Category Archives: Late Night

On Tap: Fall Edition

As a fall beer lover – September feels like Christmas morning. The first time I see a pumpkin beer on tap is like waking up to gifts under the tree. It’s a surefire sign that fall is quickly approaching.

Lancaster has some great local brewers, passionately crafting ales, ciders, IPAs, stouts and some tasty seasonal beers to enjoy as the leaves change. [see the full list of local breweries here]

Find these on tap at various locations across the county throughout the season:Baked Pumpkin Ale & Oktoberfest from Lancaster Brewing Company

Lancaster Brewing Company (locals may refer to it as LBC) produces two great fall brews with different flavor profiles. Their Baked Pumpkin Ale (ABV: 7.5%) packs a pumpkiny punch. Its rich flavor features notes of pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, and is best enjoyed while munching on sweet potato fries.

For the lager lover, LBC’s Oktoberfest (ABV: 5.5%) is a full bodied brew that pairs well with pizza and roasted or grilled meats. You’ll find this deep copper beer has a lingering malt sweetness to go along with its full body.

Find both brews at Lancaster Brewing Company in Downtown Lancaster and Lancaster Brewing Co. Taproom & Grill, along with select locations around the county.

Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale for Zombies from Spring House Brewing Company

Whether you’re a zombie or a human, Braaaiins! Pumpkin Ale (ABV: 7.8%) is for you! Brewed with fresh pumpkin, this is fall in a glass. It features a fresh pumpkin flavor, complimented by autumn spices and bold malt flavors that will warm you up as the air chills.

Head over to Spring House’s Hazel Street Brew Pub or the Taproom on King Street for your taste of Braaaiins!

Madtoberfest from Mad Chef Brewing Company

This season, we’re mad about Mad Chef Brewing Company’s Madtoberfest (ABV: 5.5%) – a clean, crisp seasonal beer featuring notes of caramel and toffee.

You’ll find this brew, along with other hand-crafted ales and tasty all-American fare (including fantastic french fries with a wide array of sauce choices) at Mad Chef’s Brew Pub in East Petersburg.

Pumpkin Cider from Lancaster County Cider

If you prefer cider to beer, we’ve got you covered. Lancaster County Cider has created their seasonal Pumpkin Cider (ABV: 5.5%) by combining spiced apple wine, pumpkin wine, hard cider, and fresh pumpkin puree, and adding a pinch and a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar. Truly a glass of autumn, this cider is a great gluten-free alternative to beer.

Try it for yourself at Mount Hope Estate & Winery.

History, Beer & Dining at Bube’s Brewery

Whether you love beer, history or both, Bube’s Brewery in Mount Joy is worth a visit. Named for it’s proprietor, Alois Bube, the brewery features unique spaces for a casual night out, a group dinner, or even a wedding.

In 1876, Alois Bube, a young German immigrant, began brewing German-style lager in Mount Joy. The brewery was one of hundreds in the United States at the time, delivering within horse and carriage range (about 20 miles). The brewery ran without the luxuries of electricity and refrigeration, hence the catacombs that lay under the building.

In Alois Bube’s time, the catacombs served as the refrigerator, chilling beer prior to delivery. Today, visitors can take a free tour of the catacombs daily between 5:30 and 9:00 PM, and even have dinner there. Select Fridays and Sundays, the Catacombs are transformed for themed feasts, including medieval, pirate, and gypsy feasts to name a few. If you’re looking to get married in a super unique space, Bube’s hosts weddings in the catacombs as well.

If you’re looking for a meal with a dash of theatrics and mystery, join Bube’s for a murder mystery dinner, either during a public dinner or with a group for a private event. You’ll be transported back in time with one of their many story lines for an entertaining evening paired with a complete dinner.

While you’re visiting, grab a bite to eat, with fine dining available in the Catacombs and casual dining in The Bottling Works. Bube’s recently brought on Executive Chef, David Nutter, who is revamping the menu to feature new seasonal items. They’re still brewing small batches of beer as well to pair with your meal.

When the weather warms up, the Beirgarten is open for outdoor dining. The Beirgarten has lots of character, with greenery, a life-sized chess board, and the huge boiler and smokestack which was used to power the brewery back in the day.

Newly added to the Bube’s Brewery complex is the Bootleggers Escape – Live Escape Room. The Escape Room takes you back in time to the roaring 20s to put your detective skills. This is a great activity for up to six people, as you work together to solve clues and puzzles.

On April 28, Bube’s will host their first Jazz Night at Alois. Kevin Valentine will be performing at 8:00 PM in the original Victorian Central Hotel. Light, tapas-style fare along with select whiskies, cocktails, martinis and homemade beer will be available while you enjoy the soulful music.

For more information on this fascinating complex, their events and happenings, be sure to visit their website!

