The Trip to Indianapolis: Day Two: Rock Furnace Trail, Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Riverview Park, Hop Farm Brewing Company, and The Meadows Casino and Racetrack.

Woke up bright and early in Indiana, Pennsylvania and checked out of my hotel early early. My first of several hotel stops, and nearly the entire trip comes undone when I can’t find my wallet before leaving. A twenty minute search finally yields it behind the bed, it must have fallen off the nightstand back behind there. Whew, dilemma and catastrophe averted, I was on my way to towards Pittsburgh.

My first stop of the day was a morning wake up hike. I was wanting to hike and see the Jackson Falls… but unfortunately, despite Google Maps saying you could access them, the land for Jackson Falls (recently?) became purchased by a water company and was considered private property and you were unable to use the road to them; it was now a private road / driveway for this water company.

The Kiskiminetas River along Roaring Run Trail

But, there was a nearby hiking trail that went along the creek called Rock Furnace Trail, and I did hike that, and it led out by the river and was a bike / walk path called Roaring Run Trail, and I walked some of that as well. The trails were located in Apollo Pennsylvania, and the river that ran alongside Roaring Run Trail is called Kiskiminetas River. It was a beautiful path (both the Rock Furnace Trail and the Roaring Run Trail), the creek alongside Rock Furnace Trail was pretty, low, meandering, and the Kiskiminetas River was big and roaring with lots of rapids. Unfortunately, no real waterfalls or cascades to see, I assume all of those were at the Jackson Falls that were now on the private property.

After hiking and walking the two trails / paths, it was about 11AM when I left Apollo and made my way to Vandergrift Pennsylvania, for my first brewery stop of day two. Vandergrift was a small, quaint, old time town, that reminded me of the town from Back to the Future. Not sure why, but it just did. I walked a few blocks of it before / after drinking and eating at Allusion Brewing Company.

Allusion Brewing Company is a micro brewery located in Vandergrift Pennsylvania; just outside of Pittsburgh. According to Untappd it has 18 unique beers, with 542 ratings and has an average rating of 3.8. The Untappd description simply reads: “Vandergrift’s hometown brewery.” The oldest created unique beer was on 12.26.13, but then the next wasn’t until 5.24.14. It certainly seems like it’s a relatively new and small brewery, but the beers were great, the building was beautiful, and the staff – Jim – was wonderful. If you get a chance to go by Vandergrift, make sure to stop in, visit Allusion Brewing, and see Jim as bartender, wonderful guy, very nice, informative and talkative.

I got a flight at Allusion Brewing, which was in an old card catalogue holder from a library, which was pretty neat. My flight was:

  • Oh, Bother!
  • One Inning More
  • Baker St. Brown
  • V.I.Porter
Oh Bother

Beer: Oh, Bother!
Brewery: Allusion Brewing Company
Style: Blonde Ale
ABV: 4.75%
IBU: 28
Untappd Description: A sweet malty golden colored blonde ale brewed with caramel malts and Canadian honey malt to achieve a sweet honey taste. A beer to enjoy in the Hundred Acre woods.
My Untappd Rating: 3.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.74 (as of 11.23.20)

One Inning More

Beer: One Inning More
Brewery: Allusion Brewing Company
Style: Pale Ale – American
ABV: 5%
IBU: 45
Untappd Description: American Style Pale Ale brewed with Pale and Victory malts and bittered with American Willamette and Cascade hops to produce a balance beer with hints of earthy, floral, spice from the hops. Let’s hope the Mighty Casey won’t strike out so that you can enjoy another inning of entertainment and great beer.
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.65 (as of 11.23.20)

Baker St. Brown

Beer: Baker St. Brown
Brewery: Allusion Brewing Company
Style: Brown Ale – English
ABV: 3.5%
IBU: 15
Untappd Description: Traditional Mild English Brown Ale brewed with English floor malted maris otter, English chocolate malts, and English Fuggle hops for a light drinking sessionable ale with hints of caramel and toasted bread. Sit back and enjoy one while you solve your latest mystery.
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.75 (as of 11.23.20)

V.I.Porter

Beer: V.I.Porter
Brewery: Allusion Brewing Company
Style: Porter – American
ABV: 4.8%
IBU: 38
Untappd Description: American style robust porter brewed with various caramel malts and black mat to achieve hints of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Sit back and enjoy your beer knowing that proceeds from each pint goes toward projects to help the local community.
My Untappd Rating: 3.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.65 (as of 11.23.20)

