Witte Wins Gold at GABF 2016

Last week our team had a darn good trip to Colorado and the Great American Beer Festival. In addition to spending three awesome nights pouring thousands of beer samples for the good people of Denver and beyond who came to the festival, we were shocked and thrilled on Saturday morning when Witte, our wheat ale, won a gold medal for Belgian-style Witbiers!

You can read all about the competition and Witte in the press release below. Big congratulations to our entire team, but especially our brewers, packaging, maintenance, quality, warehouse teams who spend day after day making sure our beer is the best it can be. Cheers, team!

Brewery Ommegang brings home gold from 2016 Great American Beer Festival® competition

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) Cooperstown, New York’s beautiful Brewery Ommegang is having quite the year. After winning numerous medals plus the top award for mid-sized breweries at the 2016 World Beer CupSM in May, the brewery also won a gold medal at the Great American Beer FestivalR this weekend. Ommegang’s Witte Wheat Ale won top honors in the Belgian-style Witbier category. The GABF’sR annual competition was held in Denver, CO on Saturday, October 8.

In its 30th year, GABFawarded more than 280 medals to beers from 254 breweries. Witte was one of 85 beers judged in its category this year, and this is the third time Witte has won a medal at the event; it also won silver in 2014 and gold in 2011. This medal is Ommegang’s eighth in GABFR history which includes the three medals for Witte plus gold for Cave-Aged Hennepin in 2004, bronze for Hennepin in 2006, bronze for Rare Vos in 2008, and bronze for Three Philosophers in 2010 and 2013.

“Witte is one of the earliest beers we brewed at Ommegang, and it’s still one of the favorites,” says Phil Leinhart, Ommegang’s Brewmaster. “2016 has been quite a year for our brewery and I’m incredible proud of our entire team, especially our brewers and members of the packaging, maintenance, quality, and warehouse teams.”

According to the Brewers Association, which presents the festival, “GABFR is the largest commercial beer competition in the world and a symbol of brewing excellence.” The Brewers Association is a not-for-profit trade group that protects and promotes America’s small, independent craft brewers. This year’s GABFR competition boasted 7,227 beers judged in 96 categories, and the beers were from 1,752 breweries from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.  Judging was completed over the course of five different three-hour judging sessions and by nearly 260 judges from 12 countries plus 170 competition volunteers.

Brewery Ommegang’s sister brewery Firestone Walker from Paso Robles, CA also had a winning day, taking home a gold medal for DBA (Double Barrel Ale) in the Ordinary or Special Bitter category. The full list of GABF award winners can be found here.


President Doug Campbell and Brewery Justin “Lotty” Lottridge celebrate with Witte at the Ommegang booth at GABF.


Allison, Lotty, Doug, Charlie Papazian (Founder, Brewers Association), and John on stage to receive Witte’s gold medal. Photo (C) 2016 Jason E. Kaplan

A Little Brewer’s Wager

This morning on Twitter our president Doug Campbell challenged Anchor Brewing’s President Matt Davenport to a little brewer’s wager on the New York Mets vs. San Francisco Giants Wild Card game tonight.

Beer fans, you’re going to be the real winners in this. Read on…


Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown, NY and Anchor Brewing in San Francisco, CA have agreed to place a friendly wager on the outcome of tonight’s MLB National League Wild Card game between the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. Sporting blue and orange, Ommegang President Doug Campbell challenged Anchor’s President Matt Davenport this morning on Twitter. Matt accepted, terms were drawn up, and a tweet-handshake sealed the deal.

The winner will send beer and a jersey of the winning team to the losing brewing, and the loser, decked out in said uniform, will serve the winning brewery’s beer in their tasting room. The losing brewmaster will also travel to the winning brewery to brew a collaboration beer in honor of the winning team and city. The beer will be available in time for Opening Day 2017.

“This game promises to be an epic matchup between two great teams and two great states,” says Campbell. “I look forward to seeing pictures of Matt serving our beer to Anchor fans in San Francisco. Here in Cooperstown, our roots run deep in both the national pastime and our home state, and we are exciting to raise our glasses to the Mets’ victory tonight.”

