- Erik Christian Photography
Though their beer is widely distributed, Keegan Ales is a distinctly Kingston gem—a community-centric brewpub focused on hearty beers, local bands, and good times. Not only is their taproom atmosphere inviting inside, but the brewery features an expansive outdoor patio with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Between the resident brewery dogs and visiting canines, the patio always has a furry friend or two to pet, which is why Keegan Ales was selected by readers as the top pick for Dog-Friendly Dining.
“We’ve always been dog-friendly, and it has grown so that not only our patrons, but their dogs look forward to visiting,” says owner and brewmaster Tommy Keegan. “We have a very loyal local customer base who have come to know and love our two dogs, Bear and Daisy, who live here. Also, many of our customers who don’t have pets enjoy visiting us specifically to spend time with them.”
But the accolades don’t stop there. Keegan Ales also nabbed the top spots for Taproom and Local Beer. Top brew choices include classics like Hurricane Kitty IPA, named after Keegan’s feisty grandma, and Joe Mama’s Milk, a coffee stout brewed with coffee from Monkey Joe Roasting Co.—another Kingston mainstay. But exciting new brews have become fast favorites, too, including Fun, a citra IPA, and specialty beers like fruit-based Berliner Weisse sour, aged in Widow Jane oak barrels. You’ll find it all at the brewpub on the border of Midtown and Uptown in a brick building bedecked with O+ Festival murals.
“Basically, I built a clubhouse where I want to hang out,” Keegan says. “I hope everyone enjoys it as much as I do, but no pressure. I think the authenticity of Keegan Ales shines through in how we present ourselves day-to-day, and our customers recognize that. We’re proud of our reputation for being approachable. I have many female regulars who tell me Keegan Ales is one of the only pubs they feel comfortable walking into alone. Many times, we’re told that after even a first visit, people feel like a regular here. That is important to me. I got into this business to bring friends together and to make new ones, one pint at a time.”
Though the COVID-19 pandemic caused those pints to sling a bit slower, Keegan was able to make the quick switch to take-out and home delivery. As the state reopens, Keegan says he’s got big plans to bring the taproom outdoors, converting the entire parking lot into an outdoor beer garden, complete with a bar, food trucks, and a small stage for live music. Of course, pups are permitted. “More and more people travel with their dogs, and in these uncertain times pets are a security blanket of sorts,” he says. “Dogs are a part of the family more than ever.”