The craft beer business is certainly booming in the town of Lake Placid, NY; located in the heart of the Adirondack forest. A short jaunt, less than a mile actually, from the Great Adirondack Brewing Company you’ll find the Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company. Established in 1996, this popular restaurant and brewery is known for its many popular beers that are distributed around the northeastern United States.
Walking into Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, you realize what a busy operation this is. There are three floors and every single one of them was packed with crowds of people. Each floor has a different feel; the first being a traditional Irish Bar, the second and third house the brewery and restaurant. Also on the third floor is a children’s play area. This surprised me a bit but I’m guessing there are many tourists who visit with young kids. In fact, there were lots of kids running around when we were there, something I was not expecting. Eventually, after a bit of a wait, we were able to grab seats at the bar and ordered a flight. It should be noted that while they have six beers on tap, only four are available on the top floor; the final two are available on taps downstairs but they will bring them up to you. Here are the beers we tasted while visiting.
- 6.9% ABV
- Belgian qualities are very subtle, mostly in the aroma.
- Malt, Coriander, and Orange peel dominate the flavor.
- 5.2% ABV
- Big smoky aroma and flavor that really lingers with you.
- Made with smoked malted barley.
- Lots of campfire smoke.
- 4.4% ABV
- Golden Ale
- Clean, bright, and refreshing with a slightly sweet finish.
- A good patio sipper.
- 6.8% ABV
- Strong hop presence, balanced by a higher ABV.
- Rich tropical fruit components.
- 6.8% ABV
- West coast style IPA
- Earthy, well balanced hops.
- 7.0% ABV
- English Strong Ale
- Smooth, nice mouth feel.
- Good malt character and backbone.
- Named after a local dog that wandered from bar to bar begging for food.
The beer was all nicely made, though I was hoping there would be some stouts or porters available. They actually brew over 70 different styles so I’m sure every visit will have something new to try. All of the beer available at the restaurant is brewed in house on a 6 barrel system. However, the bottled beer that you purchase at your local stores is actually brewed at FX Matt Brewing in Utica, NY. If you wish to buy a growler, either bring one of theirs with you or buy a fresh one there. They only fill their own growlers due to the cleaning system they utilize.
Darren, the bartender, was extremely gracious in answering a few questions about the brewery for me considering how crowded the restaurant was. The food menu consists of gourmet pizzas, wraps, and sandwiches. The pizzas we had were delicious and the prices seemed reasonable for their size and quality. Also for sale are apparel, drinkware, and gifts with the pub logo on them. The brewery is proud to note that in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2013 it was voted the best Craft Brewery in the Hudson Valley. While this is a great award, I am surprised they won as I don’t consider Lake Placid to be anywhere close to the Hudson Valley!
This brewery is clearly a local success story for such a seemingly isolated region. They have gotten so popular that there is usually a wait for a table or a seat at one of the bars. The production facilities have expanded twice already; first just brewing locally, then expanding to Plattsburgh, and finally to FX Matt Brewing Company in Utica, NY. It is nice to see a small New York brewery doing so well for themselves. They even gained national attention back in 2000 when President Clinton ordered three cases of Ubu growlers to be shipped to the White House! Don’t let the popularity of this brewery dissuade you from visiting and trying some great beer.
Update: July 23rd, 2014
Being back in Lake Placid, we definitely had to return to Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company to see what was new. We opted to hang out in the pub on the first floor as the upper two floors were packed with people and had a long waiting list to be seated at a table. The brewery had a few new beers to try during our visit.
- 4% ABV
- Light golden ale with a lot of rye malt.
- Can smell the rye in aroma, clean finish, easy to drink.
- 5.5% ABV
- Belgian Style Wheat Beer made with Curacao orange peel and coriander.
- Loads of cloves and esters; very refreshing.
- 4.6% ABV
- Earthy, with even more fruity esters then the Wit. Hints of clove; nicely made.
Once again, I was a bit disappointed to see that they had no stouts or porters on tap, but what we had was good. Summer is the time to work with Belgian yeasts for many breweries and I was pretty happy with both the Wit and the Hefeweizen.
After our tasting, we explored the gift shop also located on the first floor. All manner of shirts, glassware, books, and more are available to purchase. I was even surprised to see a book exploring the various breweries around New York State.
I’m glad we had a chance to return to the Lake Placid Brewery, however I can’t help feeling disappointed that they don’t have more adventurous beers on tap. What they do offer is well made and worth trying if you haven’t had it before. The brewpub is a fun place to visit, and the first floor has a relaxed atmosphere if you just want to unwind after a busy day exploring the Adirondack region.
You may recall another dog named Ubu from many older television shows like Family Ties. At the end of each program, television producer Gary David Goldberg exclaims “Sit, Ubu, Sit!” while a picture of his dog is shown on the screen. Who knew that Ubu was such a popular name for a dog?
Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company
813 Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid, NY 12946
Visited July 24, 2013, Revisited July 23, 2014
Blog post written by Thomas Andersen.