The Trip to Indianapolis: Day One: 1000 Steps Trail, Juniata Brewing Company, Ghost Town Trail, Hoodlebug, Levity Brewing

The 1000 Steps Trailhead

Its now been a week since I’ve returned from my trip (my last day of my vacation and trip was last Saturday – November 14th, 2020; and today is now November 22nd, 2020). Each night I posted a quick recap of each day, and you’ll be able to find the links to that at the end of this article, as well as the links to the full articles as well.

I was debating how I wanted to do this, if I wanted to do them daily, with a new article for each day, or if I wanted to break it up into two or three day chunks (like day one through day three being one article), or just one giant article with all seven days in one. I’m not sure whats best, but I last second decision, I’m doing them as daily articles, and might do one long combined one as well (just copy and paste of the seven articles into one with some added post-scripts) for ease of readers who prefer one larger article.

I can’t easily break into geographically, because I go from Pennsylvania through West Virginia into Ohio, to Indianapolis, back to Ohio, jumping into Kentucky, to West Virginia, back to Pennsylvania – with days in between each state, so doing it geographically wouldn’t work; so I was left with just doing this chronologically.

For those of you used to my beer reviews and other articles, these travelogues are more rambling, more stream of consciousness remembrances of my trips and how they transpired. I keep things chronological, and I remember and recall them in order of how they happened, but I’m more prone to digressions, discussions of what happened, and I do a little less editing, so some of this might seem like rambling, or like George R.R. Martin writing a feast. But hopefully, you find it entertaining, and at least enjoy the read.

Firstly, an overview of my trip. I was given six days off – Monday through Saturday (with my natural days off work being Thursday and Friday; so I was really given Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday – four days off). I called off Sunday (day one of this trip) to give myself a full seven days off. Ironically, due to having to ‘quarantine’ when returning, I got myself an extra ten days and it turned into a seventeen day vacation. But I’ll get to that later, probably at the end of the whole series.

Work has been hectic with vacation days due to how COVID-19 and the shutdown / lockdown and quarantine earlier in the year screwed up pretty much everyone’s vacation days. Once coming back we weren’t allowed vacation days or even PTO / requested days, and once they posted when vacation days were allowed, everyone jumped on them before I could even get to it. Despite being top twenty seniority, I was low man on the totem pole due to not signing up right away.

So, I was only given four days off rather than the standard week (whatever your week is, since we have different weekend off days). My plan was to drive out to Indianapolis, to be at the Vonnegut Museum and Library, on November 11th, Veteran’s Day, Armistice Day, Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday. And then drive back home. I wanted to stop out and do some hiking trails on the way out and back. And hit up a lot of breweries too of course. Planned hiking trails were Hocking Hills in Ohio, 1000 Steps Trail in Pennsylvania, and Ohiopyl in Pennsylvania.

I am not much of a driver, not a huge fan of it. Not really a big fan of driving for an hour just to get somewhere, and I think its one of the main reasons I’ve never been a huge traveler or even brewery jumper; I mean, I’ve hit every brewery near by, but unlike these guys in some of the beer groups and beer trading groups and such on Facebook / Twitter / etc, I’ve never been the most willing to drive an hour and a half to a brewery just to pick up a four pack (or a ton of four packs and mule them back) and then turn around and drive an hour and a half back home. The breweries I’ve visited were usually a result of being in the area for some form of vacation, trip, etc, especially when I was married and with my daughters. Go to the beach, hit a brewery in the area. Go to the Crayola Factory, hit a brewery in the area. Etc.

But, now that I am single (…hey ladies….) and divorced, and by myself, I have found I’ve been driving a bit more. Could be the single-ness and being by myself, could be COVID and having a lot more free time this year, but I’ve found myself driving an hour to go find a hiking trail and walking a hiking trail, like going to Pinnacle Overlook and Pulpit Rock in Hamburg, and then stopping at 1787 Brewing (check out my Hamburg Travelogue for more on that).

