The idyllic surroundings of The Vineyard at Hershey include acres of rolling vineyards and a natural, spring-fed pond. Inside a rustic farmhouse, guided tours take an in-depth look into the winemaking process, and end with tastings of small-batch Pennsylvania wines. Walk across the lawn to find the brewery, where brewmasters pour nearly 20 beers ranging from crisp hefeweizens to hop-heavy IPAs, with different brews crafted at different times of the year. Throughout the year, the Vineyard hosts events such as wine and beer release parties and concerts, including the summertime Decked Out Live Entertainment Series.
Pete Giannopoulos dropped a corporate sales job in 1994 in pursuit of his long-held dream of opening a brewpub. Although the beer adventure was originally a family-only endeavor, Pete has enlisted the expertise of various brewers over the years—2002 saw the arrival of head brewmaster Brian O’Reilly, who has been crafting the award-winning beers on tap ever since. Despite its beer-centricity, Slyfox Brewery is equally adept at attracting customers with its spread of juicy eats. The wraps, half-pound burgers, and flatbread pizzas that populate the pub’s menu partner with fresh brews more naturally than two baristas performing a tango. Chefs also add ale to dishes such as the beer-battered onion rings and the Dunkel lager cheese sauce that complements hearty pub pretzels.
Armed with 20 years of experience, the brewmasters at Mr. Steve's Homebrew and Wine Supplies help amateur boozesmiths notch the proper equipment and wisdom to craft homemade beer and wine. Bring beer dreams to foamy fruition with the Brewer Best kit (a $75 value), which includes the containers, tubes, and other necessary gewgaws, but excludes bottles and patience. A variety of ingredient kits (a $40 value) can facilitate the production of about 50 bottles of beer in a wide range of flavors and species, including standbys such as irish stout and brown ale or seasonals such as Summer Delight. Alternately, find a way to fill up empty water balloons with a winemaking equipment kit (a $115 value) and ingredient kit (a $100 value). The kit enables budding vintners to produce about 30 bottles of riesling, pinot grigio, cabernet sauvignon, or myriad other varieties.
Built in 1750, the old bank barn on the Sweetwater Farm bed-and-breakfast property boasted a diverse resumé before it fell into disrepair more than two centuries later; it held malting barley for distilled spirits, sheltered herds of livestock, and even hosted a party or two. After a two-year renovation completed in 2010, the barn came out of retirement to fulfill its new purpose: hosting french-oak barrels and stainless-steel fermentation tanks—custom-made in South Africa—that quietly ferment and age small-batch wines from the property's 5-acre vineyard.
Grace Winery's European-origin varietals, grown on California vines that were transplanted by hand and carrier pigeon, include merlot, pinot gris, and petit verdot. Winemaker Sean Kramer combines new technology with tried-and-true tradition to create wines such as the bright 2010 rosé, which was served at the brunch the day after Prince Albert of Monaco’s wedding. His other wines include the 2010 chardonnay reserve, aged for 14 months in french oak that imbues it with dark caramel and butterscotch flavors, and the crisp 2011 pinot gris, whose light honeysuckle aromas lead to delicate hints of citrus and melon.
To get to know Philadelphia's Main Line, visitors could spend days on the road, meticulously traveling from Bala Cydwyd to Malvern in search of new, notable hotspots. However, they could also save themselves the wear and tear by researching their destinations in Main Line Today Magazine. The glossy guide highlights area restaurants, boutiques, and salons while sharing background on the region's culture, stories, and most eligible eccentric billionaires. Striking photos accompany thoughtful feature pieces; recent topics of interest include everything from behind-the-scenes stories from multicultural weddings to lists of the area's best doctors.