There’s something special about summer in Ulster County. What better way to enjoy the warm weather and refreshing sunshine than on a bike, cycling through the scenic mountain roads with the picturesque Catskills as your backdrop? All that biking is bound to make you thirsty, and we’ve got plenty of craft establishments happy to oblige.

Whether it’s a weekend with your buds, an escape with the girls, a solo sojourn or a visit with friends, join the new Ulster County tradition and take a summertime “Bikes & Brews” tour.

Need a bike?

Before we begin with our list, you’re going to need a bike, right? You’re welcome to bring your own, but we have plenty of bike rentals and resources available too.

Looking for a new view? Try a Rail Explorers Tour. Ride a custom-built, pedal-powered Rail Explorer on a decommissioned train rail line alongside the Esopus Creek and through Catskill Mountains’ woods. Perfect for families and friend groups.

Also, we want to remind you to please be responsible. If you have had too much to drink, please protect yourself and others. Do not try to ride your bike.

Explore popular breweries.

Woodstock Brewing

Woodstock Brewing was founded by two friends “with a passion for brewing and tinkering.” We’ll drink to that. Nestled in the Catskills, Woodstock Brewing is known for their ever-changing craft beer selection, as well as their relaxing drinking environment that never changes. Be sure to check out their menu to see what’s on tap. Whatever it is, it’s bound to be delicious. 

Arrowhead Farms

Can’t decide between a beer or spirit? As a craft brewery and distillery, Arrowhead Farms serves them all. Arrowhead is situated on a farm between the Catskill and Shawangunk Mountains, so it’s no surprise they’re all in when it comes to local flavors, cultivating, sourcing and brewing with New York ingredients. Try their single-barrel bourbon whiskey or their signature farmhouse ales, and you’ll be in an Empire state of mind in no time. 

Coppersea Distillery

No other business embodies Ulster County’s “made by hand” mentality more than Coppersea Distillery. Coppersea is a true “grain-to-grass” distillery that uses heritage methods perfected across continents and centuries at their 75-acre Hudson Valley Farm. Their spirits — including ryes, whiskeys and bourbons — are as rich in character as they are robust in flavor, inspiring admiration with every sip. 

Rough Cut Brewing Co.

Non-locals may have trouble pronouncing “Kerhonkson” the first time, but you’ll have no difficulty finding a delicious pint at the community’s most famous brewpub: Rough Cut Brewing Co. Kerhonkson’s original brewpub has a reputation for tasty bites and brews throughout the region, and it’s only growing larger with each new customer served. With nine different varieties of hops growing at their local farmhouse, the IPAs at Rough Cut are a cut above all others.

This is just a small selection of the craft breweries and distilleries in Ulster County, so come explore and find your favorite.

Find new paths. Leave no trace.

We have many popular trailheads, so why not change your view and try something new by visiting our lesser-known trailheads and hikes? Locals love the Empire State Trail, not only because of the beautiful sights and uncrowded hikes, but also because it’s easy to leave the trail and visit the towns and hamlets. Grab a bite, sneak in some Z’s or even find a memento in one of the local shops. Take the road less traveled — but don’t take anything else. Please “leave no trace” and leave our trails pristine for other people to enjoy. Here are other trails you can check out:

  • Ashokan Rail Trail
  • Hudson Valley Rail Trail
  • Mohonk Preserve

Live music is alive and well.

Many of our most popular music and performing arts venues are making a comeback. Check out their listings to see who’s playing and make a music stop on your “Bikes & Brews Tour.”

As you plan your spring vacation, be sure to stay apprised of weather conditions and always double-check hours and availability of businesses. Also, please remember to be mindful of others and follow recommended health and safety protocols.