Responding to the new wave of quality IPAs, stouts, ales, and lagers made in small craft breweries across the country, Buzzfeed, the international news and entertainment online magazine, asked Yelp, the world’s premier customer review site, to pull data on the most popular brewery in every state. Yelp measured all their brewery data “using an algorithm that looked at the number of reviews plus the star rating for every brewery.”
According to those results, Yates County’s own Climbing Bines Hop Farm is the best place in all of New York “to grab a flight and a pint, according to beer snobs, local residents, and wandering tourists alike who love beer as much as you do!”
Climbing Bines Hop Farm, at 511 Hansen Point Road just off Rte. 14 south of Dresden, and Climbing Bines Craft Ale Company that was born from it, is one of New York State’s first farm breweries. They specialize in small batch, hand-crafted ales brewed on site, using their own estate-grown hops, and barley harvested just a few miles away. Always experimenting with new brew recipes and styles, their house ales include an IPA, Amber, Pale, Blonde, and Hefeweizen. They also have a selection of ciders as well as non-alcoholic beverages for children and non-drinkers.
The Yelp ranking in December has brought Climbing Bines even more notice for their exceptional products and tasting room experience. Speaking in a recent television interview, co-owner Chris Hansen says, “Yeah, that was a really nice surprise for us. You know, we saw that and it’s great because we really pride ourselves on customer service and obviously our beers, but in the summertime the whole experience here. We have a 9-hole frisbee golf course, the hop farm, there’s 16 aces for dogs to come around and play and people to hang out, picnic, and just enjoy themselves. So we’ve kind of built that family atmosphere into the whole thing, and most everyone that works for us are close friends of ours, and we really treat customer service as one of our top priorities.” Along with his wife, Bri, partners Brian Karweck and Matt Klehammer, and a devoted staff of true friends, the friendly warmth of the place can be felt even on the coldest winter weekends, and brightens summer vacations.
Adding to that experience is Climbing Bines new event pavilion with a capacity of 200, built on the site of the Ivan Hansen farmhouse, lost to fire some years ago, and now a perfect scene for weddings, receptions, or any large happy gathering. The view from the tasting room northward to the wide waters of Seneca Lake is also a core component of the scenic splendor found there.
The Hansen Family heritage also plays a large role in the Climbing Bines experience, including “Big Ivan’s Red,” an ale created in honor of Chris’ grandfather and now a permanent favorite. That and many others can be found in pubs and restaurants all around the Finger Lakes region. But you’ll have to visit Climbing Bines Hop Farm to taste them all.