News of Otsego County

Brewery Ommegang

Cooperstown’s newest restaurant is a total renovation
Ian Porto, proprietor, sits at Natty Bumppo’s bar, now back downstairs. (Tara Barnwell/

Cooperstown’s newest restaurant is a total renovation

Not too many businesses opened during the past 18 months thanks, of course, to COVID.

But welcome to Natty Bumppo’s, the newest restaurant to open in downtown Cooperstown.

Owner and Cooperstown native Ian Porto has been a longtime fixture on Main Street. You may know him as the previous owner of Tin Bin Alley, or perhaps from Northern Eagle Beverage and Cooperstown Brewing Company. Maybe even from Brewery Ommegang.

Now you’ll get to know him as the owner of Natty Bumppo’s on Hoff

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: 9/11 Commemorative Run 09-04-21

Commemorative 10K Races


HEROES RUN – 9 a.m. Come Commemorate 20 years since 9/11 with local firefighters, Assemblymen Salka and Oberacker, and others. An a capella group will be singing ‘God Bess America’ and there will be a flag raising ceremony ahead of the run. Will feature a 5K and 10K run starting at 10 a.m. Cost, $20 for the 10K. Proceeds will go to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Begins and Ends at the Fly Creek Fire Station, 607-547-5469 or visit

RECOVERY RUN – 9 a.m. Join the Rothenberger Road to Recovery Run in the 10K, 5K, or 1K run or walk. This run is in memory of Lucas Rothenberger and for those who have lost a loved one to addiction and to provide knowledge and education on the reality of recovery. The whole family is invited. Cost, $30 for the 10K. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-267-4435 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: County Chamber Golf Classic 08-27-21

County Chamber Golf Classic


GOLF CLASSIC – 1 p.m. Join the Otsego Chamber of Commerce for the 35th Annual Golf Classic to support the Chamber’s efforts to help the local community thrive. Sign up for golf tournament at 1 and Lunch/networking event at 11:30. Registration required. Oneonta Country Club, 9 Country Club Dr., Oneonta. 607-432-4500 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Made in New York: The Art of Wood’ exhibit opens at the Art Association 08-20-21

‘Made in New York: The Art of Wood’
exhibit opens at the Art Association


OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate opening of ‘Made in New York: The Art of Wood’ a fine craft invitational exhibit. Also opening is the ‘Daily Draw: Revisited.’ On show 8/20 thru 9/24. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Kids Award party with Dan the Snakeman 08-13-21

Kids Award party
with Dan the Snakeman


AWARDS PARTY – 5:30 p.m. Celebrate end of library’s summer reading program with the kids. Will include a show by Dan the Snakeman, awards for the kids who participated, more. Come between 1 & 5 for meet & greet with Dan the Snakeman, receive an interactive book, and meet his animals up close. Huntington Memorial Library, 62 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-1980 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Learn about Nature at Night 07-09-21

Learn about Nature at Night


NATURE – 8:15 p.m. Join the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society to learn about the sights and sounds of nature at night. Learn about crickets, owls, bats, and fireflies. Will end with firefly catch and release so bring a container to hold them. Free, registration required for max of 20 people. All children must be accompanied by an adult. DOAS Sanctuary, Franklin Mountain, Oneonta. 607-397-3815 or visit

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Fun performance at Hyde Hall 06-25-21

Fun performance at Hyde Hall


SUMMER CONCERT SERIES – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy fun performance of ‘The Ships Captain’ about the hijinks of 2 sisters, their guardian, and a mysterious suitor. This singspiel from 1817 includes parodies of famous pieces from Mozart, Beethoven, and popular German folk songs.Cost, $20/adult. Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5098 or visit

Best Bets: June 17, 2021


Run for the Susquehanna SPCA,
Celebrate Juneteenth, more.

