BIG TUPPER BREWING
Tupper Lake 12 Cliff Ave., Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Owner: Jim LaValley
The motto for Big Tupper Brewing is "If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing." Well Big Tupper Brewing is doing something right and having fun at the same time.
The brew-pub opened its doors in December 2016, but Big Tupper's beer, which has been made by Adirondack Brewing in Lake George, had been in circulation four years earlier.
Jim entered the craft beer industry about 10 years ago as a way to promote the Tupper Lake community and the surrounding region. Since that time, he and his head brewer, Rickey LaFlamme, have tried to stay focused on their French-Canadian heritage. That's why you'll see beers from his 10-barrell system like the IPA "Eh" Ale which Jim says you "say like a Frenchman and drink like an Adirondacker," the "Lumberjack approved" Touk or their Summer Ale, which is a blend local favorites strawberry and rhubarb.
Since opening the brew-pub, Jim has also remained focused on community. He's held benefits to the local canine unite, the fire department and the local baseball teams.
It's a tossup between the Touk and the IPA "Eh" as to which one is Big Tupper's signature brew. The Touk can be described as either a Porter or a dark ale that finishes with coffee notes, while the IPA is a balanced California style IPA that finishes with a slight citrus finish, courtesy of the Cascade Hops. At 65 IBU, it's light drinking and refreshing after a day on Tupper Lake.
Big Tupper also serves a full menu which is described as comfort food with a twist. Its line of beers can be found in stores and pubs throughout the Adirondacks, Capital district, St. Lawrence and Champlain Valleys, and Thousand Island region.
RAQUETTE RIVER BREWERY
Tupper Lake 11 Balsam St., Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Owners: Mark Jessie & Joe Hockey
Born from a love of craft beer, the Raquette River Brewery has remained true to its roots of being organic and small town. Mark and Joe were both "home brewers," who decided in 2014 that the Tupper Lake community was ready for a micro-brewery.
The two settled on building a two-barrel tasting room in a former residential garage, adjacent to two mobile homes and a dilapidated house. They worked to clean up the neighborhood and today the brewery has expanded to a 10-barrel system, with each barrel producing as much as 31-gallons of beer. You'll also find as many as 12 to 14 different beers on tap.
Although Mark and Joe pride themselves as being "IPA guys," to their surprise the Mango Wheat beer has become their signature brew. Golden in color, the mango aroma and flavor is subtle in this smooth drinking beer. It's also very light on the IBU scale, at just 14. You can find this beer on tap throughout the region, it's also available on tap at the brewery and in 24-oz. bottles.
This summer, the brewery will feature a new 40-foot bar, a stage for live music and comedy and three food trucks for guests to enjoy.
BLUE LINE BREWERY
Saranac Lake 555 Lake Flower Ave., Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Owner: Mark Gillis
Mark and his family moved to Saranac Lake nine years ago believing that the village was the home to Saranac Beer. He quickly discovered that it wasn't and that Saranac Lake would be an ideal location to start up a micro-brewery.
In February 2011, Mark re-furbished the former Carcuzzi car wash and built a tasting room where he did the brewing himself.
Less than three years later, he added a kitchen and expanded his brewing. It's pretty easy to see just how successful the brew-pub has been. Mark keeps a running tab above his 10 taps, comparing how many pints of beer that have been sold to the number of Carcuzzi car washes when it was open from 1989 to 2011.
Mark doesn't hide the fact that he's a New England sports fan. In an area where most people follow the New York based teams, Blue Line is adorned with everything New England to include posters and memorabilia from the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.
While you're enjoying one of his signature pizzas or his "car wash" chicken wings, which feature lime and cilantro, be sure to order a pint of the McKenzie Mountain Red Ale.
Don't let the huge hop aroma and flavor fool you, this beer is rich and malty and is well balanced between piney and sweet.
BIG SLIDE BREWERY & PUBLIC HOUSE
Lake Placid 5686 Cascade Rd., Lake Placid, NY 12946
Owner: Chris Ericson
Big Slide Brewery & Public House opened in June 2016 and is the region's newest micro-brewery and brew-pub. Chris won't be insulted if you refer to his brewery as a test kitchen for beer, in fact he has test laboratory in the pub.
