SCHENECTADY, NY — Ever hear of Mad Jack Brewing Company? You will beginning this spring if you order a draft at the Van Dyck Restaurant & Lounge, Pinhead Susan’s, the Stockade Inn or the Park Inn, all in Schenectady.
That is the name of the microbrewery being readied to re-start at Van Dyke in April. Reportedly, it also will be the only brand of drafts that will be served beginning in April at the group of restaurants owned by the McDonald family. Brewing is being overseen by brewmaster Drew Schmidt, whose resume includes being a brewer at two now-defunct facilities — the Big House in Albany and Olde Saratoga Brewing in Saratoga Springs.
The brewery is connected to the historic jazz club and restaurant in the city’s Stockade section. It had operated under different ownership from 1997 to 2005 when a micro-brewing boom took place in the Capital Region. The McDonald family bought the property and the brewing equipment in separate auctions in 2008.
The Mad Jack name is a nod to John “Jack” McDonald, one of the owners. Perhaps coincidentally, there already is a Mad Jack’s Brewery — in Bailey, Colorado. The name also is popular in restaurant circles, with a group by that name in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, area, and an unrelated one in nearby Pittsfield, MA.
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