Driving a common Earth vehicle, a car, through the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York, we passed many sights we had not yet seen. We passed buildings called barns painted red, tiny little towns made up of only a few buildings and winding, sometimes one lane, roads. Eventually, we came upon the world famous buildings that make up Brewery Ommegang.
The sprawling complex was impressive and we quite enjoyed the fact that in order to get to the parking lot, we drove through a building and went around the back to find the visitor’s center and parking lot. As we were very early, we parked the car in the empty parking lot and checked in at the visitor’s center. We were given free reign to explore the grounds and were told we could tour the brewery itself later. Next to, and behind the complex is a vast empty field that leads into a forest. We later found out that the empty field is used to host music concerts and the attendees are allowed to camp overnight.
The visitor’s center is made up of three areas, a gift/bottle shop, a tasting area and restaurant/bar. The tasting room is used following each scheduled tour of the brewery. The restaurant area has seating and a long bar where you can have some incredible food, sample the Ommegang beers they have on tap and to finish it off, they have ice creams and sorbets made with their beer.
Editor’s Note: Duvel owns Ommegang, so you will find Duvel beers for sale in the shop and on tap in the restaurant. One of the sorbets available is made from Liefmans Raspberry.
We joined one of the scheduled tours to get a closer look inside the brewery. The tour takes you into each area, but OSHA in New York has deemed the Ommegang is classified as a manufacturer and therefore the areas the public can access are extremely limited. Tour members are limited to areas marked on the floor and are not allowed to wander around. Visitors are also required to wear closed toe shoes (some will be provided if you need them) and safety goggles. The tour is guided by a knowledgeable host and you do get to see all the stages of the brewery operations, just remember to stay within the marked areas 😉
After the tour, we went to the tasting room where the crew poured samples of their beer and passed around cheeses and sauces made with various Ommegang beers. They also pass around taster glasses filled with ingredients such as barley, cardamon, ginger and others that are used in making the samples that are being poured. This allows you to smell and experience the ingredients themselves and then taste the beer they went into. It was an interesting experience to share the ingredients and the beers with the rest of the tour group. We made some new human friends and proceeded into the restaurant area for some human food.
The restaurant has ample seating both in tables and at the bar and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable about the beers on tap. We were treated to a variety of options off the menu and while we don’t usually eat human food, each of the dishes we tried were very tasty.
For a unique brewery experience, we strongly recommend a visit to Brewery Ommegang. When you get there, tell them the Beer Aliens sent you 🙂
Here are some photos we took during our visit:
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