The Adirondack region is prime golfing territory — the mountains, the water views, the scenic fairways, the undulating greens. But what about those of us who can't swing a club to save our life? Or even avid players looking for a refreshing break from the links? That's when you turn to the (mostly British) variation of pub golf.
For visitors at Saranac Waterfront Lodge in Saranac Lake, New York, the most entertaining round can be better described as brewery golf. With so many local craft beers, it's easy to make a nine-hole course full of fun places, beautiful views, and delicious flavors.
Using this scorecard as your guide, head to the tees and prepare for a tasty, entertaining outing — no golf skills necessary.
Hole 1: A Breakfast Platter or Hearty Burger at the Boathouse Saranac Lake Pub
No matter what time of day you're starting your round, you'll need a good foundation for your day on the brewery trail. Make it easy by heading to Saranac Waterfront Lodge's onsite pub. Before 10:30 a.m., opt for the SWL Breakfast Plate, which includes eggs, bacon, roasted tomato and some ever-important, beer-absorbing carbs in the form of potato hash and toast. If you're looking for a lunchtime start, try the Boathouse Burger, made with beef from nearby Donahue Farms and served with the hotel's special SWL Burger Sauce and fries.
Hole 2: Mango Wheat Ale at Raquette River Brewing
While your food is settling is the perfect time to tackle the longest leg of the course (all of 30 minutes away in Tupper Lake) to Raquette River Brewing. Get a pint of the flagship Mango Wheat Ale, which is made with 30 pounds of mango puree and, at 4.8% ABV, is a nice, light place to start. And if, by some chance, you're still hungry, there are two food trucks onsite every day.
Hole 3: A Honey Brew at Hex & Hop
The next stop, Hex & Hop, offers some options. If you're feeling like Tiger and want to drive farther, head to the original brewery in Bloomingdale. If you're not a long hitter, stop at the new tasting room in downtown Saranac Lake. Either way, you need to go with one of the honey brews, since Hex & Hop is also known for making its own raw honey and beeswax. Players who are still warming up and getting into the groove of the round can go with Honey Bunches of Malt, a 5.6% ABV option. For pros ready to go all-out, the Honey DIPA is 8.8% ABV and combines big hop flavor with the smoothness of honey.
Hole 4: Dead Forest Stout at Ray Brook Brewhouse
Mixing in a stout in the middle of the round might be a risky move, but Ray Brook Brewhouse's Dead Forest is specially designed to be deep and robust with easy drinkability. At 5.8% ABV, it's even great for stout drinkers in the warm summer months. If you'd rather stick with the ale strategy, toast to your lakeside accommodations at Saranac Waterfront Lodge with a glass of Moon on the Lake, a silky New England IPA with 6% ABV.
Hole 5: A Trail Jammerita (and Dinner) at Great Adirondack Brewing Co.
The fifth hole has beautiful views of Mirror Lake from Main Street in Lake Placid. Since Great Adirondack Brewing Co. started as a steak and seafood restaurant before later adding a brewery, it only makes sense to make this your dinner stop. The varied menu includes tasty options such as duck wings, calamari salad, slow-roasted prime rib, grilled salmon, and more. For refreshment, mix it up with one of the specialty beer cocktails, such as the Trail Jammarita, which starts with the brewery's fruity sour beer and adds tequila, triple sec, and sour mix.
Hole 6: A Beer Sampler at Lake Placid Pub & Brewery
Just a 10-minute walk across downtown, your next stop is Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. With so many unique and uniquely named brews, your best bet is a sampler of up to 10 options. You can't skip the Ubu Ale, the brewery's flagship beer for 25 years. Also add the New York State of Mind Pale Ale, which uses malt and hops grown in-state; This Sh*t Is Bananas, an amber ale with banana puree and brown sugar extract; Leipzig Gose, a traditional Berliner Weisse; Stout Now Brown Cow, brewed with lactose and liquid chocolate; and Unicorns and Show Ponies, a New England IPA that was created in collaboration with Prison City Pub & Brewery, located 200 miles away in Auburn.
Hole 7: Hot Pepper Pale Ale at Big Slide Brewery & Public House
Another short trip — anyone got a golf cart? — brings you to Big Slide Brewery & Public House, the more modern, gastropub-style sister property of Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. If you're in need of a little pick-me-up, order the Hot Pepper Pale Ale, which is brewed with poblanos and jalapenos and has 5.1% ABV. Ready for dessert instead? Opt for the Cinnamon Stout, a full-bodied and roasty brew.
Hole 8: A Scratch-Made Pizza at Blue Line Brewery
At this point in the round, it's probably time for a little snack to keep your energy up and stave off any hangover. Head to Saranac Lake's Blue Line Brewery, which offers an appetizing menu of thin, crispy pizzas with homemade sauce. Pick your toppings and pair your snack with a pint (or two or three) of Split Rock Ale, a mild brew that makes a great session ale at 4.8% ABV.
Hole 9: Golfer's Choice at Boathouse Saranac Lake Pub
At this point in the day, there are those in your group who are still going strong — and those who are almost ready for bed. Take everyone back to Saranac Waterfront Lodge's Boathouse Pub, where the tired players can order Pecan Bourbon Pie and a cup of decaf coffee. Or maybe a Winterizer cocktail — with vodka, amaretto, coffee liqueur and cream — will help them sleep. Those looking for more local brews can try some drafts from other New York breweries too far to be part of the round. Consider the 1911 Cranberry Cider, from LaFayette; Blue Point Toasted Lager, from Patchogue on Long Island; Crossroads Brewing Outrage IPA, from Catskill; or Oval Simplicity Pilsner, from Pattsburgh. Can't decide? Order the Donovan, a four-beer flight of the bartenders' favorites.
Everyone's a Winner at Saranac Waterfront Lodge
No matter how the round goes, you'll be resting easy in the hotel's comfortable accommodations. Book now to reserve your Adirondack brewery golf tee time.