The Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce has transferred the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail initiative to the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB.
“The ARCC is a business-to-business Chamber in that we strive to partner and support regional businesses by providing programs, resources and opportunities to connect all industries in an effort to grow, succeed and thrive,” said Amanda K. Blanton, ARCC marketing and communications manager. “While the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail was certainly successful in promoting the growth of the craft beverage industry, we feel that the initiative is a better fit for a tourism-focused Chamber and CVB and are excited to see the program continue in the hands of the LGRCC.”
The trail, featuring beer, wine and spirits, is an attraction in the area as it highlights the craftsmanship of locally-made products and feeds into the agritourism offerings, officials said.
According to the Brewers Association, New York ranks fourth in the nation for economic impact from small and independent American craft beer alone at an estimated $3.4 billion.
ARCC launched the Adirondack Craft Beverage Trail in 2014 with 13 craft beverage makers. Currently, there are 17 breweries, five wineries, five distilleries and one cidery on the map.
“We feel this is a perfect opportunity for us as we are on the front lines of the tourism industry assisting tens of thousands of visitors a year over the phone, in our office, at the Village of Lake George Information Center, soon at the Adirondack Welcome Center on the Northway and through the Lake George Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau, which is a division of the Chamber,” said LGRCC marketing director Amanda May Metzger.
“We’re constantly getting questions about our craft beverage offerings in the area. As a Chamber focused on tourism, the LGRCC has built-in channels to promote this as its staff attends 14 travel and trade shows annually and distributes e-blasts promoting the region to a list of currently around 20,000 emails and distributes a Travel Guide with a 70,000 circulation,” she said.
The trail promotion also fits into the Lake George Region 365 initiative, which strives to promote the area in every season and highlight year-round attractions. The LGRCC is updating the beverage map for the 2018-19 year with a full launch planned to take place at the Adirondack Wine & Food Festival on June 23-24 in Festival Commons in the Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George.
The LGRCC is working with Black Dog Designs in Glens Falls on the initiative.
The ceremonially “passing of the stein” took place at Owl Valley Farm featuring hops grower Rich Lemelson. Lemelson and his family started the farm in 2006 and currently have two acres in production. They plant two types of hops—cascade and chinook—and sell to the Adirondack Pub & Brewery. Each acre holds 936 hops hills. Each hill gets two strings —or coir, as it is called. Once the first growth or bull shoots are cut away, the second stronger growth are trained to climb up the coir.