Duration: Three days and two nights
If you love beer, then you've got a friend in Pennsylvania. After all, PA is home to the oldest operating brewing company in the United States, not too mention dozens and dozens of independent craft breweries. If you love lagers, pilsners, stouts, porters or all of the above, PA boasts some of the best in the country. Our "Hoppy Trails" journey is just a twist of the cap on the PA beer scene. So, get your friends and pack the car for a 3-day brewery tour worthy of an annual trek.
At the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware Rivers sits the scenic riverside town of Easton, PA, the gateway to Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. Easton is also home to Weyerbacher Brewing Company. Founded in 1995 by Dan and Sue Weirback, this craft brewery specializes in full-bodied and full-flavored beers. It's a perfect place to start on the hoppy trail to PA beer glory. Weyerbacher is well known for its Merry Monks Belgian-Style Golden Ale, a World Beer Cup Bronze Medal Winner in 2010, its fall seasonal Imperial Pumpkin Ale, also a Bronze Medal Winner in 2010 at the Great American Beer Festival. And you can't miss the Blithering Idiot Barleywine-Style Ale. The Idiotstands as a Beer Judge Certification Program benchmark for English Barleywines. It's a must try.
Free tours of Weyerbacher are offered on Saturdays. If you have a big group, call ahead: 610-559-5561 so they know you're coming. Stick around the Visitor Center, sample some brews, and chat with the staff. You can stock your fridge at home with a mixed variety case, complemented by a Weyerbacher growler, pint glass and other souvenirs.Read More >
When your tour is done, you are not done touring. Be sure to take a stroll through downtown Easton, along its Centre Square and the riverfront. Stop for a bite or pint at Pearly Bakers Ale House - they love Weyerbacher, too and serve it on tap with other local and regional favorites. On a Saturday between May and November, you can also check out the Easton Farmer's Market in Centre Square, which boasts as the oldest continously running open-air farmers market in the United States. When you're wrapping up in Easton, more fun and more great PA brews are down the trail.Read More >
Get back on the road and head west into the scenic Lehigh Valley and to the historic and picturesque town of Bethlehem. In addition to great shopping, dining, and sightseeing, try your luck at the new Sands Casino before or after dinner.Read More >
If a day in the park isn't your speed, then rev your engines at at the Maple Grove Raceway. Established by the Stauffer family in 1962, Maple Grove hosts specialized weekly racing events throughout the fall season. The quarter-mile straight racetrack is home to some of the nation’s most hard-core drag racing legends. You’ll feel like you’re doing your own walk of fame as you march down the same track graced by Joe Amato and Shirley Muldowney after they completed the first ever side-by-side dragster race in 1989.Read More >
Yes, of course you'll be eating at another local brewery! Bethlehem Brew Works whips up even more PA favorites in Lehigh Valley, while perfectly capturing the essence of the town's steel-town history. Their signature beers include the Steelworker's Oatmeal Stout, Valley Golden,and Steelgarded Wit. Sample their beer and cheese soup, the "BREW"schetta, and the pulled pork sandwich. Come hungry and thirsty. Leave happy.Read More >
Restored to its original 1922 splendor, Historic Hotel Bethlehem provides a night of world-class service, charming lobby and common areas, and comfortable accommodations. It’s conveniently located in the heart of the historic district of Bethlehem, a happy place to spend your first night on the hoppy trail.Read More >
Well-rested and the car packed-up, it's time to see more of PA. You'll be heading southwest along the scenic Dutch Country Roads to Berks and Lancaster counties and the town of Adamstown, founded 1761. Adamstown is the home of Stoudt's Brewing Company and is your next stop on the hoppy trail. Free tours are offered at 1:00pm on Sundays, so arrive early or stick around for lunch. Stoudt's Black Angus Restaurant & Pub is the perfect place to enjoy Stoudt's brews. Anyone of their flag ship beers including the American Pale Ale and the Scarlet Lady Aleare must-tries and must-take-homes. There is even a bakery and antique shop on site if you want some snacks for the road and souvenirs for the folks back home.Read More >
Stretch your legs and work off the beer calories with a hike at French Creek State Park, home to the wonderfully tranquil Hopewell and Scotts Run Lakes. With 7,730 acres of lush foliage, the park constitutes the largest block of forest between Washington, D.C. and New York City. Spend your afternoon boating, swimming, and hiking, or try your hand at Frisbee Golf—a favorite amongst the locals. Overnight facilities include campgrounds, cottages, yurts and cabins if you can’t get enough of that open air.Read More >
That's Denver, PA, by the way. Grab some dinner there at Zia's, not far from Stoudt's. Their Victorian-style pub and sports bar offers up an eclectic mix of draft brews, not too mention an outdoor deck if the weather permits.Read More >
Hit the road north because a PA brewery tour is not complete without a stop at Yuengling, the oldest operating brewery and the second largest American-owned brewing company in the United States. Nestled in the rolling Appalachian foothills, on a steep grade in the city of Pottsville, the brewery boasts a record of continuous operation since 1829 -- that's five generations of family-run brewing and counting. You may know Yuengling for their signature lager, but as you'll learn on a brewery tour, their legacy is about so much more. Take a tour Monday through Friday at scheduled times. It is, in our proud opinion, one of the best brewery tours in the USA. You'll walk the storied underground caves and hear all about Yuengling's ties to the city and people of Pottsville, not too mention the history of beermaking in America, including the era of Prohibition.
After the tour, take a walk down the hill to experience the main streets of Pottsville. This former coal-mining town was also home to one of the National Football League's most famous franchises, the Pottsville Maroons, who played at a stadium in nearby Minersville. Grab lunch (or dinner) at the Maroons Sports Bar & Grill to learn more about this team and their story.Read More >
A shrine to the Pottsville Maroons and Yuengling brewing, you'll be sure to meet some locals here at Maroons. Try their specialty French Onion Soup and top it off with a famous Crab Cake. And I'm sure you won't forget to try one or two of the many Yuengling beers they have on tap. After all, that's just a "local" beer for Pottsvillians.Read More >
Jerry's Classic Cars and Collectibles Museum
Swing by this throwback establishment for a trip back in time to the 60s. Inspired by a love for cars and rock-n-roll, Jerry's Museum showcases over 200,000 of history's finest automobiles and other collectors items.
Martin Guitar Factory Tour & Museum (Nazareth)
If you're a lover of the handmade, Martin Guitar a worthy detour indeed. Head to Nazareth for a tour the oldest surviving maker of guitars in the world.
Crystal Cave Park
Head to Kutztown to check out one of Pennsylvania's greatest natural wonder. Scale underground trails as you see and touch expansive sheets of glimmery calcium crystals that formed centuries ago.
No. 9 Coal Mine and Museum
Check out the world's oldest continuously operated anthracite coal mine. Guided tours operate year round.