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Stories From Main Street: Rockland's Craft Beer Bar And Restaurant

NANUET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - New York's growing craft beer industry has become a flourishing part of the state's economy.

The craft brews were recently touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who noted that there are 100 breweries operating in the state.

For beer lovers in the Lower Hudson Valley, a Rockland County beer shop and tasting room offers an expansive collection of exotic and small-batch beers.

"It's the difference between getting a good home-cooked meal and getting fast food," Mike Fitzgerald of Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe on Route 59 in Nanuet told Adams.

Stories From Main Street: Rockland's Craft Beer Bar And Restaurant

Fitzgerald's shop offers tastings and an education on local and international brews.

"In 1970, there were 50 breweries and today there's 2,400 breweries and there's over 1,000 in construction right now," he told Adams.

LINK: Growler & Gill Craft Beer Shoppe

The name of the shop is also an education: A growler is a half-gallon and a gill is a 4-ounce glass.

Stories from Main Street
Stories from Main Street - Photo: Evan Bindelglass / WCBS 880

"We're a retail store with 700 different bottles from all over the world and then we have this craft beer tasting room which is more like a winery," said Fitzgerald.

The tasting room features a revolving selection from 16 taps.

"Right now if I look at the tap wall, we have Belgian beers, we have local craft beers from Rockland County. We have Defiant Brewery in Pearl River and they've been here for years. A new brewery just opened up called Andean Brewing Company in Blauvelt, New York. Their ingredients come from South America. Keegan Ales in Kingston is one," said Fitzgerald.

Growler & Gill will host the Lower Hudson Valley Craft Beer Fest on Sept. 21, which will feature beer from more than 40 breweries from around the world.

Gov. Cuomo recently touted the state's "Taste NY" initiative, encouraging residents and visitors to enjoy some of the local brews.

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"There is no doubt that New York State's craft beer industry is flourishing and growing to produce some of the best brews enjoyed around the country and even worldwide," Cuomo said in a statement. "With over 100 craft breweries in communities across the state, there is a wide variety of opportunities to experience Taste NY. Craft breweries are a significant sector in our agricultural and tourism industries, and when they do well, our economy does well. I encourage New Yorkers to sample all of what our craft brewers have to offer."

New York also ranked eighth in USA Today's list of top 10 best craft brew states in America.

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