Sit Ubu, Sit. Good beer!
If you’re headed up to Whiteface, the Saranac Winter Carnival, or just to enjoy the scenery and shopping in the Lake Placid area, you’d be amiss to miss picking up a flight of beers at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery. Located just off the main drag on Mirror Lake Drive, you can choose to dine in the upstairs restaurant, chill out on the porch, or cozy up in the brewpub. With Mirror Lake just across the road, the porch is a great choice for a warm, clear day. On the warm, clear day that I visited, the porch was occupied by weary marathoners, refueling after the big race, so I headed in to the pub.
The brewpub has a rustic feel to it, with a woodstove in the corner. It’s the perfect place to settle in on a cold day with a few of your closest friends and a few pints of ale. There are a few modern touches; the digital juke box, the electronic dart board, and the small TV among the liquor bottles, but the overall feeling is of an old-time pub. On the far wall of the pub, there are windows into the brewery; that sparkling, magical world where all of Lake Placid Pub and Brewery’s draught ales are brewed. (The bottled brews are lovingly crafted in cooperation with FX Matt Brewing down in Utica, NY.)
I had the extreme pleasure of savoring six of the ales brewed in the next room:
Golden Rye Pale Ale
If you’ve just finished kayaking around the lake or hiking any of the countless nearby trails, you’re going to need something refreshing before diving into something too heavy. This ale has a light taste, without the lame “crisp” flavorlessness of most American pilsners. The Saaz and Hollertau hops add a dry finish, and if it weren’t for the spice from the rye, you might mistake this ale for a Kölsch.
46’er Pale Ale
Named for the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondacks and the few hardy souls who have climbed them all, this ale would pair nicely with a plate of the Pub’s Buffalo Shrimp. To start, the nose is of hops and lightly roasted malts. The taste is exceptionally smooth, with a little sweetness, and finishes with a hoppy bitterness.
As soon as you lift this Irish-style red ale to your nose, you’ll notice a rich, malty aroma. The chocolatey malt adds a sweetness, which is balanced by the three different types of hops used here. This is a bold but balanced brew.
Redfield Rye IPA
If it’s hops you’re after, order a pint of this. At 58 IBU, the Nugget and Amarillo hops are the stars of this show. They are readily apparent in the scent, taste, and finish. Malty, spicy, and bitter, this ale adds interest with each sip.
And the Home of the Brave Barleywine
Sit down to drink this hulking brew. Too strong to be called beer or ale, this behemoth weighs in at almost 10% alcohol. The smell and taste are fruity, with a bit of spice. The sweetness of molasses is well-balanced by the all-American hops selection of Amarillo, Centennial, Citra, and Simcoe hops. This patriotic pint is not for the faint of heart, but like most adventures, it’s worth the trip to the edge.
The famous frontrunner of the LPPB collection, UBU Ale is a dark English-style ale that is surprisingly drinkable for all its complexity. It smells of roasted malt with a hint of fruit and coffee. The flavor is of ripe fruit, malty, hoppy, and smooth, and it finishes sweet and warm. It’s no wonder that this is the beer that put the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery on the map.
If the mountains and lakes or any of the great events in Lake Placid aren’t enough to entice you into the town, the ales of Lake Placid Pub and Brewery should have you making reservations for this weekend.
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