COOPERSTOWN, NY – A limited-edition, opera-inspired beer is now available thanks to a collaboration between Brewery Ommegang and The Glimmerglass Festival, both of Cooperstown, New York.
Last summer, opera fans participated in a contest to name and describe a brew based on their appreciation for opera. Jayson Kennedy supplied the winning description, suggesting a subtle opening, a passionate middle, and a gentle, lingering final note. Crescendo Ale was born. Brewed with spices, this Belgian-style saison includes grains of paradise, a rare African spice; coriander; lemon peel and white pepper. The flavor and aroma maintain a subtle balance between malty sweetness, spicy complexity, and hoppy bitterness. The beer is a transparent golden-amber, with slight cloudiness and a substantial creamy white head.
French for "season," saisons were traditionally brewed in winter for consumption that summer. Often produced by farmstead breweries, saisons are considered rustic, despite the complexity and sophistication of their brewing process. Crescendo Ale's seasonal roots parallel Glimmerglass's role as a summer festival, which produces world-renowned opera each July and August.
"Opera and beer have a long and colorful history, with many drinking arias and choruses," said Francesca Zambello, Glimmerglass Festival Artistic & General Director. "Brewery Ommegang is a real gem of the area. I'm proud that our organizations could work in tandem to create this special brew."
Located on a 140-acre former hop farm in Cooperstown, Brewery Ommegang is the first farmstead brewery built in America in more than a century. Its beers are thoroughly Belgian, and the facility uses Belgian brewing techniques such as open fermentation and warm cellaring to create the company's widely renowned flavors.
Belgium and opera have strong historical ties. In 1830, the patriotic and nationalistic themes of Daniel Auber's La muette de Portici sparked riots that led to the Belgian Revolution and Belgian independence.
"Considering all the connections between Ommegang and Glimmerglass, it was an easy decision, and a pleasure and delight, for us to collaborate on this limited-edition beer," said Simon Thorpe, President and CEO of Ommegang. "And the ale itself turned out great."
Crescendo Ale will be available on tap at the Alice Busch Opera Theater throughout the Glimmerglass Festival's 2012 Season, which runs through August 25 with productions of Verdi's Aida, Willson's The Music Man, Lully's Armide and Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill's Lost in the Stars. The beer will also be available in souvenir bottles at Brewery Ommegang. Jayson Kennedy's winning description can be found on the Glimmerglass website at www.glimmerglass.org, along with other top entries.