The Hudson Valley has so many breweries nowadays it’s hard to keep track or count of them. Dutchess County alone has more than I even know about. But the very first brewery opened up way back in the 1990s before it was THE thing to do. And that’s the Hyde Park Brewing Company on Route 9.

It was at the Hyde Park Brewing Company that I saw giant beer vats for the first time. I remember going upstairs and learning about the beer making process. They were way ahead of their time, and the cool thing is that they’re still going strong. 

If you’ve ever been to the Hyde Park Brewing Company, sat at the bar and looked down at the floor, you may have noticed something. A figure that is very familiar to those of us that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s. Maybe you can’t quite place it, but you know you know it from somewhere. Give up?

It’s the Howard Johnson’s emblem. That’s right, many years ago the building that is now the Hyde Park Brewing Company was a Howard Johnson’s restaurant. I’m sure they served many a clam-boat with tartar sauce in that room. Too young to remember Howard Johnson’s but always wondered what the heck that was on the floor? Now you know.

If you haven’t done it lately, take a visit to Hyde Park, check out the Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Estates, do some antiquing, and stop in at the Hyde Park Brewing Company to check out the floor. And some great beer, of course.

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