Today a couple of good friends and I took a day trip to Cooperstown NY. Although the Baseball Hall of Fame is located there, and though we drove right by it, that was not the reason for our visit. No, our quest was far more noble. We went for the beer.
There are two very good breweries located in the Cooperstown area. One is Cooperstown Brewing, located just outside Cooperstown in Milford in a very nondescript cement and glass block building. The other is Brewery Ommegang located in the very outskirts of Cooperstown on an old hop farm in a traditional-design Belgian farmhouse. Both are fantastic breweries and create some very tasty beer.
Of the two, Cooperstown Brewing has a far more informative tour. They are very much a down to earth company and really try to educate you on the beer making process. Ommegang’s tour was a little flat, and though they also provided information about the process, the tour was much less interactive. Of course at the end of the tour are the tastings, and both breweries provided us with an ample supply of very tasty suds.
Even if you’re not a beer-lover, I think you’ll appreciate spending the day out there. The scenery is breathtaking (rolling wooded hills and farmland), and you can say hi to Cooperstown’s newest faithful guardians, Hops and Barley, two cute little kittens at Cooperstown Brewing. And don’t forget the souvenirs such as glassware, t-shirts, ball caps, and all sorts of other goodies at either location, with an extra nod to Ommegang’s shop for having interesting foodstuffs, cookbooks and other beer-related books, and of course Belgian chocolates.
Of course I loaded up on beer and various other swag (how can you not?), and my car was actually quite weighted down from everything the three of us purchased. Note to economy car owners: If traveling back to the Albany area, the uphill stretch back is quite difficult for a four-cylinder to manage when carrying three grown adults and a trunk full of beer and other loot.
For dinner we were recommended the Hawkeye Bar and Grill, located in the Otesaga Hotel and Resort. Although a little pricier than what we were expecting/hoping for, the food was amazing, the service was top-notch, and the hotel is right on the lake. We ate out on the patio, which had an absolutely beautiful view. My peppered ahi tuna loin was delicious, and my friends enjoyed a very well prepared honey and lavender chicken breast and the juiciest, most tender NY sirloin strip I’ve seen in years.
We had a great trip, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to see a bit more of New York than The City.