So after talking about Surfing Goat Dairy in Hawaii, I wanted to transition to Two Goats Brewery, Horseheads Brewery, and the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard. These were part of a trip to upstate New York I took at the end of September in order to witness the beautiful wedding of Sarah and Jarrett at the Seneca Springs Resort over looking Seneca Lake.
First of all, what are the chances within a month I would be visiting another place with goat in the name? Two Goats Brewing is in a prime location along the Route 414 which winds along the east side of the Seneca Lake (one of the Finger Lakes, several lakes that are long and narrow facing north-south, and almost looks on a map like finger scratches), on the same road as many wineries for when you want a break from circling the wine country around this lake, sampling wines.
The Two Goats building, a renovated barn, is set back a little bit from the road on a rocky unpaved road so make sure you slow down so you can make the turn. But, you’ll soon see why- the tasting room sits back on the top of a hill overlooking the lake, and they have a big deck in the back where you can enjoy your beers with the view.
Two Goats feels like a dive bar inside- random sized bar art covering all over the walls, darts, the only food are roast beef sandwiches, there are dollar bills all over the ceiling. When we visited they had 6 of their own beers available, including two mixes: one which I tried was called the “Dirty Butt“, which is a mix of their two beers the Dirty Shepard Brown and Cream Ale. I also really enjoyed the Whiskey Richard, has the complexity of whiskey aging from Finger Lakes Distilling barrels (the distillery is just down the street!) but oatmeal stout base still clear in the flavor profile. They also have a nice bottle selection. Everything is very reasonably priced at about $4-6 for draft or $3.5-8 for various 12-16 oz bottles, $12 for 22 oz bottles.
The sun came out eventually from behind the clouds, and then I was able to enjoy the sunset from their back deck.
While at the bar of Two Goats, the bartenders highly recommended we visit Horseheads Brewing. It was vaguely on the way to Cooperstown, so we decided to make it an after lunch stop. We were really glad we did- it is a very unassuming lil tasting room that is bare bones- just shelves of many kinds of glasses and growlers, a small cooler with some of their bottles, and then a standup bar that fits maybe 6 people where you can go through a tasting of their beers. The tasting fee is $3 or $5, the pours are the same but you get to keep the tasting glass and so the difference in price really correlates with which of the many tasting glasses you want to take with you!
We were able to taste 8 beers, many which were great beers- particularly outstanding was the well balanced Pumpkin Ale (a steal at only $5.99 a bottle), the nicely nutty Newton Brown, the well layered in flavors Lager-Rhythm Dark, and a spicy but not overly so (again, consistent balance) jalapeno beer Hot-Jala-Heim. We were also fortunate enough because a bottle was open by another visitor (who eventually bought a whole case of them!) to taste the dangerously delicious but high ABV Domination barleywine. If you are in the area, take a break from the wine and try this great little bare bones hole in the wall tasting room!
- Chemung Canal Towpath Ale
- Pumpkin Ale
- Brickyard Red Ale 1840
- Pale Expedition Ale
- Newtown Brown Ale
- Horseheads IPA
- Domination Ale
After reaching Cooperstown by late afternoon, we stopped for about an hour at the Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard. What does this have to do with goats, or cheese, or beer? Not much. Well, Fly Creek does have a huge marketplace store which includes at least a hundred different dip mixes (sampling is encouraged), all sorts of james and creamed honey and hot sauces and salsas, cake and bread mixes, apples, fudge, and yes local cheeses (I really liked the Applewood Smoked Sharp Cheddar). It was a lot of fun snacking through, trying so many products of New York state. They also have various fruit wines and hard ciders. Nothing says fall to me as much as fresh apple cider- and the pamphlet even offers you coupon for a free tasting of an apple cider slushie!
They also had a back area where you could feed geese and ducks. The kid in me was so so thrilled to have them nubbing out of my hand. I was very stubborn about feeding them- I had not a single quarter, but then found a change machine by the barn and tried several different dollar bills (doing the normal trying to straighten and smoothing in between tries), very very determined to get more quarters so we can feed all the ducks and geese along the fence, not just the ones by the deck over the pond. I was also very into even distribution among the fowl. But it was worth it! They had a interesting variety of geese and ducks, including ones I have not seen before.
I also loved how fluffy these Sebastopols geese were. Apparently they have a curled feather “mutation”, but seriously… I just call it FLUFFY!
Do you like feeding animals and going to the petting zoo… even if you don’t have kids, or if you take your kids you get your own times for petting of animals for the childlike thrilled part of yourself?