Spring House – New Brewery is Open!

One of my favorite breweries, now that we live in PA, is Spring House Brewing Company in Lancaster.  They brew a lot of beers that are near and dear to me since I am a dark beer lover…Big Gruesome, Lil’ Gruesome, Kerplunk, Satan’s Bake Sale, Blood Lust…

We’ve been to the downtown Tap Room location many times and have taken family and friends there when they come to visit.  It’s right next to Central Market on King St. and it has the BEST food!  I LOVE the Black Bean Burger Wrap and Tim loves the Red Hot Sausages.  It is a small space so you do tend to have to time it right.

We were excited to hear they were moving their brewery itself from outside of Lancaster city to Lancaster city.  They opened a few weeks ago and we knew that this past weekend we had to check it out!

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The location of the new brewery is on Hazel street.  It’s not really near any of the touristy things or right downtown and honestly that’s ok by us.  It’s nice to have a place to go that you know you don’t have to time right…you can just go.  There is plenty of parking and the old warehouse looks fantastic!  We got there around 3pm on a Saturday and hadn’t had lunch yet so we were excited to have a few beers and check out the new menu.

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The inside is sweet!  Big and open, rustic and historic but functional.  Its hits right on their theme without being too kitschy.  The back half of the old warehouse is the brewery and the front half is the eating and drinking area.  The whole place has an open feel with the upstairs being a catwalk of sorts where it looks like you could hold events and parties.  There is also an outside patio in the front and it looks like there might be more patio space to be developed on the side of the building.  It was too hot outside for anyone to enjoy the outdoor seating on this day but it looks like eventually it might be enough space to double the amount of seating.

The menu is different than the Tap Room but we knew that going in and were excited to find some new favorites.  They also have a raw oyster bar if you are into that.  We sat at the bar, which is pretty big.  We both ordered a beer and a pretzel rope to start.  I’m a sucker for a soft pretzel and this was great with good cheesy dipping sauce…although it’s hard to find a bad one in Lancaster county.  I ordered the Big Gruesome and Tim had the She Monster.

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We also ordered entrees.  I had the Spent Grain burger – a vegetarian option with all the fixings.  Tim ordered the Rubin and somewhere in there we both had another beer.  When they brought out the food they ended up bringing Tim a burger instead of a Rubin.  They were so nice they gave him a beer to help ease the pain of waiting for his order to come out.  Food was great!  Loved the spent grain burger (we like to use our spent grain to make grain bars) and Tim loved the Rubin.

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The staff was hustling and there were a lot of them.  For a Saturday at 3pm, and only being open about a week and a half, the place was also pretty full!  I’m not even sure they are fully open yet…more of a soft open.  There were a few seats around and some shared tables but it was hopping.

One of my favorite things about Spring House is that you can also buy half pints.  So if you don’t really want another full beer you can get a half one!!  Yay!  Especially good for me since my dark beers have a higher alcohol content.  We will be back soon!

 

Hubs Birthday Weekend…

About a week ago was Tim’s 40…*cough … something birthday.  We tend not to make a big deal out of birthday’s and holiday’s but it’s nice to do something special for each other during that time.  So on Saturday we had some errands to run so I decided to surprise him and take him to a Lancaster brewery he’s been dying to try…Wacker Brewing Company.  The story behind this place is pretty cool.  It’s an older brewery dating back to the 1800’s that closed 55 years ago only to reopen a few months ago.  They don’t try to do anything fancy, just make good beer in a cool old warehouse.

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Can you tell which beer was mine?  🙂  We had a few pints, got a soft pretzel and hung out by an open window to enjoy the breeze.  They will start to have live music soon on some week nights, have a dart board area and it’s attached to the Thistle Finch Distillery.  Just a chill place.  As we were settling our tab I also bought Tim a t-shirt.IMG_20150530_174921971

Do check out their website a head of time since they do keep some different hours and as of right now aren’t open on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.
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On Sunday, Tim’s actually birthday, we made plans to meet up with friends in Gettysburg.  It’s a good half way meeting point for us in an area that has tons to do.  We gathered around lunch time at Appalachian Brewing Company and then made our way downtown.  We love Appalachian Brewing and have a location closer to us in Lititz.  The food is always good, beer is good and atmosphere is fun.

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Mount Hope BrewFest

This past weekend we had a great time going to the BrewFest in Mount Hope, Lancaster County.  Friends at work raved about this festival so we decided to join in the fun and get tickets for the second session of the day that went from 4:30pm – 8:30pm.  We’ve been to a few brew fests before and this was by far the best mostly due to the location at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Fair complex just north of Manheim, PA.