Full Moon Tour at Wolf Sanctuary of PA

Are you looking for a unique way to spend an evening, completely different from your usual Saturday night? Try heading over to the Wolf Sanctuary of PA for a Full Moon Tour!

These tours happen once a month on the Saturday evening closest to the full moon and are open to anyone 16 years of age or older. Walk through the sanctuary at your own pace moving from pack to pack and learn loads of interesting facts about the wolfs in each family- you may even be lucky enough to hear a bark or howl from the wolves themselves (although you will learn, it is not actually the moon they howl at!). This event is perfect for anyone with a fascination in wildlife, nature, or conservation. All the volunteers at each station are very knowledgeable and will answer any question guests ask as best they can. They also know the story of each wolf and how it ended up at the sanctuary- the majority of them are rescues!

Be sure to stop by the bonfire in the center of the sanctuary to warm up, roast some hot dogs or marshmallows, and just relax taking in the awesome experience you are a part of. It is a great way to enjoy being outdoors in the presence of an awesome species!

Note: If you are interested in visiting but have children under 16 years of age you can still visit the Sanctuary for one of the daytime tours. Admission for the Full Moon Tours is $20 per person, and your payment goes towards the care of the wolves (food, vet bills, facility maintenance, etc.)

Local’s Tips:

– Order tickets in advance online, or arrive early- this event tends to draw a crowd
– Make sure everyone in your party is 16 years of age or older
– Bring a flashlight and wear sneakers or comfortable shoes, you do quite a bit of walking and the ground is uneven in spots.
– Bring your own hot dogs, s’mores, roasting sticks, and blankets or chairs for the bonfire
– Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions, you can learn a lot!

Unexpected Surprise: Lancaster Symphony Orchestra

Lancaster County is known worldwide for the Amish culture. I’ll be honest, when I was moving here for college from Center City Philadelphia, that’s about all that I knew about Lancaster – the Amish, Dutch Wonderland, and Shady Maple. While all of those are true, and are all great to experience, I’ve come to love all of the unexpected surprises that Lancaster has to offer.

I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that this past Saturday evening was the first time that I experienced this particular surprise, but there, I’ve said it. I was invited to see Hollywood Heroes and Villains performed by the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra at the Winter Center for Performing Arts at Millersville University. Let me tell you – the performance was amazing, and our orchestra rivals the only other one I’ve seen live, the Philadelphia Orchestra. The symphony typically offers its classical music events, but this was the start of a new popular music series, POPS.

In this particular show, they performed both the dark side and the bright side of new and old favorite “hero vs. villain” stories like Batman, The Hobbit, Wizard of Oz, Frozen, and Star Wars. The conductor, Stephen Gunzenhauser, set a fun tone for the evening by walking out wearing a batman mask to conduct the first series of songs. Their tech team put together a video that was projected above the orchestra that allowed us to have an experience like you would have had back in the day when a pianist would accompany your movie in the theatre. The best part about this is that you’re overwhelmed by the passion of the orchestra. The sounds that you hear live all around you paired with the visuals seem to swallow you up.

I would highly recommend going to see the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra perform, whether you’re into classical music or not. If you are, you can pretty much see anything this season; if you aren’t, you might want to wet your feet with their POPS series.

Twist on a summer favorite

It’s summer! Need an excuse to celebrate? I’ve gotcha covered. Grab your friends and get on deck. I’ve tasted something you’re going to crave… all summer long. You’ve heard the news about Annie Bailey’s, right? Beer and Boozy Pops are making a seasonal appearance on the Annie Bailey’s menu!

In other news, Annie Bailey’s has new owners, two brothers, Jake and Josh Funk. With their reintroduction back into the Lancaster scene they are feeding our need to be outdoors and celebrating time away from chores or the clock on their outdoor deck. The owners kept the restaurant’s crowd favorites but their vibrant and traveled palettes are playfully reflected on the menu. Seasonal offerings like the adult versions of frozen popsicles are an outlet for their creativity.

On a recent visit, Dan and I enjoyed a tasting from the always popular happy hour menu, a menu designed with sharing in mind. Though the bites were perfect for a light summer dinner, it’s dessert I’d like to dish about.

Beer and Boozy Pops. Yes, you heard it correctly.  Frozen cocktails on a stick. (Secretly, I hope they develop a boozy version of the pudding pop.) We licked out way through 3 flavors and after each taste the newest nibble became our favorite (in my case anyway, Dan was more decisive). Loving them all leaves me a bit stuck on just one I’d recommend. The best part is the offerings will vary throughout summer. I’d encourage sampling.

