With the annual Hopsego event taking place in Cooperstown, NY on Saturday, August 17 at The Farmers’ Museum, the spotlight once again falls on Central New York State and its place in the history of American beer making. Otsego County was the largest hop-growing area in the U.S. during the early twentieth century. The hop industry spurred business creation and supported local families.
In 1997, Brewery Ommegang opened on an old 140-acre hop farm, and as the first new farmhouse brewery in the country in 100 years, it brought a resurgence to the craft. Last year, the brewery invested in a $2 million visitor center expansion, while continuing the release of new beers in its popular Game of Thrones collection. This summer’s annual concert series includes Death Cab for Cutie on Friday, June 21, and more to be announced!
Brewery Ommegang paved the way for several additional craft breweries in the area, such as Cooperstown Brewing Company, Red Shed Brewery, Council Rock Brewery, Butternuts Beer and Ale and Roots Brewing Company. Visitors can easily plan a trip along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail so as not to miss any. The area has a wide variety of ales for any palate from IPAs to stouts. Many local favorites include the Pork Slap at Butternuts and Three Philosophers at Ommegang. The breweries use local ingredients, including Red Shed Brewery who uses 100% New York State hops in their products.
With this wide variety of beer choices in Cooperstown—and greater Otsego County—comes an equally delicious variety of barbecue eateries. Is there a better combination of classic American comfort cuisine?
Superlative among these is Brooks’ House of BBQ in Oneonta, home of the largest indoor charcoal barbecue pit in the East, which opened in 1961 and carries an award-winning line of homemade rubs and spices. In 2016, Brooks’ was awarded the James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award; awarded to restaurants that have a timeless appeal and are cherished for their quality food that reflects the character of their community. Others include Upstate Bar & Grill, Andres’ Blue Ribbon BBQ, and the Tickled Pink food truck (look for the giant pink pig on wheels, parked along Highway 28 near Cooperstown or at Barnyard Swing Mini Golf & Family Fun Center).