Celebrating the End of Prohibition, All Weekend

Traveling to Hershey and Strasburg, PA to do “kids’ things” like visiting Chocolate World and doing the Day Out with Thomas, I didn’t have much hope for any “End of Prohibition Anniversary” drinking. And yet, I somehow managed to drink 18 different beers this weekend.
On Friday night, I had the lone beer I had left in the fridge, the New Holland Cabin Fever Brown Ale.
On Saturday, we drove up to Hershey and had lunch with Santa at the Tudor Grill just outside of Hershey Park. Ellie and Evan were thrilled, and loved the juggling elves too. We also rode the trolley which had a fun trick where Santa boarded the trolley and read off everyone’s name (which we gave the people as we bought our tickets) and gave them a special ornament. By the time we finished, it had started snowing, and Ellie thought this was just a perfect day.
We had decided to drive from Hershey to Harrisburg to go to the Lancaster Brewing Company restaurant there. Naturally, traffic for the 15 minute drive was absolutely jammed with slippery driving and accidents (and poor directions on my part) and it took us over an hour to get there. But the drive was worth it. I had their beer sampler (9 beers – usually 10 but they don’t give their tripel as part of the sampler – for $8) and the artisan sausage with horseradish mashed potatoes and sauerkraut. The Milk Stout was probably my favorite, though I also liked the strawberry wheat and the pilsner. Surprisingly, the kids really liked the mac and cheese, which was appropriately cheesy, with actual cheese and not powder.
On Sunday, we got up super early to drive down to Strasburg to ride Thomas and do other fun train-related stuff. Evan was in heaven. Thomas left every half-hour, peeping his whistle, and the look on the boy’s face was priceless. We had to stop what we were doing and run him over to watch Thomas puff away. Unfortunately, the weather was just awful, windy and freezing, so we weren’t able to hang around outside doing many activities, and instead had to browse around shopping inside. Still, we had a good time, and the kids really enjoyed it.
After leaving the railroad behind, we smartly stopped at a Panera to freeload their Wifi and get directions to Iron Hill Brewery, as well as directions back home. We didn’t get lost this time, and made it to Iron Hill with no trouble. They had two samplers: one with their house beers and two seasonals, or one with eight of their ten seasonals. I chose the latter (also for $8). The cask rye IPA was tasty and interesting (on cask, AND rye? cool). The bourbon English barleywine was intense, and I felt like I should be doing shots of it, not drinking a 4 ounce glass of it. But my favorite was the very interesting coffee porter (served on nitro!). I thought it tasted like coffee ice cream floating in a roasty porter. Very good. And again, the food was a hit as well. I had a good sloppy burger (which was actually cooked medium-rare like I ordered), Lisa had a good fried chicken, and Ellie and Evan enjoyed the chicken pot pie and grilled shrimp. We were pleasantly surprised by the food choices at these places. Brewpubs have come a long way from pub grub and bar food.
So there you have it: 18 beers in 3 days. A fine way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition.