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Importer to build micro in NY state.

The importer Vanberg & DeWulf, known for its line of Belgian import brands, will build a Belgian-style specialty brewery in Cooperstown, NY, this winter. The first beers are expected to be ready by late spring 1997.

Wendy Littlefield and Don Feinberg, co-owners of Vanberg & DeWulf, said the new plant would be "a farmstead brewery for the production of traditional Belgian beers in America." Proprietors of two independent Belgian breweries will be partners in the venture: Michel Moortgat, president of the Moortgat Brewery (brewers of Duvel) and Theo Vervloet, brewer at DeSmedt (brewer of Affligem). Ben Gevaert, an independent brewing consultant and former managing director of Moortgat, is also a partner.

The partnership has retained a Belgian brewer who is a graduate of Louvain's Institute of Brewing Studies. He will arrive this winter and begin brewing immediately. Littlefield and Feinberg said that all the beers produced at the Cooperstown brewery will be bottle-conditioned in the Belgian manner.

Littlefield noted that the siting of the new brewery at Cooperstown is particularly appropriate. "The area has both a hops history and a Belgic connection," she said. "Otsego County was the center of hops growing in America between 1835 and 1880, and the Belgic connection dates from 1614, when a navigator named Kleynties on Henry Hudson's Dutch East India Company expedition mapped Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna River for the first time."

Little field reported that the brewery building is located on the site of an old hop farm, and borders the Susquehanna River. She said that hop yards and kilns were once so plentiful in the area that it was known as "Hop City." She said that the building that houses the brewery has been constructed "in a manner consistent with farmstead brewery architectural traditions" and will "recall Belgian farmhouse breweries of the last century."
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Title Annotation:Vanberg & DeWulf microbrewery
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Sep 23, 1996
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