Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yuengling and Amish Country

We had the best of intentions this morning of going to Hershey Park. That all changed when Luke threw up. So, we quickly adjusted our plans. Becky and Luke hung back at the resort, while Eddie, Grandpa and Nana went to see the Yuengling Brewery and Amish country.

The Yuengling Brewery is in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. It is the oldest brewery in America, opened by David G. Yuengling in 1829. For all that time, it has always been American owned by the Yuengling family, now in its fifth generation.

The tour through the brewery was excellent, and totally free! Our guide took us through the brewhaus, past the mash tun, lauter tun, brew kettles, and fermentation tanks. We walked the bottling line and saw cans being filled at amazingly high speeds. Under the brewery lies several hundred feet of hand-dug caves that were used to store the beer in years past.

Our guide told us a story of when Prohibition hit, the Feds showed up to brick in the Yuengling caves with a triple-thick brick wall. They figured that if the brewery couldn't store their beer in the cool caves, they wouldn't be able to make it. Despite the fact that it takes over 28 days to make a batch of beer, the day Prohibition ended, the brewery mailed a truckload of kegs of their lager to the White House.

At the end of the tour, we enjoyed several beers--Lord Chesterfield Ale, Yuengling Lager, Black and Tan, and the Porter, with birch beers for Eddie and Nana. The beers were delicious and hit the spot after a grueling tour.

After the brewery, we headed south to Intercourse, Pennsylvania, deep in the heart of Amish country. Our lunchtime destination was Stoltzfus Farm Restaurant, where we ate like field hands: ham loaf, sausage, the best darn fried chicken you will ever eat, green beans, corn, potato stuffing, pepper slaw, chow-chow (like a three-bean salad with veggies), noodles, yams, and pies ala mode for dessert.

Meanwhile, we received an email from Leslie, who reported that Frank is suffering the indignities of rooming in a house full of girls. They tried dressing him in a doll's dress, but with his big shoulders, he only fit into a muscle shirt. Frank is very tolerant, if not altogether smart. Tucker, by comparison, was nowhere to be found when the dress-clothes came out.

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