Belgium Comes to Cooperstown: Saturday, Part II

This entry I'll primarily dedicate to fest details, photos and stories. I'll save my tasting notes for a third Saturday entry.

The weather reports predicted no rain for Saturday. It began raining intermittently after breakfast, and continued when we arrived at the brewery. We thought, erroneously, that the rain was over when the sun made a brief appearance after lunch. However, the sun disappeared and the rain began again, progressing from light to torrential. Luckily the tents kept us mostly dry, though the ground became a muddy mess. Things cleared up for good later in the evening.

Torrential rain

Things cleared up

Things cleared up

From 2 to 6 PM there were unlimited samples. Once 2 PM rolled around David, Dave and I began drinking. Bennett, being underage, and our DD saved us a table under one of the tents. This turned out to be quite nice because of the rain. We probably had around 20 samples each. The tasting notes were what limited the pace.



Me, sporting my new beard, Blanche de Brooklyn in hand


David taking tasting notes

Hold Fast!

I had fourteen new beers, as well as several that I'd had before, including three or four samples of the delicious Ommegeddon. In addition to having so many great beers I also feel that I learned a bit as well. I think I can now fairly accurately pick up on characteristic Brettanomyces aromas and flavors. The Belgian yeast aroma also became very familiar. I'll post some more on this when I type out my tasting notes.

At one point I returned to the table to see Bennett talking to a guy wearing a Yellow "Staff" T-shirt. I sat down and Bennett told him that I might be able to help. He was looking for advice on how to bring the soil that he was growing marijuana in down to pH 7 from pH 8 using something "organic". Bennett and I had both suggested hydrochloric acid because the neutralization just creates water and chloride ions. He thought it was too harsh. Eventually I decided that vinegar might work, and he was happy with that suggestion. I hope it doesn't kill his pot. Apparently he had asked Bennett about the book that he was reading, somehow the conversation turned to Bennett's major. When the guy heard biochemistry he asked for advice on solving his pH problem.

There were several live bands as well. I don't remember their names, but they got people up and listening. Some people were even dancing.


By the time the tastings were over at 6 we were pretty drunk, especially David. He scored some Wheat Thins, Cheddar and White Cheddar Popcorn from a woman sitting next to us, by telling her that she had a cute kid. I bought another delicious Belgian waffle. The guy who sold me the waffle complimented my Neutral Milk Hotel T-shirt, making the count four or five. Once the tastings were over we broke out a cigar.

David, especially drunk

Cigar time

Dave steals my cap

Sitting at the table I saw a cop walking through the tent. I turned in the direction that he was walking and saw a shirtless guy being detained by a staff member. I'm not sure what he did, but really aren't all shirtless guys prime suspects. Incidentally the guy looked a lot like Gunther with a thicker moustache. I'm not exactly sure why he was arrested, but it probably had something to do with drunkenness.

The arrest, click for larger

We left around 7:30 or 8 and drove to Cooperstown to get dinner. We stopped and had Pizza at Sal's (I think that's the name) then we continued on to the hotel in Herkimer.

I was really surprised at how beautiful Upstate New York is. I snapped these pictures from the car on the ride back.

We returned to the hotel, changed shoes and rested for awhile. We decided to smoke the cigars that Dave had brought up, so we walked around Herkimer for awhile smoking them. We eventually found our way to a city sponsored "Block Party" went into a bar, grabbed a beer (Sam Adams), then sat around outside finishing our cigars. We returned to the hotel and finished our game of poker.

Overall Belgium Comes to Cooperstown was a great event. The beer selection was enormous, the food was good, and the surroundings were nice. The weather wasn't great, but the outdoor setting was nice. I'll definitely be back next year.

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