for your pairing pleasure all summer long! Look for Empire on draft at participating Uno locations, and experiment with your matchmaking abilities! We like to go above and beyond (and we really like pizza) so we did a little reconnaissance work of our own. Follow us on Facebook and catch all of our stimulating pairing suggestions.

Participating Uno Pizzeria & Grill NY locations:
Columbus Ave.
Bay Ridge (Brooklyn)
Astoria (Queens)
Woodbury (Central Valley)
New Hartford


The 5th annual Syracuse Fashion Week has finished it’s most recent year with its last show at the Empire Farm Brewery. Raising over 35 thousand meals through the Food Bank of CNY, Syracuse Fashion Week estimates another 8 thousand meals have been funded so far by this year’s events. Cheers to all the collaborators, organizers, vendors, sponsors, artisans, designers, models, and of course everyone who came out in support of the cause and their community!

Lisa Butler, founder of Syracuse Fashion Week

Live painting by Fletch Crangle.

Local designer line, Colleens Creative Outlet, focuses on upcycled clothing.

Tailor made dress by local balloon artisan, Jeffrey D’Ambrisio aka Jeff the Magic Man.

Director of Brewing Operations, Tim Butler (Left) watching the show with President and Founder of Empire Brewing Company, David Katleski (right).

Yes, the goat models came back!

We even had a pig model.

Local designs by 315 And Beyond’s new line.

Makeup and Hair Coordinator, Shannon Fleming, sips on a well deserved mimosa while enjoying the show.

Life’s a garden, dig it!

Mobley the goat retunred for his second Farm Fresh Fashions show. Still a star.