Saturday, August 9, 2008

Appalachian Brewing Company ~ Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

We had a wonderful day of touring the Amish Country of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, including driving through a couple of interesting covered bridges. Multiple times we passed the horse and buggies, with the whole Amish family in authentic 1800s attire. The anachronism is striking. Mrs. RJG was so impressed with their seemingly peaceful nature, that she said she wanted to become an Amish woman. Mr. RJG quickly stated "you'll have to give up your jewelry". And that was the end of that.

We stayed in the cute town of Manheim, but had planned to head to the state capital of Harrisburg for dinner, which is about a 30-40 drive from Manheim. No problems here since we have Hertz's NeverLost - right? Our first experience with the NeverLost system was some six years ago traveling through the Midwest, and was a near disaster. We dubbed it AlwaysLost and NeverSafe. The damn GPS system had a knack for dropping us in the 'hood and couldn't figure a way out of it. You haven't lived until you've driven through the inner ghettos of Detroit... No need to ever get a thrill at Disneyland again.

But the system seemed to have improved immensely, deftly navigating the streets of Philadelphia as well as the Amish countryside. Then came Harrisburg. "Freeway exit on your right". We're back in the 'hood. Now there's nothing wrong with that per se, but it said we were only 0.4 miles from our destination. Then 0.3 miles. A few boarded up old storefronts, a couple of open liquor stores, a Western Union - all 3 establishments complete with iron windows. Lots of people on the street and none too happy about it either. 0.2 miles. Mrs. Jose says "here we go again". 0.1 miles "right turn ahead". All we see is boarded up places. "You have arrived". And, sure enough, there it was - the Appalachian Brewing Company, right on the edge of an industrial district and the 'hood. Had a gated parking lot with security and looked to be a nice place. So we ventured in.

The Appalachian Brewing Company holds up the high standard that the name Brewpub has come to represent. I went for the Purist Pale Ale while Mrs. RJG attacked the Mountain Lager. We quickly guzzled our first beer even before we'd ordered. She went for another lager and I tried the Susquehanna Stout, which was served room temperature as it would be in the Isles, though I admit to preferring the non traditional ice cold variety. Strange as it may sound, but many of the brewpubs I've visited have mediocre suds. Not the case at the ABC - these were excellent. For dinner, Mrs. RJG had one of the specials, a seafood wrap, which she enjoyed immensely. I had the stromboli, an excellent choice for pub fare.

The Appalachian Brewing Company also has brewpub locations in Gettysburg and Camp Hill.

Website: http://www.abcbrew.com/

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