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Breakout Brewer: Hudson Valley Brewery

With each new release in their sour IPA program, the brewers of Hudson Valley Brewery are bringing converts into the fold. They are blending down from an acidic beer base, going strong with botanicals, and using hops that convey more than just bitterness.

John Holl Aug 5, 2019 - 9 min read

Breakout Brewer: Hudson Valley Brewery Primary Image

Photo by Jeff Quinn

The word sour, especially in beer, conjures up many flavor memories. Sometimes it’s puckering, other times just pleasantly tart, and still other times it can be candy-like sweet. IPA, on the other hand, brings to mind bitter, floral, fruity, or earthy character, as well as an unmistakable aroma that often brings a smile to a beer drinker’s face. Put sour and IPA together, and it can be easy to imagine the combination … unless you’re visiting the Hudson Valley Brewery in Beacon, New York.

In the 2 years since Brewers and Co-owners Mike Renganeschi and Jason Synan, along with business partner and Co-owner John-Anthony Gargiulo, joined forces to open the brewery in the area of the Empire State that has become the premier brewery destination, they have turned the notion of sour IPA on its head and directed it toward a bright future. Thinking about most of their beers as a triangle, they want to focus on acidity, hops, and botanicals.

However, each characteristic doesn’t play the traditional role in their beers that one might expect, and that’s exactly how the brewers want it. On a recent winter morning, they gathered inside a small office just off the brewdeck. Speaking over the din of a roaring boiler, Renganeschi and Synan exuded real excitement when it comes to talking about the beers they create, even if they are guarded now and again when it comes to process.

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John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.