Women Beverage Makers

The Great Western Catskills has beautiful hills, sprawling fields and, perhaps unsuspectingly, an abundance of amazing women beverage makers. The fertile (and yes, rocky) soil allows for beautiful orchards and farms for grains, apples, hops and all things needed to make a wide variety of libations. These women are smart, innovative and dedicated to their craft and we reap the benefit by having some of the most incredible cider, beer and spirits in the world produced right here in Delaware County.  In honor of International Women’s Day,  we want to shine light on some talented women working hard in The Great Western Catskills.


Photo by Harry Dutton.

Irene Hussey, Wayside Cider 
Irene Hussey is the owner and producer of Wayside Cider in Andes, NY. Irene started making cider in her family’s garage, focusing on the wild apples of Delaware County. Her operation is a bit larger now, with a tasting room and production facility in the heart of Andes, but she still focuses on local, wild trees. Irene is making modern American ciders that draw on the history and topography of the Great Western Catskills. She aims to preserve the past while embracing modern production metaphors to produce cider unique to this region.

Wayside Cider
Tasting Room & Restaurant
55 Redden Lane
Andes, New York 13731


Photo courtesy of Awestruck Ciders

Patti Wilcox, Awestruck Ciders
Patti Wilcox is the co-owner of Awestruck Ciders in Sidney, NY. Patti started Awestruck with co-founder Casey Vitti with the mission to create a product that would captivate people, stop them in their tracks and show them a glimpse of fun and discovery. Patti recently became a master in beverage tourism at the Universite de Bordeaux in Europe, bringing her already present skills to the next level. Experience the passion and ingenuity for yourself by visiting one of the Awestruck tasting rooms in Sidney and Walton.

Awestruck Ciders (Two locations!)
Tasting Room & Restaurant
8 Winkler Road
Sidney, New York 13838

Tasting Room & Restaurant
34 Howell Street
Walton, NY 13856


Photo courtesy of Strickland Hollow Farm

Erica Pellegrino, Strickland Hollow Farm & Distillery
Erica Pellegrino is co-owner of Strickland Hollow Farm, Distillery and Bottle shop. Strickland Hollow is a working cider apple farm, artisan distillery and event space built in the 1800’s nestled in the heart of the great western Catskill Mountains. Their Tasting Room, located at 70 Main Street, Delhi, showcases their spirits as well as wine, beer, cider and spirits from New York State. They also offer fun cooking classes and the occasional special dinner. While Jerry, Erica’s husband, is the primary distiller and chef, Erica is very much a part of everything they do on the farm and the tasting room.

Strickland Hollow Farm & Distillery
9483 NYS Highway 28
Meridale, NY 13806

Tasting Room & Bottle Shop
70 Main Street
Delhi, New York 13753


Photo by Christian Harder

Elizabeth Starks, Bovina Farm & Fermentory
Elizabeth Starks, of Bovina Farm and Fermentory studied at Cornell University with a focus on agriculture and sustainability. Through traveling and studying abroad, Elizabeth was inspired by tavern-like establishments run out of people’s homes. It was with this idea that Bovina Farm and Fermentory was born. They offer farm-to-table meals and a small selection of farm brewed beer. The beer is made from all NYS-grown grains and mountain spring water. For a lovely meal paired with crisp and delicious beer, pay Elizabeth a visit at Bovina Farm and Fermentory.

Bovina Farm & Fermentory
2951 County Road 5
Bovina Center, NY 13740


Photo courtesy of dear native grapes,

Deanna Urciuoli, dear native grapes
Deanna Urciuoli and husband, Alfie Alcántara, are the team running dear native grapes. The focus of this new vineyard and winery in Walton, NY, is growing North American native and hybrid grapes in order to make exceptionally wild, natural wine. Dear native grapes’ wine growing methods are modeled after holistic and regenerative philosophies, applied both on the farm and in the cellar. Purchase their wine to be shipped to your door or to be picked up bi-weekly at their farm. 

dear native grapes,
Vineyard and Winery
Walton, NY

Photo by Andy Ryan

Jennifer ClarkEminence Road Farm Winery
Jennifer Clark and partner, Andrew Scott, are the proprietors of Eminence Road Farm Winery. Their initial interest in wine quickly developed into an obsession which led them from making really small batches of wine to their full on wine making operation in Long Eddy, NY. Coming from a home-winemaker background, with no formal training or winery experience, Eminence Road has developed a self-taught winemaking methodology based on low-intervention, patience and faith in the natural processes of fermentation. The goal is to make rustic, textured country wines that shine bright on the dinner table. To that end, they let wine ferment at its own pace and get it into the bottle without extraneous additives or processing. To try these truly delicious and unique wines, purchase a bottle or have it alongside dinner at a few of the places listed below.

Enjoy Eminence Road Wine with Dinner at:
Brushland Eating House
1927 County Road 6
Bovina Center, NY 13740

The Andes Hotel
110 Main Street
Andes, NY 13731

Bring a bottle home from:

Strickland Hollow Farm Tasting Room & Bottle Shop
70 Main Street
Delhi, NY 13753