“Baseball and San Francisco have gone hand in hand for more than 100 years. With roots that date back to the California Gold Rush, Anchor has been intrinsically tied to the city, enjoyed by Giants fans for decades,” says Davenport, decked out in orange and black. “We look forward to sharing our beer with Ommegang fans in Cooperstown, as we send some tasty West Coast [read: Best Coast] brews to be enjoyed in their taproom. It’s an even year and we all know what that means.”

The Wild Card game will be played at Citi Field in New York City tonight, October 5, beginning at 8:08 PM EST. Regardless of the outcome of the game, the true winners will be fans of craft beer everywhere, who will get to taste a new collaboration beer from the two breweries regardless of who actually tastes victory this evening.

Let’s Go Mets!

Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale

got-21-valar-dm-2016_smallOur newest Game of Thrones-inspired beer has a name – Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale – and it’s coming to shelves and taps near you, along with a re-release of Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale!

Cases and kegs of Valar Dohaeris and special gift packs featuring a bottle of each beer plus a beautiful glass are now working their way from our distributors to your favorite stores and bars. There are always a lot of questions about how to get the Game of Thrones-inspired beers and it’s proved helpful for us to post search tips for beer fans seeking out this release.

The national release date for Valar Dohaeris and the gift packs is Monday, October 10. That’s the day most retailers across the US will begin sales. If you are in the Cooperstown area, you can buy these at the brewery store beginning Saturday, October 8 (we’re open 12-5 pm daily.)

We have a beer finder that will show the locations that the beer has been sold to and you can use this to search for retailers near your zip code. The beer finder works by aggregating sales data from the distributor and it is uploaded often a few days after the sale into the account. With the great demand for this series of beers, they might even be sold out by the time it is listed on our beer finder, so we strongly encourage you to call your local retailers in advance before taking a road trip to see them. 

Valar Dohaeris and the gift packs will not be sold in Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Oklahoma, Vermont, Wyoming. Outside of the United States, this will be available in Ontario, Canada. There is not currently a release date set for Canada but we’ll update this post when we have one.

It is illegal for us to sell online or directly to customers who are not at the brewery, so we cannot do any online orders. There are a few websites that are allowed to sell beer directly to fans and we will post those here as they come in. For starters, check out Craftshack.com.

Read more about our fall Game of Thrones-inspired releases in the press release below and keep an eye our for the new beer and the gift pack in the next few weeks!

Stay warm. Winter is coming.

July 19, 2016: (COOPERSTOWN, NY) After an exciting season that saw the Starks reclaim the North and Cersei take the Iron Throne as the first queen of Westeros, Brewery Ommegang and HBO Global Licensing are introducing a new beer and bringing back a previous brew to steady the nerves of fans as they anxiously endure the show’s off-season break. Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale is the latest beer in the series and pays homage to Arya’s season-long struggles within and around the House of Black and White. This beer will be available in 750ml single bottles, on draft and also paired alongside its previously released sister-brew Valar Morghulis in a collectible gift pack which features a commemorative glass as well. Suggested retail price is $9.99 for the individual bottles and $22.99 for the gift pack. The official nationwide release to retailers is October 10.

Fans of Game of Thrones know that “Valar Morghulis” means “All Men Must Die” in High Valyrian and is traditionally answered with the phrase “Valar Dohaeris,” which means “All Men Must Serve.” Label art for both bottles features the two-headed coin, given to Arya Stark by Jaqen H’ghar, which gained her passage to Braavos at the end of Season 5. Arya spent most of Season 6 in Braavos training to become a faceless assassin, making the naming of the latest beer and the decision to re-release Valar Morghulis a no-brainer.

“When we got a sense of the season’s key plot points, we knew right away Valar Dohaeris was the new beer name and that bringing back Valar Morghulis was a must,” says Bill Wetmore, General Manager and Marketing Director for Brewery Ommegang. “And I think HBO’s fantastic idea to have the gift pack mimic the House of Black and White is really going to be a hit with fans. It looks killer and I think fans are going to scoop them up pretty quickly for gifts or for their own collections.”

