Bellefonte is really ascending when it comes to libations and live music. Often in the metropolitan shadow of State College, Bellefonte has a quiet quality of being ahead of the curve.
In the past few years, Bellefonte was the first town in the area to feature a local distillery — Big Spring Spirits — and more recently has been the first town in the area to offer another alcoholic and musical anomaly: Good Intent Cider.
Good Intent is exactly what it sounds like, a cider place. When you go there, you can choose from more than a dozen different types of cider, just like you would choose from a slew of different beers at a brewery, and the choices change from time to time, so it seems like there’s always something new to try.
“Our goal is to make some of the best cider available in Pa. or the U.S. at large,” Good Intent Quality Control Manager Jen Zelinski said. “We are not striving to grow much larger simply because we want to continue having fun at what we do, and also remain fully engaged in the process.”
The cidery is new to the Centre County music scene, but the venue is unique. Musicians get to perform outside, facing Spring Creek, with their backs to a minimally but tastefully landscaped hill, while patrons sip cider on the wood deck. There’s not much room inside, so the music only happens if the weather permits — from 6:30-9 p.m. on Fridays.
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“Music offers another element to the cidery, supporting local musicians and providing guests with a fun environment to enjoy music and our ciders,” Zelinski said. “We plan to continue having music outdoors on Fridays until the weather cools down, in which we will consider the idea of having artists play indoors once we expand our tasting room.”
Plans are set for Good Intent to offer more space, which will also benefit musicians.
“Currently we have a small indoor tasting room with half of our building used for cider production. We are working on remodeling a neighboring building to move the production into that facility, which will allow us to expand our production and use our entire cidery building as a tasting room,” Zelinski said.
Kevin Briggs is a musician, writer and teacher who performs at venues throughout central Pennsylvania. Contact him at KevinTBriggs@gmail .com.