Climbing Bines Hop Farm on Seneca Lake, NY

A Lovely Drive up Seneca Lake

Drive north on route 14 out of Watkins Glen and also you climb excessive on the west aspect of Seneca Lake, by means of a serene countryside flanked by lovely vineyards and great views of the lake.

At each vista you struggle the urge to drag over and cargo up your cellphone with photographs that may by no means actually convey the expertise, irrespective of what number of you’re taking. Finest to only be there.

Cindy gazes out the window at passing grapevines, the panorama and Seneca Lake past, as I ramble on about how we should always simply open a brewpub or one thing and make a dwelling having fun with what we like to do: make beer, develop issues and luxuriate in nature and life.

“It is simply one other mile forward, on the precise,” she says, glancing down on the map on her sensible telephone.

Briefly silenced I take note of the highway forward and ponder the concept of working a brewery or brewpub. Even when we discovered the funding may we actually run a enterprise like that? Dunno. For now we’ll simply persist with exploring our truthful land for cool locations to search out cool beer.

On this highway journey we’ve our course set on Climbing Bines Hop Farm which, although not a brew pub, does occurs to be a craft ale brewery. The hop farm is positioned about midway up the west aspect of Seneca Lake close to Dresden, NY. A gorgeous drive.

We swing proper onto Hanson Level Street, a unfastened gravel association that conjures photos of the Duke boys skidding away within the Common Lee kicking up a wake of mud. I struggle the urge to “yeeeehaw” and peal out.

As an alternative of turning left into the parking zone of Climbing Bines we determine to observe the winding highway right down to the lake shore first. We take a sluggish drive behind lakefront houses, which sit again not too far in any respect from the waters edge.

Boats bob within the lazy afternoon solar, lashed to docks and ready for his or her homeowners to take them on one final spin earlier than nightfall. Or perhaps one final spin after nightfall.

The highway useless ends so we flip again. As we make our approach again towards the hop farm we spherical an uphill curve and I goose the accelerator, sans “yeeeehaw,” whipping up a quick mud cloud as we rumble up the slope.

Gripping the “oh shoot” deal with on the passenger aspect A-pillar to regular herself Cindy calmly remarks, “Good. You might need to decelerate although as a result of the doorway is true up there.”

The Picturesque Hop Farm

I brake and make a fast flip previous a big stacked-stone cairn into the lot at Climbing Bines. After parking we head in for a glance. It was a bit sluggish throughout our go to however that labored out nicely as a result of we had an opportunity to speak with Chris Hansen, hop farmer, co-owner and co-brewer at Climbing Bines Craft Ale & Hop Farm.

Pleasant and enthusiastic, Chris advised us the story of their enterprise. He together with homebrewer buddy Brian Karweck and others began the bigger hop farm in 2009 after a few years rising a smaller backyard exterior of his grandfather’s outdated tractor shed. Initially they used their hops for homebrewing however as their data of hops and brewing grew, so did the hop backyard.

The farm finally grew to incorporate 7 sorts of aroma and excessive alpha acid hops – Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, Goldings, Magnum, Nugget and Willamette – with nearly 1500 hills on 1.5 acres of the identical property the place the shed stands, excessive on the shore of Seneca Lake.

Craft Ale Brewery

In August of 2013 the growers and homebrewers of Climbing Bines formally opened a 3.5bbl brew home and tasting room in that outdated shed. They use seven 7bbl fermenters and two 7bbl vibrant tanks to situation their ales earlier than kegging and getting them on faucet. Chris talked about that they’re hoping to broaden to a 10 bbl brewing system inside the subsequent 12 months or two.

Climbing Bines craft ales function many of the property grown hops talked about above. Initially their beers had been made with 100% property grown hops, although on account of elevated demand and manufacturing they’ve lately needed to supply out hops from different native producers.

Relaxation assured, if not from the property, all extra hops are sourced from farms within the native space. Climbing Bines additionally sources barley, wheat and rye from native growers and malting homes. Chris commented that the price of producing their craft ales with native sources is considerably greater than it might be in the event that they used mass-produced substances from bigger firms however they’re decided to maintain their enterprise native.

The barman on responsibility poured us a sampling of brews together with their Tart Cherry, Hefeweizen, Dunkelweizen, Amber, Pale, Brown and India Pale Ales – all of that are spot on per type, very nicely balanced and scrumptious – then Cindy and I headed out to the farm to stroll round.

Guests can stroll among the many bines, benefit from the property, absorb views of the lake and cargo up their cell telephones with pics like we did, then head again to the lined patio to pattern some nice tasting brews. Between sips you possibly can get pleasure from a cornhole sport, or simply chill out and benefit from the day.

Climbing Bines ales can be found to go in 32 ounce grenades, or 64 ounce growlers. Cindy and I picked up a few grenades stuffed with choose ales to carry again to camp.

The distinctive Climbing Bine faucet handles, that are kind of mash-paddle-shaped, are adorned with very cool pyrographic artwork created by Jesse Georgia. You may see the faucet handles and extra of his work at

Very cool stacked stones may be discovered throughout the property, largely standing on the assist line posts on the finish of every row of hop bines. They’re harking back to the Inuksuit we noticed throughout our journey by means of The Muskokas in Ontario final 12 months.

A terrific choice of Climbing Bines t-shirts, hats, frisbees and stickers can be found that will help you unfold the phrase about this cool little hop farm. Cindy acquired a pleasant lengthy sleeve Tee and I picked up a sticker so as to add to the rising assortment of brewery stickers on my guitar case.

Climbing Bines will get the Street Journeys and Brew Pubs thumbs up as a singular and attention-grabbing expertise and an amazing place to get pleasure from some nice tasting craft brewed ales.

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