My visit to the Great Adirondack Brewing Co.

The Abbey Ale

I apologize in advance for the title of this post. It’s a bit misleading.

My time in Lake Placid, NY, over the weekend led me to the Great Adirondack Brewing Co., at least in spirit. As part of Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood, the brewery itself wasn’t open during my visit to the home town of the 1980 Winter Olympics.


But that didn’t stop me from trying out all seven brews that the company offers inside the parent restaurant. And what the brewery offered was a consistently decent selection of beers in all varieties with a few standing out above the rest. Continue reading

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Review: Cape Ann Sunrise Saison

Cape Ann Brewing Fisherman's Sunrise Saison

Cape Ann Brewing Fisherman’s Sunrise Saison

In keeping with the summer beer theme that we’ve boasted this week, I decided it’s time to take a look at Cape Ann’s Sunrise Saison.

Touted as a saison brewed with strawberries (250 pounds worth, the brewery’s site notes), I hoped for the best, but expected the worst. I’m not the world’s biggest fan of fruit in beer; I’ve found few with the subtle notes of fruit and more that taste like the beer has been assaulted by a Jolly Rancher.

That said, the Sunrise Saison was a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

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Review: Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale

Mr. Mallard’s recent review of Troegs Dream Weaver got me to thinking about what I look for in a summer beer.  As an IPA fan, I’m immediately attracted to anything with big hop character.  But in the summer, I like my beers more restrained.  It has to be full of flavor but not overwhelmingly so.  It has to be moderately alcoholic, not in the style of an imperial or double beer.  Lastly, it has to be balanced.  Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale is just that.  I recommend this beer to any IPA fans out there looking for something light yet palatable.

Sierra Nevada ( has been in business since 1980.  For those keeping count, that’s 4 years before Samuel Adams was founded.  They’ve had a lot of time to perfect the art of the pale ale, and they have.  It’s won many awards (Great American Beer Festival: 1993-1995, American Pale Ale; 1992, Classic English Pale Ale; 1987, 1989, 1990, Pale Ale).

The beer pours a moderate caramel color, clear, with a dense foam head characteristic of hoppy beers.  It smells of malt and hops, nothing too fancy and not overwhelming like many of today’s IPAs.  The taste is slightly spicy and piney, full-bodied, and finishes clean.  It’s biased a bit on the hoppy side but not enough to qualify it as an IPA (37 IBUs).

Alcohol is restrained in this beer at an easy-drinking 5.6%.  You can easily polish off a 6-pack in a game of softball or while floating in the pool and you won’t feel full or drunk.  Which, this time of year, is a bonus because no one wants to be that guy at the family picnic.

There are many, many reviews of this beer out there.  This one is not to convince you that it is a good beer (it is), or that you should forsake all other beers for it (you shouldn’t), but to make you think about picking up a 6-pack of Sierra Nevada’s flagship ale and plopping yourself down somewhere for the afternoon.

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Review: Troegs Dream Weaver

A fussy beer drinker in warmer weather, I’m constantly looking for something that has a flavor other than lemon and won’t sit in my stomach like a stout during the summer months. Luckily, I’ve been fortunate to come across a few brews this year that satisfy that craving.

Troegs Dream Weaver definitely fits that mold.

A well-crafted hefeweizen, the Dream Weaver is great for a day by the pool or at the beach. Heck, this unfiltered offering is good in just about any situation where liquid refreshment is necessary.

Continue reading

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Review: Dogfish Head Positive Contact

With alcoholic ciders continuing to gain a larger share of the craft brewing world, it was only a matter of time before Dogfish Head tried its hand at integrating apples into one of its brews.

Positive Contact — a collaboration with Dan the Automator of hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030 — continues the company’s unique approach to brewing and delivers a witbier infused with apples and other ingredients for something unlike any other cider I’ve seen. Continue reading

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Review: Samuel Adams Porch Rocker

It’s with a heavy heart that I review the Porch Rocker by Samuel Adams.

Don’t get me wrong; I have no actual affiliation with Sam Adams. It’s just that the company’s offering’s were my first venture into microbrewed beer — actually, any beer.

So when I come across a brew from them that doesn’t quite work for me, it’s sad. Kind of like hearing a terrible song recorded by your favorite band.

Continue reading

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Follow us this weekend for all kinds of beer excitement

This weekend, two-thirds of the three guys involved with this blog will be hitting up several Maine breweries as well as putting together a beer tasting for friends. Follow @n_mallard on Twitter for thoughts on the breweries we visit and the beers we try.

Also, coming next week, we’ll have a guest column with thoughts on and an overview of the American Craft Beer Festival, which gets underway Friday in Boston.

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