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From horses to hops

Rob Maeske
The Chronicle Express

Laurentide Inn carriage house is the area’s newest brewery

The Laurentide Inn on Main Street has recently finished renovations, transforming the historic carriage house into a new craft brewery and tasting room. Owners Marla and Tracy Hedworth bought the stately landmark in June 2018 and after a year of renovations, reopened the former Fox Inn as the Laurentide Inn during the Spring of 2019. The Inn takes its name from the Laurentide Glacier which formed the Finger Lakes over two and half million years ago.

According to the Hedworths, the brewery was in their plans from the start. 

“We liked the idea of having not just a tasting room, but a place where people could just come and relax and hang out,” said Marla.

The old carriage house has been beautifully redone, with much of the materials being reclaimed from the carriage house itself.

“The bar is actually made from the old flooring,” said Tracy.

The tasting room features a sizable bar as well as tables for larger groups and more intimate seating with smaller tables toward the back of the room. The brewery also has spacious outdoor seating in the shadow of the majestic main building. In addition, the back of the carriage house features an airy party room that leads out to a tranquil backyard sitting area.

Behind the bar is the Inn’s state-of-the-art brewing room, helmed by head brewer Brett Driscoll and his wife Jackie. Laurentide’s line of beers is focused on striking a balance of styles and making delicious and drinkable brews. Their Kolsch is a light, summery beer that Marla describes as,”perfect boat beer,” while on the other end of their spectrum, the Honey Brown is rich and flavorful with a subtle sweetness and the Laurentide’s IPA eschews the current style of heavy hops and alcohol for a smooth brew with notes of sweetness that calls to mind a heady fruit nectar.

“We just want to be straightforward with our beers and use simple ingredients,” said Driscoll. “We’re trying to be approachable.”

The Hedworths and the Inn’s mascot, their dog Fletcher, are eager to welcome customers to the brewery and its offerings. 

“We’re excited to be here,” said Marla, originally from Connecticut. “[Tracy] grew up in Phelps and I just fell in love with the area.”

“We’re very happy to be part of the Finger Lakes community,” added Tracy. 

The Laurentide Brewery is open daily throughout the week and can be accessed by car from the Laurentide’s main driveway on Main St. or by foot from Maiden Lane, behind Timmy G’s Restaurant. For more information,visit the Laurentide’s website at www.thelaurentideinn.com.