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Drinking Our Way Across Pennsylvania

Nothing breaks up a long car trip like good food and drink, so we were looking forward to trying some new places on a trip to Erie over the Fourth of July weekend. The detours added at least three hours to the travel time, but made the trip seem shorter and certainly far less grueling.

I was not familiar with places outside the southeastern corner of the Keystone State, so for guidance we turned to Lew Bryson's dead-tree compendium “Pennsylvania Breweries,” an iPhone app called Find Craft Beer and, of course, beermapping.com.

The first stop was Selin’s Grove Brewing which had the most imaginative and best-executed menu of any place on the trip, including many vegetarian options. Their beer was good, too. We sat outside in perfect weather. A delightful experience, and only a mere three hours from home!

Next was Blue Canoe Brewery in Titusville. Blue Canoe occupies the building formerly occupied by Four Sons, which we had visited in years past; not much has changed. More good food and beer and even live music.

Considering its size, Erie itself disappointing, almost devoid of craft beer, at least according to our references. We had lunch at Matthews Trattoria & Martini Lounge. Fine food, but macros only. From there, we walked a few blocks to the only brewpub, The Brewerie at Union Station, which, in the middle of Friday afternoon was basically empty. Andy’s Pub had an acre of pool tables, but only two beers on tap: Bud Lite or Miller Lite. Fortunately, their bottle list included some winners even though they were out of many of them.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at Otto’s Pub & Brewery in State College. They had the best beer of any place and fine food as well.

Overall, we liked Selin’s Grove best followed closely by Otto’s.

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