Last year, I had taken my daughters, just me and them, out north and west in Pennsylvania. Going up to Elk Country, to Kinzua Bridge, to Pittsburgh, to Bushy Run, and Johnstown, and back home. Was a way to escape and get away from the divorce that was beginning and happening, and the separation that wasn’t separating (hard to really call it a separation when she asks for the divorce and still stays in the house and lives in the same house for a while), and we had a wonderful time. You can check out those stories in the travelogue section as well. So this trip was going to follow a similar pattern, but instead of having with, it was just me. Not even my faithful canine companion Leela. Just me. On a six – now seven – day trip out to Indianapolis and back.

I did very little mapping for this, and did a lot more of the ‘winging’ it variety. Looking up some places in the morning / night before at hotels, and figuring out what I wanted, where I wanted to go, what I wanted to see and what I wanted to do. Typically I tried to break up my driving so I never drove more than an hour and a half at a time, and I would hit a small walk path or hiking trail or a brewery, just something to break up the monotony of driving, especially once you get into Ohio where its just all flat land.

Realizing that just Monday and Tuesday would probably not give me enough time to get to Indianapolis and hit some hiking trails, and do some drinking at breweries, I called off work Sunday, and started my trip a day early. I had to go to the Hershey Library and drop off some books, and so my trip started pretty much where it will end. Rubber Soul Brewing for a quick snack breakfast and wake up, then Hershey Library, and then on the road. Rubber Soul is right in town (Hummelstown) and will be the beginning and end to this trip, to give you some indication of my trip.

Google Maps recap of Day One

The above map shows you my first day’s trip and travel. Rubber Soul to Hershey Library, to Thousand Steps, to Juniata Brewing Company, to Ghost Town Trail, to Levity Brewing, and then right next to Levity (right across the street) was the hotel I spent the night in.

I typically tried to find a hotel / motel right (a block or two, or three at most) from the brewery I was last visiting, for many reasons, time, travel, safety, etc. Figured it was the best idea and limited issues that could pop up.

So, after dropping off books I had to drop off at the Hershey Library, I was on the road, about an hour or so to get to the Thousand Steps trail.

The parking lot / area for this hike path, is right along the highway. You pull off into a parking area and pull into parking spaces, and then walk about forty to fifty feet to the trailhead right alongside the highway. It was a gorgeous day, and I must say, I got extremely lucky for my entire trip. The first several days were the hottest, warmest, sunniest days of November that I can ever recall in my thirty five years of existence in Pennsylvania. The place was packed, so while everyone immediately went up the stairs, I turned left and took the Standing Stone Trail (North), which connects with the Thousand Steps trail.

Standing Stone Trail

This was a relatively simple trail, just at high altitude, and was off the beaten path of the Thousand Steps trail (which is primarily what everyone comes for). Didn’t pass a single soul on this two – three mile trail (a back and forth trail). Once back to the crossing with the Thousand Trails, I then went up the stairs.

I thought I was in shape. Really, not…. well, not “in shape” in shape. But at least not, dying any second, morbidly obese, shape either. Thirty five, I walk my dog a lot, I hike, I lift weights, but…. a thousand stairs / steps up, is pretty damn brutal, I won’t lie. I felt it. I think I gained one of those “booties” everyone is always talking about getting, just from walking up all the stairs.

My favorite quote, was, around the ledge, at I believe it was just over the 400 step mark, a rather rotund younger boy (probably 10 – 12) huffing, and puffing, leans against a tree, and says: “Thank god…. I’m never gonna do this again!” To which his dad then proudly points out that they are kind of at the halfway point. The look of pure dread and despair that crossed that poor boy’s face…. oh my.

These were all the pictures I took on the Standing Stone Trail, the Thousand Steps Trail, the various overlooks at the top, and the Dinky Shed at the top. (Its a large gallery, so you can either space your way through it or skip it.) (Yes, let this be your warning, that these travelogue posts will be including lots of pictures, and thankfully none of me, but lots of nature, waterfalls, lakes, parks, and of course… beer.)

