Taste a beer with a touch of Adirondack sweetness

Lake Placid Pub & Brewery's head brewer, Kevin Litchfield, took this shot of some of the maple syrups he used to brew "Life Support". Photo: Kevin Litchfield, courtesy Adirondack Life.

UPDATE: Adirondack Life added some cool insider details on the making of this beer on their blog.

Well, the first run of sap from northern New York's sugar bushes is petering out.  Temperatures are forecast to drop below freezing this weekend and lock up all that delicious sap for a little while longer.  Julie Grant found yesterday at least one maple syrup producer says sugaring season's starting slowly.

Still, hey, boiling down sap from the Acer saccharum is the first sign of spring.  So let's celebrate!

Lake Placid Pub & Brewery and Adirondack Life magazine have worked together to brew a beer that truly reflects the sweetness of this time of the year in every corner of the Adirondacks.  "Life Support", a maple porter (yum), is made from maple syrup produced in all 12 counties of the Adirondack Park (including the producer Julie spoke with).

Lake Placid Brewery owner Chris Ericson says in a press release it's a brew that brings the region together:

We’ve brewed a beer with maple syrup before, and one beer using all maple sap instead of water, but the opportunity to bring in syrup from all different sugar houses is really exciting. Local beer, local syrup—it’s refreshing to see people going beyond the idea that ‘local’ only means shopping or food.

Adirondack Life has a feature in its new issue, available now, about a renaissance in craft beer brewing in the Adirondacks (I bet they talk about a couple of these).

So where can you drink a toast to the season?  The official tapping of "Life Support" is tomorrow at the brewpub in Lake Placid, just in time for happy hour at 5pm.  The brew will be on tap at the brewpub through March.

Here's the full list of maple syrup producers that contributed to "Life Support":

Black Rooster Maple, of Keene, in Essex County; Brandy Brook Maple Farm, of Ellenburg, in Clinton County; Grandpa’s Little Gardener, of Boonville, in Oneida County; Homestead Maple, of Northville, in Fulton County; Paul Smith’s College’s sugar bush, in Franklin County; Maple Valley Farm, of Corinth, in Saratoga County; McComb’s Oak Hill Farm, of Speculator, in Hamilton County; Orebed Sugar Shack, of DeKalb, in St. Lawrence County; Rathbun’s Maple Sugar House, of Whitehall, in Washington County; Town of Webb town supervisor Ted Riehle Jr., of Old Forge, in Herkimer County; Toad Hill Maple Farm, of Athol, in Warren County; and Yancey’s Sugarbush, of Croghan, in Lewis County.

If you have a thirst for more beer news, here's a look at the other end of the brewing spectrum.  Just two (!) companies own 210 breweries around the world, including some of the biggest, including Budweiser, Rolling Rock, and Stella Artois. Check out this stunning map from NPR.  NPR also debunks allegations that Anheuser-Busch systematically waters down its beer.



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  1. Would the use of local maple qualify towards the new NY state rules around local / farmstand beer?

    • HA! That would be great, then we could make a maple schnapps and have some real fun.

      • I'd rather a whisky distilery with local barley and a hint of maple.

  2. #ADK maple syrup does 'qualify' as a locally produced ingredient.

    Stay tuned. Many more #craftbeer and distilled spirits/whiskies coming soon.

    Na zdravi!