Peanuts and Crackerjacks
Saturday was a beautiful day for us to head out to Cooperstown. It’s right in our backyard and I had never been to the museum. We went to the 2010 induction ceremony of Andre Dawson, but it was way too crazy to hit up the museum. We decided to make a quick stop on our way to town at Brewery Ommegang!
It’s a shame we didn’t arrive a half a day earlier so we could’ve enjoyed Friday night’s Cake show, but it wasn’t in the cards. We arrived around 11:30 and signed up for the Noon tour and tasting. I’ve just started to get into Belgian beers and Ommegang is the next best thing here in the States. The guy who founded Ommegang in the late 90′s wanted to brew a Belgian style beer without the high price of Belgian imports. I believe they receive start-up capital from Duvel. In the mid oughts when Brewery Ommegang wanted to expand they once again sought funding from Duvel who instead decided to buy them out. Duvel has no say in the day-to-day operations of Ommegang, but they do distribute their beers through Ommegang.
This picture is bad, but I wanted to snap it covertly. There was a guy on our guided tour with a t-shirt that said, “Life is a Journey Not a Guided Tour”.
The brewery is an interesting contrast to the Sam Adams brewery in Boston. Sam Adams is in the middle of nowhere in Beantown, but the insides are all fancy schmancy (probably more for show), but Ommegang is out there in god’s country on the outside but is pretty spartan in the brewing area. The other contrast is that I adore all of the Ommegang brews whereas I really only dig the Sam seasonals (not a fan of Lager or any of their other brews). Another thing I find interesting between the large and small brewer is that at Ommegang they are just now getting ready to brew their summer seasonal beer, but I’ll bet that Sam’s Oktoberfest will be on taps any day now. I know I was drinking Sam Spring in January at Washington Tavern. Anyway, back to Ommegang, the tour was cool and the tasting was even better. They had their six regularly produced beers up for tasting. We tasted in order from lightest to darkest: Witte (my favorite), BPA (Drew’s favorite), Rare Vos, Hennepin (a light tasting beer with a hefty alcohol content), Abbey Ale and Three Philosophers. They were all wonderful. I think the Witte and Hennepin are great for patio drinking, the BPA is good for anytime and the rest are all nice occasion beers. The tour is free and the tasting is $3 plus you get a complimentary glass. It’s a bargain.
We headed into Cooperstown and had a delightful lunch at Alex and Ika’s. I had delicious fish tacos that were nearly as good as the ones at the Gastropub (but nothing can beat those!), and I decided to try my first glass of Duvel. Holy yummy beer batman. When we got back to Albany late in the day, we stopped at Oliver’s for Ommegang and Duvel (would’ve bought it at the brewery but the place was packed after our tasting and I’m not a big fan of crowds). After our filling lunch we walked down to the museum.
There was plenty of love for the Cubbies which made me ever so happy.
Did you know Wrigley was the last ballpark hold out when it came to lights? We didn’t play home night games until the late 80′s!
Cubs legend, Ron Santo is being inducted into the Hall of Fame next month. It’s a little late, but I’m still happy he’s being honored. His display was up in the Hall of Fame gallery.
The most emotional I got was listening to Harry Caray sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
The Baseball Hall of Fame is a place I can’t wait to revisit. The induction ceremonies during the Hall of Fame Weekend each July are a lot of fun and free. When we went in 2010 to see Andre Dawson, Drew and I were both surprised to find ourselves crying during Doug Harvey’s induction. I mean, who the heck likes an umpire, but that dude was apparently “God”. I didn’t really know who he was before that day, but after his speech, I’ll never forget him. He spoke frankly about the integrity of the game, the sacrifices everyone involved makes during the season and gave me such an appreciation for the game on a level I never had before that day. We’ll go again next month for Ron Santo, one of Wrigley’s greatest. We’ll take the dogs, hang out on the lawn and probably shed a few tears.