Sunday me and my friend Ming traveled to Rickett’s Glen to hike the waterfall trails there. Planned, as I mentioned in the previous article here on the blog – A Road Trip to Ricketts Glen. We had planned this out a few weeks before, but left things kind of open ended. It was basically just a simple plan: Sunday – drive to Rickett’s Glen, walk waterfalls, drive home. With of course, a brewery on the way up, and one on the way home, possibly more if time allowed.
So, as I’ve done in the past with road trips and brewery visits, I’ll give a recap of our day here. This post was meant to go up Monday, but didn’t quite work out that way. Though, Monday did see the beer review of Boneshire Brew Works‘ Pandemic Pils go live on LetUsDrinkBeer’s blog (a site I contribute and write for occasionally) as well as on our blog here. (To see the review on their blog – click here: LetUsDrinkBeer Pandemic Pils, and to see it here on my blog – Beer Review: Pandemic Pils by Boneshire Brew Works.) I definitely knew it wasn’t going up Sunday night when we got home, just no chance of that happening.
Thus this was started on Tuesday, but unfortunately I had to pause and finish today (Wednesday) due to chores around the house, mowing, walking the dog, (yadda yadda yadda, boring crap, boring crap, boring crap), but mostly because I had to head over to D. Scott’s to do a podcast (as well as our first YouTube video) with D. Scott, Esty, and Skott. This was our time travel podcast where we discussed time travel in movies, books, and TV shows. Namely Back to the Future, Terminator, Looper, and a host of others (shout outs to Rick and Morty, Futurama, Austin Powers, and Avengers: End Game). That will be going up soon – both for the podcast and the YouTube video. I will make sure to edit this and include the links to those when they are uploaded. You can check out the Podcast channel itself here: So a Mexican and a Scott Walk Into a Bar…. (Be forewarned – language is a bit in the R category, and most of the episodes are titled “WTF Did I Just Watch”, so you can figure out and parse out what the W… T… F… stand for.) This was our first podcast / YouTube video and our first podcast with Skott on as well, so we’ll see how it goes. I enjoyed Abomz World (Ever Grain and Abomination Brewing collaboration), Wookie Monster (Fourscore Beer Co), and Buddy Shots (Cycle Brewing) while on the video. Finishing up the night with County Line IPA by Neshaminy Brewing. (But enough about that and those beers, lets get to the road trip.)
So, like I said before I interrupted myself, me and Ming planned to take this road trip from Hummelstown (he picked me up) to Rickett’s Glen which is in Benton, Pennsylvania. (See map below). It’s a roughly 2 hour and some minutes drive (depending on speed, traffic, etc.). According to Google Maps its a 2HR-8Min drive.
As I noted in my previous article here – A Road Trip to Ricketts Glen – we planned on hitting a brewery on the way up, and then one (or more) for dinner on the way home. Some of the breweries I had google mapped and looked up (in the vicinity of Ricketts Glen or at least along RT15 and RT11 – which are the main roads we would be on) were:
- Selinsgrove Brewing
- Isle of Que Brewing Co.
- Jackass Brewery
- Eclipse Craft Brewing
- Turkey Hill Brewing
- Old Forge Brewing Co.
Ming gets to my house around 11AM. We load up the backpacks, I add a four-pack in for the actual hike (New Trail’s Hammock, Troegs’ Scratch 415 and 417, Pizza Boy’s The Pen is Mightier). We head out. Stopping at the Sheetz by those strip clubs once you get near Little Buffalo and then we are fully out on the road.
Looking at the breweries on my phone, we decide to stop at Isle of Que Brewing Co. first.
Its just a little over noon when we get there. We are the first to enter for the day, and as soon as walk in, the bartender / owner / brewer Mike immediately recognizes me from the blog here. Which was a bit surreal as it was definitely a first to be recognized for the blog, and especially remotely (not a local [to my area of living] bar or brewery). Was definitely a very cool moment. Ordered a flight, while Ming had a water (since he was driver and basic DD for the day).
Mike was a super cool and chill dude. We talked about podcasts, YouTube, breweries, the COVID-19, quarantine and lockdown, how its affected his business, how the local area of Selinsgrove is / was during the pandemic, etc.
My flight consisted of: Peanut Butter Ale, Coal Wrecker Region Raspberry Ale, Black IPA, and Sexual Chocolate Stout. Mike gave Ming a sample of the Queban Joe (a coffee porter) which I stole a sip of.
