Savor the season in the bountiful Pennsylvania countryside near Gettysburg.
A new craft beverage tour highlights the pints and pours of Adams County, bringing together wineries, breweries, distilleries and cideries. A tasty tour option for adults age 21 and older!
By Renee Sklarew
Rooted in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Fruit Belt, Adams County is home to more than 20,000 acres of apple trees with bountiful farm markets, orchards and vineyards to discover among them. While 100 varieties of apples grow, it’s not all you’ll find: there are also peaches, grapes, hops and more.
Kathy and Dave Reid are prolific growers of fruit on their picturesque orchard overlooking South Mountain in Adams County. The Reid’s sell their apples at farmers markets in Washington DC and Baltimore, but often return home with less-than-perfect looking fruit. Sad to see any produce to go to waste, they began fermenting apple cider about 14 years ago—before the cider craze had really caught on. The Reid’s experimented by adding their imperfect fruit to their hard apple ciders—peaches, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries—and ended up with a distinctive array of flavors. Today, Reid’s Orchard & Winery produces a line of Black Bear Ciders with flavors ranging from dry to sweet to sour, and everything in between.
Reid’s Orchard & Winery is one of 14 stops on the new Adams County Pour Tour. Adams County encompasses the town of Gettysburg and its legendary Gettysburg National Military Park, along with rolling farmland and quaint villages. Gettysburg is a charming community with boutique shopping, modern restaurants and attractions like President Eisenhower’s former home and museum, Eisenhower National Historic Site. But if you venture forth from the national parks, you’ll find warm hospitality from hard-working farm families who relish their craft and sharing their bounty.
Pick up the Pour Tour passport and trail map at any of the farms, breweries, vineyards and distilleries that participate, and then take a self-guided trip through the rolling hills of south-central Pennsylvania. Or before leaving home, find the map online.
One popular stop is Hauser Estate Winery, just eight miles from downtown Gettysburg. Hauser features award-winning wines and breathtaking scenery from its 360-degree glass-enclosed tasting room where you can sample wines and Jack’s Hard Cider.
The Pour Tour also includes breweries like Thirsty Farmer Brew Works, which sits across the road from the famous Historic Round Barn & Market. Both are owned by the Knouse family. Kevin Knouse says his farm was the first commercial apple farm in the United States, but the family wanted to diversify beyond growing produce, so tried brewing craft beer. The family planted hops and built a tasting room. “These tables are made from trees on our property. We wanted a country-feel here in our tasting room,” says Knouse. After you stop for a flight of their hoppy beers, check out the bevy of local products in the Round Barn.
Downtown Gettysburg has lots of great shopping and unique attractions like the Shriver House Museum where soldiers took control over the Shriver family home (two parents and two young children) and turned it into a hospital during the Battle of Gettysburg. Guides dressed in period attire offer a tour of the home and share the fascinating story of a family under siege. After touring downtown, stop in at Mason Dixon Distillery, where the spirit of courage and ingenuity is alive and well. Inside this former furniture store, the stills produce small batches of vodka, rum, whiskey and brandy using local ingredients, including wheat grown on the battlefield. Mason Dixon also serves modern comfort food beside its custom cocktails.
Adams County Winery has been in operation for 40 years. This bucolic farm is a superb place to stop for lunch or dinner. The vineyards have a patio with a brick pizza oven overlooking the colorful gardens. Two standout varietals include Tears of Gettysburg, in honor of the region’s Civil War history, while another, named Scrapple, is a wine infused with spices, cranberries and apples.
The harvest season is the perfect time to visit Gettysburg. Although the region is known worldwide for its Civil War history, the hills and dales surrounding the Gettysburg are lush with farmland and forests. Gettysburg serves up epicurean delights alongside its legendary American history.
Where to Stay…
Adams County and Gettysburg have lots of charming inns and hotels where you can enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading out for the day. The Baladerry Inn is located beside the battlefield and only a short distance from the heart of downtown Gettysburg. Baladerry serves a multi-course breakfast either on the terrace or inside by the roaring fireplace.
The Altland House Grill and Brewery opened its doors in 1753 in one of Pennsylvania’s oldest towns, Abbottsown. The fine dining restaurant, pub, brewery and upscale inn have undergone many changes since Colonial times, but have always been a landmark in Adams County. The restaurant was a favorite of neighbors Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower, who hired them to cater their granddaughter’s wedding at their Gettysburg farm. The Altland House still serves Ike’s favorite dish—chicken and waffles—though today’s dishes are sophisticated and contemporary.
The Gettysburg Hotel is located on One Lincoln Square, the main square in downtown Gettysburg. Although the building dates back to 1797, the rooms are modern and luxurious. The elegant boutique hotel was recently refreshed, and has fireplaces in many rooms. Here, you’ll be steps from shops and restaurants, as well as important sites like the David Wills House where President Abraham Lincoln put the final touches to his Gettysburg Address speech. The casual dining restaurant at the Gettysburg Hotel, One Lincoln Food & Spirits, serves a wide selection of local beverages.
– Photos courtesy Renee Sklarew
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.