Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cooperstown, NY Breweries and Beverage Trail

My family and I recently spent 5 days camping outside of Cooperstown, NY. It was a great trip. I planned to visit a brewery or two, especially Brewery Ommegang and Cooperstown Brewing. Upon visiting town, we found out about the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. There are six destinations, all in about a 30 mile loop. Three breweries, two wineries and a cider mill. At each location, you receive free gifts when you purchase the tastings. The tastings average $2-$3. Once you complete the trail, you receive a free wine or pint glass. Free glassware and fresh, local beer, sign me up!

Our first stop was Cooperstown Brewing Co. Cool brewery with great beer. I bought a few six packs and pint glasses. Their Benchwarmer Porter is a great beer. Next stop was Bear Paw Winery. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I humored my wife, just as she humored me at the breweries. The final stop of the day was Fly Creek Cider Mill. Awesome place. Plenty of great food including apple cider donuts, hard apple cider and local cheeses.

The next day we visited Butternuts Beer and Ale. This small brewery is owned by the same guy who owns Cooperstown Brewing. Different style of beers and packaging. No bottles, all cans at Butternuts. Two 12 packs and pint glasses, we were on our way to Rustic Ridge Winery. More wine for the wife and I.

I think we saved the best for last. Brewery Ommegang. This brewery specializes in Belgian style beers. While I am not a huge fan of the style, I still wanted to visit. Well, I was wrong. They brewery and beers were excellent. The building is styled like a huge farmhouse. After you pass through the tunnel in the middle, you find a huge field with the warehouse and Welcome Center. The Welcome Center houses the store, Cafe and tasting room. We did the tour and tastings. The brewery is nicely planned. Brewery on one end and the fermenters in the next room. The tunnel in the center of the building acts as a crossover to the bottling area. Their beer is bottle conditioned, so it spends time in their warm cellar to age. After the tour, we were brought back to the tasting room. Each member of the tour is given a 2.5 ounce tasting glass to keep. We sampled some of the mustard's and spreads made with their beers. We sampled their Witte, BPA, Abbey Ale, Hennepin, Rare VOS and Three Philosophers. All six of the beers were outstanding. I bought a 4 pack of the BPA and a bomber of their newest release, Biere D’Hougoumont. This is a Biere de Garde style beer, aged on oak and maple. I haven't even tried it yet. Overall, it was a fun trip and I got some great beer and a bitchin pint glass.

Please feel free to take a peak at the pics and links below:

Cooperstown Beverage Trail 
Cooperstown Brewing's Benchwarmer Porter and Pride of Milford Special Ale

Cooperstown Brewing's bathroom

Cooperstown Brewing Co.

Fly Creek Cider Mill. Hard Apple Cider

Fly Creek Cider Mill

Rear of Brewery Ommegang
Pilot Brewing System
Brewery Ommegang's Visitor Center
Front of Brewery Ommegang
Me standing behind Brewery Ommegang
Beer from Brewery Ommegang

Butternuts Beer and Ale Variety Pack

Butternuts Beer and Ale

All of the beer I brought home from Coooperstown.

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