“Of the classic Belgian styles, the dubbel and the tripel are two of our favorites to brew, and both are styles we’re particularly well known for,” says Ommegang Brewmaster Phil Leinhart. “I love the idea of releasing them together side-by-side. It is such a great way to experience them.  They are also pretty hearty and should age nicely over time, so fans can stock up to last them through the winter and to fill the void until next season.”

Originally released in 2014, Valar Morghulis Dubbel Ale is a name and style selected by fans in a December 2013 social media poll. One of the fastest-selling beers in the series, fans enjoyed this classic Belgian-style because it is fairly complex and full of intrigue – much like the show itself. Valar Dohaeris Tripel Ale is, much like a “faceless man,” not what it first appears to be; it shares the complexity of its sister-brew and a strength masked and belied by its lighter color.

Valar Morghulis is 8% ABV, brewed with pilsner and specialty malts and hopped with Apollo and Hallertau Spalt Select hops. The hue is deep amber-brown and aromas include caramel, toffee, ripe fruit, banana and slightly burnt sugar. The taste is well-balanced with rich malty sweetness, caramel and sugar, and just a touch of bitterness to balance. The finish is surprisingly dry and light on the tongue, a surprising counter to its aroma and initial taste.

Valar Dohaeris is 9% ABV, brewed with pils, wheat and oats, flaked barley, and hopped with noble hops. It pours a beautiful copper-tinted hue with a full, fluffy white head. Sweet grain and honey are prevalent in the aroma. The flavor opens with a bright sweetness thanks to the Belgian candi sugar used in brewing. The finish is moderately dry and effervescent with just a hint of Belgian yeast character.

Brewery Birthday Party 2016

We’re throwing ourselves a birthday party, and everyone is invited. Ommegang turns 19 this fall and we’re celebrating with a very merry un-birthday party on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 12-6 pm.

Admission is $5 at the door (children until 12 are admitted free). Admission includes beer tastings (for fete-goers 21 and up), carnival games and inflatables, brewery tours (limited spaces available, first come, first served), live music, and more.

Live music will be provided by SUNY Oneonta band Rumble Strips and local favorite Bourbon and Branch. Brewery friend Puddles Pity Party will return to sing “Happy Un-Birthday” to the brewery as well as to delight attendees with his unique covers of favorite songs.

Our party will also support one of the our favorite local organizations, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter. SAS animals that are waiting for furever homes will be on site for a Doggie Fashion Show and the SAS team will accept applications from potential adoptive families.

The Ommegang Food Truck and Little Debbie’s will be vending outside  all afternoon and the café will also have a limited menu available inside that day.

Come celebrate with us!

FB Post w. Puddles

Meet The Lion’s Share, a collaboration with Nine Pin Cider

And now for something completely different: The Lion’s Share. our very first cider collaboration. We have teamed up with Albany, NY-based Nine Pin Cider Works, New York’s FIRST farm cidery, to create a new style of cider that combines locally grown apples and our signature house yeast.


Nine Pin crafts The Lion’s Share from a farmhouse blend of apples sourced from Samascott Orchards in Columbia County, and ferments with our Belgian yeast. The result is a Belgian-style cider with a smooth mouth feel and complex fruit and spice notes.

Nine Pin’s co-founder and cider maker Alejandro del Peral says: “We’re excited to finally release this incredible collaboration between Nine Pin and Brewery Ommegang. The Lion’s Share represents what two New York craft producers can do together in pursuit of establishing the Empire State as the leader in the craft beverage revolution.”

Our brewmaster Phil Leinhart says: “It’s very exciting to collaborate with Nine Pin on something totally different. Our house yeast brings such interesting tastes and aromas to “barley juice” that I can’t wait to see what it does with “apple juice”!

The Lion’s Share is 5.9% ABV and will be sold in 12 oz. cans only at Nine Pin and Cafe Ommegang.

If you’re in the Albany-area, you can try The Lion’s Share at Cider and Sliders on 8/4. BCTC-goers will also have the opportunity to try it at this weekend’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown festival.