Monday, June 8, 2009

ommegang man date-Updated w/ pictures

Just shot off this tardy thank you to Jacob at Duvel USA and the Inn at Cooperstown for the great time that we (me and my best man Jason) had on our man-date this Spring.

For anyone looking for a relaxing beer-centric weekend get-a-way, especially if you are burgeoning have found it. The bed and brew package that the Inn offers is a pretty great way to roll a weekend trip to upstate NY, a brewery tour, and a fun time meeting and talking with new like-minded beery people, who I've found to be a really good natured bunch, in to one weekend. I just suggest taking the following Monday off from work to ramp yourself back up for the 'normal' pace of daily life after your trip to Cooperstown.

We arrived Friday early evening to a quiet old-timey town, to a very well kept Inn. The room had the 2 twin beds I requested, so as to entirely avoid the uncomfortable middle of the night spooning, not to mention the probably unbearable and frequent dutch ovens. The gift pack of Ommegang beers, complete with a nice Belgian glass and a sample of some local fudge welcomed us to the room. We got in a 4 mile run, to shake out the cobwebs from the long drive, shoved some snacks down our gullets, then went to the 'craft beer night' which primarily was a bunch of homebrewers hawking their wares. There were a few examples that shined above the rest, and I'd like to think the beers J and I brought were among the elite examples. Most, of course, were higher abv examples, so slow sipping was necessary. There was constant chatter of favorite commercial styles as well as homebrewing techniques, recipes and ingredient sources.

The next day, we woke to a prototypical bed and breakfast meal, some great quiche, fresh breads, yogurt, cereal, muffins, coffee, tea, etc. Some nice discussions with some friendly folks.
Nice. Relaxing. Breakfast.

After breakfast, we took off to Howe Caverns to see where Ommegang cave ages some of their beers, only to find that these tours' primary intended audience is for family fun. There was a more athletically inclined splelunking version of the tour, but that needed to be scheduled far in advance and there was a substantially large difference in the price point. So we did the family tour, and lost 1.5 hours of our lives that could have been spent outside, or at the baseball hall of fame. Oops. Ah well, at least we got a nerve racking GPS in-and-out....ummmm....and IN!!! again NY farmland/countryside tour.

That night was what we ultimate went for... the VIP brewery tour (done by the passionate and informative brewmaster Wes) and the beer paired dinner. So, first the tour, then had a tasting at the bar, then the dinner. Wes was happy to answer all of my annoying (I'm sure) homebrewer-type questions throughout the night. A local caterer announced each of the dishes, giving tasting notes. The food had a Indian spiced theme, which matches up very nicely with the subtley spiced Belgian inspired beers.

An ale-fueled shopping spree capped the night, and some people walked away with several cases of the good stuff. When we returned to the Inn, after a safe transport by the Inn provided shuttle, many kept the festivites going by cracking in to their gift packs/cases of beer.

The same delicious and satisfying breakfast welcomes us again the next morning, which provided the needed fuel to get me through the long drive back to the city.

Maybe I could help with the effort to support a NY farm hop growing revival?

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