It's off-season in Lake George. That means no kayaks, no swimming, no souvenir shopping, and no tourists. As you drive down Canada Street, most of the buildings are dark with signs in the window reading "Closed for the Season!"
But there is still beer.
The Adirondack Pub and Brewery keeps its doors open all season long so both visitors and natives can enjoy a winter brew.
The pub and brewery opened in 1999. John Carr wanted to make a beer that was "drinkable on a hot summer day on Lake George." (The beers work on a winter day as well.) They started bottling beers on-site and expanded their system with a 60-barrel production tank in 2011. They offer typical pub fare to compliment their beers.
It's a quiet operation during the winter. Locals surround the bar top, nursing a pint, keeping warm inside the Adirondack-themed pub and discussing the weather.
I opted for a flight of their beers so I could try as many as possible, and told the bartender to choose the six brews a first-timer should try. He picked:
+ Dirty Blonde Ale
+ Iroquois Pale Ale
+ Bear Naked Ale
+ Red Rye IPA
+ Black Lager
+ Black Watch IPA
The Dirty Blonde is a wheat beer that was named the "3rd Best Craft Beer in the Hudson Valley" at TAP NY. That, and their amber Bear Naked Ale and Black Lager, stood out among the rest. The Iroquois, Red Rye, and Black Watch IPA were a little too bitter and a little too generic for my tastes.
The brewery offers a large list of craft brews in a town with very few other options. And names like Fat Scotsman Ale and Bobcat Blonde Ale kind of dare you to try them.
But the brew you need to try is the Caffé Vero Stout. It's made in cooperation with the Lake George Caffé Vero, right down the road from the brewery. It has a full-roasted coffee taste and then finishes like a stout. (If you don't like coffee, you won't like this collaboration.)
All in all, the Adirondack Pub and Brewery's beers are tasty and worth a stop if you're in the Lake George area. In the off-season, its nice to find a warm, welcome and open establishment after skiing or other winter fun. And during a summer season of mediocre bars, it would be nice to support a locally-made craft beer.
Adirondack Pub and Brewery
33 Canada Street
Lake George, NY 12845
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