‘Tis the season! – (s)Hopin’ Around

By on November 30, 2016

Now that another Thanksgiving is in the books, it is officially time for what my mother-in-law called “’Tis the season.” Since I was full of turkey and feeling festive, I went “Hop’in Around” with the notion of spotting some gift ideas for the beer lovers on my Christmas list.

I started in Lititz with a visit to JoBoy’s. Their window-side seating area made a perfect spot for people watching. Shoppers on Small Business Saturday (11/26) filed in and out of places like the Waltz Vineyards tasting room and Zest! Here I enjoyed a porter, but due to recent changes in the state liquor laws, JoBoy’s now serves cocktails. Woohoo! I think a gift certificate would be a perfect gift for the beer fan who wants to grub up some chicken and waffles or breakfast tacos during a JoBoy’s Sunday brunch.

Afterwards, I headed out to some of the other shops in downtown Lititz. At Rooster Street Butcher I found a cheddar spread made with Victory Brewing Company’s Hopdevil. Described as bold and creamy this cracker-topping cheese has a bite of spice from jalapenos. The Downingtown-based brewery offers several spreadable cheeses made with their beers, like Prima Pils and Golden Monkey. Other beer-based Victory snacks include pickles, beef jerky, and ice cream.

A gift certificate would be a perfect present for the beer fan who wants to grub up some chicken and waffles or breakfast tacos during a JoBoy’s Sunday brunch.

A gift certificate would be a perfect present for the beer fan who wants to grub up some chicken and waffles or breakfast tacos during a JoBoy’s Sunday brunch.

Rooster Street also offers a selection of snacks, soups, salads, and sandwiches and is a BYOB establishment. So, grab a growler from either JoBoy’s or Appalachian Brewing Company to pair with a custom built charcuterie board.

Speaking of ABC, I stopped in here recently as well and learned the semi-chain brewery is offering 20 percent in free gift card credit with the purchase of $100 or more in gift cards. It’s a gift that gives a gift! More than just a restaurant and brewery, ABC locations offer a wide selection of gifts for the beer aficionado, like t-shirts, hoodies, pint glasses, etc. ABC also brews their own craft sodas for the non-drinkers on your list. My kids love the ginger beer.

Rooster Street Butcher’s cheddar spread made with Victory Brewing Company’s Hopdevil would make a creative holiday gift for the cracker lover in your life.

Rooster Street Butcher’s cheddar spread made with Victory Brewing Company’s Hopdevil
would make a creative holiday gift for the cracker lover in your life.

While I was Hop’in Around I stumbled into Candy*ology, and while there is no beer in this fun-filled store in downtown Lititz, I did find something interesting to drink. Like many red-blooded Americans I have a fixation with bacon, so I didn’t flinch at throwing down a dollar and some change on bacon soda. Yes, there is bacon soda, Virginia! Was this a Christmas miracle come early … well, not really. Lester’s Fixins Artificial Bacon Soda with Chocolate is just a bit too much for me. My daughter loved it. At first, the palate gets a deep chocolate flavor followed by a distinctly fake bacon flavor. It’s a hard pill to swallow; how can something sounding so magical be almost repulsive? But, like I said, at least one of my family members liked this strange soda. If you have a big fan of bacon (and chocolate) on your gift list maybe you should give it a try. After dropping some cash on candy and soda I headed over to Ephrata.

A gift certificate makes a perfect stocking stuffer for the beer geek on any list, now that St. Boniface offers handcrafted sandwiches and pizzas. I had The Shire, a pizza of fresh dough with garlic and herb oil topped with a three-cheese blend and piled high with wild mushrooms.

Lester’s Fixins Bacon Soda with Chocolate (sold at Candy*ology) is a unique gift for anyone with an unusual palate.

Lester’s Fixins Bacon Soda with Chocolate (sold at Candy*ology) is a unique gift for anyone with an unusual palate.

And while in Ephrata, consider those who may be traveling to Lancaster County for the holidays. Black Forest brewery is connected with the 1777 Americana Inn Bed and Breakfast, which offers a “Dreaming of Breweries” package. For an additional $50 added to the room rate, guests get two Black Forest pint glasses, a growler, a $20 credit for the tasting room, a Lancaster County brewery trail guide, an assortment of beer drinking snacks … and a comfy place to stay away!

Ho, ho, ho, cheers, and thanks for reading!

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

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