You’ve probably heard of wine, beer or bourbon trails—interconnected maps of wineries, breweries or distilleries that take imbibers from one delicious tour stop to the next, all while nipping at intoxicating samples. This weekend, Schenectady County will be unveiling its own trail—one that’s sure to be sweet and sudsy.
In a US first, Schenectady County will be celebrating the grand opening of the first-ever maple-beer trail, a scenic, quarter-mile path connecting two of the greatest gifts known to man: maple syrup and craft beer (or in this case, Wolf Hollow Brewing Company and Riverside Maple Farms). While it has quietly been open since the end of January, the trail’s getting its true coming out party this weekend. On Sunday, February 17, the brewery and maple syrup-maker will be co-hosting the trail opening from 10am-6pm, and patrons are encouraged to hike, snowshoe, cross-country ski and sled between the two venues (clearly, you’ll need a “designated sleigher” to pull your sled back and forth for you, if you choose that mode of transportation).
On one side of the trail, Riverside Maple Farms will be offering free tours of its farm and facilities, where guests can learn how its syrup is made and, of course, sample its product. The Mac Factor, a popular Upstate New York food truck, will also be onsite offering customers an assortment of mac and cheese from 10am-4pm. And over at Wolf Hollow Brewing—which has a number of in-house-brewed beers on tap, including its flagship Wolf Hollow Amber and Campout Stout—Buzzard’s Bay Barbeque will be serving up delicious, smoky BBQ goodness, and the brewery will be offering limited-edition pours from casks featuring Riverside Maple Farms’ amber syrup. (Wolf Hollow also has its own burger mini-menu, too, with veggie options for you none carnivores.)
Of course, the trail itself is also part of the attraction as well, so bring your winter weather gear and be ready to get your heart rate up between maple-beer stops. And so you don’t get lost along the way, you’ll find green maple leaf signs that point the way towards Riverside Maple Farms and wolf paw signs that point you back to Wolf Hollow Brewing Company—not to mention a warm bonfire to cozy up to at the start of the trail on the Wolf Hollow end.
The trail is open Saturdays and Sundays from noon-6pm going forward, so even if you miss this weekend’s celebration, there’ll be plenty of time to check out the trail another day. So grab your puffy coat and bring your appetite: It’s beer and syrup time!