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Credit: Oskar Blues

If you ever needed a reason to plan a trip to the state of Colorado or North Carolina, Oskar Blues Brewery has just the excuse you’ve been waiting for.

Oskar Blues is going to release a limited amount of its Bourbon Barrel- Aged Mocha Ten FIDY Imperial Stout on Saturday, July 7, 2018, which also happens to be National Chocolate Day. The beer will be available only the brewery’s taprooms in Boulder and Longmont, Colorado and Brevard, North Carolina and only while supplies last.

This unique, complex barrel aged beer is shaping up to be one helluva knockout malt beverage treat. To create this masterpiece, Oskar Blues started with its Barrel Aged Ten FIDY than added pure liquid cacao made by Cholaca, a Boulder, Colorado based business known for its liquid chocolate. The beer is then enhanced even further with the addition of Hotbox Roasters’ cold brew, made with Mexican coffee beans. Tim Matthews, Oskar Blues Head of Brewing Operations, says this new creation brings out a new and profoundly delicious side of Ten FIDY that was just waiting to emerge.

“Ten FIDY Imperial Stout doesn’t know how to use its inside voice in the first place; and on this one, we hooked it up to a Cholaca-and-coffee amplifier and turned the volume up to 11,” said Matthews.

Oskar Blues expects a strong response to this offering and plans to hand out wristbands at the three taprooms promptly at 9:30 am on July 7, 2018. The wristbands are numbered and the beer will be sold in order of the number on the band. Thus, arriving early and making sure you’re present when your number is called is a must if you want to get your lips around this barrel aged brew.

Each individual wearing a wristband will be allowed to purchase up to five cases of the beer, which will be packaged in 19.2 ounce cans, 12 cans per case. Once the clock strikes 3pm, if any cans remain, they will be sold to anyone who wants to make an additional purchase. Oh, and if you want to simply enjoy a glass or two of the beer on draft, you can do that, too, in the taproom.

Colorado and North Carolina both have much to offer and this Oskar Blues rare beer offering could be just the reason you’ve been waiting for to book that trip to the Rockies or Appalachian Mountains. To learn more about this special release or about Oskar Blues in general, visit the web site at http://www.oskarblues.com/

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Credit: Sun King Brewing

Sun King Brewing, the award- winning Indianapolis, Indiana brewery, is ready to expand its malt beverage footprint in a southerly direction as the brewery preps for Florida distribution beginning in July, 2018.

Cavalier Distributing of Florida has entered into an agreement with Sun King and will distribute the Indiana brewed suds in cans and kegs throughout the Sunshine State. The occasion will be marked by special events planned around Florida, with details available at cavbeer.com once the date draws nearer.

Sun King Brewery co- founder Clay Robinson says the decision to enter the Florida market is largely the result of positive responses from Florida craft beer fans at a recent festival.

“Since our inception, Sun King has been working hard to keep up with the growing demand for our beer,” says Robinson. “Over the past year, we’ve been increasing our distribution footprint throughout the Midwest, and this spring, we sent some beer down to Florida for a festival that we participate in every year. The response to our beer was overwhelming, so we decided that the Sunshine State would be a good fit for Sun King. Our VP of Sales Joe Burns spent nearly 20 years working for a beer distributor and a brewery in Florida before joining our team, so we have the perfect person to champion our efforts in the market and work with our new partner, Cavalier Distributing.”

Sun King Brewing first opened in 2009 and has watched its production soar, thanks in no small part to brewing quality, award- winning beer. Sun King has also branched out to distilled spirits and has plans to open a craft distillery and tap room this year. Great Beer Now visited Sun King a few years back and we have been fans of the brewery’s finely crafted beer ever since. It is nice to know that our friends in Florida will be the next recipients of beer from this highly regarded craft operation and I am confident that Sun King will win over thousands of new fans once its beer becomes widely available across the Florida peninsula.

