cazenovia

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Empire Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia has established itself as the largest farm brewery on the eastern seaboard. And a spate of new state laws, friendly to brewers, has made it possible.

It used to be that Madison County was a leading producer of hops, an ingredient in beer. Then along came Prohibition, which almost killed the brewing industry -- and the ancillary industries that supported it -- and created a series of laws unfriendly to brewers.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The race for the 22nd Congressional District, which includes all or parts of 8 counties in central New York and the Southern Tier, is considered to be one of the most competitive in the nation. That's partially due to the presence of a surprisingly strong third-party candidate, Martin Babinec. But high polling numbers are just one of the candidate's assets in this campaign.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse's Empire Brewing Company will become one of the top five brewers in New York state, if all goes well with the creation of Farmstead Brewery in Cazenovia. Empire wants everybody to get in on the craft brew party, even people who aren’t craft beer connoisseurs.

The owner of the Empire Brewing Company says he wants to turn more people into beer snobs.

"The longer they are surrounded by craft beer, the more they’ll let their barriers down and try new things," says Empire founder David Katleski.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average age of a farmer in 2012 was 57. Forty percent of all farmers right now are over the age of 55. But in an era of increasing age among the men and women who grow our food, there are some younger people bucking the trend. Some of these new farmers are sending down roots in Madison County.

The cadre of 20 and 30-somethings running Greyrock Farm in Cazenovia are as likely to have a smartphone in their pocket as a pitchfork in their hands.