Otsego County is home to eight adult beverage stops plotted along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, a 37-mile trail that connects the region's three wineries, three breweries, one cider mill, and one distillery.
Once upon a boozy time, New York State led the U.S. in beer production. Topping that, Cooperstown was the star hops producer in the country until blight destroyed the crop, and temperance made sure the downed crop stayed down. However, the region is experiencing resurgence in craft beverage making that honors the rich traditions and history of beer production, wine making, cider pressing, and distillation in New York State, while broadening their appeal by using the best ingredients sourced locally, and from around the world.
The best way to explore Otsego County's hidden gems is via the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. We encourage you to chart your own course, but here is one path for your consideration:
Start at Fly Creek Cider Mill. a historic, water-powered cider mill that offers so much more. For 160 years, the mill has made delicious cider, expanding their operation to include over 40 specialty foods including fudge, cheese, salsa, apple wines and hard ciders. Stop by for more than a tasting and tour, explore the grounds, and enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant and bakery.
Pail Shop Vineyards is located just down the street from Fly Creek Cider Mill, and specializes in cold-climate grape varietals, which produce six different wines. Pail Shop offers private, guided wine and cheese tastings on Saturday evenings for groups of five and 15.
Next, head towards the Village of Cooperstown to Cooperstown Distillery, which specializes in hand-crafted artisanal spirits including vodka, whiskey, rum and gin that pay homage to Cooperstown's past with names such as Abner Doubleday Vodka, Bean Ball Bourbon, and Fenimore Gin. The Distillery has two locations: the Cooperstown Beverage Exchange on Main Street, and the Distillery on Railroad Avenue.
Brewery Ommegang is a must-stop for beer fans. Go for a ramble around the farmstead brewery. We recommend arriving early to secure a spot - only 20 people are allowed on each tour to ensure everyone has a good time. A tasting includes samples of six different Ommegang beers for $5, and you get to keep the tasting glass.
Cooperstown Brewing Company is a small-batch, English-style brewery nestled in Milford. Their focus is on crafting premium ales, porters and stouts, and brew only 20 barrel batches at a time. Tours are available seven days a week, as well as tastings. Stop in to taste pale ales, porters and more.
Bear Pond Winery in Oneonta is a farm winery offering 27 wines including sparkling wines, red and white vintages. An on-site café provides delicious food that pairs perfectly with Bear Pond's wines. Visit Wednesday through Saturday.
Butternuts Beer and Ale is the originator of hipster favorites such as Porkslap Pale Ale and Moo Thunder Stout. Situated on a sprawling dairy farm in Garratsville, Butternuts missions is to create no nonsense beers using simple, all natural ingredients. Take a brewery tour and sample specialty beers year-round at the farm.
Rustic Ridge Winery in Burlington Flats, is located on the Bennett family farm, and the owners work closely with a vineyard in the Finger Lakes Region to provide a diverse selection of New York State wines for guests to sample, and offer Amish cheeses, jams, and locally produced maple syrup. The winery is open seven days a week and wine tasting is featured daily.
Start exploring the breweries and wineries of Cooperstown and Otsego County today!