Hudson-Chatham Winery announced this weekend the
introduction of two new collaboration beers that included several area
businesses. The Vassar Cup award-winning
Chatham Brewing, the Beer Diviner of Stephentown, NY, and Vasilow’s Confectionery
in Hudson, NY.
With the introduction of numerous new laws enacted by
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Liquor Authority, wineries are now
allowed to sell locally brewed beers. Hudson-Chatham Winery was not only interested
in selling new beers, but in taking it a step further.
Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir Old Vines was recently named among the best wines for the Holidays in the December 2014 issue of Wine Enthusiast
Carlo DeVito explained, “Collaboration beers are very hot in
the brewing industry, and numbers of small craft businesses are pooling their
efforts to make really cool special, exclusive, small production products. We
wanted to sell beer, but we didn’t want to start carrying a lot of other people’s
products. We wanted to do something unique, something special to the winery. I
am a beer editor and enthusiast, and we at the winery decided to consult with
some of our local brewing brethren. We’d already done a very successful Grappa
with Harvest Spirits, so another collaboration project was a worthwhile
According to Imbibe magazine, “the past decade or so has
seen a variety of brands partnering up. Many are small-batch productions, only
available at the brewery or in its immediate area, but some have brought
together bigger breweries with wider distribution.”
“I first approached owners Jake Cunningham and Tom Crowell,
and Master Brewer Matt Perry at Chatham Brewing about doing it. And they were
instantly excited. We were thrilled. Chatham-Brewing is an award-wining brewery
with a lot of awards behind them, and they are literally brewed on Main Street,
in Chatham, NY. They have been a partner with us for years. We were thrilled.
Matt was the man in charge of the project. He was really into it. I have a lot
of respect for Matt as a Brew Master. And it’s very exciting watching him as
Chatham Brewing continues to grow.”
Jake Cunningham, Tom Crowell, and Matt Perry
Jonathan Post and the staff at Beer Diviner
“I also approached Dr. Jonathan Post at the Beer Diviner in
Stephentown, NY, and mentioned to him what we were doing with Chatham Brewing.
Jonatahan and I have many shared interest. He’s an Eglish professor and has
spent extensive time in Africa, where he was named the Beer Diviner in a local
ritual in Dagara, in Africa. He too was interested. We kicked around a couple
of ideas. And he went to work.”
CHATHAM BREWING 8 BARREL RESERVE - Vassar Cup winning
Chatham Brewing’s famous 8 Barrel Reserve is a big, strong brown ale, but this
special batch was aged in Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir barrels for six months. The
dark sour cherry, French Oak, and spice show beautifully. A collaboration
product which shows real local terroir. It is only available at Hudson-Chatham
Winery and Chatham-Brewing’s tasting room on Main Street.
BEER DIVINER HUDSON-CHATHAM STAGECOACH PORTER - The Beer
Diviner of Stephentown, NY custom created a special blend with Hudson-Chatham
in mind. This is a big caramel porter made using caramel from Vasilow’s
Confectionery in Hudson, NY and aged in a Hudson-Chatham Baco Noir barrel. Big,
dark, and filled with toffee and other spices. Almost a hint of dark cream sherry.
“Collaboration is fun, but intoxicating. I was constantly
asking poor Matt if it was ready yet. I felt like Mars Blackmon, “Is it brewed
yet, money? Is it brewed?” He was incredibly patient. I was like a little kid.
Even when I was ready, he was like, wait, wait, it’s getting better flavor,”
Jim Vasilow and wife, Kate, of Vasilow's Confectionery
“And we came up with the idea of a caramel porter type beer
with Jonathan, we had to buy caramel. We decided to use real caramel as a sugar
which we sourced from Vasilow’s Confectionery, in Hudson, NY. It came in giant,
fragrant blocks. They were like humongous Sugar Daddys. I just wanted to bite
right into them. It’s very exciting to
see these beers finally hit the market. We started the 8 Barrel as long ago as
May of 2014. So it has taken a while. But the results are very much worth
Hudson-Chatham Winery was the first winery and local craft
beverage producer in Columbia County. Chatham Brewing was the first brewer in
Columbia county, and celebrated their eighth year in business in November 2014.
The Beer Diviner has been a staple of the local beer industry for several years and is
in the process of expansion.