COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK
One mile north of Ommegang in a large wood-sided farmhouse, RED SHED BREWERY expanded beyond its original Cherry Valley taproom to this larger facility in 2017 (and opened a cozy English-styled pub with cask ales in Cherry Valley during 2022).
With three locations, Red Shed’s homemade small batch brews trend towards the conservative side but each conventional offering proved to be a stylistic delight.
A rustic barnyard setting gets reinforced by the reclaimed wood left wall, block wood rafters, black support beams and cement floor. Red Shed’s insignia above the dual draught boards and menu shines like a beacon. The 12-seat lacquered wood bar services two stooled community tables and a few seated tables.
A right side picnic-tabled outdoor beer garden (with bulbed Edison lights) adds further seating. During my January ’23 Friday afternoon trip, I downed all fifteen varied draughts.
Red Shed staple, Otsego Golden Ale, lathered creamed corn sweetness and citric hop spicing atop raw-honeyed pilsner malts.
Dryly barley-hopped marzen, Oktoberfest, brought light cellared fungi to raw-honeyed fig over toasted brown breading.
Orange-oiled lemon tartness gained grassy hop herbage for Kingfischer Kolsch, using dryer pilsner malts than usual.
A bit richer stylistically, Valley Fog Hefeweizen unleashed sweet banana-clove essence, tart apple crisping and confectionery powdered sugaring upon its sturdy honeyed wheat base.
Candi-sugared plum, fig and date sweetened Barn Owl Doppelbock, soaked up by molasses breading.
Probably the most eccentric beer in this sitting, brettanomyces-soured ‘horse-blanketed barnyard funk’ and minty juniper tips gave dry Nordic farmhouse ale, Treebeerd, an offbeat profile endorsed by its tannic green grape, tart green apple and hard cider subsidiaries.
Tidy hazy pale ale, Hop Harvest, retained lightly embittered IPA-derived orange-peeled grapefruit zesting and ripe apple-pear sweetness for floral-spiced pale malting.
Caramelized rye engaged Jessica’s Red Ale, relegating its tobacco-leafed amber graining and subtle red-orange fruiting.
Best-selling Cloudy Girl Hazy NEIPA let lemony mango-papaya zesting and peachy pineapple tanginess spread across buttery pale malts for overall summery tropicalia.
Dry floral perfumed earthiness contrasted biscuity Golden Promise malts for Hay Hooked, a moderate English-styled IPA.
Another English brew, Shepherds Hollow Pub Bitter stayed dry as lightly creamed pale malting and peaty earthiness laid low.
Dark candi-sugared date and fig sweetened Bruin Belgian Brown Ale, leaving glazed hazelnut, molasses and allspice to contrast bark-dried peppercorn dryness.
Traditional English Brown Ale, Geordie Boy, relinquished walnut, chestnut and hazelnut tones plus mild floral herbage for its buttered biscuity bottom.
Cherrywood-smoked dark chocolate regaled Cherry Valley Smoked Porter, leaving lightly creamed coffee tones on the mildly cedar-seared backend.
Nitro-injected Irish dry stout, The Bogside, retained coffee-roasted espresso tones, dark cocoa bittering and pureed black cherry snips.