Bidding Jim a farewell, I was off to Pittsburgh proper and made it to the city roughly around 12:30-1PM. For the second time now, Google Maps has led me astray with the Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden. I took my daughters through Pittsburgh last summer – August – and it was closed the day we were there, despite Google Maps saying it was open. Same thing, again, Google Maps listed it as open, but it was closed (closed for the season on September 15th). I have since figured out the issue – the synagogue that the garden is attached to is open year round, and Google Maps based the hours for the garden on that of the synagogue and not the actual hours for the garden. Le sigh. At some point I will get to visit the garden and walk through it. I swear it!

Rodef Shalom Biblical Botanical Garden

From there, I got a special treat, I was invited by Bobby – the head brewer for Couch Brewery – to visit Couch Brewery (on a day they were closed) for a personal tour and sampling of the beers. He was in the building kegging up their upcoming release for their Black Friday stout bash; a collaboration he did with friends (home brewers and other breweries in the area) called The Four Horseman. This was an utter blast, and Bobby is a fantastic guy, funny, down to Earth, and very knowledgeable about beer, brewing, stouts, home brewing, bars, breweries, etc. Was a blast getting to hang out for a few hours, check out the brewery, and try the entire run of their beers on tap.

I will be doing a full article on just the brewery tour (look for that most likely tomorrow), so there will be plenty more to go than just what I list here, so be sure to check that article out.

Beers I got to sample at Couch Brewery:

  • Recliner
  • Morning Wood
  • Hippie Blackberry Sour
  • Sofa Quemando
  • Fest Bump
  • F1 Hazy IPA
  • Thicc Ric
  • Macho Man
  • Atomic Clock
  • Stardust – Mango Passion
  • The Four Horseman (collaboration)
Recloner

Beer: Recliner
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Stout – Oatmeal
ABV: 6%
IBU: 30
Untappd Description: A delicious yet unconventional oatmeal stout brewed with the wrong hops, or so you would think. It delivers a wonderful silky smooth mouthfeel with a refreshing hint of citrus, a little bit of chocolate and a touch of coffee.
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.67 (as of 11.23.20)

Morning Wood

Beer: Morning Wood
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Stout – Coffee
ABV: 6.7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4.5
Global Untappd Rating: 3.87 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Hippie Blackberry Sour Ale
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Sour – Fruited
ABV: 4.7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.68 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Sofa Quemando
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Stout – Other
ABV: 7.1%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Mexican Stout.
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 4 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Fest Bump
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Festbier
ABV: 5.3%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.7 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: F1 Hazy IPA
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: IPA – New England
ABV: 7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.56 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Thicc Ric
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: IPA – New England
ABV: 7%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.53 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Macho Man
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Wheat Beer – Other
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: Hibiscus Raspberry Lime Wheat
My Untappd Rating: 4.25
Global Untappd Rating: 3.82 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Atomic Clock
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Red Ale – American Amber / Red
ABV: 6.3%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.57 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: Stardust – Mango Passion
Brewery: Couch Brewery
Style: Hard Seltzer
ABV: 5%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 3.5
Global Untappd Rating: 3.52 (as of 11.23.20)

Beer: The Four Horseman
Breweries: Couch Brewery, Fury Brewing, 2 Homebrew Collaborators
Style: American Brown Ale

There is no Untappd listing for this, and I don’t recall if Bobby gave me information on ABV / IBU / etc. (No official rating for Untappd for me or for others either then; but I would give it a 4.25.)

Bobby also gave me a four pack to go, which included Macho Man, Sofa Quemando (for Drew), Atomic Clock, and Morning Wood. Couch Brewery on Untappd is listed as a micro brewery in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania with 113 unique beers, over 12 thousand ratings, and an average rating of 3.59. They have no Untappd description for their brewery.

I finally had to bid Bobby a fond adieu and promised if / when I’m back in the Pittsburgh area I would definitely be stopping in, at a time when the place is open, and hopefully with some friends. The brewery is great and he was an utter blast to hang out with.

After Couch Brewery, my next walking / hiking activity was Riverview Park at the top of Pittsburgh where the Allegheny Observatory is. I made a few mis-turns and went up and down those massively steep hills a few more times than I wished or would have liked to, and actually even went past the chapel where I took the girls last year – St. Anthony’s Chapel – (they have a piece of the cross that Jesus was crucified on) (I did not stop in) – but I finally made it to the top of Pittsburgh Hill or whatever its called, and walked the park and walking trails.

