Drowned Lands, a bucolic brewery, opens at former Warwick prison site


Inside a refurbished chalet-roofed manor formerly housing a reform school administration, DROWNED LANDS BREWERY opened during 2020 and quickly became one of the area’s most renowned craft beer spots. Perched at the extremely fertile Black Dirt Wallkill region of Warwick, this large farmhouse suds factory’s rustic rural Appalachian-bound confines border Wawayanda Creek on a 700-acre park ninety miles past NYC.

With stiff competition from nearby Chester’s Rushing Duck, Tin Barn and Long Lot Farms to the East, Pine Island and Westtown to the West and  Florida’s Glenmere to the North, Drowned Lands’ solid varietal fare includes a host of recurring, seasonal and one-off farmhouse ales, hoppy IPA’s, sessionable ‘table’ beers and ‘malt forward’ strong ales.

Upon entrance, the high ceiling pub features several tables leading to the elongated wood top serving station. Glass-windowed brew tanks are to the right and an umbrella-lined loft deck provides a tree-lined view scape. Beyond the overhead back door lies a covered patio area and an expansive lawn with strewn plastic picnic tables.

Families, friends and travelin’ beer geeks assembled ’round noon on a breezy Saturday, April ’21. My wife, dog and I grab seats on a tilted lawn table to consume five wondrous treats (given beautiful pamphlet descriptions).

Rangy witbier, Gather House, let its stylish orange-peeled coriander spicing gather cracked pepper herbage and mild gooseberry souring to contrast ancillary banana cream pie tartness.

Elegantly offbeat “table beer,” Flora Firma, stayed crisply clean as sunshiny lime-candied lemon zesting enlightened orange-peeled tangerine tanginess over moist earthen grained pilsner malting.

Described as a “white Sangria,” tropical fruited dry-hopped IPA, Ripe Yield, plied sugary oats-flaked pilsner malting to syrupy apricot brandy treacle, peachy pineapple-guava-passionfruit-lychee tartness and zestful lemon juicing.

Fruitily dry-hopped Imperial IPA, Nesh Terra, regaled peachy melon and cantaloupe tanginess, fleeting “zebra stripe gum” sugaring and spritzy orange spicing above piney hop dryness.

Creamy milk-sugared coffee stout, Fly Crop, crowded its cold-brew coffee roast with lactic brown chocolate richness, maple molasses oats sweetness and subtle peanut buttering.



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