Whether you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or you just like good beer, you’ve probably thought about making the four drive from Buffalo to Brewery Ommegang’s campus in Cooperstown. With a friend in nearby Oneonta with bedrooms to spare, we headed east to spend an afternoon on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. Ommegang is certainly the most well-known stop on the trail, but it’s not the only one worth stopping at!
1. Bear Pond Winery
We started at Bear Pond Winery, located northeast of Oneonta. It was a nice halfway point between our home base in Oneonta and Ommegang, which is technically in Cooperstown. The winery is a cute building and pretty patio that must be beautiful in the summer.
Once inside, we opted for tastings at the bar (6 for $3), which were led by a lovely employee who wasn’t offended by our lack of wine knowledge. (If she was, she did a good job of hiding it.) While the two wine drinkers in our group opted for the drier whites and reds, the rest of headed straight for the sweet whites, rosés and dessert wines. Most wines were made by Bear Pond, but there were a few other local options included on the tasting menu, which was already pretty big – before you considered the list of spirits that are also an option.
Would an actual wine drinker enjoy this stop? I don’t know. Did I? You bet.
2. Red Shed Brewery Taproom
Red Shed Brewery is located in Cherry Valley, about 15 miles northeast of Cooperstown. Their taproom opened in late 2017 right across the street from Ommegang. It would honestly be silly not to stop here on a trip to Ommegang.
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We're excited to welcome @redshedbrewery to the neighbrewhood! Red Shed opens their new tap room this weekend and they're located just a stones throw from Ommegang on Route 33. The doors open and taps start flowing Saturday at noon with live music throughout the afternoon!
The beer garden was absolutely adorable but it was too chilly to enjoy our beers outside, despite the roaring fire. The rough boards lining the walls, fun atmosphere and friendly staff made up for it though. I tried the XO Sour and was completely satisfied. This was certainly my favorite stop of our little adventure!
Next up was Brewery Ommegang itself, which was just as impressive as I expected it to be. We hadn’t planned far enough ahead to catch a tour, but we spent an hour enjoying each other’s company (and beer) in the cafe.
3. Roots Brewing Company
After pizza back at home base, we headed to our last stop: Roots Brewing Company. This small brewery has more of a beer bar feel, thanks to its location on Oneonta’s Main Street, exposed brick covered in art and expanded beer menu. It reminded me a little bit of Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem.
There are a handful of other options on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail we didn’t make it to. Some didn’t quite fit into our quick trip and others are closed for the winter. Someday we’ll make it back in the summer to experience the pretty patios, growing hops and seasonal breweries!