Sunday, October 11, 2009

Octoberfest at Old Forge

S and I and a lotta like-minded volk made the hike down to Octoberfest at Old Forge Brewing Company to have some fun, sample some of the seasonal beers, and try some delicious Germanic dishes from the special menu prepared for the occasion.

This visit found us taking the stairway to the 2nd floor to experience the bar and dining room up there. Empty malt sacks hung like curtains from a set of windows and waved their welcome as we climbed the last few steps. Passing by the door leading to the deck, we sincerely considered sitting out there on this quickly-becoming-sunny Saturday afternoon, but, decided that there would be time for that on our next visit. This time, we picked a very nice pine booth across from the bar and settled in for what would become another memorable afternoon.

S wasn't very hungry and just picked a simple pretzel with a spicy beer-mustard sauce. Simple may it be, still served with a distinct flair that I've come to see as normal for OFBC.

I was curious to see how the roast pork crowing the menu might fair, since I've been doing a lot more pork grilling myself lately, so I picked that and chose potato soup for a starter. Well, the soup arrived hot, was chock full of fresh potato, onion, and carrots, and, just like our last visit, freshness ruled.

The roast pork arrived like a prince upon a throne of red cabbage and apple slices. It was out of this world and quite obviously prepared with a lot of care as it was fork-tender and seasoned perfectly with a mustard-based glaze.

And get this: Two potato pancakes on the side! Yeow! Due to the hazy nature of silly things like borders and such, it's no surprise at all to see now that the Poles and Germans really knew how to enjoy and share good food amongst themselves! They were a bit thicker than Babcia's potato pancakes, but still right up there.

Ahhh. Memories.

For desert: Apple Strudel which at the mere mention, a sudden ravenously hungry S poked her little head up and exclaimed: For two, please! Yummy!

As for the good stuff, I started with Petey's Porter--you know, to get a feel for what my own Uncle Kazek Porter should aspire to. It turned out to be very good and very quickly all I had left to show for my effort was a tan mustache!

Old Trafford Pale Ale turned out to be a pure delight. I feel English Pale Ales sometimes can be a little on the bland side. Well, I'm here to tell you this one's a bulls eye on my taste profile!

This one, as advertised, has a hint of bitterness that I found superbly attractive. Not a knock-your-socks off bitterness by any means, but a subtle bitterness just poking its head above the maltiness. A wonderful twinge on the style and I ended up bringing home a growler. Once again the brewers at Old Forge have come up with a winner.

So what's with the name Old Trafford?

Well, one might say that Danville was to iron rail as Old Trafford was to the aeroplane engine.

Sort of.

Old Trafford is an area just south of the city of Manchester England with a gate that leads right next door to Trafford Park which was home to much industrial activity in the period from the end of the 19th century to the mid-20th century. It was home to a Roll-Royce engine manufacturing facility that produced the engines for the Spitfire and Lancaster airplanes used so successfully during the 2nd world war.

Different century, different manufacturing, same import.

Old Forge continues to delight and encourage forays into the world of food, beer, and even history. They have become in my estimation, a credit to the restaurant and craft-beer scene in central PA. Their beers are tasty, the service friendly and competent, their meals: top-notch. I see in their newsletter presence at the GABF this year. I predict there may be glints of gold soon hanging alongside those malt sacks!

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