There is something oddly enchanting about driving steadily north into the beginnings of the Adirondack Park. This is especially true if you avoid the higher speeds and relatively heavy traffic of the Northway, and take the decidedly more scenic Route 9. The elevation is the most obvious change, but soon the plants and trees begin to look different. Even the sky takes on a new appearance. Spring, which has finally begun to take firm root in the Capital Region, is still a few weeks from full bloom up here. All of this happens within the first 50 miles of the drive north. And then we step out of the car...and it is, somehow, five degrees warmer up here. Not that that's a bad thing.
The Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George is probably the nearest brewpub that we had somehow never managed to visit. Davidson Brothers is located just ten miles to the south, and that has become a semi-regular destination. One reason for the lack of experience with this place may be that it is open only seasonally, choosing to close from late October to early May. Our inaugural visit came shortly after this year's opening, and consequently gave us a mere five beers to pick from, while we were led to believe that eight seems to be more the norm. No matter, we found a way to enjoy the experience. Perhaps it was the panoramic mountain view, or the fresh, clean air. Then again, unlike a suburban strip mall, maybe the Adirondack lodge theme actually works in this setting. Whatever the case, the flagship Bear Naked Ale we started with certainly hit the spot; light and clean, but with no shortage of flavour. Even faithful companion enjoyed it, and Keystone Light is oft her drink of choice. The hot prime rib sandwich with horseradish mayo was pretty enjoyable as well. It paired quite nicely with the doppelbock, even if this one did taste a bit underage. We're willing to forgive this small transgression, due to the fact that it is still so early in the season for the Adirondack Pub & Brewery.
Final verdict: We plan on making several trips to this establishment before it closes in late fall. It also just happens to fit quite nicely into our hypothetical Ultimate Brewpub Run (more on that later).