With the long Memorial Day weekend that was coming up, I realized that I had very little plans. There were no races and no cookouts, so with an entire weekend free, I said to Ryan “Let’s go on a trip somewhere!” He looked at me like I was crazy. We have a wedding coming up, I have tons to do, and we need to be saving money for the wedding. The wedding runs our life. Then I said “Let’s go to Hill Farmstead! Road Trip!” His eyes light up and we started looking into it.
For those of you who don’t know, Hill Farmstead is a brewery in Greensboro, VT. From what I hear, it is THE place to go and the beers are amazing and highly sought after (Ryan can attest to their deliciousness). On this particular weekend, there were releasing a beer that was a collaboration with Ryan’s favorite brewery, Jackie O’s. So, he was super excited. However, it is a 14 hour drive from Cleveland. Once you get there, the brewery is seriously in the middle of no where. The nearest hotel is 30-40 mins away. We are actually lucky that we did not go; bad weather in Vermont postponed the bottle release! I would have been super fiesty if we drove there and came home beerless.
We decided to save Hill Farmstead for another weekend getaway and made plans to go to Voodoo Brewery in Meadville, PA. The plan was to go outlet mall shopping in Grove City and then go to Voodoo for drinks and an early dinner. However, someone (raises hand) spent too much money on running clothes lately. Being the responsible one, I decided it would be better if I skipped the outlet mall (gasp! i know).
Early on Saturday morning of our Memorial Day weekend, we made the trek to Voodoo Brewery. It is an easy drive that takes less than 2 hours. However, we stopped for cupcakes to do our wedding cake tasting on the drive over. That is some major multitasking right there! Then, we stopped at a beer store on the east side, took a quick bathroom break, and finally hit the road. The drive there went incredibly fast and before we knew it we were in downtown Meadville.
Literally, the brewery pops up out of no where. We were driving down Arch Street looking for it and there it was, right across from the post office. It was definitely not what I expected from the outside.
We got there only about 30 minutes after it opened, so there were very few patrons inside. This was nice because I could take pictures without feeling like a weirdo.
We decided that since we drove all the way there (and their beers do not make it to Ohio), we might as well sample every beer that they had on tap. There were 10 beers on tap so 10 samples and very reasonable priced. Since we had some time to kill, we also ordered lunch. We both got the mussels and split a hummus appetizer. My favorite beers ended up being Wynona’s Big Brown Ale, Gran Met (a Belgian tripel…yes, that is spelled correctly!) and Voodoo Love Child (which is the Gran Met aged for three months on Michigan sour cherries, Oregon Rasperries, and passion fruit). Yum!
They keep their to-go bottled beers in these adorable red fridges. They have one big red fridge and one little red fridge (the little red one is pictured above). I suddenly want to trade in our kegerator for one of these red ones.
In March, Voodoo had a release of bottled barrel-aged beers, which basically involved having to camp out overnight or arrive very early in the morning. Ryan was able to score some bottles through trades, but, since they are all so tasty, he wanted more. The bartender informed us that he had a few bottles left of the Laird’s Apple Brandy Barrel Aged Gran Met and that Ryan was welcome to buy some. Ryan’s face lit up! I wish you could have seen how excited he was! I was secretly excited because I wanted to try it too!
My pictures came out a little dark, but there are these cool old doors hanging from the ceiling, as well as window seating with barrel tables. There is plenty of seating and open standing space as well. Our bartender was beyond helpful with getting us beers, telling us about the area; he also pours a nice shandy. (I didn’t have a shandy though; that was for the drunk ladies next to us).
While sitting at the bar, the ladies next to us informed us that there was another brewery 10 minutes away. They won me over when they said it was on a farm and you drink with cows! We were already out in PA so we HAD to check out this other place, Sprague Farm and Brew Works.
They weren’t lying when they said it was on a farm. If I had not been warned I would have thought I was at the wrong place and trespassing on someone’s property. Sadly, I didn’t see any cows, but it was still a cool place to see. We each grabbed a beer and headed to hang out on the massive patio. I was drinking an Ale Mary (Belgian White) and I could drink that all day. If a keg made it’s way to Cleveland, I would not be mad about it.
Don’t let the sun fool you. It was freezing out. We stayed on the patio as long as we could. It was a beautiful place and if the weather was warmer, we easily would have sat on the patio longer.
I was kinda glad we went back inside. I had somehow missed this awesome stage they had.
Overall, I am very happy with how the “day trip” went. We left at 10 and were home by 6. Best part is we’ll be coming back to visit when I run the Erie Marathon in September.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. All beer research was done on my own. No I am not turning into a beer geek. Yes I am starting to get into hoppy beers. I was not compensated in anyway for writing this post but Ryan did pay for my meal and drinks.