And now a word from Traveler‘s production manager and resident beer connoisseur, David Burneston, who’s just back from the 16th annual Great Eastern Invitational Microbrewery Festival, hosted by Stoudts Brewing Company in Adamstown, Pennsylvania:
“Every year Stoudts invites a dozen or so other microbreweries to come together and show off their craft beers to a bunch of beer geeks. This has become an annual event for me, my brother-in-law John, his two brothers Jeff and Jerry, and our longtime friend Al. We’ve been going to the festival for ten years now, sampling some of the best beers I’ve ever tasted. And now a second generation has joined us: John’s son Paul, whom we quickly introduced to the art of tasting—not just drinking. We do drink our share though.
With taste glass in hand and a list of breweries ranging from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery of Milton, Delaware, to Magic Hat Brewing Co. of S. Burlington, Vermont, we ambled through the hall trying the stouts, lagers, bocks, IPAs (India Pale Ales), and pilsners, with names like Belgian Freeze, Loose Cannon, Circus Boy, Mai-Bock, and HopDevil. The brews tasted even better paired with the dinner served at the fest—’The Best of the Wurst’—which featured authentic German sausages, cabbage, sauerkraut, potato salad, and homemade beer bread.”
We were intrigued by the idea of beer bread, so we made a call to Stoudts to learn a bit more. Ed Stoudt’s daughter, Carey Matson, was happy to share her knowledge:
“The bread thing is kind of funny. In my Dad’s brewery tour
(Saturdays 3 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m.) he says that ‘after ten years of being in the beer business, I came to the conclusion that you cannot survive on beer alone,’ so he started making bread. Beer bread is the signature bread of Eddie’s Bread which we have been baking for the restaurant, pub, festivals, and the public for ten years.”
Besides beer, Burneston notes, “Adamstown is known for its antiques.
There are hundreds of vendors within just a few miles. The town is located in Pennsylvania Dutch country and you often see Amish driving their horse-drawn buggies. A lot of stores have places for the horses to be hitched while their owners shop.”
- Nat Geo Expeditions
But for those beer lovers who want to skip the antiques and run along to the next tasting, check out New York City’s Brewtopia: The Great World Beer Festival, which will take place this weekend at Pier 92 on West 52nd Street. The festival, which is one of the world’s largest beer marketing events, will showcase breweries from around the world, and a portion of the event’s proceeds will go to “Hope for a Cure“—a foundation dedicated to developing a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Tickets for the festival range from $40 to $50, which grants you unlimited beer samplings (within reason, of course!).
Photo: Carey Matson