Tap This: On the open road for beer

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Submitted by Derek Warren

Summer is a great time to hit the open road and visit many attractions throughout the area. For beer geeks, the summer season affords us the perfect opportunity to visit many of our favorite breweries to try great beer fresh from the source.

Living in NEPA gives beer lovers a prime location to visit any number of breweries. So this summer why not grab a few of your beer loving friends and hit the open road to beer.

Here are a few suggestions of great breweries to visit this summer, all within a few hours’ drive:

1. Tröegs Brewing Company– Hershey: Tröegs is no stranger to many craft beer drinkers in NEPA. Their beloved Mad Elf and Nugget Nectar are two of the most sought after beers during their annual releases. Their beers are great and the brewery is a sight to behold. They offer daily brewery tours that include beer and glassware. The brewery now has a delicious snack bar and tasting room to enjoy some great beer and food combinations. It’s a short distance away and you can make brewery tour reservations online. Tröegs proves that there is more to Hershey than just chocolate.

2. Brewery Ommegang– Cooperstown, New York: Belgium conjures up images of beautiful scenery with rolling hills and decadent beers that, when combined, can make any day special. Ommegang has a taste of this at their location that is less than a three-hour drive away. Their beers are worth the trip alone, but the world class food offered in their Belgium inspired café simply make this a necessary stop for any true beer lover. This summer the brewery holds its annual Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event on August 7, 8, and 9. Tickets are sold out for special V.I.P. events but daily tickets are still available for August 8. Act fast this sells out every year!

3. Breaker Brewing Company– Wilkes Barre: Breaker Brewing has been a mainstay in the NEPA craft beer scene since opening their doors in 2005 and has enjoyed steady growth. In recent times they have opened a wonderful brewpub with great food and pints of their delicious beers for the drinking. A must visit for all who love great beers and food in NEPA. They are also not shy to experiment and have brewed some interesting and delicious beers such as their Coconut Saison. You can also get a growler filled while you are there and trust me, you will want to take some home with you.

4. Kane Brewing Company– Ocean Township, New Jersey: The craft beer industry is booming with many new breweries opening, often to great fanfare, while some slip through the cracks to those not paying close attention. Kane Brewing may very well be one of those breweries but their reputation has since made them a darling in the scene on the East Coast and with beers like their Morning Bell Imperial Milk Porter brewed with fresh roasted Sumatra coffee it is easy to see why. They have limited hours and are only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for visits but they are a must try brewery, just be sure to get there early as it fills up quickly.

5. Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. – Elmsford, New York: New York has a slew of phenomenal breweries within the state, but Captain Lawrence brews some incredibly enjoyable and easy drinking beers that set them apart. It’s less than three hours to the brewery from NEPA but once there you can sample an endless array of well brewed beers. They also offer a lot of their beers in bottles to go, including their much sought after and highly enjoyable Palate Shifter Imperial IPA. Whatever style of beer you enjoy they will have something that will make your taste buds sing!

Road trips and summer go together like beer and pizza. While some may opt for trips to the beach or shopping retreats any true beer geek will make at least one brewery pilgrimage this summer. There are just two things to remember before planning your trip. Make sure to leave room in the car to bring beers home and be sure to have a designated driver.