Lots of brew, no ski

Suzanne Orlando hands out a sample of Raquette River Brewing’s beer at the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce’s annual Brew-ski Saturday. Brewery owner Mark Jessie is also pictured. Overall, samples from 10 breweries were served at the event with more than 200 in attendance. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

TUPPER LAKE — Despite a lack of snow, more than 200 people attended the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce’s fifth Brew-ski and the Lion’s Club’s Fire and Ice Golf Tournament at the town’s cross-country ski trails Saturday afternoon.

Attendees sampled beer from local brewers, played tennis ball golf and rode fat tire bikes around the course.

People from as far as Maine, Ottawa and Albany came to taste the craft brews of Tupper Lake and the surrounding area, and though there wasn’t enough snow cover to ski the trails, there was still plenty of fun to be had.

Golfers challenged their skills with a five-hole game of tennis ball golf, obliviously slogging through mud and puddles as they chased the unpredictable balls around the green. High Peaks Cyclery brought eight fat tire bikes and gave out free test rides. Riders said the extra-wide tires on the bikes acted like training wheels.

The weather did not seem to bother anybody, as smiling beer enthusiasts made their way from table to table, tasting hoppy IPAs, smooth porters and creative fruit brews.

People stand around the bonfire at the annual brew-ski event, drinking beer from 10 breweries around the surrounding area, eating food provided by the Lions Club and waiting for their turn on fat-tire bikes. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

With Big Tupper Brewing, Blue Line Brewery, Raquette River Brewery, The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Big Slide Brewery, Township 7 Brewing Company, Valcour Brewing Company, Oval Brewing, High Peaks Distributing and Saranac and Living Goods all serving their crowd-pleasing and experimental brews, there were plenty of beers to taste and brewers to meet.

Kyle Henderson started Township 7 Brewing Company in Dickinson Center with his friend after their home-brews received high praise from their friends and family. They both quit their jobs and went into the beer business.

He and his wife, Tonya, said there are two types of brewers: “beer people” and “business people.” They said Township 7 was started out of pure love for the craft, and that since running a brewery is more complicated than they had anticipated, it’s what keeps them brewing.

This was the biggest Brew-ski the chamber has hosted to date and organizer Hayley McCottery said she reached out to as many breweries as possible.

“This is my last event I’m doing here because I got a new job, so I was like, ‘We’ve got to do this big,'” McCottery said.

At center, Tonya and Kyle Henderson pour Township 7 Brewing Company beers for Brew-ski attendees Saturday in Tupper Lake. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

The larger number of breweries led to a hundreds showing up at the golf course in swampy weather to play golf, enjoy the company of friends and neighbors and drain many of the kegs by mid-afternoon.

Spencer Lanthier, of Tupper Lake, takes a swing at a tennis ball Saturday at the Chamber of Commerce’s brew-ski event. Though there was no snow for skiing, attendees found plenty of other fun things to do at the town golf course. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

Susie Blair, left, and Sheron Hallam of Ottawa, Ontario, ride fat-tire bikes, which were a big hit at Saturday's Brew-ski in Tupper Lake. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)