TRP visited Brewery Ommegang in August of 2012 on our way across upstate New York. Ommegang is located on the edge of Cooperstown, NY and the drive to get there takes you on a beautiful route through country back roads to reach the brewery which sits on a 136 acre plot of land. While the actual brewery only takes up a small section of this land, they put the rest of it to good use by hosting numerous events throughout the year including concerts and the much anticipated Belgium Comes To Cooperstown where over 50 Belgian style breweries from around the world come to share beer, listen to music, camp, and enjoy food from the cooking competition.
Brewery Ommegang opened in 1997 and focuses on making Belgian style ales. They use traditional Belgian brewing practices including open fermentation that essentially uses a large open vat instead of the standard enclosed cylinders. We took the tour and learned quite a bit despite the fact that we have been on over 40 brewery tours on our trip thus far. The tour guide was young but was very knowledgeable and entertaining.
As with most tours the real pay off comes at the end with the tasting. You don’t have to take the tour to do the tasting at Brewery Ommegang, but I would recommend you do both as it really is an interesting facility. The tasting itself went rather quickly as Maria and I were still sipping on our third sample when everyone else was downing their fifth and final taster. We were never rushed, but it seemed like most of the crowd was stopping in for some quick samples and then heading out. Our tour guide stuck around afterwards and discussed beer with us for awhile before making some recommendations to try at the brew pub that is connected to gift shop and tasting room.
One of the best parts of the Brewery Ommegang facility was the brew pub. It features a wide variety of Belgian style beers due in part to the fact that Duvel bought the brewery in 2003. Dishes from the previously mentioned Belgium Comes To Cooperstown cooking competition make it onto the menu which included some spectacular muscles and frites that we tried and fell in love with. An outside seating area takes advantage of the beautiful scenery and is a great place to relax and enjoy some food and drink and summer afternoon.
Even though Maria is not a big fan of Belgian style brews she actually had a few that she really liked and I was a big fan of Three Philosophers (Quadrupel/Kriek blend) and the Abbey Ale. We weren’t exactly sure what to expect from Brewery Ommegang on our way there, but left with exceeded expectations and highly recommend a visit.