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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Leisurely Saturday Brewpubbing

This past Saturday was a rare day off for me from my hectic band schedule, so brewslut and I decided to head north to visit a few brewpubs before taking my mom out for an early Mother's Day dinner at Ghezzi's, just outside my hometown of Shamokin, PA in nearby Paxinos.  (Not much of a beer menu, by the way, but they have a great wine list and some solid food.)  We had wanted to take her to The Inn at Turkey Hill in Bloomsburg, but with Bloomsburg University's graduation, they were all booked up.  I was also anxious to check out the new brewpub at Turkey Hill, but alas it would have to wait until another time. 

Our first stop was our favorite, Selin's Grove, where we had a quick lunch and a beer.  I said to brewslut when we were leaving that it was probably our quickest visit to SGB ever.  I think we were there for about 45 minutes!  I opted for the BYO (Build Your Own) Sandwich, which turned out to be a hummus wrap with an assortment of veggies.  They also make some amazing soups, and this week was no exception - a Thai spiced coconut milk soup with Asian veggies and shrimp.  Yum!  Brewslut got her usual vegetarian chili and curry chicken salad salad.  No, I didn't stutter... it's a chicken salad SALAD.  Surprisingly, the tap selection was a little less than stellar during this particular visit, although the IPA was on, so I was happy.  Brewslut got the Snake Drive Stout, which is a dry Irish stout with a bold, robust roasty flavor.  We landed at an odd time, so were were able to get a seat at the coveted bar area, which has been a challenge on most of our recent visits, as this places seems to get busier with each visit.  Bobbi, our waitress, indicated that a Bourbon Barrel Aged Brown Ale would be coming on the hand pump very soon, perhaps as early as Wednesday, May 11th.  Looks like another trip is in order, especially since we missed out on the Owen's Russian Imperial Stout event last Friday, much to my disappointment.

Our next stop was River House, just across the river between Lewistown and Milton.  During our first visit there a few months back, I really enjoyed the Vanilla Latte Stout.  This time around, they didn't have it on, but they did have several other seasonals and rotating taps that were not on last time, including Nitro Blaster IPA (a nitro dispensed IPA) and a new pale ale called Hopscape.  I had both aforementioned beers as well as the Buggytown Red (an Irish Red), which I shared with brewslut.  She also opted for the Canal Porter.  We had a pleasant conversation with Ron, the bartender, and he informed me of a possible beer and music festival to be held in late July or early August.  I gave him a laundry list of band contact info for my various musical endeavors.  You can check out my reviews for these and other River House brews on my BA profile.  Click below for reviews of the beers I sampled on this particular visit.

Nitro Blaster IPA
Hopscale Pale Ale
Buggytown Red

We had wanted to hit Marley's and the brand new Inn at Turkey Hill as well, but we discovered that Bloomsburg University's graduation was happening, so we decided to avoid the crowds of parents and recent grads likely heading to both places in droves to celebrate their entrance into the real world.  We had planned on visiting Berwick Brewing Co. as well, but decided the drive was too far to make it back to Shamokin in time for dinner.

So, we made the short drive from Lewisburg to Danville and stopped in to Old Forge Brewing Co. for a quick "beer and a half".  Located right downtown on Mill Street, Old Forge is a relatively small brewpub that really packs a lot into a small space.  With that said, they do have an upstairs seating area and bar as well as an outside patio area (also upstairs) for additional seating.  I really like the decor at Old Forge.  Everything from their mug club mugs and serve ware to their tap handles were crafted by local artisans, giving the atmosphere a very local, DIY vibe.  I thought the carousel mug club display attached to the main bar was really unique and well-done.

During our hour-long visit, I enjoyed a goblet of Slightly Rood, a Belgian-style pale ale, as well as my favorite beer on their roster, Slack Tub Stout, which I shared with brewslut.  The Slack Tub is worth a visit to Old Forge alone.  It's not a monster Imperial Stout or anything like that.  Instead, it's a nice, low ABV dry Irish stout with a flavorful roasty malt character and touch of hop bitterness.  Their Petey's Porter is also solid, although it wasn't on tap during our visit.  Check out some of my reviews of Old Forge's beers below.

Slightly Rood (from this visit)
Slack Tub Stout (from a past visit)

Stay tuned for next episode, which will include a recap of recent trips to Elk Creek Cafe & Aleworks, Turkey Hill Brewpub & Grille and much more!

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