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This location was awesome!  Parking was a breeze and since it’s set up more for the Renaissance Fair it was nice and spread out, lots of shade and sitting areas!  We were advised to head to the back of the park first and so that’s what we did and met friends soon after.  So many local breweries were represented and we sampled most in our cool little tasting glasses.  There were lines at the tasting tents but they moved quickly and all the breweries and fest goers were friendly and in great moods.  Another highlight was that food was included with our ticket price.  It wasn’t anything fancy but when you are at a beer fest food is key to soak up all the samples.  There was pizza, soup, buffalo chicken dip, brats, burgers and more all nice and spread out so you would hit different vendors as you walked around.

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Enola Low Grade Rail Trail & Columbia Kettle Works

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What a beautiful weather last weekend!!!  Last Saturday we were deciding how to best spend the day and decided to walk part of the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail and then head into Columbia, Lancaster County to try a new (to us) brewery.  Around 11am we arrived at the rail trail and began our walk.  It’s a great, flat walk along the Susquehanna River with the option to take the Turkey Hill Overlook Trail.  We decided to stay on the flat rail trail which was a 5 mile walk out to Safe Harbor Water Power Plant and a 5 mile walk back.

We were staving after the walk and our feet were starting to take a beating so we were excited to get back to the car to take a short drive to downtown Columbia to check out a brewery that has been on our list since we moved here.  Once at Columbia Kettle Works we both requested water while we thought about our beer selection…the bar tender never let our water glasses empty…we must have looked rough.  I ordered the Coffee Stout for my first beer and Tim had the Dunderhead.  As a huge stout fan I was surprised I liked the Dunderhead better.  I made that my second beer!  We also ate there and I ordered the Four Cheese Panini and we had an order of Hammond’s pretzels also.  Beer was great, food was amazing and the people were so nice!  Wish they had an outdoor eating area but they are only a year old.  I can’t wait to go back!

 

What I’m Loving Today! #4

It’s Good Friday!  So no work for the hubs and I.  It’s finally warmish out but rainy…but I’ll take it!  It should be cleared up later enough to get some quality outside time.  Here is what I’m Loving Today…

1. FAMILY VISITS

We were excited to have a visit this week from my uncle in New York.  He travels a lot for business and happened to be in the area.  He came over Tuesday afternoon and once the hubs got home from work we went out to ‘show him the town’. 🙂  With lots to choose from we decided to head to Lancaster Brewing Company for dinner and drinks.  If you’ve never been here it’s a must if you are in Lancaster County.  It’s a cool old warehouse atmosphere and the food and drinks are always great!  Tuesday night was perfect because it wasn’t as busy as it is on the weekend.  I had the Double Chocolate Milk Stout (which I’ve been excited to try) and the Blackbean Burger.  That burger is SO good and spicy…just the way I like it!  If you are going to have the beer sampler bring a DD…this is what we always did our first few times there…aren’t in-laws great?

beer picAfter dinner we headed to the Spring House Brewery Taproom, downtown Lancaster.  We love this place and continue to be drawn to it.  They have one of my favorite beers, Big Gruesome which is a Chocolate Peanut Butter Stout.  Even better if we can eat there but we didn’t this time.  We all had another beer, chatted and caught up and then headed back to the apartment.  It was a short visit but great to see him!  The main reason we moved back north was to spend more time with family and it’s working!

 2. BEER BREAD

This week I finally made the beer bread mix I bought at a Tastefully Simple party.  I had actually never heard of Tastefully Simple until a coworker told me about it and made this bread!  It is so good and so easy, hence the name.  You buy the bread mix and just add beer, butter and bake.  That’s it.

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For dinner we also made Healthy Crock Pot Jalapeno, Chicken & Sweet Corn Soup from KraftedKoch.  Of course I substituted Quorn Chik’n Tenders for the chicken.  This is the second time we’ve made this and it’s so good every time.

3. CADBURY CREME EGGS

Tis the season!  Easter is almost here and I love Cadbury Creme Eggs!  Growing up we would always get two in our Easter baskets along with other goodies via our church fundraiser from Henry’s candies in Alden, NY.  Usually an invisible ink book too…yeah!  Cadbury Creme Eggs were always a hot commodity for trade in our household and I may or may not have stolen one or two from my parents Easter basket over the years…shhhhh.  Now they are so easy to find and available pretty much all year round because they came out with Halloween ones too.  It definitely makes it a tad less special but none the less I love them and I know when my parents visit next week my mom will bring me a few.

Cadbury Creme Eggs

I think making butter creme eggs at Easter is apparently a thing around Central PA.  I have never heard of people making these before but at work so many people were talking about this tradition and even groups at school were selling them as a fundraiser.  I am assuming it’s similar to a Cadbury Creme Egg but not sure…I was promised a few so I can find out. 🙂

4. SPRING!!!

Yay!  Signs of spring are all around.  April showers bring May flowers and I’ve spotted a few!

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What are your favorite Easter basket memories?

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