To learn more about the Florida distribution deal and to keep up with Sun King Brewing, be sure to follow via social media on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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Credit: Spencer Brewery

Spencer Brewery, the Massachusetts brewery famous for its status as the first and only non- European Trappist brewing operation, has added a new beer to its growing lineup. The new brew is Spencer Grapefruit IPA and it is the brewery’s second beer release in its newly expanding Fruit Series, following closely behind Peach Saison, which was released in early 2018.

Spencer Grapefruit IPA is a spin on a style already popularized by other American craft breweries. Grapefruit IPAs are nothing new, but one has to remember that beer brewed at Spencer Brewery is quite unlike most others. The reason is that the beer is brewed according to strict Trappist brewing techniques and is officially sanctioned by the International Trappist Association. The Trappist monks at Spencer Brewing take great care to brew their beer according to strict, patient TLC methods, resulting in a product that exceeds most brewing standards.

Spencer Grapefruit IPA is brewed using real grapefruit and Citra hops. The beer pours to a hazy orange hue with a sweet, malty nose accented by notes of bitterness from the grapefruit and hops. The taste is generally tart with only a touch of grapefruit and a mildly bitter finish. The beer has a moderate 6.5 percent alcohol by volume.

Spencer Brewing is one of only eleven breweries in the world that brew beer that can claim to be “Authentic Trappist Product.” Spencer’s beers are distributed in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Michigan. Spencer Grapefruit IPA is the latest member of the Spencer family and one that we at Great Beer Now cannot wait to sample. Stay tuned for information on more releases in Spencer’s Fruit Series in the coming months.

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Credit: Whiskies of the World

Beer festivals and beer tasting events continue to grow in popularity, thanks in no small part to the craft beer revolution. Wine tastings are reasonably plentiful as well, but one type of event you don’t witness with much frequency is spirits/liquor tastings. They are few and far between, but they are slowly making their presence known and one of the up- and- coming liquor tasting festivals is Whiskies of the World, a whiskey tasting extravaganza now scheduled for six American cities.

An Evening of Fine Spirits

Whiskies of the World is exactly what it sounds like: A whiskey tasting event featuring some of the finest whiskies distilled in different countries across the globe. Each Whiskies of the World event features more than 200 of the greatest whiskies around, all assembled in a single venue where you, the curious attendee, can sample at your leisure. The admission includes whisky samples plus educational seminars, recommendations for whisky and food pairings, and advice on whisky and cigar pairings. The ticket options include General Admission and VIP, with early bird pricing available if you purchase before July 31, 2018.

Locations to Serve You

This year’s Whiskies of the World event is scheduled for six cities in 2018 and early 2019:

Austin, Texas: September 20, 2018

Dallas, Texas: September 21, 2018

Houston, Texas: September 22, 2018

Atlanta, Georgia: Friday, November 2, 2018

San Jose, California: March 21, 2019

San Francisco, California: March 23, 2019

The above cities include an addition from last year as Dallas, Texas joins the lineup. And in 2019, Whiskies of the World has a special event planned that is a MUST for fans of fine spirits and travel. It’s a Whiskies of the World River Cruise on Europe’s Danube River, running from June 9, through June 16, 2019.

Buy Your Tickets

Whiskies of the World is one of the largest whisky tasting events in the United States. Great Beer Now attended this event last year and plans to attend once again in 2018. Whiskey is easily my favorite type of distilled spirit and I enjoy going from booth to booth at a tasting event such as this, sampling new whiskies and relishing old favorites.

Tickets to all of the six Whiskies of the World Events in the United States are available for sale right now, at early bird pricing. If you live in or near one of the above cities or if you feel like scheduling a short vacation from a different part of the country, logon to Whiskies of the World and buy your tickets today. They even offer discounted deals on nearby lodging to help you plan your visit, so logon and buy your tickets to Whiskies of the World, and enjoy your evening as you sample some of the best whisky the world has to offer.

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Credit: North American Brewers Awards

Wyoming- based Melvin Brewing is a highly respected brewery with a stockpile of awards and recognition from some of the most prestigious competitions in the United States. This past weekend, Melvin Brewing added more medals to the trophy case, winning 5 Gold and 1 Silver Medal at the North American Beer Awards.

