Chris Ericson

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What’s your current position at your brewery, and how did you get started in the craft brewing industry?

I am the owner of The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery (our brewpub) and The Lake Placid Craft Brewing Company (our microbrewery). I received a homebrew kit as a graduation gift from Williams College where I was a history and psych major. I started washing kegs, then brewing at Federal Jack’s/Shipyard in my native Maine, moved on to The Shed in Stowe, Vt., then wrote a business plan with a buddy from college and started looking for a town that should have had a brewpub and didn’t—and found Lake Placid. We started renovations in 1995 and opened in 1996.

What’s new at Lake Placid?

We are trying to brew new beers without going too extreme. So we have a new Irish Cream Stout served on nitro, a killer Wee Heavy, and a Chocolate Wheat Beer in the tanks. Pushing things, but not too far—we are a tourist town, after all. We are also undertaking an expansion: renovating the third floor, adding a new bar and dining area, as well as increasing our brewing capacity. On the distribution front, we are available in nine states and are looking to add new distribution points inside of those states. It is a fun time right now.

What’s the best part of being a part of the craft brewing community?

The true sense that we are all in it together. We all help each other whenever needed. It is refreshing. And, of course, we all get to make beer for a living. We all seem to appreciate that fact.

What do you like to do in your time away from the brewery?

Living in Lake Placid is great—any time off is in the middle of the Adirondack Park. I play golf, hockey, and spend time with my wife of 11 years, Catherine, my five-year-old daughter Grace, and my two-year-old son CJ.

What’s your favorite food and beer pairing?

I like our Twice Bitten Barleywine paired with braised short ribs as well as with dark chocolate and fresh raspberries. But I have not met too many pairings that I did not like…

What’s your biggest accomplishment unrelated to your job?

A great family—my wife and I get a babysitter and have date night every week. It makes us better spouses and better parents.

What’s your favorite beer that your brewery does not produce?

I really enjoy Prima Pils (and almost everything from Victory)—they do some styles we do not do, so it is a nice change from our in-house stuff.

What’s the most memorable travel destination at which you’ve had a chance to sample the local beer?

I think the beer available in NYC is hard to beat, but Seattle and San Fran have so many offerings that it is hard to pick just one place. Great beer is really everywhere.

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