It was nighttime as I was driving to Cooperstown when I decided I’d have to choose between Ommegang Brewery and the Baseball Hall of Fame. There wasn’t enough time for both that night, unfortunately. I decided the brewery would be a better bet at night as there could be a chance to chat with someone. I thought I could get lucky and find out about an owner, but being Saturday night, the odds weren’t looking so hot.
I arrived and it was a bit chilly walking through the drizzle to the bar. The tasting room was busy with people who were having a good time. I pulled up a barstool and waited. It took a few minutes before I was acknowledged, even though it seemed like some workers were around. I then looked at the menu and decided upon a flight. Once writing the flight options, I waited. The people to the left of me were focused on each other and there was no one to my right. I was starting to become a bit annoyed, doubting if I should’ve even come to the brewery. I recalled that my buddy and I had thought it was cool and we like lions as can be seen with www.rawrnonprofit.com. It was more check the block type of action than anything else.
The flight was alright and then a couple about my age, but a little younger came in. The guy asked me how the beer was and I told him it was alright. He then asked if I was from around there and I told him no. He said if I had time, I should check out a gem of a brewery an hour or so away. It was a cool spot and the owners, who he knew, were really cool. My ears perked up and my eyes opened. You know the owners? He said yeah, they are cool. I then went into my tale of the journey and said if he could reach out to them I’d go without hesitation.
He was nearly as excited as I was about this. He instantly sent a message to the owner who said they would be there the next day. I asked if there was a preferred time and there wasn’t one necessarily, so we decided on 1030am. I felt like a champ! I had my last meeting for New York dialed in and met a nice person!
We then continued to chat more. I tried to balance chatting but not butting in their night so to speak. They were very nice and welcoming, even offering up some muscles for me to snack on. I then heard how he works for Number 22 bicycles, which are incredibly nice bicycles. Each is a work of art. It was fun to learn about that company. She is a teacher and artist and one side hobby is an Instagram page, @laughdammit which has comics with nice drawings and funny puns! I cracked up at some then and others since then as well. I highly recommend it.
As we chatted more, I heard he works at a co-op as well, roasting coffee. He said we should meet up before my meeting with the brewery and he can show me. I was more than willing, due to the curiosity I have and the kindness of both of them. As the place was closing we said our good byes for the night.
I decided to drive in that general direction until I found a suitable rest area for the night. I considered asking about lodging, but with already so much helpfulness I didn’t want to over reach and it wasn’t brought up.
The next morning, I made my way over to the co-op and checked out everything there. Due to the location, they are able to have a lot of local things from nearby farmers which is cool for the town. My new friends showed up and I got a tour and intro to coffee. I learned how the time, temperature, and speed all impact the roasting, impacting the flavor. The beans themselves have different flavors as well. I learned that a French press leaves more oils in the coffee for a nice flavor because it uses a metal filter opposed to paper which will absorb those oils. I’m far from experienced with coffee as one may be able to tell but now I know a lot more!
From there I headed over to Stump City Brewing and saw the owner dealing with taking the trash out of the can but the bag was getting caught. I hopped over to lend a hand and heard that dealing with the trash was one of the perks of owning the brewery. Got to appreciate some mid-morning humor. He then offered me up a beer and despite the 1030am time, I happily said yes. (side note, this is atypical for me, but at times I make it work. Just as when I lived in Hawaii there are times when you would have a beverage for the early morning games). This was just the start.
By the way, we did each wash our hands and have a proper handshake. Some people may have wondered (made sure to include it for you mom). We got to chatting and I showed him and his brother, a co-owner that walked in my bottle opener. They said it was rad and had to test it. He popped a bottle like no big deal and said it was cool.
We chatted some more as I enjoyed the Cream Ale and I heard how the brewery was a family affair located on their land and it was a Farm brewery, meaning they had to use a certain percentage of New York grown ingredients. They were happy to have a place for the community.
As we chatted, the dad came in and was humorous, informative, and just as welcoming. We’d have some tangents from time to time but still made progress on the pre-planned questions. I then heard they have syrups they can add to a pint, opposed to the whole barrel as other places may do. This gives different flavors for the beer which some consumers enjoy. There was one they don’t use due to the smell, which is awful. I agreed it smelt bad but we should try it, just to know. We did and it wasn’t as bad as guessed, but still not ok to serve. I also tried some local gin which was quite nice. Making that two gins from New York on this journey that were enjoyable.
A local farmer came by to get some used grain and then the conversation turned to ostriches. As it turned out, the brewery owner had an egg which he brought out to show and I got to hold it! It was quite large, like a small cantaloupe. Fun experience. I also tried my first pickled sausage and pickled egg. Both were quite alright in my view.
Through the talking over a few hours I heard about a local member club that he and my other friend, the coffee roaster goes to. I was then offered to go check it out and could try another local cream ale for reference. We went there and had two beers while chatting and trying to help troubleshoot an AC issue for an event. We checked an array of circuit breakers but couldn’t find the issue. Either way, it was quite an enjoyable time and after a good chunk of the day, it was time to say good bye.
I was quite joyous after these events, all which stemmed from the couple at Ommegang. A wild experience it was, but one that made me glad of the journey, yet again.
From there I drove back to Cooperstown as I needed to see the Hall of Fame. It was a cool experience, taking in the history and seeing the appreciation of stats baseball has. I had a general idea of course as a sports fan, but really seeing the visual representations made it pop.
After checking out the Hall I walked around town for a bit to get my 10k steps for the day. It took longer than I thought due to my lack of activity throughout the day. I then felt happy with a good experience in New York. It was now time to head to Wisconsin once more to finish my VW buyback program. I then realized I was 36 hours from my appointment time and had 15 hours to drive. I had been thinking about the timing and distance at various days but realized I had a bit of a hustle ahead. My conclusion was to drive forward aggressively, get a hotel for Monday night, then take the car in Tuesday and go from there.