To coincide with Saturday’s State College Brew Expo, we’ve compiled information about the five brewpubs in Centre County. Bottoms up!
Elk Creek Cafe + Aleworks
Address: 100 W. Main St., Millheim
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Proprietor: Tim Bowser
Brewmaster: Tim Yarrington
Chef: Andy Rose
Open since: 2007
Always on tap: Brookie Brown Ale, Double Rainbow IPA, Elk Creek Copper Ale, Great Blue Heron Pale Ale, Poe Paddy Porter and Winkleblink Ale
Now pouring: Gyre n Gambol Golden Ale, Hairy John’s IPA (22-ounce bottles) and Summer Session Ale
Top seller: Elk Creek Copper Ale
Food favorites: Hand-tossed pizza using local meats, veggies and herbs
Fun fact: Limited small batches of 22-ounce bottles are released four or five times a year, including Hairy John’s IPA (now available), Little Village MFA and Tail Dragger Imperial Stout. A fest-style lager will be released in conjunction with the second annual Oktoberfest on Oct. 11.
Description: Elk Creek Cafe bills itself as “a local brewery bistro and music hall,” offering live music and specializing in its trademark Nouveau Dutchie Cuisine and craft-brewed ales. The storefront building at the intersection of Main and North streets in Millheim is surrounded by organic farms and world-class trout streams and provides a cozy atmosphere for dining, listening to live music and admiring the works of local artists.
The Gamble Mill
Address: 160 Dunlop St., Bellefonte
Owners: Dave Fonash and Paul Kendeffy
Brewmaster: Mike Smith
Chef: John Forshey
Open since: Restaurant, 2008; brewery, 2010
Always on tap: Bush House Brown Ale, HB 48 Session Ale, J. Rose Pale Ale, Pig Iron IPA and Victorian Secret Raspberry Wheat
Now pouring: Big Pig Double IPA, Curtin Dubbel Abbey, DiNallo and James Coffee Stout, Monte Weizen Ale
Top sellers: HB 48 Session Ale and Pig Iron IPA
Food favorites: Daily pasta dishes (featuring Fasta and Ravioli Co. pastas); oysters; and burgers and other sandwiches
Membership: Brewers Club gives members discounts on food, a $50 birthday gift certificate and invitations to special events
Fun fact: The building was the first in Bellefonte to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Description: Fonash and Kendeffy, owners of Zola New World Bistro, bought the Gamble Mill restaurant in 2008, and the brewery opened in 2010. The stone foundation of the historic former mill dates back about 200 years, providing a unique atmosphere of old wooden floors; brick walls lined with the works of local artists; tall, paned windows; and rich, dark wood. Local musicians entertain in the upstairs bar on Friday and Saturday nights, and there’s an open mike night on Tuesdays.
Happy Valley Brewing Co.
Address: 137 Elmwood St., State College
Brewmaster: Josh Davies
Chef: Mitch Angle
Open since: 2013
Always on tap: Barnstormer Pale Ale, Craftsman Brown Ale, LeMonster Imperial IPA, NitWit Belgian Witbier, Phyrst Phamily Stout, Stratus Loftbier and Tailgater Pale Ale
Now pouring: Blue Note Belgian Bluberry Tripel, HayDay American Wheat Ale, HopGoblin Belgian Session IPA, Knuckleball Session IPA, Midnite Ryder Black Rye IPA, Orion Belgian Tripel, Singletrack Belgian Amber and Tsar Bomba Russian Imperial Stout
Top sellers: LeMonster, NitWit and Singletrack
Food favorites: Short-rib nachos, oyster BLT and signature dishes including wood-fired local trout and the Hillbilly’s Hatchet, a 20-ounce, bone-in, dry-aged ribeye
Membership: The Barn Animals Association offers several types of member benefits.
Fun fact: Rebuilding the 200-year-old barn has earned accolades for historic preservation.
Description:The wooden beams still stretch across the ceiling inside HVBC as a reminder of the building’s beginnings. Chicken feed is no longer served in the 200-year-old former barn. It’s been replaced by pub grub such as jumbo Gemelli pretzels with stout whole-grain mustard and BrewCo specialties such as short-rib ravioli and wood-fired New York strip steaks. This brewpub at the gateway to Lemont has something for every palate — plus live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights.
Otto’s Pub & Brewery
Address: 2235 N. Atherton St., State College
Owners: Roger Garthwaite and Charlie Schnable
Brewmaster: Charlie Schnable
Chef: Steve Spanelli
Open since: 2002 at previous location; 2012 at current location
Always on tap: Apricot Wheat, Black Mo Stout, Double D IPA, Mt. Nittany Pale Ale, Red Mo Ale, Slab Cabin IPA and Spruce Creek Lager
Now pouring: Black Nitro IPA, Old Fugget and Pilsener Lager
Top sellers: Apricot Wheat, Double D IPA, Red Mo Ale and Slab Cabin IPA
Food favorites: Burgers (made with local, pasture-raised beef), and vegan and vegetarian dishes
Membership benefits: Pub Club members get a complimentary 12-ounce glass of seasonal beer; a free dinner during their birthday week; dinner reservations; discounts on food, kegs, cases and gift shop merchandise; and the potential to automatically be entered into a drawing for an Otto’s gift card.
Fun fact: The decor isn’t just wall art. It’s “breweriana.” Beer trays, posters, ashtrays, mugs, bottle labels and other memorabilia from Pennsylvania breweries of the past hang on the walls and are displayed in cases.
Description: It all started with Otto’s, the first brewpub established in Centre County. It has moved and grown since 2002, but the beer, food and atmosphere have remained consistent. The food is American bistro-style, the atmosphere is casual and family-friendly, and the beer (and root beer) is gaining in popularity as its distribution widens.
Robin Hood Brewing Co.
Address: 1796 Zion Road, Bellefonte, and 1820 S. Atherton St., State College
Brewmaster: Chris Schell
Open since: 2013
Always on tap: Blueberry Wheat, Bulls IPA, F. Tuck Porter, King Richard Red Ale, L.J. Lager, Longbow Imperial IPA, Nobility Blonde and Peasant Pale Ale
Now pouring: Broomhilde Hefeweizen, Loxley Lime Lager, Maiden Milk Stout, Nitro Tap, Target Tripel and, coming soon, Achoo Chili Pale Ale
Top sellers: Bulls IPA, F. Tuck Porter and Nobility Blonde
Food favorites: Pizza, stromboli, subs and cheesesteaks; more upscale dishes are gaining in popularity
Membership benefits: Bow & Arrow Brew Club entitles members to discounts on food and merchandise, free logo glassware, a birthday dinner and invitations to club events.
Fun fact: Home Delivery Pizza opened in 1954 in downtown State College to fill an untapped market: pizza delivery.
Description: Both Robin Hood Brewing Co. (and Home Delivery Pizza) locations have recently been renovated. There’s now outdoor seating and fire pits on the patios. The menus have undergone a makeover, too, and now offer more seafood, small plates and wood-fired pizza. The atmosphere is casual and family-friendly, and there are lots of high-definition TVs for sports fanatics.