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Brewfest: Where Local Brewers Showcase

This summer, sand between the feet of the Cumberland Bay State Park visitors, music vibrating through their ears and the sun-kissed summer glow will pair well with cold local craft brews — thanks to Plattsburgh’s Brewfest on Tap, a beachside festival by beer aficionados of the local community. Brewfest on Tap, a festival to showcase beers and ciders Aug. 1, is a way to help support local businesses and encourage people to join in on the brewing fun, says Erin Frey, the vice president of Adirondack Cider Company, who helped organize the event. “You get to talk to the people…

This summer, sand between the feet of the Cumberland Bay State Park visitors, music vibrating through their ears and the sun-kissed summer glow will pair well with cold local craft brews — thanks to Plattsburgh’s Brewfest on Tap, a beachside festival by beer aficionados of the local community.

Brewfest on Tap, a festival to showcase beers and ciders Aug. 1, is a way to help support local businesses and encourage people to join in on the brewing fun, says Erin Frey, the vice president of Adirondack Cider Company, who helped organize the event. “You get to talk to the people who make the products.”

One of the breweries participating in Brewfest on Tap is Blue Line Brewery in Saranac Lake. Owner Mark Gillis, who spent 10 years downstate learning the brewing craft, founded Blue Line after seeing the magic happen at Captain Lawrence Brewery in Pleasantville, New York. Watching it flourish, Gillis decided to bring the idea upstate to Saranac Lake since the region’s tourists were perfect for his brewery. “There were no frills,” Gillis says. “They didn’t need anything fancy.”

The brewery’s tasting room houses a blue garage door and a car wash counter at the bar where you can get a sample of one of Blue Line’s own Lake Flower Cream Ales for $6. The eclectic décor is remnant of the venue’s early car wash days. Other breweries such as Switchback Brewing out of Burlington, Vermont and Lake Placid Pub & Brewery will be at the event.

With a performance by local rock band Lucid, Brewfest on Tap will be a festival where visitors can expect “Rockin’ and Rollin’ on the Plattsburgh City Beach,” says Tom Frey, owner of Elfs Winery and Cider House. It’s the ultimate beach bash where there will be guys and girls in bathing suits, boaters, jet-skiers and wind surfers.

Besides bobbing their heads to music and quenching their thirst with cold beers, Brewfest on Tap attendees can eat local food from restaurants like Blue Collar Bistro, Conroy’s, Livingoods and the Ground Round. The festival isn’t just about getting to know local beers and foods; it’s also about charity. Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce and the Adirondack Bank, Brewfest on Tap aims to help the Adirondack Garde, a cycling group that enters the Tour de Force race to help families of police officers who died in the line of duty.

The festival will be located on the Lake Champlain beach that overlooks the city of Plattsburgh, the vast mountains of the Adirondacks and the green grass of Vermont. The inaugural event is scheduled for Aug. 1 and tickets can be purchased online, which will include sampling, three food tickets and all the music you can listen to.

“Often there are not a lot of big events going on,” says Erin. “This is one way to give back to the community, help out and show off what there is. If it’s a success, people are interested and lots of people come, [Brewfest on Tap] is absolutely something that will continue.”

Issue 5: Summer/Fall 2015

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