Northern Eagle has 36 employees, Allen said, and the acquisition is the company’s first venture into brewing.
“We thought it would be a nice fit,” he said. Northern Eagle already has been processing hops, he said, and plans are to increase those operations with a focus on local ingredients.
“Recognizing the movement toward local products and ingredients, we believe this purchase will help promote the Cooperstown and Otsego County chambers’ ‘Think Local First’ campaign,” Allen said. “Our goal is to offer a brand like Old Slugger, crafted with Otsego County hops, honoring the history of the area.”
The Milford brewery has a tasting room and will offer tours of its Peter Austin Brewing System, which features a brick brewing kettle, the release said. Summer hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday will start Memorial Day and end Labor Day.
The Cooperstown Brewing Co. is a member of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Association.
Bill Michaels, president of the Cooperstown Beverage Trail Association and co-owner of the Fly Creek Cider Mill, said the investment and brand development planned by Northern Eagle Beverages will increase public awareness of the trail and its businesses.
“We are very excited about today’s news and welcome the exciting changes,” Michaels said in the release.
Northern Eagle’s plans under development for the next 10 or 20 years follow business growth in recent years, Allen said.
Northern Eagle Beverages has purchased 11 acres on Browne Street in the town of Oneonta, Allen said, and the company plans to relocate the Oneonta and Milford operations to that site, with a ground-breaking possible this year. Plans include building a 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot building to accommodate hops processing, brewing and distribution operations, he said.
The existing facility on Railroad Avenue, which is about 43,000 square-feet, would be placed on the market for sale, Allen said, and the later fate of the Milford site isn’t known.