Wednesday, July 13, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Adirondack Brewing Co. Lake Placid

Having left Zig Zags on that Thursday night, day 1 of Happy Hour in the High Peaks’ Lake Placid Summit Tour, we went straight down Main Street to stop #2, The Great Adirondack Brewing Company.

We immediately introduced themselves to Tom, the General Manager of 15 years, and let him know that Rob Kane, co-owner with his parents Edward and Joan Kane, had sent us. This bar is part of the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood Restaurant, which has been in business since 1982.

Wood, wood and more wood sets the scene inside the bar and restaurant area, from the oak bar to the richly stained pine paneled walls, bead board ceilings, and peeled log beams. Movie posters, sports memorabilia, a golf ball collection and winter sports gear create a confusion of decoration throughout the pub. Law enforcement and firefighter badges surround the bar, representing protective service from around the country. Delicious smells fill the air, tempting patrons to enjoy a fine meal.

Customers come and go, many apparent regulars who exchange friendly greetings, some curious about the two women in matching hats. The first bar to introduce Pam to grape rum, they offer drink specials featuring their best brews and a variety of “rum runner” drinks. A blackboard lists several beers on tap. Kim opted for the Abbey Ale, with a rich, fruity aroma and sweet flavor. She sampled the porter as well, claiming it tastes “Just as a porter should.”

Open every day year round, the best best time to visit the Great Adirondack Brewing Company is in the summer months, but winter weekends and holidays can be special too. The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bar seats about 12 people, with additional tables along the perimeter. The bartenders are attentive and very professional. Posted on the walls in several areas are notices banning cell phone use. They have had problems with loud cell phone use, but advise that polite usage is generally tolerated.

The weather that day was not conducive to outdoor seating, but ample outdoor space, semi-privately tucked back from the sidewalk, provides at least 15 tables on the patio, easily accomodating a large crowd on a sunny day or warm evening. They do occasionally feature outdoor acoustic music on the patio.

Located in the Village of Lake Placid, the Great Adirondack Brewing Company is definitely not to be missed. If you’re a beer drinker, you probably can’t leave without purchasing a growler. Kim had been eyeing the decorative bottle with pewter handle and swing top lid and Pam was sure they wouldn’t be leaving without one of those filled with Abbey Ale. She was correct. Not only did the Abbey Ale come home with us, we traded two of our HHHP hats with a couple of brewers for an additional growler of porter and posed for a photo op. (Pam optimistically hoped at least one bottle was full of grape rum.) Hopefully, the brewers will be sporting our hats when you visit the Great Adirondack Brewing Company.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.

Kim and Pam Ladd

Sisters Kim and Pam Ladd recently self-published Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide and a companion Happy Hour Trail Passport. As they continue to market and distribute their current book, they also conduct research for their next project, Happy Hour at the 19th Hole. With the lofty goal of becoming the Adirondack Park's "Drinking Authority," Kim and Pam report on drinking-related topics and events inside the Blue Line here at the Almanack and at their own blog. You can also visit their website, follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

The pair have spent most of their lives in Warren County. Pam has a degree in Computer Science, but her passion is mixology. She and her husband and daughter live in Warrensburg. Kim is a freelance photographer whose sports images regularly appear in the Adirondack Journal. She has a degree in Advertising Design and lives in Thurman with her family.

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