Thursday, 15 March 2018 12:37

Racing City’s New Brew

By Megin Potter | Business

DRINK UP  a craft brew flavor that is an expression of place and the beginning of a tradition. 

This weekend, enjoy classic beer recipes with a modern spin at the newest brewery in town. The Oliva family invites you to partake of their latest libation adventure at the opening of Racing City Brewing Co. at 250 Excelsior Avenue.

“Our family has always been big into wine, but I always had a strong passion for beer – it was a natural progression,” said Anthony Oliva III, Racing City Brewing’s chief marketing officer, and son of owners Tony and Debreen Oliva.


Nurturing a winning crop is something the Oliva family has been doing well with horses and wine before their expansion into beer making. 

Their Fort Edward farm, Oliva Stables, turns out racehorses that have won at Belmont, Aqueduct, Monmouth Park, and Philadelphia Park, among others. Their first colt, the spirited “Italydar”, raced his way onto the label of their winery before becoming the brewery’s bold logo.

“Saratoga is very important to me and my family. We go out with friends and family and have them fall in love with this town and all the city has to offer. There’s the track, but we also love the nightlife - this is a representation of it all,” said Anthony.

Their bold red Italydar wine exemplifies the excitement that is Saratoga, but also the Oliva’s enthusiasm for striving forward with their craft.

“Tony always had a passion for growing things and making things. It started with the Fort Edward farm – the horses and thoroughbreds, then the winery, and the beer naturally followed,” said Debreen, the family business’ CFO.



It’s the science of putting it all together that fascinates Debreen. As a home and career skills teacher in the East Greenbush Central School District, she understands the biology of brewing. There is an art to the science of orchestrating the complex chemical reactions between grain, water, hops and yeast to form a regional product to be proud of.

Their sudsy sustenance is concocted in giant tanks in the back of the old FedEx distribution center building, while the front of the house been transformed into a spacious tasting room.

“It’s massive!” said Anthony. There’s also plenty of parking available outside, which is a rarity in Saratoga in the summertime. 

“This is a nice corridor that’s growing and developing and this is a nice way to draw the town in,” said Debreen. 

The industrial space is warmed by all the tables, benches, and bar top that Tony made from wood obtained from a local sawmill.  The Saratoga racing theme is evident throughout, from the art on the walls, which is on consignment from local artisans, to the names of their products. 

13 CPG 8889


Selling only New York State distilled spirits, guest taps, Racing City beers and Oliva Vineyards wines; you’re getting a range of choices for true local flavor.

“Our mission is to have something for everyone,” said Anthony. Starting with 14 taps, they will continue to add everything from hoppy to light varieties. They are serving up many of resident’s favorite farmers’ market selections of wine, including the popular Italydar, Post Time Peach, Morning Line Favorite, and Sparkling Hanna (named after Debreen and
Tony’s granddaughter).

Working to complete the renovations since they bought the property in June, this weekend will be their first opening to the public.

“It’s been a long time coming and the time is right,” said Anthony.

Take up your glass, salute the science, and drink deeply starting on Friday, March 16, from 4 to 9 p.m. With the purchase of a full growler, get a free t-shirt. 

Then, on Saturday, March 17 from 12 noon to 9 p.m., come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a new way, with drinks in a vibrant new atmosphere. There will be live music, and catered food available. 

The revelry continues on Sunday, from 12 noon to 7 p.m. 

This weekend schedule will remain as Racing City Brewing Co. moves into the spring and summer season, when they expect to be open seven days a week. Check out their Facebook page for themed weekend and evening events, their ribbon cutting with the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce and their happenings around May’s biggest horseracing event, the Triple Crown.

Racing City Brewing Co. is at 250 Excelsior Ave. in Saratoga Springs. For more information, call 518-350-4515. 

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