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April 3, 2014

Northern eagle buys Cooperstown Brewery

 An Oneonta beverage distributor is expanding into production with the purchase of a local brewery.

Northern Eagle Beverages Inc. of Oneonta on Tuesday bought the Cooperstown Brewing Co., LLC, for an undisclosed, all-cash sum, said George Allen, president of the privately-held beverage distribution firm. The purchase has been under discussion since late last year, he said, and is part of an expansion and relocation plan.

Cooperstown Brewing Co., at 110 River St. in Milford, was founded in 1994, by Stanley Hall, and was purchased in 2011 by Chuck Williamson, owner of Butternuts Beer and Ale in Garrattsville, a media release said.

The Milford brewery has been shut down and without employees since last autumn, Allen said, and about five employees will be hired for the brewery with plans to re-open for tastings in May.

The purchase includes the Cooperstown Brewing Co.’s property, recipes and brands, including top-seller Old Slugger, Benchwarmer Porter, Back Yard IPA, Pride of Milford and Nine Man Ale, the release said.

Allen said Cooperstown Brewing Co. has had “a great portfolio of hand-crafted beers.” Unique to the company is a recipe using a strain of 150-year-old Ringwood Yeast created by Shipyard Brewing founder Alan Pugsley, the release said, and the new owners plan to return to the original recipe developed by Hall and modified by Williamson.

“When consumers try an Old Slugger in the coming months, they will be pleasantly surprised,” Allen said. “It will taste just like the popular Old Slugger brewed 20 years ago.”

Northern Eagle Beverages, located on 7 Railroad Ave. in Oneonta, is a wholesale beverages distributor serving Chenango, Otsego and Delaware counties.

Louis B. Hager Jr., Northern Eagle chairman, founded the firm in 1986, and in 2010, the company was named a NBT Distinguished Business by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

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