From the mountain, to the river...
Fall in the Adirondacks is practically here, and with the change of seasons comes the time when we dig out the sweaters, pick the pumpkins, and better yet... drink some great craft beer!
In Tupper Lake, we are lucky to have not just one, but now two, great breweries. Named after two of Tupper's finest attractions, Big Tupper & The Raquette River, Tupper Lake's breweries are ready to fill your glass with some flavorful beers that are as large as the counterparts they are named after.
See what's on tap this fall!
Big Tupper Brewing
Named after the ski area that overlooks the Village and the footprint for the brewery, Big Tupper Brewing is Tupper Lake's newest brewery. In fact it is so new, that the beer is flying off store shelves as folks wait for the big unveiling of its new brew pub - targeted to open in May of 2016.
Debuting in June of 2015, Big Tupper IPA "Eh" Ale was the first of many brews they have in line to be released. Now I won't lie, I have in fact washed down quite a few cook outs this summer with a few of these. But I am also not going to try to call myself a beer aficionado, so I've reached out to master brewer, Rick LaFlamme for his insight as to what makes Big Tupper's IPA "Eh" Ale stand apart from other IPAs. He explained that he tried to create a recipe that was not super Hoppy. "We turned the bitterness down to 65 IBU's and with the Cascade Hops we use, it creates a nice citrus finish. However, once the Brew Pub opens, I plan on doing a Double IPA for the true hop heads!"
If you like IPAs I highly recommend that you follow the instructions on the bottle and "Say it like a Frenchmen. Drink it like an Adirondacker." IPA "Eh" Ale is currently in stores and on tap throughout Upstate NY, but within Tupper Lake you can find it on tap at Trail's End Tavern, Lakeview Lanes, and P-2's Irish Pub. It's also available by bottle or 6-pack at stores and restaurants throughout the region.
So what's next?
Big Tupper Brewing is excited to announce that their next beer, Touk, will be released just in time for the fall equinox. According to LaFlamme, "Touk is a darker, maltier ale. When creating it, I wanted something that pairs well with stews and soups - the types of food that we eat more of in the colder months." I myself like a good dark beer, so I'm very much looking forward to this beer that is appropriately tagged "Adirondack Tested. Lumberjack Approved!"
After the release of TOUK will come the new brew pub, which will be located on Cliff Avenue in Tupper Lake. When I connected with Rick I had to ask what he was looking most forward to with the opening of the brewery:
"I am looking forward to the brew pub opening and creating some innovative beer that we can get public reaction to. I have so many different recipes that I want to try, and I'm very anxious to see how the public reacts. I live by the company motto: If it isn't fun, it isn't worth doing!"
Raquette River Brewing
Next on tap is Raquette River Brewing. In March of this year Raquette River Brewing celebrated their one-year mark by doubling their brewing capacity. I had checked in with Mark Jessie, co-owner and brewer around that time, and he was very enthusiastic and passionate about what the future held for this micro-brewery. After watching a flow of people in and out of the brewery all summer that was as steady as the current in the river it is named after, I thought I would follow up to see what they had in store for the fall season. (a/k/a I came up with a good excuse to call a sitter and enjoy dinner at the brewery.)
First the beer...
Raquette River Brewing usually has 7-8 different beers on tap. But what is refreshing is that they have stuck to their motto of leaving the beer about the beer, not the jazzy name. When you walk into this small micro-brewery you are welcomed with a friendly face and a simple down to the bones menu of what's on tap. The list changes with the seasons, however you are sure to always find the staples such as the IPA, Stout, Smoked Red Ale, etc. (To learn more about the different beers on tap, check out this previous blog.)
On our recent visit, we enjoyed a few minutes in the brewery chatting with Mark, then my husband grabbed an IPA and I requested the Imperial Pumpkin Ale, and we headed out to the beer garden to snag a picnic table and take advantage of the warm evening.
Then the BBQ
After securing our beer and seat in the beer garden, the next stop was the food truck for some good old-fashioned BBQ. All summer (and fall) Arthur's "On The Road" has been on site serving up some great food to pair up with the beer. If you love good BBQ, this food truck is not going to disappoint! I myself am a fan of a sampler platter. It makes life so much easier when I don't have to choose between pulled pork, ribs, brisket, etc. Isn't just having a little of everything the best option? It also allows you to sample each of the specialty sauces.
What's next for Raquette River Brewing?
Well, they are expanding again! If you stop in you will see they are in the process of nearly doubling the size of the current building. If you simply just look at their need to keep expanding production, you will realize that their must be a reason to put this micro-brewery on your next brew tour.
Out of the Breweries...
As much fun as it is to swing into the brewery for a sample or a pint, sometimes it's nice to grab some beer and head out to your favorite location. Maybe it is to take along on a fall fishing trip or to enjoy around your last campfire of the season. Maybe it is your last stop on an awesome vacation and you simply want to take a little piece of Tupper Lake home with you after an incredible weekend. Whatever it may be, both of Tupper's breweries are making it easy for you to take your beer to go.
- Raquette River Brewing fills small and larger growlers right at the brewery. In addition, you can pick up 22oz bottles of beer at most stores, restaurants and taverns in the area.
- Big Tupper Brewing is available by the 6-pack in stores, on tap or in bottles at local taverns and restaurants.
- You will also find some of the local craft beers at events throughout the year. Big Tupper Brewing is scheduled to have both Touk and IPA "Eh" Ale on tap during Oktupperfest at Big Tupper Ski Area on September 26. In addition you will most likely see both breweries at the Brew-Ski (an outdoor mile-long brewfest) in March as well as other events.
So whether it is here, or there... the only thing that is left to say is "Cheers!"
We're talking Cheers & Beers around the ADKs this week - check it out: