Origin stories have their own gravity. They are tales that wind around the present, and pull us into the past. They are the gateway that lets us straddle time and explore our own mythic history.
Brewery Ommegang’s origin story begins in 1549 on the Zenne River in Brussels, Belgium. Here, the first Ommegang Festival celebrates the harvest, welcoming all to enjoy the season’s best brews. Caught up in the merry atmosphere, the people of Brussels join in an Ommegang – or “a walk about” – carousing and mingling with each other between beer tastings.
Fast-forward four centuries:
When Brewery Ommegang’s founders Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield visited Belgium many years ago, they fell in love with the food, the beer, and the culture. The husband-wife team cared so deeply for all things Belgian that they sought to introduce these exotic beers to the United States and began importing several styles in the 1990s. As their passion for the craft grew, they decided to do something daring, something that had never been done before. With help from Duvel Moortgat and other Belgian breweries, Feinberg and Littlefield founded Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown in 1997 to brew beers in the Belgian tradition. The site of an old hop farm with a pristine water source became the home of the first farmstead brewery built in the United States in more than 100 years. More than twenty years later, Don and Wendy’s vision and passion live on in our beers.
Come walk about our grounds, take a tour with one of our beer experts, enjoy a beer-pairing menu at the Tap House, and take special note of the two dates on our iconic archway: 1549 and 1997.