News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Hager Hops

Northern Eagle Cuts Ribbon On ‘Lake George Beer Hub’

Northern Eagle Cuts Ribbon

On ‘Lake George Beer Hub’

Everyone whoops as George Allen, president of Northern Eagle Beverage, Oneonta, cuts the ribbon on the Lake George Beer Hub Wednesday afternoon in the Town of Queensbury, near the namesake tourist community.  Behind Allen is Louis Hager, principal in Hager Hops, the largest-in-the-state 20-acre hopyard in Pierstown.  The Lake George Beer Hub building was formerly the Davidson Brothers brewery, which Northern Eagle bought in 2016.  The Hub’s current members are Davidson and Cooperstown Brewery, which is allied with Northern Eagle and Hager Hops.   Located to attract summer tourists from Lake George, and Hub offers brewery tours, tastings, serves by the pints and hosts events. There is a variety of bottled beer available for purchase, as well as a variety of apparel and gifts.  (Adirondack Regional Chambers of Commerce photo)
Hager Cousin Prepares Second Large Hopyard

Hager Cousin Prepares

Second Large Hopyard

280 Poles Rising In Field Near Fly Creek

Byron Busch Thomas, who spent his boyhood summers in Otsego County, has acquired the former Mackie property near Fly Creek, and has dedicated four acres to a hopyard. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Byron Busch Thomas, who spent his boyhood summers in Otsego County, has acquired the
former Mackie property near Fly Creek, and has dedicated four acres to a hopyard. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By JIM KEVLIN • for AllOTSEGO.com

FLY CREEK – For the latest evidence the hop revival is here to stay, take Route 28 north from Cooperstown, bear right on Goose Street in front of the Pail House Winery, bear right on Bailey, and then onto Stone House Road to where Dr. Mackie used to have an airstrip.

There, you will see dozens of poles stuck in the ground – soon, there will be 280 in all.  A hop farm to-be – or soon-to-be.

On an orange tractor preparing the ground for the crop to come, you are likely to find proprietor Byron B. Thomas, and he’ll tell you of plans to plant hop bines – yes, bines, not vines – next May on strings reaching to the ground from trellises atop the poles.

He’s preparing four acres.  But look across toward the far hill on the east end of the Mackie place, and you’ll see there’s room for much more.

Thomas’ farm is the second-largest in northern Otsego County, after Louis Hager’s 20-acre Hager Hops farm in Pierstown, and there’s a connection there.  “He’s my cousin,” said Byron – his middle initial stands for “Busch” – who said Louis has been encouraging and helpful in this new undertaking.

FULL STORY IN FREEMAN’ S JOURNAL, ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
Newspapers Choose Hagers As Citizens Of Year For 2014

Newspapers Choose Hagers

As Citizens Of Year For 2014

Yearbook Features 52 Top Stories, One From Each Week

The Hager family, which is expanded Northern Eagle Beverages in Oneonta, the Cooperstown Brewing Co. and Hager Hops in a "beer to stein" production system, were chosen at both Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman's Journal's Citizens of the Year.  The annual recalls President Obama's visit, Mayor Miller's passing, Joe Torre's induction, Governor Cuomo's announcement of the fracking ban, and much more.
The Hager family, which is expanded Northern Eagle Beverages in Oneonta, the Cooperstown Brewing Co. and Hager Hops in a “beer to stein” production system, were chosen at both Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal’s Citizens of the Year. The annual recalls President Obama’s visit, Mayor Miller’s passing, Joe Torre’s induction, Governor Cuomo’s announcement of the fracking ban, and much more.

OUR NEWSPAPERS AVAILABLE AT THESE FINE ESTABLISHMENTS

Business Week Features Hager Hops

Business Week Features Hager Hops

COOPERSTOWN – In this week’s edition, Business Week is featuring Hager Hops, the dirt-to-tap undertaking now being implemented by the Hager family, Anheuser-Busch heirs.  Here’s how it starts:

“Strolling among rows of hops on a lush hillside in Cooperstown, N.Y., discussing soil quality and irrigation, Alicia and Louis Hager sound more like the farmers they’ve become than Busch beer royalty. The bines (that’s not a typo; these climbers are not vines) that produce the conelike buds that give beer its flavor and aroma “are very thirsty plants,” Louis says. “They need a constant supply of water.”

