The Tivoli-based brewery may just be the chicest beer HQ on the planet. Nicely done, Alex and Emily Wenner.
By Jonah Bayliss
Photography by Arielle Ferraro and Eric Petschek
In New York, a state that ranks second in the country for the number of breweries (462 and counting), how do you stand out from the herd? Simple—do something no one else is doing. In the heart of the Hudson Valley, tucked into its rolling hills of green, where rustic red barns rule the landscape, there stands a structure that, at first glance, may appear out of place. Lasting Joy Brewery, in Tivoli, however, isn’t a needle in a haystack; it’s a shining diamond beaming in the middle of the coal mine.
The vision of owners Alex and Emily Wenner, they say, was born out of a love of community, a deep affection for the region they call home, a joy of craft beer and an important observation that would set them apart from the rest. In an effort to match the craftsmanship of their beer to the design of the tasting room, they turned to a local architect, Aron Himmelfarb, of Auver Architecture and the result was a crown jewel in the craft brewery sphere.
A beautifully rendered mixture of wood, glass and steel, the elements were chosen to represent the surroundings. The wood, a tip of the cap to those omnipresent barns that scatter the landscape; and the steel, an homage to the tractors and farming equipment that work the land. The glass, well, what a waste it would be to not let in as much of the beauty from the backdrop outside to naturally brighten the space and the spirits of the patrons inside. The exterior fronts a modern, boxy design jutting out from the black barn-shaped brewery structure. The interior boasts natural wood vaulted ceilings, creating a structural openness for sunlight to surround the central tasting bar.
“One of my favorite things is to hang out in the tasting room and watch people’s faces as they come in for the first time,” Emily says. They wanted to create a space for the local community, of course, but they also wanted it to be a must-see destination for out-of-towners.
As for the beer, they say they wanted to find the right blend of classic, worldly beer styles with an Upstate touch of local ingredients. Tapping Alex’s more than two-decade passion for brewing, and with the help of local maltster Dennis Nessel of Hudson Valley Malt, they’ve created a lineup of offerings both traditional and unique.
On tap, you’ll find a traditional Czech Pilsner, a hazy IPA and, of course, their local favorite “I Lov It” lager (that spells Tivoli backward). As for stepping outside the box, Emily says you have to try their English beat stout. They also have a rotating menu of seasonal and occasional choices, and Emily hinted that they have something special up their sleeve for their one-year anniversary this June.
No matter your taste in beer, this husband-and-wife duo has created something in the mountains that they hope will shock your expectations, inspire your creativity, welcome you in and leave you in awe—all at the same time.
When I asked Emily how they came up with the name, “well that’s simple,” she said, “we just wanted to bring lasting joy to ourselves, the community and all of our visitors.” Done and done.