Belgium Comes to Cooperstown: Saturday, Part I

The plan was to grab breakfast, go to Glimmerglass State Park on Otsego Lake to go swimming and then head to Brewery Ommegang for Belgium Comes to Cooperstown. We had breakfast at Waffle Works in Herkimer and then drove to Glimmerglass State Park for some swimming.

We arrived at Glimmerglass and decided to swim despite the light rain and the "Beach Closed" signs. At around 10:55 - when the lifeguards arrived for the 11:00 beach opening - we were told by a PA announcement to get out of the water because the beach wasn't open. We showered, got dressed and headed to Brewery Ommegang.

The brewery wasn't very crowded when we arrived. There were quite a few tents up, but ours was one of the first cars to park in the field next door. We checked in and got our wristbands. Since we were early we went on a brewery tour, and I bought an Ommegang T-shirt and bottle opener. I received the first two compliments of the day on my Neutral Milk Hotel T-shirt from two of the people working the register in the brewery store.

The brewery building itself is quite attractive. It's modeled after a Belgian farmhouse, and has an open archway that separates the two halves of the brewery. The dates on the front of the brewery are 1549 and 1997. The former being the date of the first Ommegang (which means "walk about") in Brussels, and the latter being the year that Brewery Ommegang was founded.

The tour began outside in the archway of the brewery where the tour guide passed around glasses containing various ingredients used in Ommegang beers. We then went inside and saw the brewhouse.

Brewery Ommegang practices open fermentation. The fermentation room isn't open to visitors, but a window and a mirror allow a glimpse of the fermentation.

After seeing the brewhouse, we walked to the other side of the building and saw the bottling operation.

After the tour we went to the tasting room where we sampled all of Ommegang's regular offerings. Ommegang Witte, Rare Vos, Hennepin, Ommegang and Three Philosophers.

David and Dave



After the tour we found a table under one of the tents and had burgers, fries and Belgian waffles, while waiting for the 2 PM start of sampling. The next entry will include tasting notes for the different beers that I tried, strange events, and more pictures.

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