The North American Beer Awards were held on June 1, 2018 in nearby Idaho Falls, ID. The competition coincided with the Mountain Brewers Beer Fest and 2018 was the most competitive year yet, with over 100 breweries participating and over 1,700 beers submitted for award consideration. Melvin Brewing walked away with the following medals:

  • Gold Medal- Double/Imperial IPA Category for Melvin 2 x 4 Double IPA
  • Silver Medal- Double/Imperial IPA Category for Melvin Asterisk Double IPA
  • Gold Medal- American Style IPA Category for Melvin IPA
  • Gold Medal- American Style Strong Pale Ale Category for Melvin Hubert MPA
  • Gold Medal- Honey Beer Category for Melvin Semir
  • Gold Medal- Traditional Bock/Eisbock Category for Melvin Spaterator

Melvin Brewing head Production Brewer David Chichura and his team are beyond pleased with the recognition received.

“The whole team, from brewhouse to packaging, is extremely humbled by the awards Melvin was honored with at NABA this year”, said Chichura“. It’s highly gratifying to see the crew continue to collaborate in putting out the best beer we can.”

Melvin Brewing was founded in 2009 in beautiful Jackson, Wyoming and also claims a successful brewpub in Bellingham, Washington. The brewery ranks among the most decorated in the craft beer industry and the medals earned at the North American Beer Awards further solidify Melvin’s place among the finest breweries in the United States. Cheers to the entire Melvin Brewing team and here’s to many more awards in the coming years.

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Credit: Saint Arnold Brewing

Turning 24 years of age is filled with pleasant memories. We have our youth. We have energy. The world is full of possibilities. That college degree we worked so hard to earn is just starting to reap financial rewards. Life is on an upward trajectory, with nothing but good times as far as the mind can think.

In the world of craft beer, reaching the age of 24 is an entirely different matter. With the industry still relatively young, only a small fraction of craft breweries have crossed the 24 year old threshold. The vast majority of craft breweries are young, early stage operations that can only dream of reaching what many would consider an industry milestone. But hard work and excellent product will pay off for the fortunate few, one of which happens to be Saint Arnold Brewing, located in Houston, Texas. The good guys and gals at Saint Arnold are ready to look back at nearly a quarter century of success when they celebrate the big 2-4 this weekend. Here are the facts:

  • Who: Saint Arnold Brewing Co.
  • What: 24th Anniversary Party
  • Where: 2000 Lyons Street, Houston, Texas, 77020
  • When: Saturday, June 9, from 4pm to 10pm
  • Why: To celebrate the past and look forward to the future

Saint Arnold Brewing is ready to rock, with a live music lineup just as enthralling and unforgettable as the beers on tap. The sounds of celebration will be delivered by Texas- based musical acts reigning from Houston and other notable Texas cities such as Austin, Dallas, and Forth Worth. The 100% Texas tunes include appearances by:

  1. Trae The Truth
  2. Los Skarnales
  3. Wild Moccasins
  4. ishi
  5. Whiskey Shivers
  6. Tomar & the FCs
  7. Venomous Maximus
  8. Arthur Yoria
  9. Shotgun Friday
  10. Bayou City Funk
  11. Ruby Jane & The Reckless
  12. John Egan
  13. Romina Von Mohr

Tickets to this celebration of longevity and ingenuity sell for either $10 or $35 and are available for everyone age 21 and older. Visit the Saint Arnold Anniversary Party page for more information and a link to ticket purchases. There is also a special kickoff party on Friday, June 8 and a Rare Cellar Tasting on Sunday, June 10, for a full weekend of craft beer glorification.

Turning 24 is associated with youthful passions, but in the world of craft beer, the age of 24 is a sign of maturity and respect. Few breweries have been around this long and Saint Arnold Brewing is a tribute to what can happen when good people come together with a common vision. Excellent products, great people, meticulous service, and the desire to overachieve on every level have help lead Saint Arnold to the head of its industry class. So join me and other craft beer fans this weekend as we raise a toast to 24 glorious years of Saint Arnold beer. The past has been great, but the best is still to come as Saint Arnold leads the Texas craft beer industry to greater heights.

