The Cooperstown area had a significant impact on American Brewing. It started with the introduction of hop farming which flourished here until the end of the 19th century. Back then, Otsego and the surrounding counties produced most of the hops grown in the United States.
Traveling through the upper Susquehanna Valley towards Cooperstown in July 1898, a visitor would have enjoyed the view of hop farms with those beautiful hop vines reaching toward the midsummer sky. Grandfather Eckler ws a hop farmer and he used to say, "The hop was King in those days!" His hop farm was in Westville, NY only three miles up the Cherry Valley from where our Brewery is now located. When it came time for the hops to be harvested, Grandma Eckler would "put up" a dozen people from "the City' and they would pick the hops for their room and board and a "vacation" in the country. My mother, Cynthia Eckler Hall, said she always loved it when the hop pickers came to the farm. Everyone had a lot of fun during the harvest. When the blight devastated his crop in the early 1900's, grandfather turned to dairy farming.
Settled by Englishmen in the early 1800's, Cooperstown once had two English-style breweries in town. Following that tradition, the Cooperstown Brewing Company was founded in 1994. We brew premium ales, porters, and stouts using the finest two-row English barley malts, West Coast hops and the English Ringwood Yeast.
Grandpa would be pleased if he could see the Brewery. We have hops growing here that survived the devastating blight to New York hop farming and those hops grown here are used to finish our Back Yard India Pale Ale.