Growing up, the only thing I knew about Cooperstown, NY was that it was the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. In recent years though, this area has seen growth in a new direction far removed from sports; the beer and wine industry. While the wineries in the area are still not quite ready to be at bat, many of the breweries are scoring home runs. On this trip, I had the chance to visit the Cooperstown Brewing Company. Do they strike out or hit it out of the park?
Cooperstown Brewing Company was established in 1994 and officially opened for business in 1995. They work off a 20 barrel system which produces quite a lot of beer. As such, they also do contract brewing for other breweries. One of the current goals is to get out of the contract brewing business. The brewery is actually owned by the folks over at Butternuts Beer & Ale which has a huge canning line. Perhaps they plan on taking over this portion of the business?
The tasting room has an older feel to it with full glass walls on one side, allowing you to see the brewing operation. Being part of the Cooperstown beer and wine trail, they are always busy. A lot of the crowd during our visit were wearing baseball jerseys; evidence of their time spent at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Above the entrance to the tasting room, is a collection of old beer trays from around the country. It makes for some nice beer related memorabilia. During your visit, you might even spot the brewery cat!
The tasting fee is $2.00, which allows you to try all they have to offer. The brewery also sell shirts, growlers, mugs, pint glasses, and more. Here are the beers we were able to try while visiting.
- 4.5% ABV
- American Blonde Ale
- Light, sweet aroma. A fuller bodied blonde ale, not bad.
- 5.5% ABV
- American Pale Ale
- Crisp, but lacking a lot of flavor.
- 6.1% ABV
- English IPA
- Uses summit hops for more Citrus notes.
- Crisp, earthy, full bodied.
- Slight lemon flavor, definitely not a hoppy IPA.
- 7.7% ABV
- English Strong Ale
- Interesting aroma and taste of herbs and earth.
- Some malt sweetness similar to a Scotch Ale.
- 6.4% ABV
- English Porter
- Chocolate malts, dark and rich but still light in body.
- Nice and roasty.
The day we visited it was very crowded so I did not get to ask too much of the woman running the tasting room. I would like to return at some point when they are not so busy to learn more about the brewery. Judging by mini-reviews on other sites, the conversations can get very interesting at the tasting bar! Overall, I think the beer is consistent and decent; nothing too adventurous. While every beer is not a home run, beer fans will find at least one they will enjoy. Cooperstown Brewing Company is definitely in the game and worth a visit when in the area.
If you are a fan of baseball, check out the nearby Baseball Hall of Fame. With three floors of exhibit space, there is plenty to keep you busy for a few hours or the whole day. For a more rustic experience, you could also visit The Farmer’s Museum. Step back to 1845 and explore the historical farm and village at one of the oldest rural museums in the country.
Cooperstown Brewing Company
110 River Street, Milford, NY 13807
Visited July 15, 2013
Blog post written by Thomas Andersen.