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Credit: Squatters Beer

Squatters Beer is once again showing its philanthropic side, this time teaming up with the Best Friends Animal Society, a non- profit organization that operates the largest animal shelter in the United States.

To get the partnership off to a running start, Squatters has released Chasing Tail Orange Golden Ale. This new beer is a spin on Squatters Chasing Tail Golden Ale, as fans of Squatters likely already guessed, with a tasty citrus component and slightly higher alcohol by volume. And to emphasize the team effort with Best Friends Animal Society, the can’s design features Kyla, a boxer/pit bull mix that was once housed in animal shelters herself before being adopted at one of the charity’s own adoption events.

Best Friends Animal Society Director of PR and Social Media Eric Rayvid says the decision to partner with Squatters greatly advances the shelter’s goal toward 100 percent “no kill” shelters in the United States- a goal originally declared by Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle.

“When our CEO, Julie Castle, planted a stake in the ground stating that we would advocate for all shelters in the US to become “no kill” shelters by 2025, we knew we couldn’t do it alone,” said Rayvid. “With partners like Squatters Craft Beers, we’re able to reach an audience that might not know that 4,100 dogs and cats are dying in shelters every day. We truly value their partnership and their help in getting the word out about our work and mission.”

Squatters Brewmaster Jon Lee says the brew crew’s love for animals is widely established and the new beer is the perfect excuse to take your dog more places, all while enjoying the delicious citrus flavor of this new brew.

“This beer should be enjoyed anywhere you take your dogs, which should be everywhere! Home for TV cuddle time, hiking, camping, biking, swimming, walkies, summer patios… It has a nice orange aroma and flavor and is well supported by the traditional Golden Ale we’ve all come to love in Chasing Tail,” said Lee.

Besides the beer, Squatters and the Best Friends Animal Society will partner throughout the 2018 year in several other ways, sponsoring adoption and fundraising events to help the shelter meet its goals. There is even a contest in the works, with the winner receiving a trip to the Best Friends Animal Society shelter in Southern Utah.

Squatters Beer has a long tradition of community and charitable involvement. Grab yourself a sixer of Chasing Tail Golden Ale and show your support for this worthwhile cause. And be sure to support your local animal shelter financially or as a volunteer, and help all animal shelters work toward the common goal of “no kill” set forth by Best Friends Animal Society CEO Julie Castle.

To learn more about Squatters beer and this charitable effort, visit online at https://squatters.com

To learn more about the Best Friends Animal Society, visit online at https://bestfriends.org

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Credit: Bryan Carey

Greetings, Great Beer Now fans! I recently embarked on a sports- centric brewery tour to the village of Cooperstown, New York, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Great Beer Now Base Hits and Brews Beer Tour 2018 is all about the beer and the sports that have made this part of the country so popular. Pop open a cold one as I explore Central New York and take in the sights and sounds of the area. Cheers!

Cooperstown, New York is a popular travel destination for Major League Baseball fans, many of whom cannot wait to walk through the exhibits at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and pay their respects to the greatest players in the history of the sport. The theme of baseball is, naturally, an important part of the local culture in Cooperstown, and it extends to many other businesses, among them beer. There happens to be a brewery in the area that uses baseball as its theme and that brewery is simply named Cooperstown Brewing, located at 110 River Street in Milford, New York.

Baseball and Beer

Cooperstown Brewing is located just minutes south of its namesake city. It features a large, stand- alone building and from the outside looks more impressive than the typical craft brewery.

Walking through the main entrance, guests will find themselves inside the main taproom. In this room, it is pretty much standing room only, as there are very few seats. If you want to sit, you will likely need to head to the back room or outside, where picnic tables await. The backroom has cornhole and other games to play.

