Glen Ale

WATKINS GLEN — Two local leaders in the craft beverage movement have launched a 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 idea.

“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,” McKenzie said in a press release. “The vintage feel of the label and regional branding made it very appealing. 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 nearby Lucky Hare Brewing, Ian Conboy and Richard Thiel, to discuss the concept.

“They jumped on board right away and started brainstorming recipe concepts immediately,” McKenzie said.

Lucky Hare Brewing and Finger Lakes Distilling have collaborated on projects in the past.

“We are thrilled to be able to brew this classic style of beer at our brewery,” Conboy said. “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 state farms. Glen Ale is a simple recipe of malted corn and 2-row barley from Murmuration Malts in Bloomfield. Glen Ale bears a touch of sweetness from the malted corn. It finishes light and crisp. Its ABV is 4.3%.

“Glen Ale is a departure from the super hoppy IPAs and high-gravity stouts available in local taprooms,” McKenzie said. “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 in the Finger Lakes Distilling and Lucky Hare tasting rooms. It will be distributed throughout the area in stores, bars and restaurants.

More information is coming soon at

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