When the Roff family donated a plot of land to be used for a schoolhouse in the 1930s, they probably didn't predict the 250 craft microbrews that later would represent that site. They probably didn't expect a pool table either. Or burgers and pizzas whose flavors are as bold as the plates' bawdy names. But time brings many changes, and, lucky for beer and beef fans, the site of Roff School Tavern has slung tavern fare since 1977. It seems every inch is steeped in history, even when things change. Today, the 8,000 square feet of a German-style beer garden encourage sunlit eating punctuated by frisbees. Inside, knots in the walls' wood panels echo the wooden bar top and the circular trunk slices that act as tables.
Roff School Tavern's menu works in an inventive way: it lists 20 different topping combos and gives customers the option of placing them on burgers or pizzas. Ciabatta bookends handmade steak patties. Pizza crusts are made with a choice of white or whole flour, and topping combos include the Wake 'n' Bake with sausage gravy, fried egg, and mozzarella, or the Bluth's Banana with fried plantains, pulled pork, banana peppers, and thousand-island dressing.
Penn's Colony Event Grounds host a duo of festivals during the year, beginning with the semi-annual Wine Time tasting event in June. The annual Penn's Colony Festival, which is held in September, replicates an early American colonial village with lively 18th-century bagpipe music, French and Indian War battle reenactments, and interactive activities such as basket-weaving and nine-pin bowling. More than 180 artisans congregate at the sprawling, tree-shaded colonial village, setting up booths with furniture, art, and gifts. Meanwhile, local gourmet-food vendors hawk smoked sausages, apple dumplings, and beef stew. Throughout the year, the colony's grounds are available for special events such as antique shows, retreats, and weddings, at which unruly uncles can be confined in a pillory.
Although Lavery Brewing Company is relatively small on the brewery scale, it makes big, flavorful beers in small batches that are carefully handcrafted by its brewers. Founded by husband-and-wife team Jason and Nicole Lavery back in 2009, the 10-barrel brewery takes pride in the attention to detail that such a small operation not only allows for but demands. In addition to a roster of seasonal beers, the lineup of brews available year-round includes two IPAs, an imperial red ale, and a black saison.
Housed inside the Old B&O Train Station, Rust Belt brews nine craft beers, with a handful more scheduled for release early next year. Each Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., fans of yeast and hops can gather 'round head brewer Lee Gidley as he guides them on a tour of the brewery, showing them equipment, explaining the brewing process, and doling out samples of the luscious liquid gold. When the half-hour tour concludes, everyone receives a commemorative Rust Belt Brewery T-shirt, a souvenir pint glass, and a jolly memory to overtake the brain space currently inhabited by knowledge of the Gigli plot. If the tour inspires a powerful thirst for more, Rust Belt sells growlers of their guzzleables to take home, and the neighboring Boxcar Lounge has Rust Belt on tap.
Tarsitano's Artisan Winery used to be a dairy farm. "But I would rather squeeze grapes than cows, so I started a winery," Ken Tarsitano says. This isn't the only reason Ken turned his 17 acres—which has been in his family for five generations—into a vineyard. His grandfather, Michael Tarsitano, "always had something bubbling away in his cellar," and it was Grandpa's ability to transform elderberries, apples, and even dandelions into wine that inspired Ken.
Today, Ken is the owner, vineyard manager, and winemaker at his eponymous winery and vineyard, whose 25 grape varieties have been organic since its 1998 inception. Wine isn't the only thing visitors dine on here: winery goers savor flatbreads and cheese plates. Tarsitano's Artisan Winery even hosts events, such as moon-viewing parties, where guests gather to launch sky lanterns in the light of a waxing moon.
Transform your wine technique from a semi-inspired slosh to a proper swirl by traversing a variety of distinct wine blends at WineStyles. The shop hosts a range of rare reds and whites at each tasting. And, because WineStyles specializes in hard-to-find wines from vineyards large and small, you'll be sure shake tongues with a few blends for the very first time. If you opt to share this Groupon with a date, pre-arrange a system of non-invasive hair twirls and playful shoulder touches to express your confident vote of approval. If something strikes your fancy throughout the tasting, simply spill a few drops on your shirt and the expert staff will happily sniff out a corresponding bottle for purchase.