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Girl Scout Cookie Pairing 2017


Join Empire Brewing Company for our 2nd annual Girl Scout Cookie Pairing! Last year was such a hit we have decided to offer this exclusive pairing at both Empire locations. Each cookie has been thoughtfully paired with a 6oz pour of one of Empire’s tasty handcrafted brews that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. The fun starts at the Syracuse Brewpub on Monday, March 20 and picks up at the Farm Brewery in Cazenovia on Thursday, March 23.

Here’s how the cookie crumbles:

Local Grind paired with a S’more

Black Magic Stout paired with a Thin Mint

Tog Grog paired with a Samoa

Cream Ale paired with a Trefoil

White Aphro paired with a Savannah Smile

Cranbaby paired with a Tagalong

This tasty pairing is only available while supplies last, grab your sweet tooth and head to either Empire location starting the week of March 20! See you there.


Empire Farmhouse Tap Pulls Out All the Hops

Empire Brewing Company is proud to present a new wave of creative brewing, being brought to you exclusively on draft at our Syracuse Brewpub and Cazenovia Farm Brewery.

The Empire Farmhouse tap is a symbol of innovation and experimentation.  It speaks to our brewer’s creativity and abilities, while giving our patrons the first taste into what is to come from Empire.  We will be here to see what you like and use your pallet and expertise to guide us. The Farmhouse tap will be the front line for new styles before they are considered for bottling and distribution.

Interested in Empire Brew’s you can’t find anywhere else?

Here’s our current lineup:

Worst Day IPA: 6.0% ABV

Our first Oops on our new 60BBL production brewery proved favorable by many Empire patrons, proof that good things can come from your worst days. This medium bodies IPA is jam packed with Mosaic hops and malt sweetness, and an aromatic hop nose from 50lbs of Citra that was dry-hopped during fermentation. Get the full story here.

 Particle City: 8.0% ABV

A New England Style double IPA brewed with 20% flaked oats and a generous amount of pale malt. Hopped with Citra and Mosaic hops at a rate of 5 lbs. per barrel, this hazy, fragrant ale focuses on late whirlpool additions and a three stage dry hop.

New England IPAs are beers that are purposely hazy or cloudy, which can give these brews a smooth, creamy mouthfeel, with little to no hop bitterness at the end utilizing hops that impart a tropical, juicy sweetness.

Session IPA: 5.0% ABV

This is our first session IPA brewed with a big flavor while maintaining a lower ABV.  Even with the use of bittering hops this style finishes as a crisp, easy drinking IPA.

A session beer speaks to the ABV of the liquid, ranging from 3-5% alcohol by volume, with the ability to put back a few pints in a session and still remain coherent. A session IPA combines the hoppiness of an IPA with the lower alcohol content of a session beer.

If you’re feeling thirsty for one of these IPAs, remember they are on draft only at Empire Brewing Company. Visit us at our main page for hours of operation and what’s on tap! Follow us @empirebrew for the latest on our Farmhouse tap.

Local Grind is Fueling Empire State

Local Grind Photo #2

At Empire, we are committed to brewing your favorite beers with the finest ingredients, sourced locally, whenever possible.  Local Grind embodies that commitment; a Scotch Ale brewed with freshly ground coffee beans, it brings together two American staples: craft beer and locally roasted coffee.

Our collaborative brew with long time partner, Café Kubal Coffee Roaster, will be brought to you in 4-packs and on draft across NYS and NJ during a limited release this month.  Café Kubal was established in 2004 and has since opened seven locations in the Syracuse Area. We chose Café Kubal for their proximity to our Syracuse Brewpub and for the quality of their coffee. Empire’s Director of Brewing Operations, Tim Butler remembers the mutual excitement for the partnership saying, “Even back then, we were talking of a long term partnership and getting the beer into [bottles] once we expanded.”  That was 2013; Local Grind has since created a cult following in the Syracuse area, patrons admitting to checking Empire’s “on tap” webpage daily when there are rumors the coffee brew fermenting. Also, winning employee choice as the best beer of 2015.

When Empire started exploring different coffee brews back in 2013, it seemed many were either a porter or stout style. Tim Butler wanted to stay in the realm of dark beers, but steer away from the norm, “I thought the smoothness of a Scotch Ale would marry much better with the acidity of the coffee,” and the Local Grind was born. The beer is infused with a custom blend of Guatemalan beans, giving the brew a distinct coffee note that compliments the sweet malt profile.

If you’re wondering where we got the name, Tim gave us the scoop, “The concept of the name Local Grind was the combination of two local companies getting together to create one product, and the daily grind of working hard to succeed. Also, the double meaning of grinding coffee to a specific size that is suitable for brewing.”

