Brew-ski back on the trails Saturday

Suzanne Orlando hands a sample of Raquette River Brewing’s beer to Ben Geiger at the 2018 Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce’s annual Brew-ski. One of the brewery’s owners, Mark Jessie, is also pictured. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

TUPPER LAKE — The fifth annual Brew-ski at the town’s golf course and cross-country ski trails is this Saturday, and for the first time in years there should be snow on the ground.

The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce hosts the event, collaborating with the Lions Club’s Fire and Ice Golf Tournament. Brew-ski will host seven breweries, a nine-hole snow golf tournament, and ski, fat bike and snowshoe rentals from High Peaks Cyclery.

The National Weather Service predicts that temperatures will stay mostly in the single digits to upper 20s through the week, reaching 36 Thursday and 35 on the day of the event. There is also precipitation predicted in the early morning on Thursday and a low possibility on Saturday.

This is Hayley McCottery’s second year organizing the event.

“We had so many people that were so happy to be here in the mud,” McCottery said. “It’s pretty exciting to have it happen in the snow, like it’s supposed to be.”

Brew-ski organizer Hayley McCottery walks Jax, a black and tan coonhound, on the cross-country trails where brewers will be giving samples to skiers Saturday. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

With snow covering the trails, the breweries’ tasting tables will be scattered along the Golf Course Loop. Last year they were congregated on the golf green. Despite the mud and rain, more than 200 people turned out to drain the kegs of nine breweries last year.

“Almost everybody left with empty kegs,” McCottery said.

Breweries that will do tastings at the event include Tupper Lake’s Big Tupper Brewing and Raquette River Brewing, Saranac Lake’s Blue Line Brewery, Plattsburgh’s Valcour Brewing Company and OVAL Craft Brewing, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort’s recently opened Maple Brewery, and Lake Placid’s Lake Placid Pub and Brewery, Big Slide Brewery and Great Adirondack Brewing.

McCottery spent a lot of time organizing the Brew-ski between working at her job, talking to over 50 brewers. Breweries attending donate their beer, but she said that did not discourage most of them from bringing their brews to be sampled.

She said many other companies said they would like to attend the event but did not have the staff to make it possible.

McCottery already plans to organize next year’s Brew-ski because she has enjoyed it so much.

“I think (what I like most) is people’s reactions,” McCottery said. “They’re like ‘A brew-ski? What?'”

This is a one-of-a-kind event, she said. There are other beer and downhill skiing events, but this is the only cross-country brew-ski she knows of.

“I’ve looked, and there’s nothing like ours,” McCottery said.

This year, McCottery said there will be more for kids to do, with a hot chocolate bar at the fire pit, kids sizes for skis and snowshoes, and Wild Center pass giveaways.

The event raises money for the chamber, and McCottery said the chamber will give some money to the town to assist it in creating new trails at the golf course.

The Lions Club will supply food, MAC’s Safe Ride will give rides from noon to 4 p.m., A.W. Ranch from Childwold will serve “drunken cupcakes flavored with Jack Daniels and tequila,” Lakeview Lanes bowling alley will hold the Lions Club awards after the event, and P2’s Irish Pub is having a concert from Jim & E.

If you go…

What: Brew-ski and Fire and Ice Golf Tournament

When: Saturday, Feb. 23 from noon to 4 p.m.

Where: Tupper Lake Golf Course, 141 Country Club Road, Tupper Lake

What to bring:

-Identification for beer tasting

-$10 for admission to Brew-Ski (kids 12 and under are free)

-Cross-country ski and snowshoe equipment if you have them, but FREE rentals will be available for all equipment from High Peaks Cyclery as well).

-If you plan to golf in the Fire and Ice tournament, $60 for a team of three to play nine holes