Cooperstown features brewing equipment in full view, but there is no beer brewed on site. The equipment is there, but it is only for show. The brewery is actually owned by a distribution business and they have determined that it is less expensive to brew the beer elsewhere.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Step Up to the Plate

Cooperstown Brewing has a modest number of beers available at any given time, typically four to seven. When I visited, there were four beers on tap. Here is a listing of the beers I sampled, listed alphabetical by name, followed by the style and my Untappd rating for each, on a 5- point scale:

Back Yard IPA, American India Pale Ale, 3.50

Bambino, American Amber, 3.00

Bench Warmer, Porter, 3.75

Old Slugger, American Pale Ale, 3.75

Overall average rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cooperstown Brewing served only a small number of beers when I visited. If I had to name a favorite, I would choose Old Slugger American Pale Ale. It has session qualities but also enough body and character to make it agreeable to most of the craft beer crowd. The Amber, IPA, and Porter are good overall and it is nice that they brew a decent cross- section of styles.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Stretching a Base Hit

Cooperstown Brewing is a medium- sized operation located just minutes south of the city that bears its name. Founded in 1995, Cooperstown Brewery is actually older than the larger and more recognizable Brewery Ommegang, which is located closer to downtown Cooperstown.

I didn’t know much about Cooperstown Brewing when I made my way south on New York State Route 28. Given its name, I figured it was in or close to Cooperstown. I didn’t know it was in a different city. A quick check of the odometer showed about 8.5 miles from downtown Cooperstown to Cooperstown Brewing, so even though it wasn’t quite where I expected it to be, it didn’t take long at all to get here.

Cooperstown Brewing has a nice size building and it isn’t located in an industrial complex or strip mall. It’s a stand- alone building and as you drive up, you do sense a feeling of anticipation. Given that it is quite a bit larger than the majority of craft breweries, you can’t help but wonder what lies behind those walls and you’re anxious to make your way inside and find out.

The tap room at Cooperstown Brewing is the first thing you see when you visit, along with smiling faces and hospitality. The latter is one thing you can almost always count on when you visit a brewery. The customer service is usually good and the personnel are more than willing to educate you on the beer and make small talk as long as the crowds are slim. We chatted it up about the brewery, the decision to open it in Milford rather than Cooperstown, and the place of Cooperstown Brewing in the local beer community.

Probably the greatest surprise at Cooperstown Brewing is the lack of any actual beer production. They still have equipment in place, but there is no actual beer inside the tanks, mash tun, etc. I was quickly told about the decision to do this and why it was purely economic in nature and while I understand fully the need to cut costs and improve margins, the lack of any actual beer production is a little odd, especially when the equipment is right there, for all to see.

Cooperstown Brewing beer is respectable overall. I tried the four beers available when I was there, but I was a little disappointed that there were not more available. I learned that they more commonly serve about six beers on tap so the reduced number of options was more a result of my own bad luck than anything. Judging the four beers they did have available, I liked them overall. There were no round trippers in the bunch, but Old Slugger American Pale Ale and Bench Warmer Porter were certainly good enough to reach third base.

Cooperstown Brewing isn’t quite like the other breweries I have visited. It’s more like an auxiliary beer tap room to a larger brewery than anything, due to the lack of any production. However, given the size of the building and grounds, it does have great potential and with the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff, Cooperstown Brewing manages to stretch what might have otherwise been a single into an extra- base hit. So pay a visit to Cooperstown Brewing the next time you’re in the Central New York region. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.

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Credit: Bryan Carey

Greetings, Great Beer Now fans! I recently embarked on a sports- centric brewery tour to the village of Cooperstown, New York, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Great Beer Now Base Hits and Brews Beer Tour 2018 is all about the beer and the sports that have made this part of the country so popular. Pop open a cold one as I explore Central New York and take in the sights and sounds of the area. Cheers!

When you travel the country in search of great beer like I do, you are often forced to choose among different breweries, many of which sound promising. At last check, there were more than 6,000 breweries in the United States and while it’s great to have choices, it also makes it difficult to narrow down to a few breweries for visitation. One type of establishment that isn’t as popular but always on my radar is cideries and since the number of operational cideries is still well behind that of breweries, it is much easier to narrow down the options. Central New York is home to only a handful and one of them happened to make its way onto my travel list when I toured the area. The establishment is Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard, located at 288 Goose St., Fly Creek, New York, just outside of Cooperstown.

