Veteran-Owned: Slickfin Brewing Company of Fort Edward
Slickfin Brewing Company, located at 147 Broadway in Fort Edward, is owned and operated by former US Marines Kris and Heather March. This husband and wife couple came to Fort Edward, a small historical village along the Hudson River in Washington County… That’s where Slickfin Brewing Co. has made its home, and they’ve never looked back!
When Kris and Heather first discovered Fort Edward, the downtown was filled with vacant and deserted storefronts… Now, the area has a welcoming vibe, with the hustle and bustle of a thriving village that supports a variety of commerce. The couple saw the potential in downtown Fort Edward, and have worked to help build a neighborhood and community around them: “We were scouting locations for the brewery and came to Fort Edward to look around… What we saw were a lot of empty storefronts along the Hudson River, which is right there (Kris pointed to their backyard beer garden). We looked around and thought we could do something here,” Kris said.
Slickfin Brewing Company has full-sized windows that look out onto a sidewalk patio with tables that line Broadway. The beer garden around the back of the building provides tons of space for patrons to relax! Kris described the interior of the building when they first found it: “The whole interior area was divided into small spaces. It was all sectioned off and very dark,” Kris said. Kris and Heather worked to open the space up, and Kris built the bar himself.
The unique name of the brewery comes from Heather and Kris’s shared military experience – the term Slickfin refers to the fin on a bomb, as during his time in the Marines, Kris was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. His experience inspired the name, and the name in turn inspired their logo.
Kris and Heather love working together and being part of a community… Heather grew up in Fort Ann, on Hadlock Pond. She graduated from Fort Ann High School in 1998, and attended SUNY Adirondack prior to joining the Marines. Heather is happy to build their business and raise their family in the area where she grew up: “My family is here, and my friends are here. That makes a big difference to us,” she said.
Kris and Heather met on the rifle range at the Marine Corps Base at Quantico, and married a year later… Together, the couple run the brewery, with Kris brewing the artisanal craft beers, and Heather focusing on creating a welcoming environment and expanding their customer base.
Slickfin Brewery is perfectly situated to both watch and be a part of the evolving resurgence of Fort Edward! Kris and Heather have watched new businesses move in around them and, love being part of building that community. “Our community wants to be a part of the change that is happening… Everyone is looking and watching and wants these businesses to succeed,” Heather said, as we gazed out the front window watching cars navigate the Broadway. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s taken a while,” Kris added with a smile.
Kris and Heather experienced the support of the community first-hand while navigating the pandemic – having established their business in 2017, Slickfin Brewery officially opened in March of 2019. The pandemic created unforeseen challenges that warranted creative solutions… Slickfin provided curbside pick-up for their customers, and expanded their patio to serve their customers safely. Having only recently opened, Heather and Kris found that the community was dedicated to helping their business: “Cars would line up along Broadway, and we would run their order out to them after they had paid over the phone.” Heather said. “It was definitely a challenging time, but we got through it.”
Slickfin is surrounded by businesses that help support each other. Heather gives credit to their neighbor – Underwood Park CrossFit – because their clientele often frequent the local businesses… The community has also welcomed the Twisted Taco Food Truck, and still values the long-standing businesses like The Anvil Inn, Ye Old Fort Diner, and Mamma’s Cafe.
Seeing what Heather and Kris have created begs the question, “What’s next?” Kris has her answer: “We have plans. Our fifth year in business is coming up in March of next year, that’s the year we plan to go to market… I’m working on organizing my methods. Since we opened, we have brewed over 200 types of beer… I would like to stick to between 50 and 75 of those. We have had a lot of fun. The small system that we use allows us to do a lot of things… It allows us to change our menu frequently,” she said. The Slickfin craft brew menu creates an opportunity for patrons to enjoy a 5-oz taster, the traditional 16-oz pint, or a 32-oz Crowler – a growler in a can!
Slickfin Brewery does not serve food, but has created partnerships to encourage patrons to support neighboring eateries – Kris and Heather keep menus of neighboring restaurants on hand, and allow customers to order food in! There are menus from Stumpy’s Pizza, and the Twisted Taco truck parks right outside of Slickfin’s on Tuesday nights.
Kris and Heather keep their customer base up to speed on what is on tap through their website… They are currently featuring Maize for Days Lager, Yacht Rock-Blueberry Blonde Ale, Silhouette IPA-Belguin, Chameleon IPA, Riptide Hard Seltzer, Before I had Status IPA-American, Street Fighterz, Lager- Japanese Rice, Incoming-Spark it up and Choose a flavor -Sour, Riptide Slushie- Mixed Berry or Peach Hard Seltzer, and NightShade Maple Porter.
Kris and Heather are proud of what they have been able to build in Fort Edward and the calendar ahead is filling up with much anticipated events. August 19th is the 2nd annual Fort Fest. This event takes place at the Brewery from 12:00 PM – 10:00 PM. On Friday, September 1st, Slickfin is featuring a “Paint and Sip” event and then their attention will turn towards OktoberFest!
Slickfin Brewery is open Tuesday through Sunday. The hours of operation are 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM Tuesday through Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays from 2:00 pm to 10:00 PM, and Sunday 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
For more information, please visit slickfinbrewing.com