Get thee to the Brewery!
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By jank - Last updated: Sunday, August 3, 2003 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

As I mentioned before, I’m sitting on the back porch, sucking down a fine, fine beer from Brewery Ommegang. I find it hard to express exactly how much I love their beer, sepecially since I’m generally fond of beer, regardless of the source. In any case, I’d heartily endorse a trip down to your local Whole Foods Market or purveyor of fine suds to pick up any of the Ommegang brews. This blog refers to the Hennipin beer.

Belgians do beer better than anyone. Bold statement, yes, but I’ll go toe-to-toe against any Angle, Saxon, or anyone else prone to fermenting barley malt with hops in order to make a tasty beverage. Sure, they may be the home of the International Criminal Court and have some silly laws, but they’ve produced the world’s greatest cyclist (Only 30 days older than my dad….), and still do a number on their beers.

For folks who don’t know, most Belgian beer (Stella being only the tip of the iceberg) is brewed in small breweries, and carbonated in the bottle, much like good homebrew. (If you’re not quite up on homebrew, drop me a line and I’ll answer your questions.

In any case, Ommegang holds a place in my heart for a couple of reasons. First, the folks who run the brewery decided that they were so taken with Belgian beer that they’d import the best to the US, at honestly reasonable prices, IMO. This wasn’t winning them enough converts, so they brought over a brewmaster, and started brewing it here. At the Whole Foods Market in West Houston, I drag home a 750 for about $5. I’ve spent that for a pint of Shiner, for crying out loud.

Second, the area around Cooperstown is unbelievably beautiful. Every Currier and Ives print you’ve seen doesn’t quite capture the landscape. Rolling hills, farms and old barns, groves of trees dating to the turn of this century – amazing. It screams road-trip, and if you travel to NYC regularly, rent the car, fly home on Sunday instead of Friday, and take the trip. Plus, it’s the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, for crying out loud! (and this, honestly, was the best link I could find. I’ve been there. If you like the game, go. Better than any cathedral I’ve been to in Europe.

Lastly, I caught my first trout on a fly in a little creek just upstream of the lake near Cooperstown. Mike Woods and I were taking one of the famous two-day breaks from Prototype as a roadtrip in his jeep. Slept by the side of the road, and woke up at dawn. Both of us were flailing with cheap fly rods we’d picked up at K-mart, trying not to hook our ears (Just had to dust a bug from the screen). I, through dumb luck more than anything, was able to drift a fly over a nice brown holding under a grass bank. Mike got his, though, in much more historic waters further south in the Catskills.

The beer – Oh, the beer’s mighty good. Nice yeasty finish. James Fenimore Cooper would have enjoyed.

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