A blogger and his wife, from one of the running blogs I regularly read, had returned from the Bed and Brews weekend. I checked into it and decided it would make the perfect Christmas present for my husband. I checked with his parents to watch the kids and booked the March weekend. What a great decision!
During our drive Friday, we stopped in Findlay Lake for lunch at a new little find tucked away. Great line-up of draft beers and a pretty decent fish sandwich (it was Friday, after all). We made it just in time Friday to check in to the hotel and grab dinner at Alex and Ika's for what may be the best Sangria I've ever had. In the Sangria, they put Brandy and Port "drunken blueberries." They were so yummy that Greg and I were fishing them out of glasses to make sure we got every last drop! Our dinner was outstanding - potato and leek soup with arugula salad. Wanting to see more of the town, we found another little bar in the basement and enjoyed a beer while watching the rest of the Syracuse game. This would be our only TV time this weekend! Shocking, I know.
I cannot say enough good things about The Inn at Cooperstown. The owners were welcoming. The rooms were wonderful, albeit without television! The breakfast was so yummy and the location was perfect. Situated on Chestnut Street, you are just a short walk of 100 yards to downtown Main Street and slightly more than 100 yards in the other direction to the lake. Perfect. And best of all, as part of our package we had a gigantic bottle of the Ommegang special reserve brew with two chalices. Wow!
Woke up early for breakfast in the lobby. Cooperstown was blanketed in snow, so what else would you think about doing in freezing cold weather but run! I gave Greg a little free time and I set out for a half hour run to scout out the town on foot. Saturday was designated as free time by the Inn to explore the town. We set off to first visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. We had little expectation here, but were pleasantly surprised. We easily spent 3 hours wandering around the exhibits and reading all the history. I highly recommend visiting this National museum as it was both educational and enjoyable. I enjoyed seeing the display on the Big Red Machine as growing up in Southern Ohio, I was a big Cincinnati Red fan (and funny enough, my girlfriend dated Johnny Bench in the late 80s-oh yes, he was MUCH older, but it was Johnny Bench!).
We had lunch in the local diner, which was cool and, of course, I had a hot dog while there. What else would you eat after taking a baseball tour?! Greg stopped in the Cooperstown Bat Company and had a bat engraved. He almost never picks up something for himself while traveling, so this was pretty awesome that he found something he wanted to take home. Afterwards, we checked out an Antique store that had so much crap in the front yard, I HAD TO CHECK IT OUT! It was actually colder inside the store than outside, but that didn't stop me from making a purchase. I found the neatest copper cowbell to hang in the kitchen - perfect for announcing dinner! With all this activity, it was time for a short nap before heading out for our Ommegang Brewery tour and dinner.
We loaded up on the trolley at promptly 6:15pm for our Ommegang Brewery Tour. I loved the trolley ride - what a perfect touch. The tour was absolutely fantastic, but the evening would just keep getting better! After the tour, we gathered into one of their large gathering rooms and sampled 6 different brews from Ommegang - the Witte, the BPA, Rare Vos, Abbey Ale, Hennepin, and their newest, just released brew, the Art of Darkness. After enjoying the samples along with some yummy cheeses, meats and grapes, we assembled in to the dining area for the spectacle of food that would later greet us.
Each course was perfectly paired with an Ommegang brew. I was initially worried that I would scrunch my nose at some of the offerings or would feel too bloated to enjoy the food AND beer. I was wrong. Thank goodness I was wrong because this may have been the best evening for beer and it would have been an injustice to have missed any of this!
The first course was the shrimp corn fritter followed by a muligatawny soup. Outstanding. The salad was offset by caramelized almonds, gorgonzola cheese and pears. I also loved that the salad was served with the Witte, which may have been my favorite pairing - light and crisp. The main course was beef cubes in a prune sauce (hard to believe, but the prune sauce was delicious!), brussel sprouts leaves, and a slice of layered sweet potato casserole. Dessert was a dark chocolate cupcake, cut in half and served with dark chocolate ice cream wonderfully paired with Three Philosopher's, which has a hint of Cherry Lambic in it. Mmmmmm!
We waddled out of dinner into the gift shop to grab the special edition of Art of Darkness, a bottle of Seduction porter, and their special maple syrup. Rode the trolley back listening to some pretty funny stories from the other couples, then enjoyed a nightcap in the lobby with other Inn guests who weren't quite ready to call it a night.
Had to leave super early Sunday morning so we could get back for Meg's swim banquet, but what a wonderful weekend with the husband!