The Electric City has something old and something new and both with the same name: Great Flats.

The Great Flats, or the Schenectady Aquifer, is a “unique groundwater resource and is one of the most productive aquifers in New York State” so says the Schenectady County website.

Living up to its name, Mom, sis and myself found the Great Flats Nature Trail a perfectly horizontal trail cushioned by a bed of grass. Ideal for slower pokes like my sister who has a hard time walking over rocks, roots or up hills.

The trailhead is, technically, in Rotterdam and not far from the commercial hubbub of a beleaguered mall, now partly an Aquarium. A few short minutes into the hike the din of traffic faded replaced by nesting robins and croaking amphibians.

And now the new: the Great Flats Brewery. In keeping with our “Great” theme, Mom and I quenched our thirst with a fleet of craft picks and 1 pint of cask-aged stout with a hint of cherries. Delish.

Once a fitness gym, the brewery has been opened since March 2017. There are 8 clear garage doors flooding plenty of light onto the tanks, fermentors and home-made milling station on one end. On the other are colorful boxes of flowers dressing up the front parking lot.

We sat at a hightop table with trendy metallic chairs that spill onto the outside allowing just enough space for our toy poodle to loiter with us.

Because we were hungry, the head brew master suggested we order sandwiches from the cafe around the corner: Puzzles. Some of the proceeds go to help children with autism. That works for us.

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