After breakfast on Saturday morning, we made a brief stop at the Union County Sportsmen's Club, a place I'd absolutely loved visiting when I was a kid. You can stroll around the grounds and enjoy an abundance of PA wildlife, including black bear (in hibernation this time of year, unfortunately), bobcats, deer, and a variety of birds such as peacocks, grouse, turkeys and more. You can even feed the huge trout by purchasing fish food for a quarter at one of the vending machines. This was just as fun to do at age thirty-seven as it was at age six! After a fun half an hour or so, we got back in the car and made our way to Millheim for lunch at Elk Creek Aleworks.
Elk Creek is definitely near the top of my list for favorite brewpubs in PA, not only for the fine beer but also for the fantastic food. We try to make it a point to stop in during lunch, when they typically have a nice selection of specials, including soups, salads and sandwiches. I opted for a pint of the Anniversary Ale, brewed in celebration of Elk Creek's fourth anniversary. Brewslut returned to her perennial favorite - the Poe Paddy Porter. We recalled our first visit to the brewpub, only weeks after Elk Creek opened its doors. After that initial visit, I knew the place had tons of potential. For lunch, we both enjoyed one of the specials - a delicious black bean burrito with guacamole, cheese and tomatillo salsa and a side of their house-made chips. It is always a treat to visit Elk Creek, and I look forward to each visit with much enthusiasm because unfortunately we don't get there as often as we'd like.
|I'm hungry looking at this!|
We arrived a little after 5pm, which proved a good omen, because they are closed between 2:30pm and 5pm between lunch and dinner. The greeter was just unlocking the door when we arrived. Needless to say, we obtained seating at the bar with ease, as only two other people were waiting to get in when we arrived. Overall, the pub section has a very colonial feel, with lots of exposed brick and stone, small tables and earthy decor. The bar was broken into two separate sections, and we chose to sit near the back of the establishment. After a half hour or so, the place started to fill up, and we actually had a great conversation with a young, relatively new craft beer convert who was new to the Bellefonte area, and also visiting Gamble Mill for the first time. We talked about our beer travels and our mutual love for West Coast IPAs. Our bartender was friendly and chatty as well. All in all, it was a pleasant inaugural visit to Gamble Mill.
|Inside Gamble Mill's dining room.|
On Sunday after an experimental pancake breakfast, we lounged around at the chalet for a bit, then headed back for a second visit to Selin's Grove, making a weekend Selin's Grove sandwich, I suppose. Brewslut and I enjoyed a good old-fashioned game of Scrabble over a few beers. I had to go with the Barrel-aged Wee Heavy again, because it was just so damn good on Friday night. In addition, I also had a Priestley Pale Ale on cask, which was delicious.
While there isn't much deviation from visit to visit, we enjoy getting away for the weekend at the chalet, where the fireplace is warm and there is always good beer nearby.