Farmstead Brewery hosts release party for Deep Purple beer
By Jason Emerson
Empire Brewing Company this week released its newest bottled beer, Deep Purple, and celebrated the event with a kickoff “Purple Party” at the Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia.
The fifth beer to be bottled and released for statewide sales by Empire at its new brewery facility in Cazenovia, Deep Purple is a Pilsner-base beer brewed with the addition of New York State Concord grapes. It is “fruity, tart and dry, with a dark purple color and huge grape aroma,” according to the tasting notes on the Empire website.
“It’s kind of exciting and different that has a sort of cult following,” said Tim Butler, Empire’s head brewer. “People go crazy over this beer.”
This unique beer – the only beer made from grapes – was created about five years ago when Butler and Empire owner David Katleski were touring a Taste New York event at the state fairgrounds and they sampled Concord grape concentrate from a growers cooperative.
“I said, ‘Can you make a beer out of this?’ and Tim said, ‘Nobody makes beer from grapes. And the rest is history,” Katleski said. “It was totally innate, and it’s nice that it is all New York state grapes. I love the way the flavor worked out.”
Deep Purple is a seasonal beer made in limited release in bottles, although it will be available year round in kegs, Butler said. While Deep Purple has been made for years at Empire’s brew house in Syracuse, the newly bottled beer was all made at Empire’s Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia.
Last Wednesday’s release party was attended by more than 100 family, friends, employees and customers of Empire to give them a chance to try the beer before it was officially put in circulation. The beer should hit stores next week.