By David Anderson, Mahoning Valley Flight Crew
With baseball season starting, and the spring and summer beers beginning to come out, it's a perfect time to plan a weekend getaway to Cooperstown, N.Y.
Cooperstown is home to the Baseball Hall of Fame and also Brewery Ommegang. I've been wanting to make the trip to the Hall of Fame for as long as I can remember. So when my wife was asking for suggestions on what I might want for our anniversary, I said a weekend in Cooperstown!
I'm a lucky man because my wife loves sampling craft beers and visiting breweries. So while she wasn't sold on spending a weekend watching me look at baseball history, she didn't need much convincing when I told her that the Ommegang brewery was there too. Showing her pictures of Cooperstown helped too. It's in beautiful upstate New York.
Ommegang was opened in 1997 by Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield, who shared a passion for Belgian beers. They sold to Duvel, a Belgian brewery, in 2003. The name comes from a festival in Brussels of the same name that originated in 1549. Ommegang translates to walk about or walk around.
People might know Ommegang for being the ones who brew a special Game of Thrones beer for each season. On our tour a gentleman asked how they were the ones who got the rights to brew for Game of Thrones and the tour guide said that the producers of the show loved the brewery and contacted them. They also have a summer concert series each year and host events at the brewery year round.
On our tasting after the tour, we got to sample some great beers. Here are some that we tried.
Witte - Belgian wheat that is brewed with sweet orange peel and coriander. This is one of Ommegang's most popular beers. It won Gold at Great American beer fest in Denver in 2016. 5.2% ABV
Nirvana IPA - First brewed about two years ago, this one has a 6.5% ABV and a 60 IBU, six kinds of hops and some grapefruit. This is a entry-level IPA.
Rare Vos - Means sly fox in Flemish. This is a amber ale at 6.5% ABV. Brewed with grains of paradise, sweet orange peel and coriander.
Gnommegang - a blonde ale with a 9.5% ABV. This one went down smooth and was very easy to drink for a beer with a ABV nearing 10. Be careful with this one!
Lovely Dark and Deep - Inspired by a poem by Robert Frost. This was an oatmeal stout. Midnight wheat gives it color and coffee flavors. 5.2% ABV.
I highly recommend taking a weekend trip to Cooperstown for baseball and beer and many of the other things to do in the area. Check out the links below for more information.