A sample of Ommegang goes down well

Pretty place in the country.

Pretty place in the country.

Brewery Ommegang is expanding.

Popular this Cooperstown craft beer brand is.

I’d been to the rolling hill a few miles outside the village while I worked covering the music scene for the big daily. Cool promoter Dan Small puts on a warm weather series using the natural amphitheater behind the brewing operation and cafe.

But on this blue-sky President’s Day, my dear wife Karen and I capped our trip to the Hall of Fame with some sips of nicely delivered Ommegang beer.

Join the crowd.

Join the crowd.

Upon our arrival, we noticed a group had already gathered in the sampling room. We decided to buy our tickets in the souvenir store and join them instead of waiting another half-hour for a tour first.

Here's what you're drinking and why.

Here’s what you’re drinking and why.

Our sample master did a wonderful job of describing each brew, pouring the pretty glasses and setting the amiable mood in the hipster room.

Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

Behind him, a beautiful day beckoned. Above us was stationed modern art and old-time signage.

Nectar of the gods glistened in glasses we’d get to take home.

The only beer of the five poured neither of us liked at all was the IPA. I gave it my finest bitter beer face.

Good, yes, says my dear wife Karen.

Good, yes, says my dear wife Karen.

While the last beer lingered, I ran to the hostess stand in the cafe and put our name on the list for a late lunch.

Then we decided we’d buy some beer after lunch to bring home. Winning taste: Three Philosophers.

Tomorrow: Relaxing in the cafe

What’s your favorite beer, and why?

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