Who doesn’t love a good sweet and sour cocktail? The Cheery Blueberry was just that and some, it was Dan’s favorite. Sweet and sour inspired but with a blend of berry vodka and fresh berries. Then came Wine a Bit. Oh. It was grape and apple studded, St. Germain, frozen sweetness. Favorite! Wait… Then there was the Blue Raspberry. This pop screams summer! Raspberry vodka with strawberry chunks makes it crave worthy. (craving it now)

Hold on to your blueberry loving pants! As soon as they are in season, Josh will be heading to Lancaster Central Market for blueberries and you can be sure you’ll love the popsicle it inspires.

Listen, let me just put it this way. You will need to make this a regular summer thing. Nibbles from the happy hour menu, conversational food, enjoying your friends and sampling the Beer and Boozy Pops on the Annie Bailey’s patio. See ya’ there!

Author: Phoebe Canakis, Blogger for Fig
With memories of dinner around the table that were created on a budget and not from a box and with roots in a Greek heritage, Phoebe was prepared to appreciate the whimsical way of taking time in whipping together the most palate-pleasing yet healthy, whole foods. Inspired by seasonally chic, seductively wholesome and garden to plate eats, Phoebe stirred to life her venture, phoebe’s pure food, bringing loving-you-back nosh in the form of delivered meals, pure food pantry staples and small event catering.

More POUR please

If you’re looking for a great place to meet friends for drinks and small plates in a fun atmosphere, it’s time to check out POUR. Located at 114 North Prince Street, behind the Artisans Gallery on Gallery Row, POUR opened a few years ago as a wine bar that featured a small list of draft beers and a limited seasonal menu of small plates. Since then, POUR has grown its menu to include larger entrée items, that continue to change seasonally and even serves brunch on Sundays. The last couple visits I made to POUR, it was hard to get a table on a Saturday night without a reservation. As the restaurant has grown, so has its customer following.

The menu still consists of mostly small plates, but does offer a small selection of larger plate items and a few dessert choices. The highlights of the menu include the duck fat fries, YUM! Trust me, they’re served with a roasted garlic aioli that you’ll want to dunk the rest of your food into for the entire evening; they’re a great start to the night and a great dish to share with friends.

I also suggest trying a few items from the charcuterie menu. Order these delicious items with a glass of wine from the extensive wine list and you’ll be set. However, if you’d like to extend your evening you can stay and have a large plate item or a few more small plates followed by dessert and/or a cocktail and you’ll go home happy.

The cocktail list is fun and inventive. There are a select few restaurants whose cocktail menus I truly enjoy ordering from here in Lancaster and POUR is one of them. They’ve got some fruity options and some stronger options but nothing I’ve tried has been too strong or not to my liking. I highly suggest trying one of their cocktails and this is coming from the girl who usually sticks to wine. And of course I can’t forget the beer selection. Though “smaller,” the beer that is chosen to be on tap is high quality and pairs well with many of the menu selections.

Some other highlights of POUR are its al fresco dining, it’s so nice to sit outside in the warmer months, and its location in Downtown Lancaster. This is a great location to meet up with friends on a First Friday but don’t forget that reservation, you can easily go online and make one with Open Table, which is so convenient.

I hope you’ll take an evening to enjoy POUR soon, I know I can’t wait to go back!

Marah Harbeon is the writer and creator of The Red Velvet Blog (www.theredvelvetblog.com). Marah created the blog a few years ago to document her cooking and eating adventures as a home cook and self-proclaimed foodie in Lancaster County. The blog includes recipes, travel insights and local restaurant reviews. Aside from writing about food, Marah is also a stay at home mom and shares her love of food with her husband and Bernese MountainDog. If not eating, you can find Marah golfing with her husband or enjoying a long walk with her family.

Lancaster Roots and Blues, a Downtown festival you can’t miss

The Red Rose City will turn blue in February when it hosts the annual Lancaster Roots and Blues, A Festival of Music. Past and present will converge to celebrate true American music styles as nearly sixty acts perform across nine stages in five venues. Grammy winners and rising stars will appear both nights at The Lancaster County Convention Center, The Ware Center, The Chameleon Club, Tellus 360 and The Federal Taphouse. Only Lancaster could host this volume of high-caliber musicians at such choice venues within a three-block radius. There will be performances that you will be the first to see outside of YouTube or your record collection.

Does the name Chris Thomas King ring a bell? How about Tommy Johnson, guitarist for The Soggy Bottom Boys in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Mr. King portrayed Tommy in the film and has since sold more blues records than any other artist in this century. Did you see the bio pic Ray about Ray Charles? He played Lowell Fulsom. He has won Grammys and Oscars. Would you like to meet him and hear him play live? Lake Street Dive will be releasing their first album in February. Besides playing at Lancaster Roots and Blues, they will also be appearing on The Colbert Report, Late Night with David Letterman and Mountain Stage. The buzz they’re creating has spilled onto the pages of Rolling Stone. You can catch these awesome musicians and more during Lancaster Roots and Blues.

