The Trip to Indy – Day Two Recap: Landfall in Pittsburgh and Shenanigans (Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Hop Farm Brewing Company)

The Trip to Indy – Day Two Recap: Landfall in Pittsburgh and Shenanigans (Allusion Brewing Company, Couch Brewery, Hop Farm Brewing Company)

Day two of the trip arrived bright and early at my hotel in Indiana. After the morning get-up and get ready, and a harried look for my wallet (it fell back behind the bed and took me twenty minutes to find it), I was finally on the move towards Pittsburgh.

Rock Furnace Trail – Mile 0

The day started with some trails around the Jackson Falls. The Rock Furnace Trail walks right along the beautiful creek’s edge with lots of little rapids and small waterfalls. Beautiful 9AM walk with nobody in sight. It then led into the Roaring Run Trail along the river where there were more bikers and walkers.

After my hike, it was time to keep moving west young faithful traveler.

Allusion Brewing Company

The first brewery for day two was Allusion Brewing Company in Vandergrift Pennsylvania. A pretty little brewery pub that really captured the old – time feel of the town. The town was quaint, small, and old in that way most small Pennsylvania towns are. It reminded me of the town from the Back to the Future (when they travel back in time). It just had this oldey timey feel. The beers at Allusion were top notch. And if you visit, and Jim is there, make sure to say hello, great guy and fun bartender. The flights are also very cool, they repurposed old library card catalogue holders.

After this I ventured into Pittsburgh itself (I know a dangerous thing for a Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Flyers, and Philadelphia Phillies fan to do), but I visited the Rodef Shalom Botanical Biblical Garden. I stopped here last year with my girls, to find out we were there on the wrong day (despite Google Maps saying they were open). Well, once again Google Maps got me, and here they closed for the season back on September 15th.

Couch Brewery

I was invited by Bobby, the current head brewer for Couch Brewery, to stop in and pay him a visit. They were closed but he was in the ‘shop’ kegging their upcoming release – The Four Horseman, so he invited me in, gave me a tour of their facilities backstage, and brought me out to the bar, and let me have a run of samples of all of their beers. Even giving me a four pack to go. Top notch dude, a complete blast and riot, funny guy, and knows his beer as well. The beers were all fantastic, and he sent me on my way with – Macho Man, Sofa Quasimodo, Morning Wood (not often can I say that a guy sent me on my way with Morning Wood), and Atomic Clock.

Four Horseman

He even gave me a sample of their upcoming collaboration beer that he was kegging – The Four Horseman. (He’s Arn Anderson.) I can’t say enough thanks for the hospitality and friendliness he showed me. If you are in the Pittsburgh area be sure to stop out and check Couch Brewery out.

I then traveled up to Riverview Park, where along the way, I must’ve made about ten different wrong turns, going up the steepest hills and back down the steepest slopes. I passed the St. Anthony’s Chapel, where I had taken my daughters to last year, to see a piece of the Cross. I finally made it to the Alleghany Observatory parking lot, and spent the next couple of hours walking and hiking.

Penn Brewery

While up on Troy’s Hill I saw Penn Brewery and stopped, they were unfortunately closed, but I still snapped a picture, and found a brewery (don’t fail me now Google Maps) that was open, so I was on my way to Hop Farm Brewing Company.

Hop Farm Brewing Company

I got to Hop Farm Brewing Company around 7:30PM to find they were at max capacity, so I walked the block, and went back to my car for about fifteen minutes and read, then came back and they luckily had an open table. (Seating was pretty limited.) The burger was delicious and they did their french fries in hop oil (like how Troegs Brewing does their’s at their brewery), and they were absolutely stellar, better even than Troegs.

Hop Farm Brewing Company

My night concluded with me going to The Meadows Casino and Racetrack. Hung out there for a bit, checked out the dice tables, poker room (didn’t play), and tried to get a local beer on tap – Sobel’s Obscure Brewery’s Prehistoric Pilsner. But it kicks with barely a taste in it, and when for replacement I asked the bartender for a local beer, she offers me the Sierra Nevada’s Little Hazy Thing …… sigh. Oh well, so it goes.

Hop and a skip over to my hotel, and I’m calling it a night. See you guys on here again for tomorrow’s recap as I venture into Ohio and Columbus. Cheers!

-B. Kline

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