While at the top, my internet kicked back in my phone, and as all the notifications and texts and everything pinged and pinged and came in, it was while sitting there at the top, that I got the notice that Alex Trebek passed away. I obviously never met him, and he never knew me or heard of me, but, I did grow up watching Jeopardy with my father, with my grandmother, and he always seemed like a person and a spirit that made the world better for having him in it. This is an unfortunate loss, to many, but he did fight, and he put up a good hard fight in the battle against Cancer. Hopefully some day we will defeat it, but in the meantime, its a fight that a lot will take on, and its not an easy one.

All told, my hiking was about 6 miles, and by the time I made it back to my car (where I nearly got hit by a dude flying on the highway, because I had to walk around a large SUV that didn’t want to fully pull up into their parking space) my legs were pretty tired. Nearby was Juniata Brewing Company, so that was my first brewery stop of the trip (outside of counting Rubber Soul at home).

This was a very nice location. Small, with a nice outdoor seating area. They had their own hops growing by the picnic area where you sat. And they did flights (which is my preferred method when traveling and trying new breweries for the first time). I got a flight of five.

My flight consisted of:

  • Standing Stone Stout
  • Rowdy Viking
  • GAPA IPA
  • Oktoberfest
  • Raspberry Wheat

Standing Stone Stout

Beer: Standing Stone Stout
Brewery: Juniata Brewing Company
Style: Stout – Other
ABV: (None Listed)
IBU: (None Listed)
Untappd Description: A delicious stout brewed with Huntingdon’s own Standing Stone Coffee.
My Untappd Rating: 3.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.98 (as of 11.22.20)

Raspberry Wheat

Beer: Raspberry Wheat
Brewery: Juniata Brewing Company
Style: Wheat Beer – Other
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 15
Untappd Description: Lightly tart, slightly sweet. A good springtime companion!
My Untappd Rating: 3.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.78 (as of 11.22.20)

Oktoberfest

Beer: Oktoberfest
Brewery: Juniata Brewing Company
Style: Marzen
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 25
Untappd Description: A classic marzen with light toasted and roasted flavors and a slight bitterness. Dark amber in color.
My Untappd Rating: 3.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.96 (as of 11.22.20)

GAPA IPA

Beer: GAPA IPA
Brewery: Juniata Brewing Company
Style: IPA – Black / Cascadian Dark Ale
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 40
Untappd Description: This Black IPA balances caramel notes and a slight rye spice with the resinous aroma of Chinook hops and a pleasing bitter finish. Collaboration brew with Our Culture Brewing out of Atlanta GA.
My Untappd Rating: 3.50
Global Untappd Rating: 3.98 (as of 11.22.20)

Rowdy Viking

Beer: Rowdy Viking
Brewery: Juniata Brewing Company
Style: Brown Ale – American
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 20
Untappd Description: A honey brown ale: malty, roasty, with a dry finish. Notes of honey and floral hops.
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.94 (as of 11.22.20)

On Untappd, Juniata Brewing Company is listed as a Micro Brewery from Huntingdon, Pennsylvania. They have 22 unique beers, 1,100 ratings, and an average rating of 3.89. They have no description on the site.

After leaving Juniata Brewing Company, I drove to the Ghost Town Trails at the Hoodlebug connection. Apparently, this is much more of a bike path and trail than it is a walking path, especially at this conjuncture – if you want to see anything. It was also starting to get a bit darker (one of the problems about this trip being in November, was that by 4:00PM it was becoming dusk, by 4:30PM it was near dark, and at 5:00PM it was completely dark). There is a lot to see on the Ghost Town Trail, old abandoned buildings and such, but not where I walked. I walked the path for about 2-3 miles, and did the loop of the playground, and went back to my car.

After this, I drove up the fifteen or so minutes to Indiana and visited what was a wonderful brewery. Top three breweries of my entire trip, and in all of my travels, probably a top ten brewery I’ve visited (total, out of all the countless breweries I’ve visited) (thus far).

Levity Brewing Company

I absolutely loved my time here, had two wonderful flights, got to talk to Eric, who was a fantastic bartender, and as it turned out, was a co-owner, who even sent me on my way with some free beer. (Without even knowing about my blog, after my flights, and when I was leaving, he was asking me what my favorite beer from the flights were, and I told him, and he gave me a can of it to go.)

