Brewery Ommegang has broken ground on an extensive expansion of their onsite visitors’ center, upgrading all facets of the facility to enable the brewery to better accommodate the surging crowds of beer tourists that flock to the area. The renovations began just before the holidays and will be completed by the start of the 2018 summer season. With nearly 80,000 visitors annually, 40% of whom visit between June and August, the brewery is thrilled to enhance the capacity to deliver a superlative experience to every visitor.
Aiding in the renovation and marketing of the brewery once the renovation is complete is a $525 thousand grant that Ommegang received in December from the state’s economic development council. The grant designates $375 thousand for capital expansion and $150 thousand for marketing. The money for the expansion will allow Ommegang to expand café and retail facilities, enabling the brewery to better serve the tourism traffic throughout the year.
“With this renovation, we will build an onsite experience that is world-class, matching the quality of the experience with the quality of the beer we brew here every day,” stated Doug Campbell, Brewery President. “As a significant tourist draw for the area, we always aim to provide a unique, memorable experience that leaves our visitors with a love of beer and of the Cooperstown area. The grant from New York State and the additional capacity it will enable us to add will aid in that aim significantly.”
Highlights of the $2 million renovation include a new entry way with access to the store, tasting room, and café; additional seating in the café with tables along a windowed wall that looks out onto the patio and brewery ground; additional outdoor seating under an all-weather pavilion; and an expansion of retail store including the addition of a beer cellar to accommodate new small batch limited releases.
The renovations will require the brewery to close the visitors’ center for two days in mid-January and to operate a slightly limited café service for roughly six weeks from early-March to mid-April. The store will remain open, and tours and tastings will still be offered daily throughout the period. The brewery will post updates on the renovations via social media to give sneak peeks on the progress.
Hours for the brewery store and café will remain 12-5 PM Sunday to Thursday and 12-9 PM Friday and Saturday until the interior work begins.
Brewery Ommegang opened in 1997 to brew imaginative craft beers across a variety of styles, with particular emphasis and respect for Belgian brewing traditions. Ommegang brews nine ales year-round, as well as an extensive and innovative range of seasonal and specialty ales. The beers have won a national following by connoisseurs of fine beer and are distributed in 46 states and internationally. Ommegang is located on a 136-acre farmstead in Cooperstown, New York and offers free daily tours and inexpensive tastings as well as a 75-seat café, a well-stocked brewery store, and an annual calendar of public events including a summer concert series and a legendary beer festival, Belgium Comes to Cooperstown.