Sunday, November 19, 2006
Weekend Watering Hole: Sackets Harbor Brewing Co., Sackets Harbor, N.Y.
As a regular weekend feature, Lyke2Drink will visit some of the world's great watering holes. This week we head to the shore of Lake Ontario to a town that played a central part in the War of 1812.
Sackets Harbor Brewing Company
212 W. Main St.
Sackets Harbor, N.Y. 13685
Housed in an old railroad station, Sackets Harbor Brewing Co. is part of a three restaurant empire on the shore of Lake Ontario that includes Good Fellos, an Italian restaurant that features wood-fired oven pizza, and Sackets Cantina, a Mexican restaurant. When my wife Sandy and I visited this weekend with family members Barron and Bette Boyd for lunch Good Fellos was opened and we had the chance for a quick tour and tasting at Sackets Harbor Brewing.
Sackets Harbor Brewing opened in May 1996 in the village where America's Army and Navy were headquartered during the War of 1812 and were twice attacked by British and Canadian troops. Later future President U.S. Grant was stationed at the Madison Barracks twice during the 1840s and 1850s. The military would leave and time would pass by Sackets Harbor for many years, but recent investments in the community are bringing residents, tourists and boaters back. Sackets Harbor has one of the best sunsets on the Great Lakes -- the brewpub has a waterside deck perfect for warmer weather -- and also has some of the best beer.
The meal at Good Fellos was excellent from salads and pasta to gourmet pizza and deserts. Barron and I then went next door to the brewery where owner Steve Flynn had arranged for us to be allowed in before the place opened. It was my first visit back since the year the brewpub was launched. We had the chance to try several beers and really enjoyed the Thousand Islands Pale Ale, a fresh hoppy ale at 6.3 percent alcohol by volume and a 1.056 gravity, and St. Stephen's Stout, a creamy espresso and chocolate stout that is 5.6 alcohol by volume and 1.056 gravity. The compact brewing operation serves not only the brewpub, but also bottles and kegs beer for sale around the region. The company also contract brews its 1812 Pale Ale and Thousand Islands bottled beers at Saratoga Brewing.
We were in Sackets Harbor long after the high season had ended, yet we found the service, food quality and beers to be of superior quality. It is worth a side trip the next time you find yourself in Upstate New York.