Grow Your Own

Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard is a water powered cider mill with its own apple press, restaurant, country store, and more. The large facility is open year- round and is popular with customers not just for its cider, but for its baked goods, gifts, restaurant, etc.

The water power at Fly Creek Cider Mill is generated from the pond above and behind the mill. The pond is a place worth seeing, as it is situated out back and is often covered with ducks and geese when the weather is right. Outdoor seating is available right on the water’s edge, perfect for a fresh air meal. The restaurant serves soup, sandwiches, baked goods, and ice cream treats, perfect with a glass of hard cider, coffee, or other beverage.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Get Your Samples here

Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard serves small samples of any one of its house ciders and wines. The ciders and wines are generally of the sweet variety and most every one of them is fruit- enhanced. With the ciders, they serve such options as Apple Raspberry, Original Apple, and Juicy Apple. With the wines, the choices are Apple Wine, Apple Cherry Wine, Strawberry Kiss, Apple Frost, and others. The samples are small, but you can try as many as you like.

Cider, Store, and So Much More

Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard is a large, complete, full- service cidery located just west of Cooperstown, New York. Opened in 1999, the facility is one of the few I have visited that combines cider making with a large store loaded with merchandise and an on- site restaurant.

I visited Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard on a cool afternoon, ready to tour the facility and sample the cider. Great Beer Now is based in Houston, Texas and as anyone who lives here knows, when you get acclimated to warmer climates, it becomes more difficult to deal with lower mercury readings. The temperature was in the low 30’s when I was here during the end of April and as soon as I stepped out of my car, it started to snow! It made for an excellent Instagram moment, but I was more than anxious to make my way inside, ditch the cold, and start sampling the adult beverages.

Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard is a large operation and you get the sense that this is going to be something out of the ordinary the moment you pull into the parking lot and lay eyes on the buildings. With the different sections, wood structure, and outdoor pond, it has a charming, country look and feel that puts you in the mood for a relaxed, down home experience.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Inside Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard, visitors will first notice the large country store, containing souvenirs and food items bearing the Fly Creek label. The cider and wine is available for immediate sampling and, of course, if you find a flavor or two that suit your fancy, they have large bottles available for purchase to go. As I said before, the wines and ciders are sweeter than average so if your palate is already geared in that direction, you will love what they make at Fly Creek.

With the cider press, Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard does, indeed, produce its own cider and the press is operational during the harvest season, which is in the fall. This is definitely the best time to visit Fly Creek because you can witness the entire operation live, in action, and sample freshly made cider. If you visit any other time of the year, you can still watch a video and see how the press operates during a tour. The live action in the fall is most certainly the most fun, but don’t let the time of year discourage you from paying a visit. The cider and wine are still available for sampling and you don’t want to miss out on the charming country store and delicious sandwiches and baked goods sold in the adjacent restaurant.

When you visit as many breweries as I do, you need to plan carefully. Time is limited, and there aren’t enough hours in a day to visit every one of the breweries in a specific area. But cideries, while definitely on the rise, are far less commonplace and therefore it is easier to schedule a visit to one when you travel. Vacationers to the village of Cooperstown have one nearby choice for cider, and that place is Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard, easily one of the best cideries in New York or elsewhere. So be sure to pay a visit to this friendly cider maker, restaurant, and country store the next time you’re in Central New York. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.

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Credit: Bryan Carey

Greetings, Great Beer Now fans! I recently embarked on a sports- centric brewery tour to the village of Cooperstown, New York, home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The Great Beer Now Base Hits and Brews Beer Tour 2018 is all about the beer and the sports that have made this part of the country so popular. Pop open a cold one as I explore Central New York and take in the sights and sounds of the area. Cheers!

