Upstate Brewing Company expands to Watkins Glen: What to know about taproom and location
Since opening in 2012, Upstate Brewing Company has established itself as a go-to craft brewery in the Southern Tier, attracting beer enthusiasts to its taproom in Elmira as well as finding distributing channels across the region.
Its 22,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook have helped spread the word about the brewery's ever-changing drink menu.
But for President Mark Neumann, it's time for a new venture that he says will attract a different customer base.
Upstate Brewing will open a new location at 17 Franklin St. in Watkins Glen, tentatively scheduled to open Feb. 10. The taproom will be easy to spot right next to Seneca Cheese Company and across the road from the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.
An opportunity to reach millions
Neumann hopes the allure of Seneca Lake and the loads of tourists that visit Watkins Glen State Park in the warmer months will help the brewery become a destination.
He said he wrestled with the decision to either move to Hammondsport or Watkins Glen, opting for the latter in large part because of the tourism as well as locals that might not have traveled to Elmira.
“With Watkins Glen in the summer, there’s an influx of people that aren’t customers now, but this location gets us exposed to those people," Neumann said.
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More than a million people visited Watkins Glen State Park in 2021, and thousands more descend on Watkins Glen International each race season, highlighted by the annual NASCAR race in August.
While the new taproom is tucked in a little bit from the road, Neumann said he hopes people see the giant brewery tank on the outside of the building.
A familiar setting for Watkins Glen taproom
Upstate Brewing will continue to brew its beer in Elmira while the Watkins Glen location will strictly be a taproom.
The new location will be familiar, featuring outside seating, a white exterior, the black logo and garage doors giving customers easy access.
“I love what we have here and customers seem to like it,” Neumann said.
The new taphouse is a little longer and wider than the current location and it holds around 12 more people, bringing the capacity to 60.
All of the offerings at the Elmira location will be offered at the new location in Watkins Glen.
This article originally appeared on Elmira Star-Gazette: Upstate Brewing Company to open new location in Watkins Glen