Drinking it all in… outside!

By on May 21, 2014

Spring has sprung and Memorial Day is right around the corner. Pools will open. The rains will taper off. Time to grab a beer and hang outside! There are some great options for outdoor imbibing around the area. Grab the sunblock and let’s go …

St. Boniface has one of the more unique outdoor setups because of what it lacks inside. The craft crew turned an industrial building into a brewery, but there was no room for a kitchen. So, on most weekends a food truck backs itself into the alley or occupies a spot in the parking lot. Along the side of the building is a standing bar and several tables where diners and drinkers can relax. This weekend features the masters of pig, Baron von Schwein, a rolling testament to deliciousness offering the best pork buns &tstr; sweet or hot &tstr; this side of the Pacific ocean. The Baron will reside at St. Boniface on Friday and Saturday. Being a long weekend, there will be two vendors; Lititz-based Tomato Pie Cafe will feature its scrumptious offerings on Sunday and Monday.

General Sutter’s courtyard is a scenic spot to bring the family for Sunday brunch. Bulls Head’s limited sidewalk seating is a great place to spend a Saturday night people-watching.

General Sutter’s courtyard is a scenic spot to bring the family for Sunday brunch. Bulls Head’s limited sidewalk seating is a great place to spend a Saturday night people-watching.

The exact opposite experience can be found at Appalachian Brewing Company where the outdoor seating area is a full extension of the brewery’s dining experience. The ABC staff serves everything on its menu on the large covered porch, from the classic pretzel log appetizer to Citra Soy Glazed Salmon. Speaking of Citra, ABC’s newest beer is the Blank Stare IPA (5.4 percent ABV), an unfiltered flowery brew with a beautiful aroma showcasing Citra hops. The hoppiness is balanced by a full body created with Munich, Vienna, and Wheat malts.

Of course, a beer-seller doesn’t have to be a brewery to offer a great outdoor experience. One of the greatest outdoor beer drinking experiences is right down the street from St. Boniface. Considered by many a spring right of passage, the opening of the Deck at the Dutchmaid means the weather is good and the after-work beer with colleagues is now essential. The Deck offers the standard selection of domestic and import beers like Corona, Foster’s, and Heineken as well as a large selection of American pub grub.

Over in Lititz, Scooter’s patio is one of my favorite places to grab a brew in the spring (and in the colder months the patio is enclosed &tstr; so, the space can be used year round). On Thursdays, Scooter’s offers $1.50 Coors Lights and is stocked up with both domestic favorites and craft brews from around the country.

For those looking for a truly unique selection of beers, the Bulls Head Public House is ideal for enjoying a British import and people watching in the heart of downtown Lititz. Outside seating is limited (but then again, so is inside seating) so enjoy it when you can! Bulls Head’s most recent tappings were Red Barn farmhouse ale from The Lost Abbey (California) and Trois Pistoles (Belgian strong dark ale) from Unibroue (Quebec, Canada). Both would pair well with nice weather and accentuate a wonderful afternoon outside.

Appalachian Brewing Company’s open-air porch, with its gorgeous stained glass and exposed beams, makes for a relaxing meal on a springtime afternoon.

Appalachian Brewing Company’s open-air porch, with its gorgeous stained glass and exposed beams, makes for a relaxing meal on a springtime afternoon.

Michael C. Upton works as a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure covering subjects ranging from funk punk to fine wine. He invites your comments and suggestions at 354-0609.

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