Brewery of the Month:
Our featured brewery for the month of November is Brewery Ommegang! We would like to thank Doug Campbell, President of Brewery Ommegang, for taking the time to talk to us about the brewery!
Talk about the history of the brewery?: The brewery was opened in 1997 by husband and wife team Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield. Prior to Ommegang, the couple were the owners of an import company. They started the brewery during the first craft beer boom of the 1990’s and saw that not many craft breweries were focusing all that much on Belgian-style beers. The only breweries that had any real focus on those styles at the time were Allagash and New Belgium They wanted to carve out their own niche. The first beer we ever brewed was a Trappist–style ale called Abbey Ale- a Trappist-inspired dubbel which we still brew today!
Where does the name “Ommegang” come from?: The name “Ommegang” comes from a sort of Mardis Gras-like festival in Brussels that dates back to the 16th century where the citizens welcomed the Holy Roman Emperor to the city. Literally translated, the name means "to walk together."
Talk about your partnership with Duvel Moortgat: The Moortgat family, who owns Duvel in Belgium, has partnerships with a small portfolio of breweries. The breweries that they choose to partner with have a strong emphasis on high quality beers, and Duvel gives these breweries carte blanche with the beers they decide to make. In the U.S., Duvel has partnered with Firestone Walker, Boulevard, and Brewery Ommegang.
Do you have a philosophy behind the beers you brew?: Our goal is to always brew beers that have both a unique appearance and flavor. We pride ourselves on beers that are well crafted and unique, but still balanced at the same time. At the end of the day, beer is a social beverage that is meant to be enjoyed with a group of people over good food- and we wanted to brew beer that captures that.
Talk about the Game of Thrones Beer Series: Our partnership with Game of Thrones started during season 2. HBO approached us saying that they wanted us to create a high end line of beers that paired and fit well with the Westeros vibe. Essentially they wanted the beers to relate to certain characters and events that took place on the show. The beers that we have come up with aren’t necessarily in line with the beers we usually put out there, but it’s still a lot of fun! It was a really exciting opportunity for us because we loved the show and thought of it as a sort of “drinkable thought experiment.”
Do you have any plans for fun/cool beers in the future: Funny you should ask that! Just this year we have started Blenderie Ommegang. The basic concept is that we will use our own beers, as well as beers from our sister breweries (Liefmans, Firestone Walker, and Boulevard) to create delicious blended beers! For the short term, this is still kind of an experimental project, but I see this accelerating in the future. The first beers that we have done in this program have been blended sour beers, but we are not limiting ourselves to sour beers. Keep your eyes open!
Thanks again to Doug for the interview! You can currently find three of Brewery Ommegang's Game of Throne beers on tap at the Malted Barley in Providence. But don't wait, supplies are limited!