Beverage Trail in Cooperstown: Top 8 Thirsty Spots For Beer, Wine or Cider In Hop City!
Let’s Dive into the Most Fun Thing to do in Cooperstown, NY: The Beverage Trail! Did you know that Cooperstown, New York is called Hop City? No? Well it is, and for good reason! Cooperstown and Otsego County reside in the center of New York state. The private hamlet that is Cooperstown rests at the southern tip of Otsego Lake.
So, before we get into the drinks let’s learn at least a wee bit about the town. Cooperstown turned into a popular summer retreat by the mid-1800’s. Add together bunch of lake activities, such as swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, and paddle boarding, to golfing and having a picnic in the park and you’re going to end up with a great summer vacation!
Things to do in Cooperstown, New York
If the outdoor activities and it’s infamous nickname of “Hop City” isn’t enough to bring you to this quaint town then how about this? It’s also known as the town of museums and believe it or not is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame!
The Hall opened in 1939 when they inducted none other than Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Ty Cobb and many other baseball legends. It truly is a historical place. There’s also the Farmers’ Museum, the Fenimore House Museum, the Glimmerglass Opera, New York State Historical Association, National Art Association Show, Gallery 53 Multi-Arts Center, Cooperstown Brush and Palette Club, and several other small art galleries.
So if you’re into history, lake activities, art galleries, shopping at unique clothing and gift shops, and dining in a variety of restaurants then Cooperstown is for you! There’s an old town Trolley System which carries passengers in old-fashioned trolley cars to Main Street and to the many museums in town.
From June to October there is a fantastic farmers market that comes to Main Street two times a week. Trust me, fresh fruits, vegetables and handmade crafts and treats are a great reason to attend the farmers market.
But enough about all of that, let’s get to the Beverage Trail already!
Cooperstown, New York: Hop City!
Along with museum and summer holiday activities Cooperstown and Otsego county have been known for alcoholic beverages since the early 1800’s. That’s even before baseball got popular in the 1840’s!
This little town was once the hops-growing capital of North America. Literally! They grew 3 million pounds of hops annually.
Hops grown in Otsego County were known as the best in America and was a leading competitor with hops produced around the world. Thankfully, the history of Cooperstown hops is still alive today! Especially through some of the local breweries and The Farmers Museum.
There is even an antique hop house at the museum that came from a forty-acre farm in Burlington Flats, NY. Hop houses in the 1840’s and ’50’ were four room, wooden buildings used for drying, pressing and storing hops for market. The upper story is used for drying and storing while the lower story contains a kiln and press room.
Back when hop houses littered the landscape of Central New York State hops were considered one of the most valuable crops in the region. Now, let’s fast forward to today.
Let’s Talk Breweries
Cooperstown boasts of breweries, wineries, a distillery, and a historic cider mill. Riding along on New York States first official cuisine trail, Hop City has the best drinks you can find!
These producers of today, new and old alike, are a testament to the historic beverage industry in Otsego County. If tastings, specialty shops, and a 37-mile trail that has been visited by more than 20,000 people in one year is your pint of beer then let’s get to it.
This spectacular brewery has grabbed onto the success of its beer by the coat tails. Ommegang has successfully turned itself into the crown jewel of Cooperstown over the last 20 years. They have even expanded into creating ciders.
Ommegang is built on a 140-acre hop farm and was the first farmstead brewery built in 100 years! Erected in 1997, it is now a tap house and café. Plus, they have a disc golf course, a summer concert series, and a 20-tap bar and a 10-tap tasting room!
This beloved brewery began when several Belgian brewers, Duval Moortgat, Affligem, and Scaldis, got together with importers/entrepreneurs Don Fienberg and Wendy Littlefield to build this authentic Belgian farmstead in Cooperstown, NY.
They even did a deal in 2019 with HBO and created over a dozen brews in honor of Game of Thrones!
If guided tastings is your jam, they’re open Friday – Sunday. Oomegang offers you a professionally navigated trip through history via your tastebuds.
Cooperstown Brewing Company
This particular brewery, located right outside of Cooperstown, successfully combines hops and baseball. The owner, who loves about both things, made sure to combine his passions together to create this fantastic place. Cooperstown Brewery (or the CBC) produces an Induction Ale. This ale highlights Baseball Hall of Fame inductees on a collectors edition label.
Founded in 1995, the CBC has been blending baseball and beer together for the last 28 years! Plus, they’re home to the Haight Cheese Company which has been in business since 1903.
Beer, baseball and cheese? You really can’t go wrong.
The brewery was originally a 20-barrel system which was created in England. The system is internationally known due to its authentic, traditional brewing methods.
In 2014, ownership changed to Northern Eagle Beverages, Inc. in nearby Oneonta, New York. Since their ownership, the beer production at the brewery itself has halted. All of the subsequent beer is brewed at Glens Falls Brewing Company in Queensbury, NY.
This changeover brought the CBC from a 20-barrel operation to a 50-barrel and 3.5-barrel pilot brew system. This has helped curate the variety of Brews and Pop Fly Soda that the CBC creates.
So, make sure you stop by on the Cooperstown Beverage trail to enjoy Cooperstown Brewery’s array of Pilsners, Stouts, IPA’s and Ales!
High Burl Brewery
High Burl Brewery is a newer brewery in Cooperstown. The brewery opened just two years ago and is located on a family-owned farm and brewery. The Bennett Family Farm resides in Burlington Flats, right outside of Cooperstown.