Click here to see a complete event schedule, list of musicians, maps, directions, ticket information and hotel accommodations. To see photos of the artists or to get the official play-by-play, you can follow Lancaster Roots and Blues on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube and Twitter.

The memories you build will be unique, priceless and irreplaceable. Get tickets now for the inaugural Lancaster Roots and Blues festival. You will want to say you were there at its birth!

Post by Sam Campbell: Owner, Gigspots.com and Operations Director, Lancaster Roots and Blues.

Hauntings at the Fulton Theatre

If you’re ever at the Fulton Theatre and hear an ear piercing note shatter the air, don’t necessarily assume it’s coming from rehearsals…

Lancaster’s Fulton Opera House opened in 1852 as the Fulton Hall, and the “Grand Old Lady” has seen performances from Sarah Bernhardt, Al Jolson, Helen Hayes, W.C. Fields, Mark Twain, Irene Dunne and Marcel Marceau as well as many others. It’s a historic landmark and now is the home to wonderful Broadway calibre shows.

I’ve been told by a co-worker of mine who volunteers there on weekends that once you’re inside the old building, you can hear the sound of the piano playing itself and phantom applause. If you’re looking for local haunts, the Fulton Theatre is a great place to visit.

The Fulton House was built partially over the foundations of the old Lancaster jail. Fourteen Conestoga Indians that escaped from the Paxton Boys massacre were once housed there. They were in jail to protect them from the anti-Indian hysteria of the time, but unfortunately, it didn’t go as planned. A mob rushed the jail, took the Indians and then tortured and killed them. It’s said you can still hear the screams of the Conestogas from the corner of the building built over the old prison’s foundation.

So the next time you’re looking for a spooky place to visit, head on over to the Fulton Opera House! Have a happy Halloween!

Urban Flair at FENZ Restaurant

You’re sitting at the upstairs bar with your favorite cocktail in hand, only to still be scanning the list of impressive better-than-bar wines for a Pinot Grigio to pair with your dinner. The bartender is attentive, yet laid back. Upbeat lounge music sets the tone. Your surroundings are contemporary, sleek and sophisticated, without the pretension. You’re comfortable in this casual, urban environment. Simply put, you’re enjoying your night, and it has hardly started.

Only ten minutes away, you can find yourself on winding, back country roads, passing Amish buggies and taking in the sight of the gorgeous surrounding farmland. Surprise surprise… you’re in Lancaster County. More specifically, you’re downtown in the heart of the city’s vibrant northwest corridor at FENZ Restaurant. This former 19th century factory building has been renovated into one of Lancaster’s most recent and refreshing restaurants. The combination of historic character and contemporary design makes for a relaxed, yet stylish atmosphere. The menu items carry that same essence. Personal small -bite favorites include the French fries with truffle oil, scallops with apple-wood bacon in a Dijon mustard sauce, and the platter of assorted cheeses.

When you’re looking to cut back on vacation expenses without giving up on class, consider Lancaster County. FENZ Restaurant is just one example of such refreshing sophistication in this area. What’s more, you’re a hop, skip and a jump from Amish Country. Enjoy the diversity of Lancaster County for yourself.

FENZ Restaurant is right down the street from Franklin & Marshall College and the Lancaster Arts Hotel. It is also only several blocks from downtown Lancaster’s Gallery Row, the Lancaster County Convention Center, Central Market, the Fulton Theatre, and other center city attractions.

Reservations are highly recommended. Call (717) 735-6999.

Halloween in Lancaster County

I know tons of people who’s favorite holiday of the year is Halloween – it’s fun to get dressed up in costumes, and take your kids out to get tons of free candy – or to go trick-or-treating yourself!

Well, fall is in the air, and that means a lot of things, but one in particular – Halloween is coming! So I’d like to share with you a few traditions that our family has taken on and some great things to do at Halloween in Lancaster County! Here are my top 3:

1. Hersheypark in the Dark is a must for the Halloween season. Are you a person who loves amusement rides but hates the lines? Well, then this is for you. Not all the rides are open, but there’s plenty and the lines are generally shorter than they are in the summertime! Also, when you go, with your park admission, you can get into Creatures of the Night & ZooAmerica! Visit their website for more details!

2. Dutch Wonderland has Happy Hauntings. It’s a family-friendly event where kids are encouraged to dress up in their costumes and enjoy themed rides & attractions, trick-or-treating, magic shows, and much more! See their website for more details!

3. Cherry Crest Adventure Farm has a Pumpkin Madness Festival. Throwing, launching, hurling, rolling, and dropping are all part of the festivities. Bring your own pumpkins or use some of their left over stash. See their website for more.

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