Two local leaders in the craft beverage movement have launched an exciting new project to resurrect the Glen Ale beer brand that was brewed in Watkins Glen in the late 1930s.
Brian McKenzie, Founder and Owner of Finger Lakes Distilling, was intrigued by the brand and was always hopeful to bring the product back into the marketplace.
“I came across these labels 15 years ago when I was researching our distillery and always had it in the back of my mind that it would be a fun project to pursue. The vintage feel of the label and regional branding made it very appealing,” said McKenzie. “We’ve been so busy making whiskey and other spirits that we had to put it on the back burner, but the pandemic allowed for some time to look at new initiatives like Glen Ale.”
McKenzie approached the owners of Lucky Hare Brewing, Ian Conboy and Richard Thiel, a highly-respected brewery also on Seneca Lake, to discuss the concept.
“They jumped on board right away and started brainstorming recipe concepts immediately,” said McKenzie. Lucky Hare Brewing and Finger Lakes Distilling have a history of collaborating on projects, sharing whiskey and beer barrels to finish their respective products.
“We are thrilled to be able to brew this classic style of beer at our brewery.” said Conboy. “The fact that we were able to source all the ingredients locally, which they would have done originally, truly makes Glen Ale a special beer.”
The beer is made under Lucky Hare’s Farm Brewery License which requires that the ingredients come from NYS farms. Glen Ale is a simple recipe of malted corn and 2-row barley from Murmuration Malts in Bloomfield, NY. Glen Ale is super drinkable and refreshing with a touch of sweetness from the malted corn. It finishes light and crisp with an abv of only 4.3%.
“The diversity and quality of beer made in the Finger Lakes is something to be proud of right now,” said McKenzie. “Glen Ale is a departure from the super-hoppy IPAs and high gravity stouts available in local taprooms, however. We wanted to make a high quality, locally-sourced craft beer that goes down easy and appeals to a wide range of customers. A can of Glen Ale is something that you can’t wait to crack open after mowing the lawn or sitting on the deck after working a long day.”
Glen Ale is available on tap and sold in cans at both Finger Lakes Distilling’s tasting room and Lucky Hare’s taprooms. It will also be distributed throughout the area in stores, bars and restaurants. More information about Glen Ale will soon be available at www.glenale.com.
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