Jason Harris brews classic American pale ales right alongside his own patented version of watermelon beer, illustrating his passion for both traditional techniques and forward-thinking beer recipes. The company he started in 1992, Keystone Homebrew Supply, now employs a staff of similarly dedicated crafters who are wise in the ways and means of making your own beer, wine, cheese, mead, honey, and flavored play-doh. In addition to stocking all the required equipment and ingredients, Keystone's 23,000-square-foot location in Montgomeryville also hosts classes that inspire amateurs to cook up their own tipples and cheeses.
Chris, Cardinal Hollow Winery's owner and winemaker, ferments more than 2,000 gallons of juice each year to fill the facility's wood-paneled, cabin-like interior and its tasting room with more than 25 innovative varieties of the potent potable. Both independently and as part of the grape-cobbled highway of the Montgomery County Wine Trail, Cardinal Hollow invites visitors to wet their whistles at tastings and nourish brain orchards in classes. A two-hour lesson includes a tour of the facilities, a tasting, and an overview of the history and the process of winemaking as invented by Laura Ingalls Wilder. During the class, oenophiles sink incisors into salty cheese and crackers while absorbing lessons on wine-and-food pairings at a bar that's supported by sturdy wine barrels. Guests can also peruse Cardinal Hollow wearables at the winery’s retail shop or groove to the live music that permeates the air about once a month.
It took only a year for the team behind The Vineyard at Hershey to go from hatching their idea at a piano bar to purchasing 40 acres of farmland in 2009. Handcrafted by resident winemaker L. Paul Vezzetti II, the winery’s selection ranges from a subtle hint of strawberry in the Twisted Kiss red-and-white blend to darker notes of plum and spice in the Firefly, a stalwart red. Bartenders pour samples for visitors to savor inside the vineyard’s farmhouse tasting room, beside its 2-acre spring pond, or on a deck overlooking the hills of Dauphin County. Said deck is home to the winery’s summertime concert series, one of numerous events it hosts alongside year-round tastings and vineyard tours.