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I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice Cream. There is no season for this tasty treat, and Shira will bring you to the ends of the earth, or at least your nearest dairy, for this frozen delight. Whether homemade or not, the ride will be worth the extra calories. This monthly column has become one of the highlights of every issue - we hope you enjoy it too.

Cooper's Cave Ale Company and Ice Cream

2 Sagamore Street, Glens Falls, NY 12801 • 518-792-0007


CCACWindowBikeFor our visit to Lake George and Americade this year, I wanted to find a different ice cream spot. I’d been to Scoop’s, Martha’s, Nina’s, S.J. Garcia’s and Bob’s (absorbed by the huge hotel now on Canada St). When I’m on a nice ride in the Adirondacks, I’ll stop by the Wind-Chill Factory in Ticonderoga, Lakeside Licks in Speculator or, for a super special treat, Wemple + Edicks in Johnstown. But I was searching for different with a little something for everyone. I do believe I found the answer in Glens Falls at Cooper’s Cave Ale Company and Ice Cream. Yup, you read that right – craft brew and homemade ice cream in one spot – BOOM!

We planned our ride from Backroads Central to get us to Glens Falls just about lunch time, and this time our plan worked out just right. Cooper’s Cave is a bit off the main road of Glens Falls, situated on the Warren County Bikeway, former home of the rail line. There is street parking as well as a lot around back, which brings you closer to the ice cream window.

Should you not know the history behind the name Cooper’s Cave, author James Fenimore Cooper was supposedly inspired to write one of his most famous novels, ‘The Last of the Mohicans’ by the cave that sits under the Cooper’s Cave Bridge, which connects the village of South Glens Falls and the City of Glens Falls. There is an overlook with lots of information about Cooper and the story, but the cave is best left to your imagination after reading the book, as a hydro-electric plant has pretty much taken over the location.CCACTacos

Cooper’s Cave Ale, however, is definitely worth a visit. In addition to their craft brew and ice cream, they have a very tasty and extensive menu: soups, salads and starters (chili with Sagamore Stout, Strawberry Kale Salad and Beer-Steamed Mussels), sandwiches, wraps and tacos (Pulled Pork sandwich, Thai Falafel Wrap and fish, steak, chicken and vegetarian tacos) and burgers such as the Sagamore Street (roasted red peppers, spinach, feta and a side of garlic aioli). Should you need a more substantial meal, there’s Mussels Marinara, St. Louis Ribs and so much more.

We settled on the salmon taco special with homemade chips and a James Fenimore Cooper burger with sautéed onions and crispy fries. Everything was delicious and, even though we finished every bite, we still had room for ice cream.

On our way out back, we stopped by the retail shop where you can purchase a variety of edibles as well as Cooper’s Cave Ales and homemade sodas, and chatted with owner Patty Bethel. Edward and Patty Bethel started Cooper’s Cave Ale as a micro brew in 1999 and have continued to expand it to this day. They began home brewing in the 80s and eventually moved to this location. As Patty was quoted on what makes Cooper’s Cave Pub different from other pubs and breweries, ‘There’s no TV, no bottled beer and no BS.’ My kind of place.

Once the Warren County Bikeway came about, their son Adrian thought it would be a good idea to serve ice cream to the folks using the trail – not that it mattered they had no experience with making ice cream. One thing led to another, and today Adrian, Patty and crew churn out small batches of ice cream daily in a variety of flavors. CCACSign

We sampled the nutty coconut (with Almond Joy and almond pieces), vanilla (made with pure bourbon extract) and cookies n’ crème (chock FULL of Oreo pieces). Some of the other flavors include Porter Vanilla, flavored with Cooper’s Cave Porter wort (no alcohol), Maple Walnut with real maple syrup and Chocolate Peanut Butter, their best seller. The flavors are spot on, especially the nutty coconut, with a great consistency. I was shocked to hear Brian say that his cookies n’ crème almost had TOO much Oreo in it.

CCACPatioOf course you can get your ice cream in sundae, shake, split or float form. I can only imagine how good their ice cream sitting in a bath of their homemade soda would be. They offer a BIG variety of soft serve flavors, to be combined in any way imaginable, and for those avoiding lactose and/or calories, there’s frozen yogurt and almond milk swirl, which can also have any number of flavors added.

If you happen to be in the Glens Falls region, do make a stop at Cooper’s Cave Ale Company for a meal or a sweet treat. If you are a regular to Americade, put this on your list for next year.