I was really bummed about the prospect of this threat to one of my favorite breweries coming to pass:
A well-known brewery in the Cooperstown area says that fracking may force it to relocate or fold. Brewery Ommegang lays out its case in a friend of the court brief, which it submitted in support of a Town of Middlefield zoning law. That law bans heavy industry, including gas and oil drilling, according to the Oneonta Daily Star. Approximately 50 percent of the land next to brewery property has been leased by drilling companies. The property owner, Cooperstown Holstein, is suing to overturn the Middlefield ordinance and has asked a judge to reject the brief. Middlefield is located in prime Marcellus Shale country.
Last November, the story same out that Ommegang was seriously concerned that the practice of hydro fracking was a risk to their water supply. There isn't anything on the brewery's website as the news there seems not to have been updated since 2008. But for me, it's up there with the chance that the natural gas exploration technique could trigger earthquakes.
Ommegang is participating in public outreach on the issue including a community forum this Saturday. They are also actively involved in the political debate. Which makes me like them all the more as they are doing more than issuing a threat. I have written a lot about how peace is good for good beer and a precondition for brewing the best stuff. Maybe we need to say the same about a healthy environment.