|Bed and breakfast room are always fun!|
|Jeroboam of Abbey ale and chalices|
After checking in on Friday, we walked through downtown Cooperstown and grabbed some dinner at Alex and Ika's on the recommendation of one of Amy's Facebook friends who happens to work for Duvel, Ommegang's parent company. We had a nice dinner and got our bellies full for what came next: craft/homebrew beer night. Starting at 8, we went to town. All the guests brought some kind of beer, and it was all excellent. The owner of the Inn, Marc, brought over two growlers of his own beer, and a bunch of Ommegang employees came over along with special brews. We got to sample a bourbon barrel aged Three Philosophers that made me insanely jealous it's no longer available. We also tried out a brand new Ommegang beer, Seduction, a cherry stout brewed with cocoa. Other memorable beers included a cherry beer from New Glarus, the 2010 Christmas Ale I brought from Anchor Brewing, and several good Belgian beers from La Chouffe.
|Part of the homebrew/craft beer night extravaganza|
Saturday night was the big one: the trip up to Ommegang. We all gathered and were taken up to the brewery in a trolley. Upon our arrival we were taken into the brewery for our tour. We've been to a lot of breweries, but I've never seen a facility that was so bright and clean. The brewhouse smelled amazing, and from the looks of things Ommegang is thankfully expanding significantly in terms of space and production capability. From what we were told, production right now is around 400,000 barrels a year, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.7 million gallons of beer. All right!
|The cleanest brewery I've ever seen|
|The brew kettle and mash tun|
|The bottling line|
|Awesome keg washer/filler|
After the tour we headed back to the visitors center and cafe and proceeded to sample all of what Ommegang had on hand that night. We started with BPA, or Belgian Pale Ale, a spicy, hoppy and effervescent ale. From there we move to Witte (we learned pronounced Wit-ah), a refreshing, light and estery Belgian style wheat beer. The next beer was Hennepin, a traditional Saison-style beer that is slightly hoppy but full of spiciness from both the hops and the yeasts used for fermentation. Next was Rare Vos, a amber ale that is malty and a little sweet. The next to last beer was Abbey Ale, a Belgian-style dubbel that is dark, sweet, fruity and delicious. The final beer served to us was Three Philosophers, a super-strong quadrupel blended during the brewing with a cherry kriek, or sour cherry ale.
|Sampling glass rack, with the regular beers on top (pictured with their corresponding glasses)|
|The various ingredients that go into the Ommegang beers. Besides grains and hops, there was also bitter orange peel, licorice root, grains of paradise, star anise, ginger, and candi sugar.|
|Witte- a traditional wheat beer with tons of clove and banana flavors|
|The potato pancake and pork goodness|
The second course was a cheese-bacon soup paired with Hennepin.
|Hennepin, a traditional farmhouse ale-spicy, a little hoppy and delicious|
|Bacon, cheese and beer in soup form? Yes please!|
|Rare Vos- a very flavorful amber ale.|
For our entree, we were served a giant sausage plate, featuring three types of sausage (I believe a fresh kielbasa, a bratwurst, and a weisswurst), served over beer-infused sauerkraut and spaetzel. The rich food in this course was paired with Abbey Ale.
|Abbey Ale- a traditional dubbel, full of dried fruit and tons of malt flavors|
|Can't go wrong with delicious sausages|
|Three Philosophers- dark, somewhat sweet, with a great cherry flavor from the kriek blended in during brewing. Awesome with chocolate, most desserts, or by itself. Just be careful at 9% ABV.|
|I loved the cake, Amy wasn't as big of a fan|
|Each table had four sets of these beers!|
Overall it was a great weekend! I'd highly recommend it to any beer afficionados, especially if you like Beglian-style ales.