Let me start out by saying I’m a family man. Family comes first in my book no doubt about it. But this weekend I found something standing in the way of my family, beer. Big surprise right? I had the daunting task of visiting my sister up in Saranac Lake, NY. I love my sister to death, but nothing is more boring than the 300 mile drive through NH, VT and NY. Recently I have been on the BeerAdvocate forums, mostly leeching information off of the knowledgeable but I must say I have not been let down yet. Like most users I say I am taking a road trip and ask for any beer stops along the way. I got 2 instant replies stating 2 great spots were right along my route. Flying Goose and Long Trail. Flying Goose was a mile off the map in New London, NH, so I saved that one for the way home, but I made a point to stop at Long Trail as it was literally on the same road as my map, I couldn’t miss it. I stopped in for the swag. A metal tacker, a 20oz “Vermont Pint” and a bottle of their Brewmaster Series Imperial Stout. The stop lasted no longer than 10 minutes and I was back on the road. What impressed me about Longtrail, and I guess I speak to Harpoon in VT as well, is how out of the way the brewery is. There is nothing worth driving to (maybe the Quichee Gorges) in the area so you need a reason to drive out there. Long Trail is a great looking pub and I hope I find myself eating there on my next trip up.
Because I am an awesome brother I brought my sister 2 bottles of the Portsmouth Brewery’s Bluebeery Beer, which she enjoyed. The following day after checking out a Wildlife Center with the kids, I hit the town of Lake Placid with my sister. I recalled a time when I went to a Brewery and it wasn’t Lake Placid Brewery (which was a 2 minute walk down the road). I was thinking about Steak and Seafood. No, not the food, the restaurant on Main St, which was also the home of the Great Adirondack Brewing Co. Feast your eyes on what I saw:
As the friendly bartender was pulling my pint of Whiteface Stout, I noticed this growler, but it was unlike any growler I had seen before. Behold the German Growler, a 2 liter growler with a metal handle and a Grolsch style cap. Had to have it no matter the cost. Although they did sell the usual American growlers you will see at any other Brewery, this one will be a great show piece. Cost me a whopping $30 and I had it filled with their Red Ale, very good.
There really is no better way to end a short weekend trip up to the Adirondacks than polishing off 2 liters of beer next to a raging fire with your sister and brother in-law. My sister, enjoying her Bluebeery, and I and my brother in-law sharing the Red. Alas, it was time to leave the next morning and I headed for home. I zoomed past Long Trail, been there done that, and I had my mind set on getting to Flying Goose. After a few U turns checking of the map I made it at the Flying Goose Brew Pub.
For as small an establishment as Flying Goose is, it packs a punch serving 17 of its own beers and they still have the brass ones to serve the usual suspects (Bud, Bud Light, etc). I call is a risky move but a good way to keep the customers who just want to play golf and drink Bud Light without caring about taste. Had the Cobb salad which wasn’t anything to do a back flip over. I went for their lighter beer, their Raspberry Wheat, which was like biting into a fresh raspberry, delightful. The highlight of this stop was the two beer-enthused motorcyclists who were definitely home brewers, talking about possible beer tap handle/beer name pairings. “What if they had a dildo for a tap handle? You could call the beer Dick Dark?” says one of the guys with a chuckle. “How about ass cheeks on the tap handle, you could call it Ass Ale”. I did one of those “hand blocking the side of my face so I could roll my eyes” moves, grabbed a pint glass to take home and I was on my way back to Portsmouth.
Moral of the story? It is amazing how posting a simple “what the hell is there to do on my roadtrip?” question on a beer forum such as Beer Advocate can turn a 300 mile boring ride into a Beercation. There are plenty of people will to brag about a brewery or beer store being in their neck of the woods. Big shout out to Long Trail, Great Adirondack Brewing Co. and Flying Goose for making the road trip that much better. Have you been to any new places lately?