Now, the Bennett Family Farm prides itself on producing small-bath artisan brews and craft beers. Every one of their products is made with the highest-quality New York hops you can find!
And they put a heavy emphasis on local barley, wheat, hops, grains, fruits, and brewing spices and herbs. You really can’t go wrong!
High Burl offers a wide variety of traditional and seasonal craft beers. They also host a rotation of guest taps showcasing some of New York States best craft beers, ciders and wines.
This family owned business is passionate about providing an original and unique taste experience for their customers (that’s you!) and they hold a relaxing and intimate atmosphere.
Don’t forget to head to the beer garden and take in the beautiful rolling hills and rustic country atmosphere.
Honeypot Farms Meadery
If beer isn’t your favorite past time and mead is more your game then make sure you head to Honeypot Farms. Mead is an alcoholic beverage which is made by fermenting honey mixed with water. Other flavors are often added as well.
Honeypot Farms is known for adding things like currants and berries. Plus, they sell other items like local honey and you can never beat local honey.
It is also important to mention that Honeypot does not add sulfates or preservatives to their all-natural mead! They focus on producing high quality, small-batch Mead and honey products.
They are open Mondays – Saturdays and are open by appointment so make sure you call at least 24 hours in advance! Keep in mind that they do close for the winter and re-open in late March.
Honeypot Farms Meadery is right outside of Cooperstown in Burlington Flats. However, they’re close to several other breweries which makes them part of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail!
Rustic Ridge Winery
This lovely winery offers the most laid-back energy you could ever ask for. Plus, Rustic Ridge Winery is owned by the Bennett Family Farm in Burlington! That’s right, it’s owned by the same people who own High Burl Brewery.
This lovely winery is, funnily enough, “Burlingtons Oldest Winery”. Sorry, that may be a local joke but it’s because the population in Burlington is only 150 people so–there isn’t a lot of competition.
They opened in November 2010 and have made quite a name for themselves along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. Plus, they also offer local Amish cheeses, jams, locally produced maple syrup, and handmade jewelry!
Rustic Ridge Winery partners with another winery in the Finger Lakes region upstate and they specialize in white wines.
So, whether you’re choosing a beer from their brewery or a wine from their winery the Bennett Family Farm offers beautiful views overlooking the vineyard. So, bring a picnic, grab a bottle and enjoy the view. You really can’t go wrong!
Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard
Going back in time a bit, Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard has been churning out cider for 166 years. Can you believe it? The traditions at Fly Creek Cider Mill have been experienced through generations.
The mill may have been making cider for almost 200 years but they only started making hard cider and apple wine since 2003.
Fly Creek uses a water-powered mill with the water in Fly Creek. The Mill Marketplace offers a variety of 150 specialty foods which includes fresh fudge, aged cheddar cheese, salsas, apple wines and hard ciders mostly made right there on site.
If that’s not enough for you make sure you try the cider doughnuts, baked goods, sandwiches and their delicious mac and cheese.
Fly Creek a great place for the whole family. They’re stocked with an extensive antique John Deere collection, single-cider gas engines, ducks, geese, and a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk! Plus they have a place for kids to play and climb as well as a second-story viewing area so that you can watch them make their cider.
The Martin family were originally bee keepers for over 30 years before they applied for a farm winery license in 1999. That is where the birth of the Martin family’s honey wine production in Sterling, NY began!
Montezuma Winery started making fruit wines in 2001. They’ve won numerous awards and have a wine list that offers a range of dry and sweet wines.
This family owned winery has expanded in the last 20 years to include 4 wineries and 2 distilleries throughout central and upstate New York. That includes right here in the quaint and quiet home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown!
Montezuma Winery in Cooperstown offers a wide range of wines that include a Cabernet Franc, Riesling, Cranberry Boy and more! They also offer hand-crafted spirits from Hidden Marsh Distillery. That includes bourbon, BEE Vodka and a fantastic Apple brandy.
Make sure to try their famous wine slushies while you’re there!
Pail Shop Vineyards
Pail Shop Vineyards rest on a stunning 40 acres. With views of the vineyards, the pond and some lovely Adirondack chairs to rest in it really is a peaceful place to be.
This quaint winery and tasting room makes small production wines in a converted farm right here on site. They began crushing, fermenting and aging their wines overlooking the beautiful Fly Creek Valley in 2014.
Pail Shop prides itself on locally grown products, their handmade wooden bar, and unique snacks and chocolates that go alongside their delicious wines.
They offer whites, reds, and rosé’s ranging from dry to sweet wines. Don’t forget to try out their homemade sangria that they make by the bucket. Head to Pail Shop Vineyards for local music performances at their Sangria at Sunset.
Hit the Trail!
Are you up for some world-class brews, wines, spirits, and ciders? Check out this Beverage Trail Map and have a taste of Cooperstown’s vibrant craft beverage industry while exploring the natural beauty of Otsego County. Moreover, if you collect stamps from all eight members of the trail, you’ll get a free beverage trail gift!
Don’t miss out on this delightfully delicious adventure. Sign up now, and hit the trail!
Vacation Rentals Near Cooperstown
Cooperstown, New York is ideally located between the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges. Whether you’re staying for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, for the history, or for the wineries and breweries then Cooperstown might be the perfect place for your next vacation. Click here: Search Cooperstown Vacation Rentals.
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