Big Slide's three-barrel brewing system focuses on small batches of beer with a wide variety of styles, some of which ferment in what's called the "Funk Room." Chris says that while many breweries are growing this brew-pub remains small and "pushes the envelope a little bit" when it comes to the different styles of beers produced. The 10-tap lineup features light colored beers to Pale Ales, IPAs, Porters, Stouts and Belgian style beers, but you'll also discover Barrel Aged and Sour seers too.
Some of the beers that do well at Big Slide may find their way to the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery and maybe to distribution. The first beer to make it through the pipeline is a Session IPA, Chugger, which will be a part of the company's 12 pack.
While Session IPAs are traditionally light in body and low in alcohol, it's the Giant IPA that has become the most popular. Just like its namesake, Giant Mountain, located in Keene Valley, this beer towers over other American Double IPAs. It's brewed with six pounds of flavor hops per barrel. It's not an overly bitter double IPA, but it is extremely hopping, showcasing the Citra, Simcoe and Chinook hops.
The Big Slide Brewery & Public House's menu also does a good job challenging your palette. Executive Chef Greg Sherman sources most of our ingredients locally, and offers the freshest food in the area.
GREAT ADIRONDACK BREWING COMPANY
Lake Placid 2442 Main St., Lake Placid, NY 12946
Owner: Kane Family
This brewery didn't originally start out in Lake Placid, instead it was founded in Plattsburgh, New York. In 1996, the Kane family built the Lake City Brewing Company at the Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood Restaurant in Plattsburgh, but moved it to its Lake Placid Main Street location just one year later and the Great Adirondack Brewing Company was born.
The seven-barrel stainless steel brew-house produces a wide range of ales and lager, including the most popular of which, the Whiteface Mountain Stout. Named after the fifth highest peak in the Adirondack Park and home to one of the world's most renown ski resorts, the award winning Stout is rich and full-bodied, and mimics the creamy roastiness of a traditional Irish Stout, but with a significantly higher alcohol content and subtle fruity flavors called "esters."
The Great Adirondack Brewing Company produces over 800 barrels a year, most of which is served in their restaurant, so they pride themselves on creating small batches brews. You can also find canned batches of the Whiteface Mountain Stout, John Brown IPA and Snøskred Imperial IPA in stores from Plattsburgh to Albany, New York.
LAKE PLACID PUB & BREWERY
Lake Placid 813 Mirror Lake Dr., Lake Placid, NY 12946
Owner: Chris Ericson
The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery's motto is "Real Town. Real Beer." You can find many of Pub's beers in and around bars and stores throughout much of the east coast, but Chris still prides himself on staying true to producing high quality beer. The Pub & Brewery opened in 1996 as the Tri-Lake's first brew-pub and was just the third micro-brewery licensed in New York State.
The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery started off with a seven-barrel system, but following a distribution expansion in 2007, with Matt Brewing Company, brewers of the Saranac line of beers, its beer can be found in eight eastern states.
That distribution has introduced a whole new audience to its most popular brew, the Ubu Ale. Don't try to fit this award winning beer into a single category, Chris, who held posts at Federal Jack's / Shipyard Brewing and The Shed Restaurant and Brewery before branching out on his own, has tried for years. Some describe it as an American Strong Brown Ale, while others label it as an English Strong Ale, due to its English yeast, English malt, hops and seven-percent alcohol content. No matter where you think it fits, it's been the Pub's flagship brew for 21 years with its deep garnet red color, dark fruit and roasted malt flavors and slightly bitter finish.
The Ubu Ale is just one of a long list of beers that the Pub & Brewery, which overlooks Mirror Lake, has been serving up to its customer. Chris and his staff have brewed 150 different styles of beer and almost 350-thousand pints of beer annually, placing it in the top seven percent of brew-pubs nationwide.
Ask a local where to find great food and beer in Lake Placid and they'll steer you to the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery.