Broken Bow Brewery, located in the village of Tuckahoe, is one of nearly 70 breweries that are a part of the inaugural Taste NY Craft Beer Challenge.
Lyle LaMothe, one of the family founding members of Broken Bow, said the competition is a joint effort between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Brewers Association to highlight what breweries are doing in New York, and to show the governor’s commitment to the industry.
Last week, Cuomo, a Democrat, announced the statewide competition, where New Yorkers are invited to vote for their favorite brewery. The challenge is a way to promote buying local products, as well as to highlight just how diverse the state’s craft beverage industry is while also promoting tourism. The top five breweries will be invited to New York City for a final tasting event on May 17, which falls within American Craft Beer Week, which runs from May 15 to May 21.
Under Cuomo, New York state has seen a 542 percent increase growth since 2011, the year before he signed the Farm Brewery License which promotes using local ingredients and supports the state’s craft breweries and wineries. The state is currently home to more than 300 microbreweries, farm breweries, and restaurant breweries, the latter becoming a trend nationwide.
Broken Bow, a member of the state brewers association, which boasts more than 200 members, is one of two Westchester breweries, along with Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. in Elmsford, selected for the competition.
LaMothe, 56, and a resident of Bedford Hills, said the brewery is a family passion, as the family had been recreationally brewing its own beer for years and sharing it with friends. But roughly five years ago, the family decided to make a go of it professionally, especially at the urging of fellow brewers and restaurateurs. “They thought our recipes were good enough,” the patriarch said.
LaMothe’s son, Michael LaMothe, is the head brewer. His daughter, Kasey LaMothe, is the assistant brewer, and his other daughter, Kristen Stone, handles legal matters and marketing. “If it says ‘Broken Bow’ on it, she probably dreamed it up,” Lyle LaMothe said.
But, most importantly, his wife, Kathy LaMothe, is the reason for the company’s signature name; she was born in the city of Broken Bow, Nebraska. “It’s a beautiful little town; it’s a very special place to us,” Lyle LaMothe said.
The Tuckahoe brewery often holds tours, and has a tasting room where patrons can sample at least 11 beers “brewed from grain to glass.” Broken Bow encourages visitors to bring their own food, with many ordering from nearby restaurants. “That way we can concentrate on just making the best beer possible,” LaMothe said.
Broken Bow has won state and national medals for two of its brews; most recently for its Nick’s Hazelnut Praline Porter, which won a silver medal at this year’s Tap NY Festival. Its tap handle is a common sight at several restaurants in the area.
The brewery has served as the ultimate learning experience. But as for why the LaMothes chose Tuckahoe? “We set up shop here because we are close to New York City tap water, which is terrific water,” LaMothe said.
Broken Bow will host an event on May 20 to celebrate craft beer week.
To vote for Broken Bow Brewery, visit taste.ny.gov/vote; voting closes on May 12.
The print version of this story incorrectly stated that voting closes on May 16.