Any visit to the small village of Cooperstown almost always includes a stop at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. After all, this is one of the most popular shrines in all of sports and many Major League Baseball fans consider a visit to the Hall a must at some point in their lifetime. But one cannot spend all day walking through the Hall of Fame. There needs to be time taken for sustenance and one Cooperstown establishment ready to quench your malt beverage thirst is Red Shed Brewery, located at 817 Butter Bowl Rd in Cherry Valley with a tap room located at 709 County Hwy 33 in Cooperstown.

Two Locations

Red Shed Brewery is one of a small percentage of craft breweries with multiple locations. The Cherry Valley facility is more remote and includes the actual brewhouse with a small tasting area. The larger tap room is located south of Cooperstown very close to brewery Ommegang. Beer is brewed at the Cherry Valley location and then shipped to the larger tap room, with some of the beer also served at Cherry Valley during certain times of the year.

The brewing at Red Shed Brewery is accomplished using a 10 barrel system. At the County Hwy 33 location where most of the beer is tapped, they also have a small kitchen serving food from a limited menu. Live music often fills the air at this location and the interior has a nice ambiance.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Step Up to the Bar

Red Shed Brewery taps about 8 to 10 of its own beers and offers wine as well as beers from nearby breweries. Here is a summary of what I sampled, listed alphabetically by name, followed by the style and my Untappd rating on a five point scale:

  • Cherry Valley Smoked Porter, American Porter 4.00
  • Geordie Boy Brown Ale, English Brown Ale, 4.00
  • H. Clausen & Son Henry’s Hefe, Hefeweizen, 3.50
  • Jessica’s Red Ale, Amber Ale, 3.75
  • Otsego Golden Ale, Golden Ale, 3.25
  • Stone House Stout, American Stout, 3.75
  • Witbier, Wit Bier, 3.00
  • XO Sour, Sour Ale, 4.00

Overall average rating: 3.66

Red Shed Brewery brews and serves several solid, all around offerings. I would be hard pressed to select a personal favorite, as I liked several of them almost equally, as my ratings indicate.

Credit: Bryan Carey

Come to the Shed

Red Shed Brewery was one of several brewery adventures I experienced in the Cooperstown, New York area and it was the only place that included two separate facilities. The Cherry Valley facility, where the beer is brewed, was not yet open to the public in 2018 due to its seasonal nature, but I was able to meet up with one of the owners and sneak a peek anyway before making my way south of town to the larger tap room. The brewhouse is in the original brewery and was opened in 2015 while the tap room on County HWY 33 is still relatively new, having opened its doors in the fall of 2017.

While I did spend some time at the original brewhouse and got a chance to look around, most of my time at Red Shed Brewery was spent in the newer tap room. The space is significant, with room for about 100 people and a somewhat dark, yet romantic and cozy feel. They had live music playing when I visited and everyone present seemed to be having a great time listening to tunes and sipping on their beer of choice.

Red Shed Brewery is a farm brewery, not just in the sense that the original location is found in a rural area, but also because the owners hold a New York Farms Brewer’s license. To get this license, a brewery must source the bulk of its ingredients from New York farms. This helps vitalize the state economy and keep things local, which is something Red Shed strives to do. Beginning January 1, 2024, the standards will toughen further when the standards for a Farm Bureau’s License will require that at least 90 percent of beer ingredients are obtained from New York farms.

Red Shed Brewery got its name from a small red milk shed located on the original property. The newer location maintains the look of a shed on the exterior, while the inside is country- like but fresh and new. I appreciate the commitment to the local community and economy and I can see how local residents would rank this as one of their breweries of choice when they want food and beer and possibly some live music as they wind down the week.

Cooperstown, New York is first and foremost a destination for lovers of sports. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a bucket list destination for millions of people and vacations are often planned around a visit to the famous hall. Once the floors of the Hall of Fame have been walked countless times and the thirst starts to build, Red Shed Brewery is the place to be. It’s a cool place for beer and food with agreeable brews and friendly folk so pay a visit to Red Shed Brewery as part of your Cooperstown vacation. And tell them Great Beer Now sent you.

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