What goes into brewing the Local Grind?  It’s all in timing, temperature, and ingredients.  Growth and scale have been common themes for Empire in the past year, maturing in 2016 from a 7BBL brew house to a 60BBL production style brewery.  For Local Grind, that means more hops, more malt, and a lot more coffee!  First, we brewed the Scotch Ale and allowed time for fermentation. After fermentation, we used close to 100lbs of freshly ground Guatemalan coffee beans, utilizing our hop cannon to circulate the coffee throughout the fermenter.  Circulating the coffee through the liquid at a low temperature proved to cut down on the coffee’s acidity while preserving the smooth and sweet flavors.

Are you thirsty yet?  We will be celebrating Local Grind’s release in bottles and on draft February 17, 2017 at Café Kubal’s newest location at 712 East Fayette St. in Syracuse, NY and will then make its way to stores and bars near you. Local Grind makes an excellent pairing at brunch or your happy hour pick me up. Don’t miss out, supplies are limited!

Youtube: Fueling Empire State, Arvest Pictures


Cazenovia Fat Bike Race


Fat Bikes first came to the market around 2000 and were reserved for adventure-sport enthusiasts because of large price tags and limited availability. In recent years, the sport has gained traction in the recreational biking community as the fat tire is becoming more adorable.  A fat bike is an off-road bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3’ 7” or larger, they are designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on unstable terrain, such as snow, sand, bogs and mud. With record low snow fall in CNY over the past few winters it is no surprise fat bikes are dominating the trails over cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter recreations.

Empire Brewing Company and Syracuse Bicycle are bringing fat biking to Cazenovia on Sunday February 12, 2017!  The Cazenovia Fat Bike Race at Empire Farm Brewery is an event that gets you outside during the long CNY winter and makes bike racing FUN again. For beginners and experts alike, the race includes tech service by Syracuse Bicycle, award winning Empire Brewing Company beer & food, fat bike demos, games and contests, awards and prizes, toasty fires, and great music! Family & friends are welcome to cheer you on. We guarantee they’ll have as much as fun you will! Each racer will receive 2 beer tickets and post-race food. Additional beer and food for friends and family will be available for purchase. Fat Bike rentals are available on a limited basis.

Get full details here on Syracuse Bicycles events page.  Spectators are welcome! Our tasting room will be open for regular hours the day of the race, 11:30am-9pm.  See you there.


Beer + Yoga = Community

Yoga+Beer Photo #4

Beer and Yoga may seem like an unlikely match, even counterintuitive, but they have more in common than one would think.  Last Saturday, Empire Farm Brewery welcomed 30 yogis into the new production brewery in Cazenovia for a morning of blissed out yoga followed by an Empire Brew in the tasting room.  The event was the first of its kind to be offered at Empire and was well received by both the yoga and craft beer communities that gathered.

Yoga is a practice of flow, muscle building and mindfulness. The yoga studio is well-kept, with many helpful props and the controlled smells of incense and essential oils.  Yoga in the brewery strips down those familiarities. The brewery offers a different sensory experience with large tanks giving off the sounds and smells of fermentation, high ceilings and the occasional barley grain scattered on the floor.  Beer + Yoga give’s fresh perspective to the seasoned yogi and also makes the practice approachable to newcomers.

The craft beer drinker today is active.  The Empire tasting room welcomes runners, skiers and bikers alike for a post-workout recovery drink, giving those communities a place to gather.  Yoga is becoming just as social.  In a studio setting, many times yogis will roll up their mats and head home.  Beer + Yoga offers more.  Saturday’s instructor Sophie Tashkovski said, “This was a great opportunity to bring people together to have a community aspect to yoga.”

In an overnight sell-out of last Saturday’s event, Beer + Yoga will return on February 18, 2017 with back to back classes in collaboration with the O Yoga Studio.  Empire looks to offer regular yoga and wellness classes monthly through our Beer+ program, always ending with your favorite Empire Brew. Cheers!

Yoga+Beer Photo #2

Brew News: New Styles from the Empire Brewpub


New and old seasonal favorites from the Syracuse Brewpub are on tap now! There is something for all craft beer lovers.

On weekend tours at the Cazenovia Farm Brewery we are often asked if we still brew at our downtown Syracuse location.  The answer is YES!  Our 7 BBL turn-key brew house in downtown Syracuse is in full production, with a capacity of 1200 BBL annually. For those of you who aren’t familiar with BBL (barrels) as a unit of measurement, a standard keg is the equivalent of a ‘half barrel’. A 7BBL batch of beer will generally produce about 12 standard kegs. The 7 BBL brewpub system allows us to experiment with new and unique styles, which we are proud to offer at both of our locations.

