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St. Lawrence Brewing Company tasting room opens its doors

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County’s first brewery now has beer on tap for thirsty customers. The St. Lawrence County Brewing Company tasting room held its grand opening Friday night.

“We’re just 10 minutes in, but we’re excited; we’re expecting a big crowd,” said brewmaster Stephanie M. Russo as the room began to fill with customers eager for a taste.

The brewery had been promoting the opening on Facebook all week.

The tasting room will be open 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through August. The hours will be expanded this fall, but no specific times have been set yet. While open, the staff will give occasional tours of the brewery itself.

“Hopefully we sell a lot of beer,” Ms. Russo said.

The company’s four yearlong brews are on tap: an India Pale Ale, a Maple Porter, a Pilsner and a Bock. Most customers Friday ordered a small glass of each.

“I’m just checking out the new business,” said Matthew P. Carotenuto of Canton. “I’m excited for the new brewery, it’s long overdue.”

In addition to beer, the brewery also sells branded merchandise like t-shirts, pint glasses and posters.

“We wanted to see what it’s all about,” said Kevin M. Wells “We’re trying to get a taste. I’m impressed,” he said, referring to both the beer and the building.

Much of the furniture in the tasting room, including the bar, is handmade locally.

The tasting room is not the only place to get the company’s beer. So far it is on tap in eight north country bars and restaurants, and the staff is working hard to expand that number as quickly as possible.

“Right now, my focus is the Adirondack region,” said David L. Parker, who handles distribution for the company.

The Adirondacks, he said, have a larger market for craft beers.

“I think it will pay off big time,” he said.

The company plans to begin canning its beer next year to be sold in stores. For now, however, the only place to find it is on tap.

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