We checked in at the gift shop to sign up for the next tour and purchase tasting tickets ($3/person). We had a short wait so we went to the cafe/bar.
Tasting Ommegang's Belgian Pale Ale, fresh from the tap at the brewery, may have been the high point of the day for me. Really! We could have left right then and I would have been happy. I've had the BPA before, but it didn't taste like this. So much flavor. It even seemed like it had a slight barnyard Brett flavor (I'm fairly certain no Brettanomyces was used), which I loved and I hope I never forget.
|Fermentation is pretty awesome. |
Beer, wine, bread, pickles, cheese, fish sauce, sake, yogurt, sauerkraut, vodka, etc.
|Belgian (style) breweries: |
Ommegang, Maredsous, Duvel, Liefmans, Brasserie D'Achouffe
|Belgian Pale Ale and cappuccino|
|Our tour guide in front of bottling equipment|
After the tour, our guide led us to the tasting room. He put pretzels and various cheese spreads and sauces on the counter. We sampled all six of the Ommegang beers, from lightest (Witte) to darkest (Three Philosophers). The tour guide described each of the beers and the special herbs and spices added to each (I guess the Belgians didn't buy in to the whole Reinheitsgebot thing).
|Herbs and Spices|
and a little red after the tasting
|Hennepin ,a farmhouse Saison|
Witte, a Belgian style wheat ale, or witbier
Checkout this menu!
|Frites (twice-fried fries) with two sauces:|
1) Abbey Ale and cumin ketchup and 2) Mustard with Witte Ale and honey
|Moules Witte (mussels in Witte broth and Shiitake mushrooms)|
|Crepe with spinach and goat cheese|
|Crepe with duck confit and Shiitake mushrooms|
I recommend visiting Brewery Ommegang for your own Upstate New York flavor adventure. And if you can't make it, look for their beers. All six are excellent representations of their respective beer style. Rather than a bottle of wine, pick up a bottle of Ommegang to take to your friends house for dinner. Cheers!