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New brewery and winery coming to Saratoga Springs

New brewery and winery coming to Saratoga Springs

'We'll have a tasting room in the front and production facility in the back'
New brewery and winery coming to Saratoga Springs
Racing City Brewery, at 250 Excelsior Ave. in Saratoga Springs, will be opening soon with Oliva Winery.
Photographer: ERICA MILLER

SARATOGA SPRINGS — When Debreen Oliva and her husband, Tony, open their new brewery and winery next month in Saratoga Springs, it'll likely be much different from their last business opening. 

The couple, who moved to Saratoga Springs in 2006 from northern New Jersey, bred race horses while operating Oliva Vineyards in Fort Edward. 

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On the night the winery opened in 2012, one of their race horses gave birth. 

"We had a camera on the horse, so we could watch it while we were at the winery," Oliva said. "When it gave birth, everyone in the winery got to watch it.

"The foal was born at 8 p.m. and Tony was back at the winery before 9 p.m."

After selling Oliva Vineyards in 2015, the couple decided to find a space that would allow them to operate both a winery and brewery. 

Next month, Racing City Brewing Co. and Oliva Winery will open at a nearly 25,000-square-foot former FedEx distribution center at 250 Excelsior Ave. 

"We'll have a tasting room in the front and production facility in the back," Oliva said. "Guests can have a beer flight or do a wine tasting or buy it by the glass or growler."

Oliva added that the business will also offer spirits from New York State-based distilleries and would likely brew their own cider in the future. 

Tony said he plans to offer high-end bar food six months after opening including pizza and paninis. 

"When we were in Fort Edward, we offered meat and cheese platters, which kept people there for hours," he said. 

For the last couple of years, Tony has been experimenting with test batches of different beers and has five established recipes and three with which he's still refining. 

"We're planning on having eight or nine beers," he said referencing a cream ale that he developed using a recipe he tweaked from the 1940s in Kentucky. 

"Everyone wants something hoppy or double hoppy these days while other people like lighter beers, so we'll have something for everyone," he said.

Oliva said the business will embody everything Saratoga Springs. 

One of the walls in tasting room boasts a horse racing wall sculpture from the former restaurant, Grey Gelding, which closed on Broadway in 2011. 

"Everything that is Saratoga is Racing City," she said. "It's everything from SPAC to the great nightlife downtown, not just horse racing."

The brewery will also feature live music on an inside stage during the colder months and outside on a pergola that will debut in the warmer months. 

"It's been crazy getting to where we are now," said Tony, who built the tables and benches in the tasting room. "I can't wait to open." 

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