Empire Brewing Company is a long-time favorite spot of mine back home. It's a local brewery with great food, fun times, and a good attitude. I grew up going there with the family, and have since made sure to visit almost every time I'm home.
Empire is the first business in central NY to use 100% NY State produced renewable energy, and the good efforts don't stop there. The restaurant uses locally sourced food as much as possible, and really promotes the concept. You'll see "eat local" signs all throughout the place, right down to the coasters. The owners also have a garden that provides produce for the restaurant as well as a farm stand nearby. All of their spent grains and fry oil get put to use for local livestock, and paper products are biodegradable. With so many measures taken, one can sure feel good about going there to grab some beer and food.How's that for sustainability?
My favorite thing to do when I go to Empire is to order a beer flight. I can never finish the whole thing, but for only $10 you get to sample a whole line up. Certain brews are always included, and then there are two seasonal picks as well. My personal favorite beer at Empire Brewing Company is the Black Magic Stout.
There are a lot of great menu items at Empire, but my no-fail is the lobster bisque. I've been eating it since I was a wee one and each time it goes down so easy. The soup comes with blue corn croutons in it that are particularly tasty. Blue corn sprinkles the menu throughout and is a signature of the restaurant. Also good, are their flat breads and fajitas. Pictured above is the Mediterranean plate which is a great accompaniment for the bisque.