Brewery Review: Battlefield Brew Works

Brewery Review: Battlefield Brew Works

The exterior of Gettysburg’s Battlefield Brew Works from the parking lot when me and my daughter arrived.

Once again, introducing a new feature to the blog, a brewery review. This won’t be about the brewery as a collective whole (ie. a review of all of their beers, styles, etc.) but more or less a review of their location and the beers I had while there. Typically this is one flight or a flight and a draft or two, depending on the amount of time I have at a brewery and a few others factors (if I’m driving, kids with, how the brewery does their samples, their tap list/size, etc.)

For most breweries I will do a review of their location (hopefully have pictures included) as well as at least a flight of their beers. I will then also make a beer review post about said flight, so it will be kind of a doubling up of blog posts and might seem redundant, but it’ll make things easier for the categorizing on the right hand side, as well as give you the option of what kind of blog post you wish to read if you don’t feel like reading both or all of the text. Also, depending on the place, I might get an extra draft (or two) that I’ll do a review of as well.

Gettysburg’s Distillery and Craft Brewery – Battelfield Brew Works

According to their website (listed above) they are the oldest distillery-brewery combination in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately their website doesn’t say when they were established or began operations (either of the distillery or the brewery). It does list the following however:

Beverages: 16
Awards: 7
Menu Options: 45
Battles Won: 8461

No links available on these to tell you what 7 awards they’ve won, or what the 8461 battles won means (I’m thinking it might be a website visitor-counter for them, not sure).

My daughter and I arrived at the brewery at roughly 2:40PM (Friday, June 21st, 2019). They opened at 2PM that day (I will list the hours later in the blog) and we were the first and only until shortly before we left at 3:30PM.

Seating area by the windows.

We ordered our food at the bar and our drinks. I’m not a foodie, and not one for much eating, so I can’t really give great food reviews or even do food reviews much. My daughter and I ordered a soft pretzel each (3$), I ordered a flight of beer samples (10$ for 4 samplers) and she ordered their house made Ginger Ale (3.45$).

The view from the seating area.

We sat by the windows and enjoyed a few games of Uno while waiting for the food, which didn’t take long at all. I started in on my sampler while we played. My sampler included:

* Pickett’s Ugly Mug
* Rocky Marsh Amble Ale
* Fog of War (NEIPA)
* Jeremy’s Ghost

My daughter loved her ginger ale (and I took a sip of it, and it was a very good ginger ale). Sadly, the beers were nothing spectacular.

The first of my sampler was General Pickett’s Ugly Mug. A coffee stout. It was a pretty bland but serviceable stout, nothing outright horrible about it, but nothing stand-out about it either. The coffee notes were very ‘meh’ and unnoticeable. No bad aftertaste. Its 6% ABV, so not a ridiculous high stout either.

My Untappd: ***.5
Global Untappd: 3.64 (as of 6.21.19)

The second of my samples was the Rocky Marsh Amble Ale. And sadly this one falls into the ‘bad’ category. Acidic, with a biting taste and a very unpleasant aftertaste.
Its an Amble ale that clocks in at 5.25% ABV and 40IBU. The Untappd write-up on it: ” Rocky Marsh is an old school Amber that is a true original with its blend of toasted malt flavor balanced by American hops. This is one great tasting beer.

The name Rocky Marsh was inspired by Rock and Marsh creeks two bodies of water that flow around Gettysburg. “

My Untappd Rating: ***
Global Untappd: 3.25 (as of 6.21.19)

The third sampler it got a fair amount better, with the Gettysburg Fog of War. A NEIPA that didn’t really look like a NEIPA at all. And only slightly sort of tasted like one. Though it still had a very nice taste and finish and was enjoyable, just didn’t fully match the description.

Gettysburg Fog of War, Battlefield Brew Work’s “NEIPA”.

ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 110
Dry hopped with Mosaic and Citra.

It never really tasted like a NEIPA, tasted much more like a regular IPA that was dry hopped with the Citra and Mosaic hops to give it a very juicy citrusy/mango taste to it. Was still a well done beer that tasted perfectly acceptable, just not by the definitions of the style. Perhaps they confused the idea of dry hopping with “NEIPA”, I’m not sure.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.4 (as of 6.21.19)

And the final of my samples was Jeremy’s Ghost, a Pale Ale. Now admittedly I’ve had this one before (at the past two brewfests at Mount Hope), so going into this, I knew it would more likely be their best one, and why I saved it for last. And it certainly was that.

Jeremy’s Ghost, pale ale.

ABV: 6%
IBU: 35

This is a nice, hoppy take on a pale ale. A clean, smooth, crisp refreshing beer that leaves a lovely aftertaste in your mouth. Easily their best beer of their’s I’ve had (which, admittedly, out of the hundred some listed, I’ve only had 6), this is probably their most well rounded and polished beer.

My Untappd Rating: ***.75
Global Untappd Rating: 3.25 (as of 6.21.19)

One last bit on their beers before we move on to the building and the decor, the beers are not BAD beers. Their not GREAT or EXCEPTIONAL beers, but they are definitely not BAD beers. When in the area, it is a great place to grab a drink, rather than hitting a local pub and drinking crappy macro beer from InBev or Millers.

According to Untappd (as of 6.21.19) they have 146 beers made and their global averaged rating (for all of their beers) is 3.36 with a total of 18,620 Ratings. Which pretty much puts them in the middle of the pack and makes their beers worth at least a taste and a check.

The building itself is gorgeous.

From their website:

” Our brewery, distillery, restaurant & pub building is special. A Pennsylvania Dutch brick end barn, four courses of brick deep with decorative hole patterns in the brickwork is architecturally significant. Built around 1848, the barn was part of one of the largest Confederate field hospitals after the battle. It stands as an excellent example of adaptive re-use.”

The building is a gorgeous barn retrofitted to be the distillery, brewery, restaurant, pub, and a dance stage. There is seating by the windows that provides a nice view, and there is a few TVs by the bar for a bit of a modern look to that section.

There is plenty of seating in the rustic old barn that large events, like weddings, anniversaries, funeral wakes, etc, could easily be held.

As their website stated, it was a field hospital during the civil war. By the entrance there is a plaque over a fireplace mantle with the description of the barn as being: “W.H. Monfort Farm; Confederate Field Hospital; July 1863”.

The field hospital plaque inside the Battlefield Brew Works brewery.

Just looking at the building from the back, and entering the brewery, you can feel the history. Like much of Gettysburg history is imbued into the buildings, the land, the roads, the ground, and even the sky.

So if you find yourself visiting Gettysburg for the historic battlegrounds, or for any of the other numerous destinations in the old town, or even just passing by or near by, its certainly worth the stop into Battlefield Brew Works for a flight or draft and to just drink up some added history while you’re here.

-B. Kline

The view from Little Round Top

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