Big news, friends! We recently broke ground on an extensive expansion of our onsite visitors’ center! We’re upgrading all facets of the facility to enable us 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, we are 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 we 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 us to expand café and retail facilities, enabling us to better serve the tourism traffic throughout the year.
A message from our president, Doug Campbell: “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. 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 us 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. We 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, unless otherwise posted on our website.