The Adirondack Pub and Brewery Via The Lake George Winter Carnival!
On a cold Saturday the first weekend in February I set out to see what the Lake George NY Winter Carnival had to offer. Opening ceremonies were to begin at noon but I chose to arrive a little later skipping the formalities of the day. The small village of Lake George was bustling with people all decked out in there Winter finest from the sheik matching snowmobile suit to pajama bottoms, boots and a sweatshirt with god knows what layers underneath. But this is not a column about fashion so I will leave that for such an expert.
I parked the car on Route 9, the main drag through town and proceeded to walk down to the public beach which seemed to be the access point to the ice. From here I was able to see the lake and the large crowd of people who had congregated on the ice. Intermingled throughout the crowd I could see small shanties or buildings. I hope I did not come here to witness an ice fishing competition. I would have to say the only thing more boring would be to actually be in an ice fishing competition. The week before while having a drink up the road in Schroon Lake NY I overheard a conversation which captures the real essence of ice fishing:
It went like this:
Woman at bar: “Joe you ice fish? ”
Woman: “What do you mean kinda”?
Joe: ” I drill a hole in the ice and then put my cooler in the hole. It keeps the beer colder.”
(about 30 seconds later)
Joe: ” Fuck that fishin”
As the outsider I found that to be “kinda” humorous.
I accessed the ice from the beach and went out to see what was going on. Luckily the buildings were not ice fishing shanties at all but outhouses! Not for the purpose one might use an outhouse for however. They were there to race. Each outhouse representing a bar,
business or local municipal department was decorated to support the cause. They each came with a five person team. Two to pull the outhouse down the ice, two to steer and push and one lucky team member who got to sit on the throne and take a ride. The teams are paired against each other so it is an elimination format. The team that loses goes home, the winner on to the next match. The interesting thing about all this is many people were there to cheer on the teams. I heard one woman exclaim ” Those are my boys” with great pride. The event had spectators.
After watching this fine display of enthusiasm and community spirit I decided to wander around and see what else was available for entertainment. There seemed to be one theme throughout the rest of the carnival. There were pony rides, hay rides which was a four wheeler pulling a trailer with hay in it across the ice. There were dogsled rides available for those wishing to experience that mode of transportation and lastly there were helicopter rides.
Everything seemed to be reasonably priced but I cannot tell you the cost of the flight as I did not see a sign but people were certainly taking advantage. The helicopter never stopped all the while I was on the ice.
At this point in the day I was starting to get a little thirsty. I took a walk down where the big boats like the Minne Ha Ha and Adirondac are tied up, walked through the Around The World miniature golf course and then headed back to the car to visit the real destination of the day. The Adirondack Pub and Brewery.
Upon arriving at the brewery I was warmly greeted by a small fire on the deck and a great ice sculpture. Sometimes its the little things that places do that make them unique. When you enter the ADK Pub and Brewery you immediately sense that you are going to enjoy yourself. It is adorned in true Adirondack fashion with stuffed critters, boats hung form the ceiling, spruce, rustic wood and a warm homey cabin feel. I could only hope that they put as much time into the beer as they have everything else. I knew they did.
I have been enjoying beer from the Adirondack Pub and Brewery for years. They distribute locally and I have been able to enjoy there fine ales at some of the different taprooms I visit. The Bear Naked ale has won many awards and is always a good choice from the tap. It is widely available in the Albany NY area. This copper colored ale at an abv of 5% is has a nice clean crisp finish with hints of fruit. It was time to sample some of their more unusual offerings.
My first choice was the Fat Scotsman Ale. Served in a 10 ounce glass the ABV is also 10%. This was a very flavorful beverage with strong flavors of caramel and a nice balanced hoppy taste. This was an excellent brew. If I was more Scottish I might of expected to see my picture on the label.
My second choice was the Biere de Garde which is a style originally produced in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. It is a Farmhouse Saison Style which was aged in Pinot Noir barrels. I have to say that the flavor of the Pinot Noir really comes through. This beer was smooth and dry like a good Pinot Noir and a beer that a wine lover might savor.
Thirdly I choose the Jim Beam barrel aged Imperial Red Ale. This was a great way to finish. A very smooth tasty red ale with and ABV of 12.5%. This beer again had a nice smooth flavor, with hints of the bourbon but not overpowering the taste of the ale. I truly enjoyed these beers at the Adirondack Pub and Brewery. This is a great spot and there is always something going on in Lake George thus there is always a reason to pay them visit.