What’s the latest from the Brewpub?

Cranbaby Wheat 6.5% ABV.  This Belgian style unfiltered wheat is brewed with a cranberry puree giving it a beautiful pink hue. Lightly hopped and then fermented with a traditional yeast strain, this brew walks the line between sweet and tart, finishing crisp and dry. The style was inspired from the popularity of our Deep Purple, which uses local Concord Grape concentrate from the NYS Finger Lakes region. Common winter styles are often dark, malty, high OG beers. Our brewers wanted to offer a light, crisp seasonal alternative. The Cranbaby Wheat features a cranberry puree, which were harvested in the late fall. Brewery Administrator, Jocelyn Feldmeth, gave us the scoop on recipe and execution: “We used Tim’s [Butler] traditional Belgian Wit recipe, but replaced the spice component with a cranberry puree. We used our house White Aphro yeast, which gives the beer a more tart, sour feel, and added the cranberry during conditioning.” 

Tart and fruity not your jam?  Don’t forget about our popular Togg Grog Ale 7.3% ABV, brewed for Toggenburg Mountain in Fabius NY. This spicy Winter Warmer style ale offers notes of Cardamom and allspice. Patron and Untappd user Ken W gives this beer 4 stars, “I really enjoy the winter spices that round out the dark malty flavor of this beer. Highly recommended,” thanks Ken W!

Brewpub Beer styles on tap now?  Our Draft list is constantly changing so ask your bartender what’s new or follow us @empirebrew for the latest on Empire draft releases.  Our specialties go quick, so stop by and enjoy a fresh pint when you can!

Empire Farm Brewery, Cazenovia, NY:

American Strong Ale 8.5% ABV

Roasted Pumpkin Ale 6.5% ABV

Liv & Let Rye IPA 6.5% ABV

Local Grind 7.2% ABV

Empire Brewpub, Syracuse, NY:

Cranbaby Wheat 6.5% ABV

Togg Grog Ale 7.3% ABV

Lost Dog Pale Ale 5.8% ABV

Liv & Let Rye IPA 6.5% ABV

Local Grind 7.5% ABV

Barley Wine 12.5% ABV


See what’s on tap daily at


Overwintering Bees in the E-piary


What’s the buzz with the E-pairy honeybees in the winter?

Honeybees are known as a super pollinator.  Have you seen recent campaigns that take all products that are created with the help of pollinators out of the grocery stores?  Long story short, you’re not left with much.  Spring and summer are a thriving time in agriculture with much help from pollinators like the honeybee, but what do our tiny friends do in our northern climates in the winter?  Many of you have asked and we are here to give you the buzz.

In mid-fall when nighttime temperatures start to consistently hit 40 degrees Fahrenheit an alarming pheromone is let off in the hive to signal a few practices.  First, the female worker bees take it upon themselves to kick out the drone (male) population, equating for roughly ten percent of the colony.  Drones serve one purpose and one purpose only, to inseminate a new queen and when honey (food) reserves are scarce during the winter they are kicked to the curb because we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Sorry, guys.  Next, worker bees begin to cluster around the queen bee in a circular motion while flapping their wings to create heat.  Worker bees weave from the outside to inside portions of the cluster to keep the colony warm.  Clustering is a crucial practice that keeps the colony and queen at no lower than 45 degrees Fahrenheit so she is able to continue laying eggs throughout the winter, which determines the fate of the colony.  The population of the colony drops drastically and the laying of eggs in early January is essential for the colony to repopulate in early spring.

As the temperature rises and falls, the cluster expands and contracts. The bees within the cluster have access to the food stores of honey and pollen. During warm periods, the cluster shifts its position to cover new areas of comb containing honey. An extremely prolonged cold spell can prohibit cluster movement, and the bees may starve to death only inches away from honey.

It’s upsetting to report that over 40% of honey bee colonies in the United States do not survive the winter and in New York State it is closer to a 50% failure rate.  As a beekeeper all you can do is cultivate healthy hives that have a large population at the end of summer and plenty of honey and pollen stores, over 80lbs in colder northern climates!  It’s not until the first warm days of spring where a hives fate is revealed and a beekeeper can either breathe easy or begin work on a new colony.

That’s all from the E-pairy this year, thanks for following and keep your fingers crossed for a successful overwinter.  Long live the honeybee!

