So we got a bit aggressive with today’s itinerary. After a 6 mile hike (on the opening day of hunting season while wearing dark green jackets – poor planning!!), it was on to the tastings after a lengthy drive up to Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY. Talk about a beautiful space! This place looks more like a farm than a brewery, with everything housed in large white barns surrounded by rolling pastures, breathtaking! While poking around the shop, I noticed a Boulevard Smokestack Series large format and, after having just been in Kansas City a month earlier, I had to ask. It seems that Ommegang has just acquired them. Although I’m always sad when a larger brewery takes over a small one, this does mean an increase in distribution and availability of Boulevard in New York… just sayin’. Anyhow, on to the tasting room we go for a flight!
Brewery Ommegang Adoration: Nice balance between hoppy and malty, some complex spices and dark fruit in here as well along with one of my favorite notes in a dark ale – cardamom.
Brewery Ommegang Game Of Thrones – Valar Morghulis: Lots of hype about this beer but I’m going to start by saying that it’s not for me… Yeastier and hoppier than I expected, thick, smooth and rich. Prunes, spice and lots of residual sweetness.
Brouwerij Liefmans Liefmans Fruitesse: Tastes as if kool aide and beer had a really delicious, slightly tart baby. Would be amazing poolside or while picnicking.
Brewery Ommegang Abbey Ale: Smooth with a really pleasing caramel aftertaste, dark dried fruit with a bit of licorice and burnt sugar
Brewery Ommegang Hop House: For a hoppy beer, I like it. Grassy, piney, earthy with a hint of citrus
And back on the road we go, just a few miles down to Cooperstown Brewing Company, a much smaller establishment that one should not try to locate in the dark. Really. There’s no light on the sign and it’s set back from the road. We blindly followed the GPS and nearly ended up knocking on the front door of someone’s home. Misdirection aside, we arrived to find a small tasting room where we were allowed to do only that – taste, no pints are served. Overall, everything here is much maltier than I would have expected but and almost no hop flavor came through in any of the beers I tried…
Cooperstown Brewing Company Bench Warmer Porter: A standard porter at the base with roasted nutty malt and a hint of coffee
Cooperstown Brewing Company Pride of Milford Special Ale: Malta malts and more Malts, behind that, toffee, caramel and some light fruit.
Cooperstown Brewing Company Back Yard India Pale Ale: Super light on the hops, even less than the average English style – seriously, if you hadn’t told me this was an IPA I’m not sure I would have known. Hints of grass as well.
Cooperstown Brewing Company Old Slugger Pale Ale: Guess what? It’s maltier than the typical pale ale and again, very little (almost no) hop flavor. Hard pressed for something of note to say here…
Cooperstown Brewing Company Nine Man Ale: Nutty and malty with notes of straw and grain, interesting. Not like anything I’ve tried before… Oddly attracted to this, but I can’t say why.