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Camp Sagamore hosts Black Fly Beer Camp

Reed Antis demonstrates how to brew your own beer from a kit. He owns a homebrewing and wine-making shop in Saratoga Springs.

Reed Antis demonstrates how to brew your own beer from a kit. He owns a homebrewing and wine-making shop in Saratoga Springs. David Blow

— John Carr, owner of Adirondack Pub and Brewery in Lake George even shared a porter that had been aged in used bourbon barrels that sold for $120 a case.

By nightfall, it was off to the Playhouse, where Glens Falls area musician Joe Defelice serenaded visitors and staff members alike with vocal help from Gray and guitar and harmonica assistance from Whalen.

While he played, there were old soda kegs filled with various beers from a crème ale to one flavored with maple on the porch, all made by Kyle Kelliher and Donia Conn, longtime Sagamore volunteers who met there years ago.

There was a vibe at the great camp that is hard to describe. It was one of those rare moments where a group of people were all in sync, engaged in good conversation, good beer and an amazing setting.

There was even a family with two young kids — although they didn’t know their annual trip to the Sagamore this year fell on a beer festival weekend.

“When we found out there was a beer fest, we were like, ‘ohhh,’” said Syracuse area reident Matthew Cavaliveri, flanked by 6-year-old Sophia who was icing down black fly bites. “But the people have been great.”

Cavaliveri, over a bonfire later Saturday, revealed he was secretly psyched to hear that the beer festival coincided with his annual trip there.

As Saturday night headed quickly toward Sunday morning, the bonfire crowd got younger and younger including both college-aged staff and guest’s visitors.

On Sunday, folks woke up, ate their breakfast and said goodbyes, vowing to return for next year’s round two.

Flagg hopes subsequent events can add more variety, like maybe ciders, cheeses and foods made with spent grains from the brewing process.

“I see it as a rubric for living simply,” said Flagg, also an adjunct professor at Siena College. “And Sagamore is a natural magnet for this kind of people.”

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