Brew News: Worst Day IPA

It was an ordinary morning at Empire Farm Brewery and like clock work the production team geared up for another day of brewing.  With safety glasses on and slip grip boots in toe the brewer’s started their day’s work.  With the push of a button, in the fully automated brewhouse, over 4000lbs of malting barley made its way into the building to be milled and added to the mash tun for a batch of Slo Mo IPA.   It wasn’t long before the brewer’s realized the mash was stuck!  With some troubleshooting and pure force the mash moved into the lauter tun, where grain and wort (sugary water) are separated.  Phew, they dodged a bullet!  Covered in sweat and confusion they continued to make beer.  But just a moment later the brewhouse began to experience major automation glitches!  What was the deal?  A power outage… They soon realized the building had experienced a power surge the night before and the entire brewhouse had been uncalibrated, yikes.  Anything else? Of course, we all know things come in threes.  Next, the boil kettle was registering a full tank of wort but was just over half full, with all the ingredients of a full batch. (Let us stress the massive amounts of malt and hops in a Slo Mo)  It was decided that the brew team would let the cycle run its course, but it was clear that they had created an entirely new brew.  A hazy IPA with medium body and extra malt sweetness!  Director of Brewing, Tim Butler, took it a step further and utilized our hop cannon for the first time ever to dry hop the brew with 50lbs of Citra, a prized west coast proprietary hop, to give this beer a bright hoppy nose.  In a final tribute to this historic day in Empire Farm Brewery history, brewer Jimmy so simply put, “that was the worst day ever, man” and the rest is history.

Thanks for letting us vent about our worst day ever, to say thanks we’ve kegged it and made it available for your drinking pleasure EXCLUSIVELY at Empire Farm Brewery in Cazenovia, NY!  It the first beer to be featured on our farmhouse tap series of one-offs and specialty batches offered only at Empire Brewing Company.



In October 2014, at a Brooklyn beer event, 5 friends decided to join forces over a unique beer collaboration by beer industry women.  Empire Brewing Company welcomed the collaboration with open arms.  The women presented the idea of a new beer style that would have big flavor and incorporate unique ingredients.  Head Brewer, Tim Butler, was put to the test and delivered a recipe unlike any other.  The collaboration’s success in 2014 made this an instant tradition for the ladies of Sweet Fire and Empire Brewing Company alike.

Since that first brew in 2014 the Sweet Fire collaboration has grown to 14 women involved in the brewing process of the imperial stout.  They are an eclectic group of women with a mutual love of craft beer.  The women of Sweet Fire are entrepreneurs, sales woman, cicerones, managers, writers and representatives to some of the top beer establishments in the metro New York area.  They come from far and wide, most moving to NYC in their adults lives and finding themselves in one of the fastest growing industries in the state, craft beer.

In the past two years, the Brewsters, a term from the middle ages referring to female brewers, would create small batches on the Empire brewpub 7BBL system and release the liquid at limited quantities to the establishment’s they worked for.   Much has changed for Empire Brewing Company in the past year in the opening of their 60BBL farm brewery in Cazenovia.  This year the Sweet Fire women were invited to Central New York to brew on the state of the art production style brewery at a quantity for mass distribution in bottles and kegs throughout New York State and New Jersey.  The liquid is available at a limited release while supplies last.

Sweet Fire is an imperial chocolate chili stout with a tantalizing chocolate flavor and heat that creeps onto the palate, presenting a beautiful balance of sweetness and hotness. 8.3 ABV%

Youtube: BrewHer Shoes

We are proud to introduce to you to these notable women in craft, and this years Sweet Fire brewsters; 

Cheers to you ladies, and thanks for the pure liquid!


Buy Local, Give Local!


Grow local, craft global. That is Empire Brewing Company’s mission. A long time advocate of supporting local businesses, Empire encourages you to shop locally this Holiday season! As added incentive, Empire has committed to donating 10% of all locally sourced artisan merchandise to local charity, Caz Cares. Stop by the Empire Farm Brewery and checkout the neighborhood craft!

Find the following premium brands at our local table:

Caz Cares serves low income residents of the Cazenovia School District and surrounding areas of Madison County with food, clothing and other necessary services. In Madison County, 26% of the residents live in poverty. Every month, approximately 170 families receive food from the Caz Cares food pantry. In addition to a monetary donation, Empire has organized an incentivized canned food/toy drive allowing patrons to help our less fortunate neighbors. Through the month of December,  bring in non perishable food item(s) or new toy(s) to be donated to Caz Cares and receive a free Empire draft pint! (must be 21 or older, only one pint per customer.)