Eric was top notch, talking to me, coming by to check on me, asking about my trip, the book I was reading, etc. I cannot recommend this brewery enough.

Firstly, I’m not a foodie, I’ve mentioned this several times here on the blog, food is an afterthought to me. Much to the chagrin of many of my fellow brewery travelers, who go to visit breweries just as much for the food as they do the beers. (Deuene being a prime example.) But, these Yolo Dogs from Levity, are absolutely phenomenal, and if you are ever at the brewery, they are a must buy. Two hot dogs, covered in bacon, beer cheese, scallions, onions, and a ton of potato chips, go perfectly with two flights of amazing beers. You can’t go wrong with that.

I had gotten two flights, watched the Dallas – Steelers game, which being near Pittsburgh country, I was inundated with Steeler fans (ugh…. as a Cincinnati Bengals fan, coming out to Pittsburgh and through the area is always rough, especially football season), read my book about the President’s office (The Hardest Job in the World: The American Presidency by John Dickerson), and enjoyed amazing food and drinks.

My flights included:

  • ICFC Straight Red
  • Hoodlebug Brown Ale
  • Headlamp Stout
  • Knock and Howl (2019)
  • Debacle Doppelbock
  • Haze Frehley
  • End of Haze
  • Punky Bruiser

Levity Brewing Company (according to Untappd) is a brew pub in Indiana, Pennsylvania. It has 65 unique beers, with 34, 226 ratings and a global average rating of 3.76. The Untappd description for the brewery reads: “Levity Brewing Company is a small brewery and pub in Indiana, PA-about an hour east of Pittsburgh. We aim to brew clean, crisp, and dry examples of style and bring a diversity of beers to our community. At any time we offer a variety of IPAs, kettle-soured fruit beers, oak-aged wild beers, etc, etc, etc..”

ICFC Straight Red

Beer: ICFC Straight Red
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: Red Ale – American Amber / Red Ale
ABV: 4.9%
IBU: 18
Untappd Description: This soccer club amber ale – initially developed for the Indiana County Football Club – is an easy drinking but flavorful pick me up after the big game. Lovely amber, bready, nutty, crisp. Toss one back with your team, the competition, maybe even the referee.
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.64 (as of 11.22.20)

Hoddlebug Brown Ale

Beer: Hoodlebug Brown Ale
Style: Brown Ale – American
ABV: 6.8%
IBU: 34
Untappd Description: This easy-to-love beer is loaded with caramel malts and is gently hopped. Well-rounded, great with your dinner, not too filling. This beer has hit a sweet spot with our customers making it one of our best sellers. Named after the Hoodlebug Trail – a popular rails-to-trails path right next to the brewery. And a portion of sales are donated to trail maintenance!
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.76 (as of 11.22.20)

Headlamp Stout

Beer: Headlamp Stout
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: Stout – Imperial / Double
ABV: 8.9%
IBU: 53
Untappd Description: Just like the coal mines under us in Western PA, this beer is deep, dark, and complex. Cherry cordial sweetness shines through the dark roast and chocolate creating a fascinatingly rich, desert-like beer
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.83 (as of 11.22.20)

Knock and Howl

Beer: Knock and Howl (2019)
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: American Wilde Ale
ABV: 7.3%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Our wild brown ale aged in well used bourbon barrels. Roasted oak and cherry pie on the nose. Sour cherry and caramel candy flavors with a Concord red wine finish
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.83 (as of 11.22.20)

Debacle Doppelbock

Beer: Debacle Doppelbock
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: Bock – Doppelbock
ABV: 7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (Blank)
My Untapped Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.52 (as of 11.22.20)

Haze Frehley

Beer: Haze Frehley
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: IPA – New England
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: 42
Untappd Description: Hazy, juicy, grapefruit flavors out of this world. If you like IPA’s you are sure to enjoy this one. Bravo, Citra, & Mosaic, hops. You can smell the big tropical grapefruit aroma a mile away.
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.79 (as of 11.22.20)

End of Haze

Beer: End of Haze
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: IPA – New England
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Sabro and Moutere hops are our secret weapon to defeat the powers of darkness invading our world. Combined, they hyper-blast out a fruity, tropical, citrus beam of pure energy.
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.65 (as of 11.22.20)

