Friday, August 02, 2013

If it's mid-summer, it must be time to visit Belgium via Cooperstown

I've apparently tagged Ommegang in 83 postings (oops, now 84) here in The Brew Lounge's neck of the woods over nearly eight years. I don't tag my postings willy-nilly. That means I must have written something of substance about this wonderful upstate NY Belgian-spirited brewery in the foothills of the Adirondacks nearly on a once-a-month average since the inception of The Brew Lounge.

For whatever that means.

The point, which I sometimes get around to, is that a decent portion of those postings revolve around one of the favorite annual festivals for beer lovers: Belgium Comes To Cooperstown, or more lovingly known as BCTC.

From its quite humble beginnings ten years ago to a continually evolving and growing amazing display of Belgian beer and all of the sideshow antics that go on around the 48 hours of fun 'n' games, BCTC still holds a place as one of the country's best.

Here's a link to the 83, give or take, spots where Ommegang shows up in TBL's history. Particularly when you get into the BCTC highlights, it's quite evident the path that this brewery has traveled and how it's grown into quite the destination brewery.

A good deal of talking about beer has changed on line since Ommegang began its summer festival. Facebook went from niche-y type website for young people and was later joined by Twitter in becoming full-fledged and viable business marketing tools.

Even around here, you've likely noticed less postings here on The Brew Lounge in favor of quicker/shorter blasts on one or both of these "social" media tools. Not that I am particularly happy about it nor does it make me a better writer (in my opinion...maybe it does for others), but it seems to have generally worked sorta, kinda well. Still, though, it takes some effort for me to figure out what works and what is right for these types of communications in varying situations.

To that point, in the last couple of days leading up to this year's BCTC, I took primarily to Facebook to make the following observations about this year's installment.

As much as I do plan to continue putting up new content here, particularly when it comes to in-event communications be sure to follow me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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Collection of Facebook posts from The Brew Lounge during the week of 7/29

If you're heading to Ommegang BCTC this weekend, I've uncovered some interesting tidbits in my sneak peek of this weekend's festival guide. I'll share with you that....

....The theme is "a beer festival about nothing" (a Seinfeld reference in case you missed it). I can't wait for all the Seinfeld references to pop up (I'm out!) throughout the weekend.

....the Hop Chef showdown on the big stage for all the marble ryes! (there's my second Seinfeld reference...keep 'em coming!) This was a great addition to last year's festival and looking forward to this year's finale.

....there's a "Duvel Art Competition" of some kind. Sounds interesting with appropriate prizes.

....the VIP dinner music will be from the The Hop City Hellcats, which contains a member of the Horseshoe Lounge Playboys that some of you will recall from past BCTCs.

....there'll be a 70-foot ferris wheel from which to observe all the craziness down below. Why is it called "ferris"? As anyone ever asked that question? (oh, Great Google!)

....there's a cigar tent, a massage tent, a cheese producers tent, a phone-charging and wifi tent, other vendors. Wow how they festival has changed/grown over the years.

....Sunday will be sportin' a full brunch; a welcome sight indeed before hitting the road!


If you're heading to Ommegang BCTC this weekend, a sneak peek of this weekend's festival guide is turning up some tasty treats like....

...somewhere around 55 breweries and importers. Just shy of 200 beers. I count 9 breweries that I've never heard of before. Looking forward to finding out what they're all about.

....I have no idea what a Cloak of St. Martin Quad is but they mention blackberries, chocolate, and coffee, so I'm definitely game for it. It's gonna be cool sleeping weather, so a couple of these at 13% sounds like just the ticket.

....Gulden Draak 9000 is making an appearance and it comes highly recommended.

....I've had beers from Silly before, but pretty sure never their sour. Good weekend to rectify that.

....I tasted the Golden Brett and James Bean from Allagash at different points in the past three months and with them on tap during BCTC, you can bet it'll happen again.

....Brooklyn Brewery can bring Local 1 and Sorachi Ace to as many festivals as they'd like. Through the years, I still count them as two of the most interesting and satisfying beers they make outside of the core brands.

....looking forward to Empire from Syracuse to impress as they typically have in the past.

....hm, Lil Opal from Firestone Walker as a 4.3% "Belgian Saison aged for 17 months". Oh my, can't wait.

....Matilda from Goose Island is a very fine enough beer indeed. But, Matilda Lambicus, now what is this?!

....Flander's Drive (sour red) from Green Flash. All signs point to yes please.

....a Belgian strong pale ale from lager-loving Gordon Biersch? Hey, why not? The more the merrier

....Ithaca's got the Brute going on..and also a "mystery beer". Bring it on.

....speaking of Ithaca, Jeff O'Neil's new home over at Peekskill is bringing one called Simple Sour and one called Share The Rainbow.

....Perennial is now in NY and will be showcasing four of its beers.

....can't wait for you guys to try Sly Fox's Grisette, if you've not yet. One of the summer standouts in the mid-Atlantic/northeast.

....only one beer pouring from Victory? It's Helios, so that bodes well. If not more, then I'll be searching out their campsite!

....more folks are finding the tasty goodness with each passing year at White Birch's table.

....and what the heck is a Fuku? Is it FUBAR? I love me a K├Âlsch. Wit's pretty decent. And don't get me started on my fondness for Rauchbiers. Apparently, they've come up with some type of a hybrid of the three at Kelso. Don't think I won't be trying it.



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