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Friday, April 1, 2011

Birthday Weekend: Part II

Back when we first began visiting Bruce in Lovelton (or Mehoopany, as we typically tell people), I was surprised to find that there is an abundance of wineries nearby, all sprinkled throughout NEPA!  So, each time we travel to Bruce's, we make it a point to visit a few of the wineries.  On the agenda were two we hadn't visited before: Pickering Winery and Antler Ridge Winery.

OK, I know you are probably thinking, "Wait a minute... this is supposed to be a beer blog!"  Well, ever since I began enjoying barrel-aged beers, I have crossed over into the world of dry, oaky red wines.  This is starting to cut into my beer drinking time, but never fear... my drink of choice and true love is undeniably beer!

Our first stop was Pickering Winery, nestled in the heart of the endless mountains in Wysox, PA.  With a penchant for sweet and fruit wines, their list boasted everything from peach and blueberry to an apple spiced wine.  However, I opted for their dry offerings.  I really enjoyed their Pinot Grigio, which was a gateway wine for me into the realm of semi-sweet and dry wines.  I was glad to take home a bottle of this!

Pickering's flagship house wine, FranCat, named after their mascot cat!

Our second stop was Antler Ridge.  While they have three locations throughout the NEPA valley, we visited their main location in Rome.  And when in Rome (even if it is Rome, PA)... one must IMBIBE!

We sampled a variety of their offerings, and I opted for all of their dry varieties.  My favorites were their oak-aged Chardonay and a Chambourcin, and I took home a bottle of each. The Cabernet Franc was on the list, but owner and wine-maker Steve informed me that it wouldn't be ready for about two weeks.  I guess I looked somewhat disappointed, because he offered me a sample right from the barrel, and it was delicious.  I will definitely need to make another trip soon to procure some to bring home (or get Bruce to pick some up for me... wink wink nudge nudge). 

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay too long, because we had to head back to Bruce's for a quick bite to eat, and then hit the old dirt road again to make it to the "jam session" at 6pm.  Still, Antler Ridge left a good impression me (as all of the wineries have in this region), so I'm sure we will return in the not-so-distant future.

Later that evening, Bruce was able to borrow a drum set for me so we could perform with some fellow musicians at a local watering hole (damned if I could remember the name of the place or even the town for that matter... Lake Something or Other, I think)*.  Even though this was little more than a glorified open mic night jam, my duties behind the drum seat awarded me with free beer for the entire night... and that's a good thing, because I'm not sure I would have paid for any of it!  All joking aside, I threw back several Michelob Lager bottles, a Yuengling Lager and a few PBR cans.  I was actually thirsty for Lionshead... yes, LIONSHEAD... but alas they didn't have any, much to my dismay.

Editor's Note: Leave it to Brewslut to remember the name of the place... Beynon's Lake Sheridan Pub in Nicholson, PA!

That's Bruce in the middle and me on drums!
Anyway, we played three sets of music that ran the gamut of classic rock and country... everything from Bob Seger to Buck Owens.  While the drum kit was... well, let's just say that I've played on nicer kits, it was still a fun evening of music and I was glad to share the stage with some fine musicians.  Afterwards, I really wanted to swing by The Tombstone Inn in Lovelton and WOOT it up, but alas I was too tired and had turned into a pumpkin during the 40-minute ride back to Bruce's after the jam session.  Oh well... next time!

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The Pour Travelers thank you for reading about our beer travels!