Belgium Comes to Cooperstown Camping

This is without a doubt my favorite part of the BCTC experience. Belgian after Belgian after Belgian gets old pretty quick (for me) these days so it’s good to take a break from it all and start drinking something different. That plus walking around meeting new people who are willing to share a beer and food, dropping in on other friend’s camp sites, watching the movie and the fireworks all make for a really great night.

We started the night drinking some really great beers, eating a shit ton of brats in sauerkraut, and ended the morning around 6AM drinking pretty much anything that still had liquid in it (several times I was chugging a magnum of Jameson, ugh). Yes, we were “those guys” who were being complained to “take it down a notch”. Yeah, that didn’t really work out, and pretty much all of the other stragglers that were still up at any of the campsites within earshot (and further) came over to hang out and kinda just made things louder. Honestly this was the best time I’ve ever had at BCTC and I thank all who were there to hang out.

Thanks to Mike, Jon, Scott Jr., and Adam for sharing!

The lineup of the night:

  • King Henry – Goose Island Beer Co.
  • 2008 Bourbon County Brand Stout – Goose Island Beer Co.
  • Bourbon County Brand Vanilla Stout – Goose Island Beer Co.
  • Juliet – Goose Island Beer Co.
  • Curieux – Allagash Brewing Company (not pictured)
  • Imperial Milk Porter (Stranahan Whiskey Barrel Aged) – Cigar City Brewing
  • Frangelic Mountain Brown – Founders Brewing Company
  • Three Penny Especiale – Lawson’s Finest Liquids
  • Bourbon Barrel Backburner – Southern Tier Brewing Company (not pictured growler)

Brewery Ommegang Belgium Comes To Copperstown Tasting

– As the years have progressed I’ve became a little more laid back about the BCTC tasting. My first year, like any BCTC noob, was spent trying to go to every single brewery table and trying the highest ABV quads they had available, then making the second round and trying the triples, and then by the end of the tasting puking my face off. This year it was more about picking out the five or six beers that were available that I hadn’t had yet, spending some time with brewers I was familiar with, and generally not being a fucking asshole (that came later, between the hours of 1AM and 6AM). Man it’s hell getting old.

We grabbed some fantastic hand rolled cigars from the cigar tent. I always forget to bring cigars so having fresh made was amazing.

The three liter bottle of Sierra Nevada’s barleywine Bigfoot drew large crowds.

A big buzz this year for Captain Lawrence’s Hops and Roses. (I didn’t get any that day but did have some at a Doom Saloon bottle share the following week.)

There was a lot of whine asses on BA about people taking their shirts off. Let’s be honest here, it was hot as balls that day. Get over it. (Plus, accoring to the chants, it was “Shirtless Six O’clock.)

Several bands played throughout the day and night. The Sexy Sax Man (whoever that is) even got up on stage at one point to play his famous rendition of George Michael’s Careless Whisper. The most notable band (for me) comprised of some members who I recognized from Brewery Ommegang, doing some Pink Floyd. I definitely killed some time listening to them.

Belgium Comes to Cooperstown Hop Chef Competition at Brewery Ommegang

– Washington Hop Chef winner Jeff Eng of Clyde’s of Tower Oaks, Albany Hop Chef winner Jaime Ortiz of Creo’, Philadelphia Hop Chef winner George Sabatino of Stateside and last year’s winner of the BCTC Great Mussel Tussle Tommy Harder of Blind Tiger Ale House appeared for the conculsion of the competition to determined who would be crowned Hop Chef at this year’s BCTC.

A sampling of the four dishes was the perfect amount food before several hours of beer tasting. I was a little surprised with the outcome, since Sabatino’s winning dish of smoked capon sausage was a little simple for my tastes. I prefer natural casing with a nice crunch and a snap and I feel like steaming the sausage in Rare Vos doesn’t do the texture any justice.

VIP Dinner at Belgium Comes to Cooperstown 2012

– Wow, I’ve been a big time slacker on posting these BCTC pics so I’m going to bang them out real quick by the end of the week. First off I wanna thank Mike (Montrose79 from BA) for hooking me up with a VIP Pass. I’ve been to BCTC all but the first year, and I’ve never done the VIP dinner before so it was definitely a new experience for me. Always a huge plus. Thank you again.

As for the dinner itself, it was really nice and I enjoyed myself a lot. We were seated with a really great mix of people including Dave from The Ruck (who I didn’t know was going to show up, great that he made it out), Howie from Yankee Brew News, and Jeannine Marois, the founder and President of Mondial de la Biere festival (one of the largest beer festivals in North America).

The meal consisted of wave after wave of food. If you left hungry it was no one’s fault but your own. My only issue was that by the time any of the food arrived to our table, it was cold. Cold lobster, cold duck, cold chicken, cold beef. I’m not sure if that was intended or not, but I would have preferred, even in the heat, that the food be served a few notches warmer. Also, most of the beers served were off the shelf Ommegang/Duvel distributed beers. Not that they were bad, but they were nothing special. Dinner was accompanied by a great band that got the crowd up dancing between courses (the beer didn’t hurt).

I wandered a little bit (mostly due to the fact I was just far enough out the reach of free wifi and cell service sucked out there) and got to meet a lot of random people from Ommegang: the President Simon Thorpe, brewer Scott Veltman, and the guy who originally started the first BCTC. Pretty cool.

After dinner we cracked open a few beers by the tents and called it a (relatively) early night. There was much drinking to be done the next day.