Run to support the Susquehanna SPCA. This year the shelter is partnering with three local breweries to raise funds for animals in need. The 0.5K Fun Run is a kid-friendly event beginning at 8:30 a.m., the 5K at 9:15, and the 10K at 9. There will also be a pet parade with prizes. Cost is $10 for ages 13+ in the 0.5K, $30 for adults in the 5K and 10K. Age-appropriate drinks will be provided to the runners. Winners will have an adoption sponsored in their names. Starts at Brewery Ommegang, 656 Co. Hwy. 33, near Cooperstown, on Saturday, June 19. Call 607-547-8111 or visit

Celebrate the liberation of the last enslaved people in the U.S. this Juneteenth. Live music, free food, art from local artists, speeches, and more. 3 p.m. Neahwa park, Oneonta. Saturday, June 19. Visit

Hang out at Fire Pit Friday with friends and enjoy The Beadle Brothers live performance of modern country music, from 7 to 10 p.m., at Brewery Ommegang, 656 county Route 33, near Cooperstown. Friday, June 18. Call 607-544-1800 or visit

Get the teens out of the house for fun game of Fizzball with the Teen Center and Otsego Pride Alliance. Bring a garbage-bag smock, goggles and get ready to have some fun. New players are welcome. At 7 p.m., Friday, June 18. Meet at The Skatehouse, Neahwa Park in Oneonta. Call 607-441-3999 or visit

The Oneonta Outlaws will host the Amsterdam Mohawks. Children 18 and under get free admission, sponsored by SFCU. 7 p.m., Thursday, June 17. Damaschke Field in Oneonta.

In 2022, Ommegang Eyes $1M Expansion

In 2022, Ommegang

Eyes $1M Expansion

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Brewery Ommegang isn’t going to let a pandemic get in the way of customers enjoying Neon Rainbows – and other popular brews.

“We installed a canning line two years ago,” said Rick DeBar, director of operations at the brewery. “But we’re aiming to double our capacity on the line starting next March.”

The current line can fill five cans at a time; with the addition of a second “filler,” the line will be able to fill 10 cans with the same amount of staffing as the brewery currently has.

It’s part of a larger plan for the brewery to dramatically increase their packaged beer for sale.

“The industry began trending towards cans a couple years ago,” he said. “They’re ideal for when you’re at an event where you can’t take glass, and aluminum is much more recyclable than glass.”

Cans are also easier to ship, he said, and more can be shipped on one truck.

The canned line, which includes Neon Rainbows, Solera, Rosetta and others, had helped keep the brand afloat during the COVID pandemic. “We worked hard to transition
into packaged beer,” said DeBar. “We were told by several of our distributors that we were one of the few suppliers that could keep up with the demand.”

Prior to the pandemic, kegs for bars and restaurants were “50 percent” of their business.

“Every brewery in the world was affected by COVID,” said Matt Szymanski, CFO, Duvel Moortgat USA in Kansas City, Mo. “We were no exception. And our biggest market is New York City, and they were hit so badly. We really got the worst of both worlds.”

According to Jody Zakrevsky, Otsego Now president, the brewery dropped from selling 60,000 barrels a year to 18,000 a year.

“Their biggest issue is with COVID-19,” he said. “They’re not selling enough, because bars and restaurants aren’t ordering beer because they’ve closed.”

On Oct. 18, Zakrevsky got an email from Chance Nicols, CFO at Duvel in Kansas City. The email said the Duvel family, in Belgium, had decided to delay a decision on canning line until 2022.

The larger canning operation would cost an estimated $1 million.

“We were in contact with their Kansas City office, which is their home base (in the U.S.), about three months ago,” he said. “We had a dialogue between them and Empire State Development. My understanding is that the Moortgat family has decided to table the Ommegang canning capital project for 2021 and revisit for 2022.

He continued, “There are too many unknowns at this time with the market so they will manage with the current operational configuration for 2021.”

DeBar said doubling production will work as an “interim,” with the larger expansion down the line.

“We are seeking a grant,” he said.

In the meantime, Szymanski said the company has other priorities to keep them viable.

“Our focus right now is Neon Rainbows,” he said. “We’ve made it for the last two or three years, but it’s always been seasonal – this year, we’re launching it nationwide.”

Neon Lights, a New England session IPA, as well as Neon Neon, a New England Double IPA, are also part of the promoted line, but will remain seasonal. “Right now, our focus is firmly behind Neon Rainbows.”

Additionally, he said the creative team, including Rebecca Shafer, who relocated from the Cooperstown office to Kansas City, will “freshen” the brand of “legacy” beers, including Three Philosophers and Hennepin.


Oldest Otsego County Race Continues


WINTER CARNIVAL – All Day. Info at

WINTER RACE – 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Annual 5k/10k Bob Smullens Race through Cooperstown. Oldest continuously held race in Otsego County. Cost, $20/person. Registration 10:30 a.m. Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. 607-547-2800, ext. 111 or visit


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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103