My ratings for the beers on Untappd (and their global average ratings):
- Peanut Butter Pale Ale – ****.25 / 3.91 (as of 6.16.20)
- Coal Region Wrecker Raspberry Ale – **** / 3.93 (as of 6.16.20)
- Black IPA – ***.75 / 3.58 (as of 6.16.20)
- Sexual Chocolate Stout – **** / 3.47 (as of 6.16.20)
I would have ordered another flight or perhaps a pint, but Ming wanted to get to the trail, so I paid and we headed out. Selinsgrove Brewing was closed, so we were on the road to Ricketts Glen. Which we arrived at around 2-2:15PM.
For those who’ve never been to Ricketts Glen, it is absolutely gorgeous. We had a beautiful day, sunny, bright skied, no clouds, gorgeous day. Not too hot, just a beautiful early June day (June 14th, 2020). Just an absolutely beautiful gorgeous day. We had a fantastic hike with no problems. It was possibly the most ‘populous’ hike I’ve ever been on (most of the places I’ve hiked, I don’t see anyone on the trails, or if I do its a one time passing), here, its like caravans, and occasional slow-downs at different waterfalls. This is a map of our hike:
I will say there is parts of the hike that are ‘difficult’ for those who might have walking issues or leg problems. Overall, most of the hike is easy to moderate, but there is a few places at some of the various waterfall areas where the steps are tough and can also be a bit slick. Plus, if you actually get close to some waterfalls, its also tough and hard, and I wouldn’t fully recommend doing that.
Here is a gallery (of a LOT of pictures) of our hike:
The hike lasted about four hours roughly, and was a good, fun, nice, beautiful hike and trip. As you can see from the pictures, I did enjoy the four pack I brought with me; which consisted of:
- Troegs Independent Craft Brewing: Scratch 415 – Witbier
* My Rating: ***.75 / Global Rating: 3.77 (as of 6.16.20)
- Troegs Independent Craft Brewing: Scratch 417 – Orange-Lemon Peel IPA
* My Rating: **** / Global Rating: 3.89 (as of 6.16.20)
- New Trail Brewing: Hammock
* My Rating: ****.25 / Global Rating: 4.37 (as of 6.16.20)
- Pizza Boy Brewing: The Pen is Mightier
* My Rating: ***.75 / Global Rating: 3.89 (as of 6.16.20)
After our hike, we hit the bathroom one final time, loaded back up, and checked out the breweries map to see what is available and where we would have dinner.
There were several that we looked up – Eclipse Craft Brewing, Pine Knotter Brewing, Old Forge Brewing, and Turkey Hill Brewing. According to the Google Maps and their Facebook (I made sure to check both), Turkey Hill was going to be open til 7PM, and Old Forge was to be open until 9PM. Turkey Hill was closer to Ricketts Glen / Benton than Old Forge, so we decided we’d go to Turkey Hill Brewing, and then from there go to Old Forge Brewing since they were opened later.
We arrived at Turkey Hill Brewing Co. at roughly 6:20-6:30PM, and find out their actually open until 9PM. As we got back there, our reception returned to our phone, and we started getting inundated with texts. Our co-workers were getting called back into work (with Friday, June 19th, Dauphin County Pennsylvania goes green, our work was reopening). So everyone was seeing who got called, how they got called, what information they had, etc. Everyone had different ideas, theories, and stories of their call-backs.
While Ming went and talked to Don about his department that got called back, and their evening plans, I ordered a flight. We sat outside under a beautiful tree, and had a small little table in front of us, it all felt like sitting and eating at a family picnic at someone’s house for say Memorial Day or Fourth of July or Labor Day. Very informal, very interesting, and there were couples all around on various other benches eating in a similar fashion. Due to the current circumstances they do a generic flight of six, so that’s what I got. Once Ming came back from his call, we ordered small things of food (Don was making him dinner, so we weren’t going to get a big meal – just appetizers). I got fries and Ming got Asian Tuna.
The fries were very good, and Ming said he loved the tuna (no way was I having any as I’m allergic to seafood). The beers were also very good.