“The siblings, who are great-great-grandchildren of Anheuser-Busch founder Adolphus Busch, have started one of the largest of dozens of hop farms cropping up across upstate New York. In May they moved into a cottage on the 1,000-acre property that Busch bought from a hop farmer in the late 1880s. Their goal for the new venture, Hager Hops, is to write a new chapter in the family’s beer saga, which looked to have ended with the sale of Anheuser-Busch to InBev, the world’s largest brewer, in 2008. “This is as exciting as it gets—continuing a family tradition instead of living off past successes,” Louis says. “We’re starting from the ground level—very humble beginnings—and we’re at the farm every day until the sun goes down.”

READ THE REST OF THE BUSINESS WEEK STORY

HAGER HOPS BREAKS GROUND ON BREWERY IN WEST ONEONTA
Artist's rendering shows the new Cooperstown Brewing Co. plant and Northern Eagle Beverage warehouse.  Construction by Eastman Associates is expected to be complete by October 2015.
Artist’s rendering shows the new Cooperstown Brewing Co. plant and Northern Eagle Beverage warehouse. Construction by Eastman Associates is expected to be complete by October 2015.

HAGER HOPS BREAKS GROUND

ON BREWERY IN WEST ONEONTA

A ceremonial ground breaking this afternoon started work on the new 82,000-square-foot building that will house a new Cooperstown Brewing Co. plant and Northern Eagle Beverage warehouse on Browne Street in West Oneonta.  From left are Bryan Birdsall, sales manager; George Allen, president; Whit Hager, 9, son of principal Lou Hager III; Matt Curley, general manager; Alicia Hager and her brother, Lou III, and Melissa Miosek, sales.  (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
A ceremonial ground breaking this afternoon started work on the new 82,000-square-foot building that will house the new Cooperstown Brewing Co. plant and Northern Eagle Beverage warehouse on Browne Street in West Oneonta. From left are Bryan Birdsall, sales manager; George Allen, president; Whit Hager, 9, next to his dad, Lou Hager Jr.; Matt Curley, general manager; Alicia Hager and her brother, Lou III, and Melissa Miosek, sales. (Jim Kevlin/allotsego.com)
Prior to the groundbreaking, Lou Hager Jr. brings the crowd up to date on plans by the affiliated companies, Northern Eagle Beverages and Hager Hops, to complete the hops-to-tap cycle in Otsego County.  Hager is growing hops in Pierstown, processing them in Oneonta, drying them in Milford, then adding them into the brewing process for such Cooperstown Brewing favorites as Old Slugger beer.  Seated n the foreground are, from left,  Hager's daughter Alicia and son Lou III, general manager Matt Curley, president George Allen and sales manager Bryan Birdsall.   Seated three rows back is Hugh Henderson, a county IDA board member.  Standing from left are Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood; Gordon B. Roberts executive Jon Hansen;  aides to Senator Seward Doug Cannistra and Jeff Bishop;  IDA President Sandy Mathes, COO Elizabeth Horvath and board chair Bob Hanft; Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller; Dennis Finn of the city Airport Commission; and county Rep. Janet Hurley Quackenbush.
Prior to the groundbreaking, Lou Hager Jr. brings the crowd up to date on plans by the affiliated companies, Northern Eagle Beverage and Hager Hops, to complete the hops-to-tap cycle in Otsego County. Hager is growing hops in Pierstown, processing them in Oneonta, drying them in Milford, then adding them into the brewing process for such Cooperstown Brewing favorites as Old Slugger beer. Seated n the foreground are, from left, Hager’s daughter Alicia and son Lou III, general manager Matt Curley, president George Allen and sales manager Bryan Birdsall. Seated three rows back is Hugh Henderson, a county IDA board member. Standing from left are Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood; Gordon B. Roberts executive Jon Hansen; aides to Senator Seward Doug Cannistra and Jeff Bishop; IDA President Sandy Mathes, COO Elizabeth Horvath and board chair Bob Hanft; Oneonta Mayor Dick Miller; Dennis Finn of the city Airport Commission; and county Rep. Janet Hurley Quackenbush.

REVIEW AUG. 8 ARTICLE ON TOUR OF HAGER HOPS OPERATIONS

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