Tupper Lake to host Brew-Ski event

TUPPER LAKE – This March the Tupper Lake Cross Country Ski Center will host a day of skiing, chili and local brew tastings.

Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce Events Coordinator Michelle Clement received unanimous approval from the town board Monday to hold the town’s first-ever Tupper Lake Brew-Ski Trail.

All of the Brew-Ski’s proceeds will go toward purchasing a mobile performance stage for future events.



On March 1, Brew-Ski participants will pay a fee to either ski or snowshoe while trying 2-ounce samples of local beer along the way. The cross-country ski center is based at the Tupper Lake Golf Club on Country Club Road.

“It’s a great time of year to get outside,” Clement said. “People are usually getting cabin fever by then. We’ll be utilizing part of the golf course for this event while leaving some of the general trails open for public use.”

Vendors won’t be able to sell beer at the event, but they can take orders and teach tasters about their special brews.

Clement explained that the town will have to obtain a liquor license to cover the event since the town owns the golf course.

“The chamber would cover insurance for the event,” Clement told the board.

Microbrewers who have marketing licenses will be able to pour samples, but those who lack the license can still be present and have someone under the umbrella of the liquor license pour for them.

The Brew-Ski isn’t just about liquids, though. Clement said the Chili Chow Down chili cookoff will also be held in conjunction with the event.

Performance stage

Clement also told the board that Brew-Ski is more than just a way to get people outside this winter.

“When I worked in Plattsburgh a lot, one item the city of Plattsburgh had was an old tractor-trailer bed that was converted into a mobile stage,” Clement said. “I thought that was a great fix for all those locations where you want to have dancers or a band or even a small play. It’s a great money-saving, portable idea.”

Clement said she and town Recreation Director Mike Fritts have brainstormed ideas for the stage that included incorporating its use with beach activities, the Tinman Triathlon, OkTupperfest and Fourth of July events.

Town Councilman John Quinn asked how much a mobile stage would cost.

“Well, it all depends on how much we can get for free and how much stuff we can find used,” Clement said. “I’ve got a couple of leads on some people who are looking to get rid of old tractor-trailer beds that might be of use. From there, it comes down to parts and finding welders who could help out with that.”

Clement added that a couple of people on the chamber board are working on the exact pricing, but she guessed the cost incurred by renting a mobile stage three or four times would probably cover the cost of purchasing one.

Supervisor Roger Amell then asked who would own the stage. Clement said the city of Plattsburgh owns that stage, but the Tupper Lake town board and chamber of commerce could discuss ownership at a later date. Whoever owns it would have to decide whether to provide insurance for anyone using the stage or require event coordinators to insure it.

“Either way, our goal would be to have all the funding in place and put it together by mud season so we can use it next summer,” Clement said.