Punky Bruiser

Beer: Punky Bruiser
Brewery: Levity Brewing Company
Style: Porter – Baltic
ABV: 7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Baltic Porter is a lager that’s smooth, clean, and delicate from a long cool fermentation. Plum floats perfectly with the dark chocolate, and toffee flavors, but never overpowers.
My Untappd Rating: 4.5
Global Untappd Rating: 3.66 (as of 11.22.20)

Overall, both Levity and Juniata Brewing were great breweries. Levity Brewing gets my nod for being my favorite of the two, and Punky Bruiser gets my gold star for favorite beer of the day. Out of my hiking for the day, I really enjoyed the Thousand Steps trail. Was a beautiful trail, hard, but not impossible, with amazing, gorgeous views at the top.

I almost forgot to mention, that, I ran into a group of hikers all in various brewery / hop logo attire (shirts / hoodie), and I was wearing my Boneshire Mug Club shirt, and we were talking about Boneshire Brew Works, and the one was saying he had a roommate who worked there, and the woman was saying how she kept going back to their tent at the Gettysburg Brew Fest they went to. I had ran into the brother-in-law of Matt Trevan, a bartender at Boneshire Brew Works, when I went to Hawk Rock (you can read about that in the travelogues section).

After leaving Levity, and talking to some bikers (cyclists), and Eric, and Nathan the other bartender, I made my way over to the Wyndham across the street, got my room for the night, and promptly crashed. I believed I started watching some of the Sunday Night Football game, and I can’t even recall who it was, if it was the horrible Tampa Bay / Saints game or if that was the Monday night game, I don’t even remember, because I was soon fast asleep.

The next update on this series, will take me into Pittsburgh and to Washington, and then day three begins my trip into Ohio.

I hope you enjoyed this. You can read more about the individual days in quick recap form below, and you can read and see the many other travelogues I’ve done. You can also check around the site for beer reviews, brewery reviews, brewery news, brewer interviews, and what have you. Please comment, follow, and subscribe, I always love hearing from you guys.

Thanks for reading, and please stay safe out there everyone, as we get near the Thanksgiving season, this has certainly been a trying and difficult year, hopefully everyone stays safe for the holidays, and we all make it to 2021 safe and sound.

Cheers!

-B. Kline

The Trip to Indianapolis – Full Articles:

  • Day One: Thousand Steps Trail, Juniata Brewing Company, Ghost Town Trail, Levity Brewing
  • Day Two:
  • Day Three:
  • Day Four:
  • Day Five:
  • Day Six:
  • Day Seven:

The Trip to Indianapolis – Recap Articles:

August (2019) Road Trip Series:

Rickett’s Glen (2020) Road Trip Series:

Monocacy Battlefield Road Trip:

Visiting Reading Pennsylvania:

  • A Visit to Reading
  • The Birthday Trip to Reading Pennsylvania – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

A Road Trip to The PA Grand Canyon:

  • Visiting Wellsboro PA and the Grand Canyon

Hiking Hawk Rock

  • Hiking Hawk Rock and Visiting Liquid Noise Brewery

Hiking Pinnacle Trail and Pulpit Rock

  • Hiking to Pinnacle Overlook, Pulpit Rock, Visiting 1787 Brewing and Schaylor Brewing

Hiking Around Ephrata Pennsylvania:

  • Hiking Around Ephrata Pennsylvania – Pour Man’s Brewing, Black Forest Brewery

Hiking Sunset Rocks and Checking Out Maxie’s Brewhouse:

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:

Also, be sure to check out some of our other beer reviews in recent history:

Please be sure to follow us on our social media accounts – FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Influence. Please be sure to also follow, like, subscribe to the blog here itself to keep updated. We love to hear from you guys, so be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!

Published by BKline

Author and administrator for : TheBeerThrillers. https://thebeerthrillers.home.blog/

4 thoughts on “The Trip to Indianapolis: Day One: 1000 Steps Trail, Juniata Brewing Company, Ghost Town Trail, Hoodlebug, Levity Brewing

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