Founded in 1997, Brewery Ommegang has been bringing Belgium to America with resounding applause. Designed with a traditional Belgian farmhouse in mind and built over a former hop farm in Cooperstown, New York, all of Ommegang’s beers are brewed with traditional Belgian ales in mind, courtesy of Belgian beer exert Don Feinberg. All of its bottled Belgian-style ales are re-fermented in the bottle, also known as bottle-conditioning. The beer is dosed with a small shot of yeast and sugar before it’s closed up. The yeast eats that sugar in the bottle and carbonates the beer naturally. It may have a tiny effect on bumping alcohol, but not a lot. It’s about getting the high carbonation that makes big Belgian beers so drinkable, regardless of the beer style. Brewery Ommegang has since been acquired by Brouwerij Duvel Moortgat (that’s right, Duvel’s founders), and has flourished over the past few years. Today, Peaks and Pints presents a flight of the New York brewery’s beers that we call Craft Beer Crosscut 11.7.18: A Flight of Ommegang.
Craft Beer Crosscut 11.7.18: A Flight of Ommegang
5.6% ABV, 9 IBU
Brewed and blended by Ommegang’s sister brewery Liefmans in Belgium, Rosetta combines old (aged on cherries at least three years) and young Flemish brown ale (or oud bruin) with a lively and fruity kriek, or cherry beer. The blend, which was developed by Ommegang Brewmaster Phil Leinhart, results in a complex yet refreshing mahogany-brown brew that is an intriguing interplay of tartness and sweetness.
Brewery Ommegang’s Belgian strong dark ale Sirens’ Song is brewed with Pilsner, Midnight Wheat and soft Red Wheat malts, as well as noble hop varieties for balance. In addition to dark Belgian candi syrup, figs and raisins are thrown into the kettle for not only added complexity but also to represent cargo lost to the sea because of the bewitching sirens’ songs. Aromas of roasted malt and dark fruit are pronounced. The flavor begins with sweetness and caramel notes and finishes smooth with lingering hints of caramelized sugar and balanced bitterness.
9.7% ABV, 19 IBU
The quadrupel ale combines malty Belgian-style ale with Liefmans Kriek, an authentic cherry ale from Belgium. Brewery Ommegang describes the color of the beer as, “dark, mysterious cherry-chestnut … full carbonation with smooth, tan head.” The recipe combines four malts (Pilsner, Amber, Caramel and Munich) with the cherry Kriek to create a beer reminiscent of sherry or port, with a mix of dark fruit, coffee, and raisin flavors that will only intensify as the brew ages. The yeast really kicks in upon first sip, which gives the right balance of sweet and sour.
9.9% ABV, 20 IBU
Brewery Ommegang’s luxurious brew begins with a big, beautiful Abbey dubbel that then heads to our cellar, where it’s gracefully aged for six months in a mix of bourbon and brandy casks. This blend of barrels adds an additional layer of flavor and complexity to what is already an incredibly layered drinking experience. The result is a beer worthy of slow-sipping, and deep contemplation. A beautiful fusion of dark fruit, caramel, molasses, and bourbon. Sip and enjoy, but be warned, Double Barrel Dubbel may result in a spiritual awakening.
Ommegang Mother of Dragons
Even the most devoted Game of Thrones fan has to admit that the popular HBO series relies on a number of fantasy tropes: dragons, sword fights, particularly unfortunate weddings. Make the frequency with which breasts are bared and the Lord of Light is invoked work for you by trying your hand at Ommegang’s Mother of Dragons. That’s right, Daenerys Targaryen’s cute dragons are back as a blend of a smoked porter and a Belgian kriek representing, “the smoke and fire that Daenerys has unleashed on her opponents during her ascent to conquer and rule the seven kingdoms,” according to Brewery Ommegang hype. Is a horny, Reddit obsessed 14-year-boy running Game of Thrones? Ponder that as you sip this rich brew with tart cherry up front leading to a center palate of semi-sweet chocolate, subtle smoke and mild sweetness.