It’s gettin’ Funcky in Leola

By on March 23, 2016

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All of Lancaster County is abuzz about Funck’s. Here’s a quick recap if you haven’t already heard about the new beer-stablishment.

Brothers Alan and Matt Funck, owners of Funck’s restaurants in Fort Indian Town Gap and Palmyra,* have brought their brand of beer-forward eatery to Leola. By completely renovating the former Leola Family Restaurant (the location was home to a couple failed endeavors in between), the Funcks have opened a restaurant boasting the most taps in Lancaster County — 115! So, you know I had to go check it out.

I swung in with my family early on a Saturday to catch dinner and peruse the Funck tap list. The fare is rather standard for a restaurant like this and the prices are comparable as well. But, honestly, I wasn’t there for the food.

The list of beers is broken down by style: stouts and porters; lagers and the like; fruits, lambics, and ciders; IPAs; Belgians; Hefeweizens, wheats, wits, and ryes; ales and pale ales; and domestics (Miller Lite, etc.). It takes a while to peruse the options, and I was curious to see how many local breweries were represented. I would have liked to see more Lancaster County brews for those out-of-town visitors to Funck’s. Spring House represented Lancaster, and Pizza Boy (Hampden), Tröegs, and some others made the cut regionally.

For those who have a hard time making up their minds, the solution is a flight, known as a beer sampler at Funck’s. They come in two sizes, four selections for $7 or eight for $13. There’s a section I skipped over full of beertails, or blended beers. I was glad to read Funck’s fills growlers, and not just their growlers, but any appropriate beer vessel.

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I found an old favorite, Oskar Blues Brewery’s Old Chub, and it was on nitro! (Funck’s has a handful of selections using this alternative gas, which creates a smooth, often creamier mouthfeel. It’s great for stouts.) Nitro worked perfectly for this eight percent ABV Scottish strong ale. Old Chub is brewed with plenty of malted barley and specialty grains, with a distinct addition of beechwood-smoked malt (yes, that same beech tree). This beer is not overly sweet like some Scottish ales can be; it has a more subtle cocoa smokiness. If there was an opposite to a hop-head, this would be one of their favorite beers.

After dinner, I finished the evening off with R.J. Rocker’s Son of a Peach. I thought this was a new beer to me, but when I got home and checked out the brewery online I recognized their intertwined RJR logo. This American wheat ale is a perfect desert beer and a welcome addition of sweetness after my salad of seasoned shrimp, gorgonzola, and bacon. The 5.6 percent ABV flagship brew is the best selling beer of this South Carolina brewery. It smells like peaches and tastes like peaches. Cheers!

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*Note, the Fort Indian Town Gap location does not serve alcohol, and the Palmyra location has 56 taps.

Funck’s is located at 664 W. Main St., Leola. For a complete menu and other special offerings, visit funcks.com.

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializingin arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at somepromcu@gmail.com and facebook.com/SomebodiesProductions.

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