On September 5, 2018, we held a press event with Brewery Ommegang to announce the launch of our newest collaboration, Goat Milk Stout. Team Beekman hustled to turn the URBAN CO-WORKS space where we work into a mini harvest celebration. And by hustle, we mean it. Banners were hung with care, tablecloths were steamed to perfection, and it was all set up and ready to go in just under two hours. For décor, we made sure we had plenty of fall elements (it’s not a harvest celebration without a few bales of straw and some perfectly-placed pumpkins.)
Our team also used our previous collaborations with Brewery Ommegang, like our trio of beer jellies, to decorate our tablescape. Now if you had told us that full jars of jelly would make for great décor, we would shoo you away with some of our old copies of Martha Stewart Living. But the deep amber hues of the jelly were perfect to complement to our burlap-esque tablecloths. Another fun item included on our tables were coasters from the “Belgium Comes to Cooperstown” event (more on that later.) From a productive work area to rustic harvest party in under two hours— our team knocked it out of the park.
The scene was perfect to showcase this new venture— something we consider to be one of the bounties of this year’s harvest and the culmination of a lot of hard work and planning. But to understand how this event came to be, we have to go back to the beginning of what has become a wonderful partnership between two hard-working companies.
If you haven’t been a Beekman Neighbor for very long, you may not know about the 24-hour holiday marathon we have every year in December. Someone (us) had a crazy idea to stay awake for 24 hours during the last shipping day for the Mercantile and livestream the whole thing. During our 2017 marathon, Doug Campbell, the president of Brewery Ommegang, came on and we couldn’t help but pitch some beer ideas. We, running on no sleep, coffee, and a few handfuls of goat poop, thought this sounded like a great idea. Luckily, Doug understood our sleep-deprived ramblings and agreed.
Team Beekman took the idea and ran with it. We decided to come up with two different recipes— Goat Milk Stout and Pail Ale — and have our favorite taste-testers (our wonderful Beekman Neighbors) help us decide which would be the winning recipe. At this year’s Garden Party, we held our first taste test of our final two recipes, Goat Milk Stout and Pail Ale.
We also decided to kick up the collaboration up a couple of notches (because if you’re going to commit to one project, why not commit to three or four more?) So while our Brewery Ommegang was tweaking recipes and Team Beekman was creating labels, our Almanac team followed us around while Brewmaster Phil Leinhart taught us how our beer was made (to see more of this, check out “The Art of the Brew” in our Summer 2018 Almanac). Fun fact, Phil is related to Sunny Leinhart, one of our artisans.
While this was going on, we brought more Beekman to Ommegang. During Ommegang’s summer concert series, we set up our “Rare-bits” grilled cheese station. Using locally-made Heidelberg bread, our goat cheese and beer jellies, we fed the crowds grilled cheese sandwiches while they enjoyed live music on the beautiful grounds of the brewery. We also provided VIP bags with lots of Beekman goodies and plenty of amenity kits for concert goers to camped on the grounds.
This summer, our events team worked with Ommegang on their “Belgium Comes to Cooperstown” event. This annual event combines camping, rare Belgian beers and great food to create a unique experience for over 3,000 visitors. We joined Ommegang to create a special five-course, VIP dinner with decor inspired by our latest cookbook, A Seat at the Table. Our awesome events team created the perfect space under the large tent. Running up each tentpole were a variety of antique chairs, while vintage light fixtures hung down from the ceiling.
We also had a special tasting at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer and Food Experience. After counting all the tallies (no hanging chads here), our Neighbors overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Goat Milk Stout.
When it was finally time to start bottling the winning recipe, our team was able to visit Brewery Ommegang to see the final result.
All that hard work, planning, and working together lead to our press event on September 5th. We invited some friends, we got to taste the fruits of the harvest, we got to turn our workspace into a party space. We couldn’t ask for more.
And now all of our Neighbors can experience the benefits of two great teams working together. Goat Milk Stout will be available in 12 oz-four packs and on draft for a limited time this fall (check out Brewery Ommegang’s website to learn more.) If you plan to attend this year’s Harvest Fest, don’t miss out on our Brewery Ommegang Beer Garden, where we’ll be serving up plenty of samples during our first public launch.
We’ve been farmers for a while, but we’re still stunned about what can be harvested after planting a few seeds of inspiration. Whenever we have a glass of Goat Milk Stout, we will always be toasting to the benefits of being neighborly and the great things that come from a little hard work. Cheers.