The Phillies. The Penguins. The Steelers. The Nittany Lions.
What better place to start than Stoudt’s Brewing Co., Pennsylvania’s first modern-day microbrewery?
They’re all champions this year, and they’re all from Pennsylvania. Sports fans have had a lot to celebrate in the Keystone State. Fortunately, they have plenty of beer to do it with.
Pennsylvania has a rich brewing history dating back to colonial times. Our Founding Fathers downed a pot of ale at pubs like the Indian Queen, the City Tavern and the Tun Tavern as they debated the document that formed our new nation. Later, German immigrants brought a love of lager across the Atlantic.
In past issues, we’ve taken you to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but what about that long stretch in between? It’s not just highways, gas stations and fast food. A short detour off the four-lane will lead you to great craft beer and some interesting places to drink it in. So come on, grab your beer traveler’s notebook and let’s start tasting.
What better place to start than Stoudt’s Brewing Co., Pennsylvania’s first modern-day microbrewery? It’s located on State Route 272 in Adamstown, a tad west and north of Philadelphia. In the 1980s, Carol and Ed Stoudt wanted to add another dimension to their growing restaurant business. After attending a brewers’ conference in Portland, where they met craft brew evangelists, the pair were hooked.
Carol has since become one of America’s first female brewers. Stoudt’s ranks as one of the top award winners at the Great American Beer Festival, and with good reason. They brew both lagers and ales, and both are solid. The pilsner, which Carol says took over two and a half years to get the recipe the way she wanted it, is one of the best you’ll find anywhere.
More than a restaurant and a brewery, “Stoudtburg” is an enormous complex that also includes a bakery; a beer garden, where numerous beer festivals are held; and a 70,000 square foot antiques mall. How popular is this place? Just look at all the out-of-state cars in the parking lots. Don’t worry—the locals come too. It’s the kind of place where you stop in for a beer and windup spending a lazy afternoon.
You can take Ed’s free brewery tour on Saturday or Sunday. Or, if you just drop into the Victorian-decorated restaurant filled with breweriana, the staff will happily acquaint you with what’s on tap. If you’re into political memorabilia, check out the small room off the bar, which is decorated with portraits of nineteenth century presidents. We sat beneath Rutherford B. Hayes who, ironically, didn’t drink.