Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yuengling Brewery Tour

NOTE:  I updated three days in the blog tonight.  Check each day for some great photos and stories.  **********

Once again we were up bright and early, this time to make the drive in to take the tour of the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA.   It is the oldest continually operating brewery in the U.S. and has been producing some of the best beer available since 1829.  They still use the original building built back then and have modernized it over the years, but it really looks it's age.  The family is in its fifth generation of brewing the beer. 

The tour started at 10:00 AM and we arrived just in time; however, since the number of people waiting for the tour was so large, they split us into two groups.  There was only a short wait and then it was our turn.  

Unlike other brewery tours, Yuengling gets you up close and personal on their tour.  No plastic windows in front of you to keep you away from equipment or anything like that.  Oh, did I tell you that there were over 160 stairs and a very steep climb up a side street involved in the tour? 

Grant & Gerry by old beer barrels.

The cave below was dug out of the side of the mountain when they first started brewing beer in 1829.  It was dug out by hand and took ten years to reach the current size.  The caves went back three city blocks into the side of the mountain and are limestone caves that hold a constant 54 degrees year around.  They don't use the caves anymore since more modern equipment has taken their place, but it was neat to see how they used to compensate for the different temperatures in the area.

Aging, fermentation and storage cave.

Two happy Yuengling beer drinkers.
I went on about one half of the tour and then when they started going up and down stairs in the very hot brewing area, I decided to skip that part and go right to the tasting room.  Of course, I had to wait for the rest of the group to join me, but by then the stairs were working on my right knee and telling me to stop.  I did!

After the tour we stopped at the Roma Restaurant in Pottsville and ordered a small pizza for Grant, a cajun chicken sandwich for Gerry and I had a calzone with ham.  We were all amazed when the food came to the table.  The portions were huge and the calzone alone could have fed us all.  Doggy bags were the order of the day and we ate the leftovers for dinner.  Except for the calzone, which we still couldn't finish and saved the remainder for another lunch.  I couldn't believe the size of the orders.  HUGE!

We stopped on the way back to the campground to pick up a geocache and then came back and rested for a while.  Grant wanted to go to the swimming hole and we all went there for a couple hours.  He met some kids there and played with them until it was time to go back to the campsite for dinner.  See above.  

After dinner we made a campfire out of wet wood and had a devil of a time getting it started.  I finally cut some starter pieces and got them a blazing before adding more firewood.  Grant fixed some marshmallows in the fire and we stuffed ourselves with them.  This was Grant's introduction to "real" camping.  Since we only have electric, our water usage is limited and he even got to experience a shower in the bath house.  He didn't think that was too bad.  By that time it was the end of the day and we called it quits.

That was our day, how was yours.

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