The beers (not in the particular order I had them in above):
- Donny’s Irish Dry Stout
* My rating: ***.75 / Global Rating: 3.73 (as of 6.16.20)
- Inflategate NE IPA
* My Rating: **** / Global Rating: 3.74 (as of 6.16.20)
- St. Abban’s Irish Red Ale
* My Rating: ***.75 / Global Rating: 3.56 (as of 6.16.20)
- Oliver’s Twisted Belgian Pale Ale
* My Rating: ***.50 / Global Rating: 3.3 (as of 6.16.20)
- Urban Abbey Apricot Pale Ale
* My Rating: ***.50 / Global Rating: 3.69 (as of 6.16.20)
- Barn Dance Blonde Ale
* My Rating: ***.50 / Global Rating: 3.44 (as of 6.16.20)
The atmosphere there was very beautiful, laid back, and wonderful. The staff was also really nice, wore their masks, handled the food and drinks and everything very nice. Wonderful all around. The beers were good as well. Overall the venue was beautiful, and I’d love to come visit it – outside of a pandemic – and get to really experience the place, as it looked wonderful.
After the dinner and flight, we looked up Old Forge Brewing, checked to make sure it was due to close at 9PM and headed off. We arrived there at a roughly 7:30-7:45PM, possibly going on 8PM. And it was closed up and locked. So either they closed early or their Facebook (as well as Google Maps) was using old – pre-COVID-19 – hours of operation. So sadly, we missed out on that. We climbed back into the car and headed for home with Ming dropping me off around 9:45PM or so; maybe 10PM. (I was probably not the best judge of time by this point.)
All in all, it was an absolute blast, and a wonderful road trip. I highly recommend both breweries – Isle of Que Brewing Co and Turkey Hill Brewing. Going to have to try this trip again on a weekday where we can hit a few more of the breweries, and do the hike, with hopefully less people, and later hours of operation for the breweries, so we can do more of them.
The venue for Turkey Hill was beautiful. The building for Isle of Que was nice and small and quaint, reminded me of the Warwick Hotel in Hummelstown. I enjoyed both places, both staffs, and both drinks. (Probably give the nod to Isle of Que’s beers over Turkey Hill; but there was nothing wrong with Turkey Hill’s beers, they were average / adequate and were very good. I’ve heard from several people online since that they have phenomenal full food, so maybe next time I’ll stop there and have a full meal.)
Of the beers I brought with, I enjoyed all four as well, though I had three of the four before (the Witbier was the only one I hadn’t had before). I did a review for Troeg’s Scratch 417 before. The Hammock is a great NE-IPA; the Scratch 417 was a delicious IPA, the scratch 415 was a very tasty Witbier, and The Pen is Mightier is an interesting and tasty Sour IPA.
I also highly recommend Ricketts Glen. If you love hiking, love the outdoors, love beautiful scenery, love waterfalls, it was all amazing, and just gorgeous. You definitely won’t be disappointed by the beauty of it all, it does get crowded on weekends, but I don’t think once you get out on the actual trail it is that bad. Right now it was a bit awkward with some close proximity to people given the nature of the pandemic and concerns over it, but overall, I don’t think it was too busy, and never felt threatened by their closeness, nor worried. Doing the full hike path that we took though (as shown above) will take you roughly three to four hours, especially if you stop and take in each waterfall, viewing them, and taking pictures. (Also, of course, depending on your speed, gait, etc.). Ming and I are in our thirties, so use that as a barometer I suppose.
I know this wasn’t a typical road trip, and we really only hit two breweries, but felt like making it into a fun little write-up and blog post. Perhaps next time I take the trip I’ll be able to hit more breweries and make it into a bigger brewery related blog post. Also apologize for the massive photo dump in the middle of this post, at least you could skip them (and the horrible pictures of myself, I apologize for anyone who I scared with my appearance).
But, as always, thank you very much for reading. I appreciate any comments, questions, feedback, etc. If you have any recommendations for trails, hike paths, or breweries, I’d love to hear them! Let me know in the comments! Also, be sure to hit the follow, subscribe, and like buttons. Share with friends, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and thank you all so very much for reading! I love writing for you guys, so its always great to hear from you!
Cheers and happy trails!
August (2019) Road Trip Series:
Rickett’s Glen (2020) Road Trip Series:
Other Brewery Hopping Articles:
My Article for Breweries in PA:
My Podcast About Breweries in Central PA:
Some other brewery tour and road trip articles:
- A Sneak Peak at the New Rubber Soul Brewery in Hummelstown
- A Brewery Tour of Mellow Mink
- Brewery Review: Battlefield Brew Works
- Brewery Review: Cushwa Brewing
- A Trip to Gettysburg and Beer Review: This is Nut the Fluff You’re Looking For (Fourscore Beer Co)
- Beer Review: Road Trip Snacks (Panther Island Brewing)