Growing up in NEPA you learn to love Coors, Miller, and PBR (in an unironic manner). Craft beer wasn’t part of the vocabulary and microbreweries were few and far between. Regional beer was limited to good old Lion’s Head.
Lancaster has a surprising number of small microbreweries and brew pubs. I say surprising, because while I was always aware of their existence, my recent family outing, combined with the beer fest I attended in August in state college has made me more attuned to these establishments. I put together how easy it would be to make a day of this, and set about creating my own beer trail, similar to the wine trails of the Finger Lakes which seemed especially popular this summer (judging from what I saw on Facebook).
I recruited a couple of my buddies this past Saturday, to give it a whirl. The plan was to start at Stoudt’s Brewery in Adamstown, work our way down into Lancaster (where there are three microbreweries), head up to the newly opened Appalachian Brewing Company in Lititz, Bube’s in Mt. Joy, and end at Troegs Tasting room in Hershey, PA.
We made it to four. You should have better luck. My friends are notorious for turning bar crawls into a two bar tour.
In order to hit all 8 locales, you should start at either Stoudt’s or Troegs, on either end of this “trail.” We started at Lancaster Brewing Company simply because it’s directly across the street from my apartment. You can get a sampling tray at LBC for $18.00. It includes a five ounce sample of everything they have on tap. We sampled fourteen beers.
We moved from LBC to the Rumspring Brewery and Mt. Hope Wine Gallery, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. At that point we decided with downpours that day, and the amount we’d had to drink, it’d be smartest to hit only one more out of town location, before heading back into Lancaster and parking the car for the night. We exed out Troegs and Stoudt’s because they are farthest out, and decided to choose between Bube’s and Appalachian Brewing Company. Two of us had been to ABC prior, so decided on Bube’s.
Bube’s was an interesting experience. The building is large, and several different themed restaurants are under the same roof, giving it a vaguely disjointed feeling. One of those themes seemed like some sort of murder mystery. We heard people screaming on our way in and opened the door, thinking in all actuality that it was a haunted house. A woman was screaming at the top of her lungs, a body was on the floor, and a man stood over it with some sort of cage contraption around his head. It was weird.
We ordered from the Bottleworks and had our beers out in their Biergarten, which looks like it’d probably be a cool place to spend the night. I like that at Bube’s several “regular” beers are also on tap/available in bottles for patrons to chose from.
We ended at Spring House Tap room in downtown Lancaster for a few drinks and food (excellent wings, and I’m told excellent Mac n cheese) before ditching the whole “brewpub” theme and barhopping for the rest of the night, which was good. I was jonesing to tap the rockies.
For those of you who plan better than we do: here’s the locations of the Lancaster County brewpubs, in the order I’d do them in (I’m starting from the east..if you want to start in the west, just reverse the order).
LANCASTER COUNTY BREWERY TOUR ITINERARY:
2800 N Reading Rd, Reinholds, PA 17569
Mt. Hope Wine Gallery and Rumspringa Brewing Company:
3174 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand, PA 17505-9727
Lancaster Brewing Company:
302 N Plum St, Lancaster, PA 17602
Spring House Tap Room:
25 W King St, Lancaster, PA 17603
Iron Hill Brewery:
601 Harrisburg Ave, Lancaster, PA 17603
Appalachian Brewing Company:
310 Primrose Ave, Lancaster PA 17603
102 North Market Street – Mount Joy, PA 17552
200 E Hershey Park Dr, Hershey, PA 17033