The park and walking trails were really nice. Nothing crazy intense, but just a good walking area for families and for people with dogs or what have you. Some pretty views and sights. Lots of deer too that were pretty tame an would walk right up to you. The Old Zoo trail was really nice and interesting to see old broken paths, old Zoo enclosures and buildings (like the Bear Pit) and old crumbling buildings and infrastructure. The whole area was very busy, but people were keeping distanced and walking within their own families and friends. It reminded me of ants crawling around on an ant hill with everyone going this way and that and doing their own thing, and looking at things or seeing different views, and just meandering around, getting exercise and fresh air.

Once it got dusk and dark I finally left after a good three or so hour walk. While up on Troy’s Hill I passed the Penn Brewery, but unfortunately they were closed. I still stopped for a picture of their building because its a very beautiful building.

Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh
Across the street from Penn Brewery, an old Bottling Company

My next stop was a brewery – that … fingers crossed, God Willing, and Google Maps hopeful – was open… and huzzah it was! Hop Farm Brewing Company. ….but they were at max capacity so I had to wait for someone to leave. I walked the block and came back and thankfully someone was leaving just as I came back, so I was able to snag a table.

Hop Farm Brewing Company is a micro brewery from Lawrenceville Pennsylvania. Lawrenceville is in between Pittsburgh and Washington (where the Meadows Casino is). Its still basically Pittsburgh, but not fully in Pittsburgh. Untappd lists them with 209 unique beers, over 49 thousand ratings and a global average rating of 3.65. Their Untappd description reads: “Hop Farm Brewing company is a independently partner owned brewery by Matthew and Emily Gouwens, in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Our focus is on sustainability and local sourcing while producing hoppy ales, farmhouse ales, sour ales and various other interesting brews.”

While there, I had a delicious hamburger and two beers. I had the Kulak and the Pittsburgh Pale Ale.

Kulak

Beer: Kulak
Brewery: Hop Farm Brewing Company
Style: Stout – Russian Imperial
ABV: 9.8%
IBU: None
Untappd Description: (blank)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.83 (as of 11.23.20)

Pittsburgh Pale Ale

Beer: Pittsburgh Pale Ale
Brewery: Hop Farming Brewing Company
Style: Pale Ale – American
ABV: (none listed)
IBU: (none listed)
Untappd Description: (blank)
(….well that was all very informative huh?)
My Untappd Rating: 4
Global Untappd Rating: 3.83 (as of 11.23.20)

After leaving the brewery, I went to The Meadows Casino and Racetrack. I scoped the place out, talked to a few dealers about COVID and how things have been going there for them (compared to my work) and played a little bit of dice. (26$ thrown down on the table – 12 on the 6 and 8, dollar each for the dealers. Hit the 8 twice, didn’t press, got 28$, then seven’ed out, so dealers made 2$ off me, and I made 2$ and I was done. Meh.)

The Meadows Casino and Racetrack

I stopped over at the bar, and tried to have a beer with a hot dog as it was starting to get late – 10:30ish, I saw a brewery I hadn’t had before – Sobel’s Obscure Brewery and got a pint, it ends up kicking after just a little bit of it, so I ended up with a Hazy Little Thing by Sierra Nevada (the bartender didn’t quite get what I meant by “local craft beer” and kept suggesting Yuengling Lager………).

Watched a little bit of the Monday Night game while there, then got back to the hotel at 11PM, to pretty much fall straight to bed.

Tomorrow’s article should be the Couch Brewery Tour and Sampling, so be sure to check out that. Then it’ll probably be followed up with a few beer reviews, and then I will pick back up with the Trip articles. The next will be me entering Ohio, Salt Fork State Park, and Columbus and Dayton. Lots more great pictures, hikes, and breweries to go, so stay tuned and don’t miss it!

Thank you all for reading! Love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment or talk it up with me, you can also check out our social media pages and comment and talk to us there as well.

Cheers!

-B. Kline

The Trip to Indianapolis – Full Articles:

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/

3 thoughts on “The Trip to Indianapolis: Day Two: Rock Furnace Trail, Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Riverview Park, Hop Farm Brewing Company, and The Meadows Casino and Racetrack.

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